Toronto Veg Blog

Veggsquisite French Toast to Take You Back to Childhood

By Christina Vani It was August of 2014. A charming young woman that we all know and love, a certain Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator at the TVA, regaled me with my first sampling of the Vegg. “You need to try it.” I knew that if she was sharing this kind of love with such urgency, it was necessary that I obey. This led—three months later (why did I wait so long?!)—to my first foray into making vegan French toast that was not chickpea-flour–based. Of course, if you’ve also been using the French-toast recipe from Vegan Brunch to satisfy your cravings for this delectable breakfast staple, you probably would never imagine considering other recipes. Things got serious when that recipe entered our repertoires several years ago. But things change. Even while our vegan-recipe repertoires are exploding as veganism becomes more “mainstream,” there is always room for improvement—or, rather, for an alternative. We don’t always have chickpea flour in the house, so what does a vegan do when struck with a hankering for fluffy, maple-syrup–doused French toast? Look no further: the Vegg is here. I grabbed the Vegg cookbook (also regaled to me), which you can find here, and flipped through the… Read More

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

Bright Spots of Inspiration to Get You Through the Winter

By Phil Whitehead, TVA member and volunteer What possibly could be the association between distributing vegan cookies outside of the Bathurst subway station during the coldest morning of the winter and attending the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival? When I attended the Boston Vegetarian Festival in October, 2014, I found an event radiating with enthusiastic energy and filled with delicious food and hospitable people. To my surprise, the founder of the festival, Maynard S. Clark, mentioned that it had been patterned after the Toronto Veg Food Fest. In 1995, he and a group of 12 others attended the entirety of the Veg Food Fest from the Friday afternoon through to the Sunday evening. They then drove back to Boston and were inspired to establish a festival in their own city. The volunteers who organized and presented the 1995 festival had no knowledge of the Boston group being present nor that they were taking detailed note of how a vegetarian festival could be presented. The people who worked diligently in Toronto had no idea that another annual festival was about to be founded in a different city and that, 19 years later, it… Read More

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

No-egg quiche made easy with the Vegg

By Autumn Ladouceur, former TVA communications intern   This week I took my first “crack” at cooking with Vegg, the new product made with nutritional yeast and other ingredients, that when mixed with water forms an egg-tasting and egg-yolk-textured product. With this you can make a number of things from egg salad to Hollandaise sauce. I decided to try out one of the quiche recipes in the Vegg cookbook. You can also see the recipe here on their website. The recipe comes with instructions to make a vegan piecrust, but to make it even simpler I used the Wholly Wholesome whole-wheat crust. If you don’t have time to get to a health-food store the no name® piecrust in the plain yellow box is vegan and widely accessible. Prep for this recipe took less than 20 minutes, and baking took about an hour. To start, preheat the oven to 400F. You’ll need 1 head broccoli, an onion and a clove of garlic, chopped. Steam the broccoli, and fry the onion and garlic until tender. Next you need to mix up your egg substitute. The recipe asks you to mix 4 tsp Vegg with 1 cup water… Read More

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

Behind the Scenes at the Vegan Bake-Off

By Lisa Le, Toronto Vegetarian Association volunteer and past Vegan Bake-Off champ! In 2012, when I first moved to Toronto, I felt overwhelmed by the big city. I had just moved from Ottawa and relocated for graduate school. Away from friends, my partner, and my network of people to study in Toronto, I found myself spending a lot of time alone, so I used that extra time to develop recipes for my food blog. About four months later (and many cupcakes and cookies later), my roommate showed me a flyer for the 5th Vegan Bake Off and encouraged me to enter. At first I was hesitant—100 sample servings? That seemed like a lot. And vegan baked goods? I wasn’t vegan then, and I had no idea where to start when it came to baking vegan. After some research, it turns out that vegan baking isn’t really that much harder than non-vegan baking. There were so many alternatives for eggs: flax meal and water, chia seeds and water, commercial egg replacers, silken tofu, fruit and vegetable purees—there were so many different alternatives. Milk alternatives were easy to figure out: almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, galore. I was invigorated and excited. Read More

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

Let’s Heat Up Winter With Some Hot Beans

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator In case you haven’t heard, allow me to break some sad news to you: Toronto’s beloved Hot Beans, an all vegan taco shop in Kensington Market, is closing. The closing date will be sometime between February 15th and March 15th, but undetermined at the moment. This news certainly brings tears and whines a plenty in my books, but there has been one up side. With only a bit of time left to enjoy their delicious and unique menu offerings, I’ve made it my mission to go once a week and make sure I get through most of their menu one last time. These dining excursions have certainly given me something to look forward to every week during these dreary winter days. Take yesterday for example! TVA volunteer extraordinaire Angeline and I decided to make it extra special by venturing out in matching dresses, and were joined by our new Festival & Events Coordinator, Marcus. Here’s the details on what we ordered, to give you a reminder of just a few of the dishes you should really be sure to try before it’s too late. Marcus and Angeline both… Read More

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

Why I Still Think Toronto is a Veggie Wonderland

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator You might recall this post from last year where I compared New York and Toronto’s restaurant offerings and questioned why Toronto wasn’t known the world over as a must-visit destination for vegetarian foodies. While I still think this is one of the best cities for it’s wide variety and countless list of vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants and bakeries (so many that while having lived here all my life, I still haven’t even been to all of them) I’m sorry to report that since writing that post, several of the places I singled out as being oh so special and unique have closed. We no longer have an Italian cafe to get vegan cheesey rice balls and there’s no longer a place I’m aware of where you can sit down and order a vegan fried egg sandwich. The final blow came this week when I heard the news that our beloved all vegan taco shop, Hot Beans, home of the mac ‘n cheese burrito I raved about, is closing at the end of February. Hearing the news that one of my all time favourite restaurants was shutting… Read More

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

Celebrating Cocoa in More Ways Than One

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator If you’re like me and you’ve been fanatically watching the Food Network’s Great Holiday Baking Championship, you may associate cocoa and chocolate with holiday desserts at this time of year. You may be dreaming up your favourite recipes for chocolate crinkle cookies, chocolate pecan pie, or dark chocolate truffles. And you may be thinking of devouring these treats as a kind of guilty indulgence. Well, registered dietitian Matt Ruscigno (you may recognize him from providing the nutrition info for Isa Chandra Mokowitz’s Appetite for Reduction) is here to prove you wrong with his new book Superfoods for Life: Cacao. Although the book contains 75 delicious recipes, it is so much more than just a cookbook. It delves into all of the reasons why cocoa is something you should include in your diet regularly, not shy away from. Did you know cocoa helps to lower blood pressure, has strong antioxidants to help prevent cancer and reduce the effects of aging, and helps muscle recovery for athletes? However, this book doesn’t only speak of the nutritional properties of cocoa. It also traces the history of cocoa consumption around the world and explains how… Read More

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

Get Yourself a Gift for a Change

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator It’s holiday time, and many people are brainstorming something special to get for somebody else. But don’t forget to pamper yourself too this holiday season! We were lucky to be treated to a special delivery from a Canadian company called Little Life Box recently. What a way to brighten up a dreary winter morning, to be surprised by a box of goodies! Little Life Box is a health-based subscription box, that includes snacks, cosmetics and more. You can sign up for a monthly box to come your way for a whole year, three months, or just test out with a trial subscription. But the best part is that once you select the duration for your box, you can choose an option for an entirely vegan box! In our trial box we were treated to three different flavours of hemp seeds, did you even know there was such a thing? It’s no secret that I adore pancakes, so imagine my giddyness when I opened up the box and saw a pack of maple-flavoured hemp seeds staring back at me, the perfect topping to my morning breakfast. Another… Read More

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

Creative in the Kitchen

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Many vegetarians and vegans in the GTA will be familiar with Go Veggie! cheeses which have been on shelves in health food stores and larger grocery chains in Toronto for many years. However, for vegans, the “green line” remained off limits since it contains casein, a protein from dairy. Enter the purple line: completely vegan and dairy-free cheese now available from Go Veggie! cheese. When we heard the news, we of course were eager to get reviews of the new product, so we held a contest for our Facebook and Twitter followers to use the cruelty-free cheese in a creative recipe of their own. It turned out, people really did need to get creative! As the purple line is a new product, not all components of it are yet widely available in Toronto. (This of course, is where we need your help. Don’t be shy to make product requests at your local grocery stores!). Daniella Robinson, who won the contest, was only able to find the dairy-free cream cheese in her neighbourhood, not the shreds, but we were wowed at how she put it to creative… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes

Where to hold your vegan wedding in Toronto

A magical wedding day at Wishing Well Sanctuary You asked, and the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s Facebook group answered. Here are some tips on vegan-friendly wedding venues in Toronto that our community shared: Wishing Well Sanctuary in Bradford offers the opportunity to host your vegan wedding on their beautiful 15 acre property. Visit or email for more info. Kortright Centre in Vaughan. It’s an eco-centre to boot, with a vegan menu. They will design your menus custom Lush & Lavish Salon does hair and nail care with vegan products. They are in Toronto and have wedding party packages. The Enoch Turner Schoolhouse lets you bring in your own vendors so you can use it with a vegan caterer The Windsor Arms Hotel does in-house vegan catering Gladstone Hotel will create a completely vegan menu for the night The Artscape Venues in Toronto will also allow outside catering if you want to use a vegan catering company The Old Mill Inn and Spa in the west end of Toronto is a beautiful, historic building that can create a completely vegan menu for the night George Restaurant can create a vegan menu for a smaller wedding gathering/celebration… Read More

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