Toronto Veg Blog

A hoppin’ new vegetarian restaurant in Toronto

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Just when I thought Toronto really had it all in terms of vegetarian options, yet another restaurant has opened up. This one brings unique menu items you might be more likely to find on a food truck, and since Toronto has been slow to catch up with other North American destinations in terms of the food truck craze, this is surely exciting news! You may not have heard about Grasshopper just yet because they’re currently in their “soft-launch” phase. In fact, they’re still testing out their menu and adding or subtracting items, so if you want to give them some feedback and help shape their menu before the official opening date on February 13th, head over soon! That’s exactly what the Toronto Vegetarian Association staff did earlier this week, and my mouth is still watering from the fantastic items we tried. Allow me to share: Pulled Pork Bahn Mi Sandwich: This soy-based pulled “pork” sandwich comes on a perfectly toasted sub bun and has such a wonderfully sweet, gooey sauce. It comes with your choice of side, of which I chose the fries. They were classic fast-food style skinny fries… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

A Totally Fabulous Time of Year

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Lisa awarding a prize at the 1st Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off By now you’ve heard the news I’m sure: registration is open for the 6th Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off! What does that mean for me? Not that I don’t love my job all the time, but around this time of the year, I REALLY love it. As in, jump out of bed each morning, can’t wait to run to the office love it. And I’m not even involved in the most fun aspects of planning such an event, like sifting through all the delicious entries or putting together prize packs. Nope, I’m doing things like processing credit cards for registration payments, updating the website, and checking our database to see if contestants’ TVA memberships are up to date. But just knowing that these things are in relation to the bake-off makes them so fun to me and puts a smile on my face. I get giddy every time we receive a phone call or an email from someone inquiring about the bake-off or wanting to participate. I get distracted from other tasks as I keep checking my email to see if… Read More


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An Ode to Soup

  By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Wow. That was a bit of a rough start to 2014. After a couple of years with above seasonal winter temperatures in Toronto, the past few weeks of icy days (and fine, I will admit it, a bit of a sniffle…) have definitely inspired me to savour some hot soups. Do you ever find yourself so busy trying out new recipes from the never-ending plethora of new vegetarian cookbooks that you realize you’ve forgotten to give attention to some of your old favourites? Here are some of my favourite soup recipes I’ve been enjoying and returning to this January. Fressen’s Spicy Sweet Potato Soup from VegNews Magazine: In an old issue of VegNews Magazine (printed in black and white on the interior!) you’ll find a recipe from Toronto’s very own Fressen (now Grasslands) for an incredibly delicious sweet potato soup. With just the perfect hint of spice and coconut milk to boot, it’s simply dreamy and perfect with a side of a crunchy loaf of french or sourdough bread from a local bakery of your choice. Jessica’s Cure What Ails Ya Garlic Soup from Sarah Kramer’s La Dolce Vegan: While I can’t… Read More


Filed under: Eat Veg News Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised Vegetarian Meal Ideas

Nourished on the Go

By Sally Grande Don’t be fooled into thinking Toronto-nians have all the fun. Out here in Durham, the vegetarian scene is bustling too. DurhamVeg recently hosted a packed dinner at the newly opened location of Rawlicious in Whitby, and we were thrilled to contribute to Oshawa’s “foodie guide for new restaurants”, helping them to highlight vegetarian options in the area. We are also fortunate to be the home of Gabriella Budani’s Nourished On the Go, a fledgling company based in Oshawa, that believes veganism is the future of the food. Born in North York, Gabriella Budani, or “Gabby” went to high school in Whitby. While she excelled in sports, she exchanged a promising career in soccer for culinary arts at Kingston’s St. Lawrence College. Having conquered chef’s school as a staunch vegetarian, Gabriella settled in Oshawa and began to build her new business around a vegan lifestyle. Today, under her future restaurant’s name, she provides a vegan lunch catering program; she holds vegan cooking classes and she also rents a professional kitchen in a local community centre with restaurant-style seating to offer an oasis of vegan culinary delights. These events revolve around a vegan “themed” menu,… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

A Guide to Toronto’s Vegan Bakery Storefronts

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator If you asked me what I like best about my job, it would probably be a tie between working with so many amazing people dedicated to a cause I’m passionate about, and being the first to know about every bit of vegetarian-related news. Last week I was giddy to find out that there are two new vegan storefronts opening in Toronto. One of them is a commercial kitchen space from local chef Doug McNish at Marlee and Glencairn, that will sell ready-made meals for pick up, as well as eventually serving occasional sit down brunch and dinners. The second is a long-anticipated storefront for aPieCalypse Now!, a bakery that’s been selling goods at farmers’ markets and the Vegetarian Food Festival for a few years, but now has a little shop that’s opened at Bloor and Bathurst. I sound a bit like a broken record from when I squealed about the opening of Through Being Cool, another vegan bakery,  a couple of months ago, but hearing this news made me reflect on just how amazing the vegan options are in this city. It now stands that no matter where you live,… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

Breakfast each day keeps the nightmares away

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator We’ve all heard many reasons why it’s important to start your day with a hearty breakfast: it gets your metabolism moving, keeps you feeling full so you avoid snacking on junk before lunchtime, yada yada yada. That’s all true, but there’s another reason why I start every single day with a delicious breakfast: it guarantees that I have something to smile about each and every day. I enjoy so many different breakfast foods I often find it difficult to decide what I’ll have for breakfast, and usually spend way too much time before bed deciding what I’ll eat the next morning. Of course, there are pancakes, glorious pancakes! This is probably my favourite breakfast food, and there are so many different kinds I adore. You may recall the Hot Chocolate Pancakes from an old issue of eLifelines. Jae steele is the pancake master with banana pancakes in her first book and lemon poppy seed pancakes in her second, both which turn out perfect every time and which I make almost weekly. I’m also a huge fan of Chocolate Covered Katie’s… Read More


Filed under: Eat Veg News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

It’s Slipper Time!

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator While most people are shedding tears after the first snowfall in Toronto, I’m usually a little bit excited because the need to start wearing boots again means…it’s slipper time! Once boot season hits, I bring along a pair of cozy slippers to change into when I get to the office in an attempt (emphasis on attempt) to keep the floors relatively clean. After all, when we’ve got a few months of dark mornings, early nights and cold temperatures ahead of us, we all need to find the little pleasures we can look forward to over the winter. Slippers and bubble baths are just two things I look forward to, but there’s also all the great comfort food that I get excited about this time of year. I love soups, chilis and stews and admittedly, I continue to eat them during the scorching summer even in our non-air-conditioned apartment. But people make fun of me for it. Now I can do it with no apologies! Here are some of my favourite soups, chilis & stews. What are yours? Post your pictures or recipe reviews to our Facebook page (facebook.com/torontoveg) or send us… Read More


Filed under: News Toronto Veg Blog

Make Your Own DIY Edible Gifts

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator I am surrounded by food. Good, glorious food. Maybe too much of it. Veggielicious is happening right now, and the TVA office just happens to be a hop, skip and a jump from several places participating including Free Times Cafe, Superfood Eateries, Vegetarian Haven, Prairie Girl Cupcakes and Urban Herbivore. And there’s plenty more that are either directly along the route of my subway ride home, like One Love Vegetarian and The Steady, or literally around the corner from my home, like Rawlicious, The Beet and Magic Oven. My waistline and wallet are certainly taking a beating, but how can one not take advantage of such an exciting, celebratory event? When Veggielicious winds up, there’s no slowing down in terms of upcoming vegetarian celebrations full of more food in Toronto. The TVA’s Annual General Meeting is happening December 1st (ahem: treats care of Bunner’s Bake Shop and RaVe desserts!). Then we’re getting together with some of our fabulous volunteers for a night of movies, more from RaVe Desserts and popcorn on December 6th, and the very next day, December 7th, is our vegan bake sale during our holiday open house at the… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog

Pizza with a Twist

By Autumn Ladoucer, Past Communications Intern Compared with other pizza restaurants, Pizza Rustica was one of the best I’ve ever eaten at when it comes to vegan fare. Barbi and I experienced Pizza Rustica for the first time this past Monday. The menu was very impressive. There are tons of options for vegans, including a whole vegetarian pizza menu where Daiya cheese can be used instead of cow cheese. The pizza we found most intriguing was the “Mexicana”, which Pizza Rustica describes as, “Chipotle pesto sauce, vegan ground “meat”, Daiya mozzarella and pepper jack cheddar, corn, hot peppers, organic back beans and green onions. Topped with fresh avocados and cilantro.” It was a thin-crust pizza, loaded with toppings, perfect for one.  The hot peppers added a great bite to the meal, although this tasted more like Mexican food than pizza and fresh toppings gave the pizza more of a cold feel. If you are looking to bite into a warm, hearty slice of traditional pizza I would suggest trying one of their other offerings. We also ordered the “Vegan Bolognese” pasta. Pizza Rustica describes it as, “Seasoned organic vegan ground”meat” & tomato sauce.  Tossed with gluten free quinoa &… Read More


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Savoury Meals That Are Oh-So Sweet

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Asian tacos and sandwich, and sweet potato balls from Gainesville’s Lunchbox I recently returned from a week of indulgence in Tampa and Gainesville, Florida. We had some really delicious food in Tampa, but I must say Gainesville is such a surprising mecca for vegan food it is a city worth taking a vacation to for that reason alone. My week consisted of custom cupcakes from Sakara Sweets (pick your cake, frosting, filling and topping), vegan soft serve from a corner convenience store, a full-out feast of Jamaican goodness from Reggae Shack, tempeh burritos from El Indio (a drive-in Mexican place), raspberry-basil-lemon soda and Asian tacos from the outdoor walk-up Lunchbox, fried brussel sprouts and sweet corn balls from a food truck, and yes, an ice cream sundae for breakfast topped with vegan whipped cream, hot fudge sauce and Fudgeeo cookies from Karma Cream. It was all rather delicious but needless to say when I returned home, I needed a serious cleanse (and maybe a few new pairs of pants). To quote a friend as we waited for our flights to depart home, “I have such a craving for steamed broccoli!” would… Read More


Filed under: Eat Veg News Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised Vegetarian Meal Ideas