Crazy for Currants

Care of Andrea Gourgy Fresh currants are typically grown in northern climates like Canada, but nevertheless, most of us are not very well acquainted with these tart little wonders. Currants are a lesser known member of the berry family, related to gooseberries. And they’re well worth adding into your food repertoire — they are an excellent source of vitamin C, and also contain potassium, iron and fibre. Currants were first cultivated in Scandinavia, and then later in England. In fact, during World War II, the British government encouraged black currant cultivation (which was then made into black currant syrup) as it was one of the only sources of vitamin C available in Britain at the time. For those of you who have been to England, you’ve probably noticed that black currant syrup (or fruit concentrate), called Ribena, is still quite popular there today. Fresh currants are often confused with dried Zante or Champagne grapes (which also go by the name currant), however, these tiny raisins are not related to the currant in the berry family.  Fresh currants are available in black, red and white. They can be used in savoury or sweet dishes such as jams, sauces, soups, puddings and… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Food of the Month Nutrition

Discount Profile: Greens Vegetarian Restaurant

Photo care of Prairie Vegan We often think we need to choose between affordable prices and a luxurious atmosphere when it comes to dining. But not at Greens Vegetarian Restaurant. Walking into Greens for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised at the very nice decor: padded white booths, a beautiful stone wall and dark tables. But the next surprise was even greater! The prices at this place are incredibly low for the portions you get: a big bowl of soup for only $2.99, and main dishes in the $7-$10 range (but again, we’re talking generous portions sizes!). If you’re a member of the Toronto Vegetarian Association and have a Toronto Veg Card your bill will be even more of a shocker, as card holders get an additional 10% off. But that doesn’t mean they are skimping on quality. We ordered a new dish on the menu, sweet n’ spicy “chicken”, which came coated in a sticky, sweet and perfectly spiced sauce. We also thoroughly enjoyed a generous bowl of wonton soup and an enormous noodle dish dazzled with various faux meat pieces and some veggies too. All dishes were delicious and we got to leave with leftovers. Discount:… Read More

Filed under: Discount profiles elifelines

Perfect Parsnips

Care of Andrea Gourgy     With their nutty, delicate and mildly sweet flavour, it’s odd that the humble parsnip never became all that popular here in North America. Parsnips are a root vegetable: They are related to carrots, but actually are a member of the parsley family. Parsnips used to be considered a delicacy in ancient Rome, and were popular in Europe. That is, until potatoes were introduced from the Americas. Parsnips were brought to North America in the 1600s, but despite their lovely flavour, they could never quite beat out the potato in popularity. It’s a shame that parsnips don’t get more attention: they are low in calories, and a good source of folate, a B-vitamin that is essential during pregnancy to help reduce birth defects. Parsnips are also a source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and pantothenic acid. They’re also versatile! They can be eaten raw, boiled, baked, sautéed or even juiced! When choosing parsnips, go for smaller ones as they tend to be more tender. Avoid ones that are withered or have blemishes. Parsnips can be stored in your refrigerator for up to three weeks. Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Food of the Month Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes

Discount Profile: Vegetarian Haven

Care of Terri Coles This review almost didn’t happen. My friend and I stopped by Vegetarian Haven on a Saturday evening. Baldwin Street is an unassuming side street with surprisingly cool options for food and shopping, and apparently Vegetarian Haven is something of a hidden treasure. We managed to snag a table for two, but everyone who came in after us was informed there would be a wait — and they all opted to get in line rather than go elsewhere. This restaurant offers plenty of reasons to put your name on the list for a table. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, but also elegant — it’s a great spot for a date. But the portions are generous and the prices are great, and most importantly the food is top notch. I got the Morrocan pad Thai, a nice twist on a favourite Toronto dish, and my friend enjoyed his spicy Bali stir-fry noodles. The noodles are made fresh in Toronto every day. I particularly appreciated that the menu indicates which dishes are wheat-free, and which others can be made that way. The fresh mint and ginger teas were definitely nice on a cold evening, and the… Read More

Filed under: Discount profiles elifelines

Cream of Kale Soup

    Care of Amy Symington Ingredients  1 tbsp oil 1 large onion, diced 1 leek (white parts only), diced 4 garlic cloves, minced 3 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped 1 small head of cauliflower, greens removed, chopped 1 small celeriac root, diced 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground cumin 6 cups water 5 cups kale, chopped – you can include stems here too if you’d like 1 lemon juiced, seeds removed 1 cup unsweetened milk alternative 1 tsp sea salt Black pepper to taste Directions  In a large stock pot over medium heat add oil. Once heated add onion, leek, garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Next add cauliflower and celeriac root and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add coriander and cumin and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add water and stir. Allow water to come to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Next add kale and incorporate until it is fully wilted. Very carefully, either using a blender or hand immersion blender puree the soup completely. Now add lemon juice, milk, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Serve and garnish with cilantro (if… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes

