elifelines

November 2020 Social Group Events

Veggies of Hamilton-Burlington are hiking on the Bruce Trail to Mount Nemo Leaving from Walkers Line in November. If you’re interested, email hamiltonburlington@veg.ca for details! Toronto Starch Solution is holding a Zoom chat on the first Friday of each month, which includes Friday, November 6th at 7 pm. If you would like to learn more about whole foods and plant-based eating, bring your questions, struggles, and success stories to share. Email starch.tva@gmail.com to RSVP. TVA Reads is holding their next Zoom book club on November 18th at 6:30 pm. Email tvareads@veg.ca for more info and to RSVP.  Vegetarians in Their Twenties have bi-weekly Zoom meetings. Join the Facebook Group to find details for the next one!… Read More


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Butternut Squash Ravioli

Care of Andrea Howe of Glowingongreens.com Autumn is a time that brings warmth into your life through hearty meals, family gatherings, and cozy sweaters. When I think of autumn foods, butternut squash recipes are without a doubt my go-to. Butternut squash is not only good for comforting and warm recipes, but it is packed full of nutrients. Squash is a category of many vegetables, including zucchini, pumpkin, or butternut squash. Their bright orange colour comes from the same nutrient that gives carrots their colouring– carotene! In the body, carotene is converted into Vitamin A, which is essential for eye health, bone health, and immune function. Butternut squash is also packed with vitamin C which aids in immune health, as well as skin and tissue repair. Both vitamin A and C are important to have in the colder months to help keep your immunity strong. Butternut squash contains many antioxidants, which help fight free radicals that can lead to cancer and disease development, one reason consuming at least one green and orange vegetable every day is recommended. Eating a diet rich in orange vegetables, including butternut squash can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic… Read More


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Discount Profile: Valiant’s Modern Plant-Based Eatery

If you are ever in the Barrie area, or even relatively close by, a great place to stop by for a wonderful meal and some special treats is Valiant’s Modern Plant-Based Eatery. My partner and I were on our way back to Toronto from Muskoka one afternoon and had been looking forward to this stopover for quite some time. Valiant’s certainly did not disappoint! Being in the downtown area, near the waterfront and Heritage Park, makes it the perfect location for an after-meal stroll. The interior space is relaxing, casual, and inviting. They had some great music playing in the background which really created a genuine ambience of friendliness and community. The menu itself was very large and in fact a bit overwhelming! Of course, this is a good thing, since there are so many awesome options to choose from. It all sounded and looked so good, gluten-free and non-gluten free alike! Although the pizza was tempting, we decided to go for the burgers including the bacun cheeze burger…. doubled! This, as it sounds, included 2 patties, 2 bacun strips and 2 cheeze slices. As you can imagine it was extremely filling and tasted… Read More


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Food and Recipe of the Month: Basil Pesto

Basil – the famous herb which is likely in everyone’s vegetable garden in the summertime. Basil is known for its fresh and flavourful taste, and is popular in many recipes in Italian and Thai cuisine. The two most common variaties of basil are Genovese basil and Thai basil, however there are well over 15 types. Basil is rich in many vitamins and minerals that can greatly benefit our health. It contains antioxidants, including chlorophyll, giving it that bright green colour. Antioxidants are able to fight free-radical damage, and reduce the risk of cancer cells and diseases from forming. Basil also contains essential oils, which are anti-inflammatory, so it may be beneficial for those with arthritis, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also be helpful for those who experience headaches, poor digestion, or acid reflux. Not only does it contain these powerful nutrients, but it can also be used as a flavour enhancer in cooking, replacing added sugar or salt. Therefore, using basil in your cooking can reduce the amount of unnecessary additional seasoning. Basil can be used in a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, sauces, and tea. It’s most popular use is in pesto,… Read More


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Discount Profile: Parka Food Co.

After a brief closure during COVID-19, Parka is back open again, and even has two cute tables set up on the sidewalk so you have somewhere to sit and enjoy their delicious take-out! At first, I found the menu overwhelming. I wanted all the different items they have that involve potatoes and vegan tartar sauce, but I figured I might as well choose just one potato dish so that I could try a variety of other foods too. I decided to go with the potato burger, which, in addition to the crispy potatoes and tartar sauce I’ve mentioned, also comes with pickles and guacamole on a light and airy bun. No burger would be complete without a side, but since I was already having some potatoes, instead of fries or poutine (which, believe me, were very tempting) I ordered the cauliflower fritters. I loved the crispy, crunchy batter contrasting with the soft cauliflower centre. The portion size was just perfect to go along with the burger, and the creamy dipping sauce was cooling and refreshing. Of course, Parka is famous for its variety of unique mac and cheeses, so how could I leave without trying at least one? I decided… Read More


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Food and Recipe of the Month: Black Beans

Care of Andrea Howe of glowingongreens.com Beans are certainly a magical fruit due to their nutritional content, but especially the black bean, being a popular legume used all around the world. It can be found in Mexican cuisine, veggie burgers, chilies, and more. Its significance may be deceiving, because even though it’s small, it is packed full of important nutrients. Black beans are famous for their fibre content. Fibre can help regulate stools, lower blood sugars and weight, as well as decrease the risk of heart disease and various cancers including bowel, colon, breast, and prostate. Just one cup of black beans contains 15g of fibre, which is half of your recommended daily intake. Black beans are also full of vitamins, specifically B vitamins. These vitamins, including thiamin and niacin are important for growth and development in children, as well as for our brain health. Finally, black beans are a great source of plant-based protein, as well as rich in iron, with about 4 grams of iron in every cup. This makes them an important ingredient for vegetarians/vegans, women, and infants. The soft texture makes them a great snack for infants, but make sure to add a little lemon juice… Read More


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Discount Profile: Veggie Planet

The GTA is fortunate to have an abundance of vegan-friendly authentic Indian restaurants. But Veggie Planet stands apart for its unique fusion dishes. Now with two locations (Mississauga and Vaughan), this place has landed a spot on my top favourite restaurant list, surprising me even more every time with how delicious and flavourful everything is. It’s not every day you find pizza on the menu at an Indian restaurant, but imagine having a whole section of the menu full of pizzas! It was almost too much to bear to try and narrow it down to just one to order, but eventually my partner and I settled on the chaat Pizza, which had a sauce flavoured with Indian spices, vegan cheese, and plenty of crunchy pieces of sev. It was a close competition with the Indian masala pizza, we’ll have to try that next time! But first, we started with “appetizers”. I say that in quotations because the portions were very generous, even for someone like me, who has a huge appetite! This was our third time eating at Veggie Planet, and at first I resisted my partner’s suggestion we get the poutine for the third time, arguing that we… Read More


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Food and Recipe of the Month: Spinach

Care of Andrea Howe, of glowingongreens.com  Spinach, a favourable leafy green, is famous for being packed full of non-heme iron, as well as shrinking down into almost nothing when cooked. This vegetable is unique as its mild flavour can be incorporated into almost every type of dish, from smoothies and green pancakes, to pasta and salads. Not only is it impressively versatile, but it comes with an abundance of nutrients. Spinach is an excellent source of iron, which is especially important for infants, pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers, and those not eating meat. Iron travels in the blood attached to hemoglobin to help deliver oxygen around the body. It is best absorbed with vitamin C, so add a little lemon or lime juice over your spinach salad for maximum nutrient benefits. Spinach is also packed with potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, and calcium, which are all important nutrients for strong bone health. These nutrients can strengthen bone density and reduce fractures, especially in older adults and women over the age of 50. Spinach loses volume when wilted and condenses, which is the best way to maximize the benefits of these nutrients. Spinach can be found in various forms, such as… Read More


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Food and Recipe of the Month: Cilantro Lime Taco Sauce

Care of Andrea Howe, of glowingongreens.com Cilantro, also known as coriander, is an herb many people love or hate due to its particular flavour. Cilantro are the leaves and stem of the plant, and are commonly found in Mexican dishes, while the seed, commonly found in Indian dishes, is named coriander. However, all parts of it can be incorporated into a variety of dishes including soups, salads, and sauces. Cilantro, along with many herbs, are packed full of antioxidants. These immune-boosting components are known to fight damage and inflammation in the body, from viruses, pollution, smoke, and other free-radicals. Antioxidants neutralize and repair the damage, helping reduce risks of cancer formation, as well as slow the growth of existing cancer cells. Along with their free-radical fighting abilities, coriander contains antimicrobial compounds which have been seen in studies to fight certain infections such as salmonella, and urinary tract infections. Additionally, coriander appears to act as diuretic, helping the body flush excess sodium and water which can lower blood pressure and levels of LDL cholesterol. In populations that consume large amounts of coriander, heart disease rates tend to be lower. So, next time your cilantro-hating friends and family members doubt… Read More


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Discount Profile: Sweets from the Earth

Sweets from the Earth is one of the longest standing vegan bakeries in the GTA and is famous for its delicious, well, sweets of course! Since social distancing became the norm in the GTA, they’ve added some savoury and bread items to their online store, and I couldn’t wait to take advantage of the opportunity to try them out! If the incredibly delicious quality of their caramel pecan bars or apple pie squares, that I’ve become accustomed to, was a sign of what to expect from their breads, I knew I was in for a treat. I ordered a sandwich loaf, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, and mini bagels, all of them in whole wheat. The sandwich loaf was surprisingly large, more slices than a typical loaf you’d buy in the grocery store. It had a nice slightly crunchy crust, but the bread itself was very light, soft, and fluffy. The mini bagels were nice and dense and chewy, just like you want a bagel to be. Next time I might give the apple cinnamon version a try! The hamburger buns were also very fresh and soft. In addition to using them as a hamburger bun, I absolutely loved simply toasting… Read More


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