Holy Kale

Care of Amy Symington Kale, or borecole, is a cousin of the wild cabbage family, a buddy to your taste buds and mother approved as part of a well balanced diet. To put it plainly, unless you have been avoiding all forms of nutrition news over the past decade, you know that Kale is the new “apple a day” and with so many good reasons why. For starters, it is crammed with calcium. Yes calcium. On a gram to gram basis, kale’s calcium content is more bioavailable than cow’s milk (Heaney, R.P., 1990; Kamchan, A. et al., 2004). Other health superstars contained in kale include thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. We’re not done yet. Kale is also a VERY good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, manganese and lutein. Lutein, which is found in dark leafy greens, is believed by scientists today to assist in the reduction of age-related blindness (Geissler, C., 2010). And holy fibre! This is what people like to refer to as a natural Gastro Intestinal scrubber. Shall we go on? Ok. It’s also a fantastic way to add some additional protein to your diet as well as simultaneously top up… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Food of the Month Nutrition

Radish, Fennel and Carrot Cakes

Care of Amy Symington Makes 18 small cakes Ingredients:  2 cups ground oats or spelt flour 1 cup carrots grated 1 cup fennel thinly sliced 1 cup radishes grated 1 cup water 1/4 cup dill chopped 1 tbsp ground flax seeds 1 tbsp paprika 2 tsp ground coriander 2 tsp lemon zest 1.5 tsp coarse sea salt 1 tsp kelp powder (optional) Pepper to taste 2 tbsp oil (for sautéing) Garnish: Lemony hummus, cucumbers, dill Directions: Preheat oven to 200°C to keep cooked cakes warm while the others are sautéing. In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients together excluding the oil. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the batter to thicken. Meanwhile over medium heat, heat a large sauté pan. Add 2 tsp of the oil. Using a tablespoon scoop out batter and place a heaping spoonful on to the pan. Repeat 6 times. Allow to sauté until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Flip and press cakes to flatten them. They should be approximately 2.5-3 inches in diameter. Allow to sauté until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from pan and store in oven to keep hot. Repeat, sautéing 6 cakes per batch until all the batter… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes

Totally RADish

Care of Amy Symington Often pushed to the back of the veggie platter, the radish is actually one rad cruciferous vegetable that deserves a little more credit and recognition, so listen up. Radishes come in almost every colour of the rainbow from yellow to red to purple, and the types and uses vary all over the globe.  The most commonly used radish in North American is the red radish; Asian countries are known for their diakon usage, also referred to as Chinese or Japanese radish and/or Mooli; Scandinavians lovvve them some Plum Purple radish; and the Sicily Giant radish, is from, you guessed it, Sicily.  Radishes can be found year round and every season brings different varieties. With that said, come springtime radishes are among the first veggies to be happily harvested.  So happy harvest to you! Radishes, particularly red and purple radishes, are rich in the antioxidant anthocyanin.  This may increase free radical fighting properties, which can decrease chronic inflammatory diseases such as fibrocystic disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and various neurological illnesses.  In addition to reducing inflammation, anthocyanins may also ward off nasty bacterial infections. Radishes are an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of folate… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Food of the Month Nutrition

Discount Profile: M and B Yummy

Care of Chris Ekbatani A group of vegans chose M & B Yummy as our spot for a meetup back in January. That Friday night was a delightful experience. I must say that this restaurant is one of Toronto’s best kept veggie secrets! The authentic African cuisine is bound to turn one’s palate on, and if your experience with the hostess and wait staff is anything like mine, then you will be sure to enjoy every moment of your interaction in that space. When I arrived it was a chilly winter evening, the resto was warm with pleasant lighting, comfy seating, and a nice hot tea served fresh for me. There are so many savoury dishes to try, but we were lucky to have several already prepared, and soon after getting there, dinner was served. The atmosphere of the place was just vibrant, and even those not so keen on spicy foods can appreciate the genuine Ethiopian tastes with every bite. It was my first time there but most certainly not the last! Check out this piping hot spot on Queen West and you’ll be sure to take pleasure in their plant-based menu, desserts to die for, and… Read More

Filed under: Discount profiles elifelines

Roasted Mushroom and Barley Salad

Serves 8 Spring is kind of unpredictable weather-wise, so I went with a variety of tastes, textures and flavours in this salad to satisfy throughout the season. You can change up the vegetables/herbs with whatever inspires you in the moment. Ingredients 1 cup pot barley, soaked overnight 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used cremini and oyster varieties) 2 leeks (white and light green part only) 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped fine ½ tbsp tamari soy sauce 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 5 tbsp grapeseed oil, divided juice of 1 lemon ⅓ cup raw hazelnuts 1 small shallot, minced fine ¾ cup chopped flat leaf parsley salt and pepper   Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line one large and one small baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Drain the soaked barley over a bowl to save the water. Place drained barley in a medium saucepan. Top up the barley water with fresh water (if necessary) up to 3 cups. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower pot to a simmer, cover and cook until barley grains are fully cooked, but still a little bit chewy, about 25 minutes. Drain… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes