News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association

The Vegan Bake-Off Goes ‘Round the World

By Christina Vani, TVA member and volunteer It all started with a t-shirt. Well, not actually. It all started with a vegan bake-off, my move to The Big City, and revelling and indulging in the abundant culinary possibilities that my new home in Toronto offered this suburb-raised Montreal vegan. The grand voyage of the aforementioned t-shirt started in February 2012. I was in my second semester of graduate studies at U of T and my sixth month of my life in Toronto. I had begun frequenting gatherings hosted by veg associations of various stripes and was becoming more familiar with the TVA and its cast of beautiful characters. Then, I heard about the Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off and my mind was blown. I knew that I had to enter, but not just for guaranteed entry into the event or even the free plates of sweets that were destined for my face or, finally, the opportunity and privilege to be in a room full of other like-minded individuals. One of the main reasons for which I yearned to be an entrant in the TFVB in 2012 was,… Read More


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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Board nominees for 2013 AGM

On Sunday, December 1st members will meet for the Toronto Vegetarian Association Annual General Meeting (AGM). At the AGM,  members will review our work in 2013, discuss our new strategic plan, and elect our 2014 board of directors. If you’re a member, please join us starting at 3:30pm at the Miles Nadal JCC located at 750 Spadina Ave. Here are the candidates for this year’s TVA Board of Directors: Michael Abramson Diane Burgin Maria Filifer Fraser Gibson Sara Harrel Alan Jaffee Sangeeta Kumar Dominic Wong Serving until 2014 – Peter McQueen & Marcella Tomas Michael Abramson What I believe I bring to the TVA Board is a duo of skills and experience gained through 27 years of owning and running a Toronto marketing and advertising agency (theadlibgroup) along with an in-depth knowledge of the vegetarian food world gained through Natural Foods Culinary Certification and a Professional Chef Diploma in Vegetarian Cuisine (Cordon Vert Academy). When it comes to marketing and advertising my experience covers the gamut from business-to-business and business-to-consumer along with a healthy dose of marketing for charitable and non-profit associations. When it… Read More


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Annual Holiday Sale and Open House

  Don’t wait until the last minute to get your holiday gifts – score some sweet savings at TVA’s annual Holiday Sale and Open House! Come & meet members of the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s Board of Directors and indulge in treats at our vegan bake sale. Door prize! Every person who makes a purchase will be entered into a draw to win a copy of the brand new cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowtiz Isa Does It! Vegetarian food drive! We’re collecting vegetarian, non-perishable food items to donate to the Daily Bread Food Bank this holiday season. Book Sale! Books on sale include the following: SWEET DEAL: Forks Over Knives Cookbook: $15 (regular $24) Books for $20: Eat Raw Eat Well (reg:$27), Sistah Vegan (reg:$26), Ani’s Raw Food Essentials (reg:$25), How it All Vegan Anniversary Edition (reg:$25), Viva Vegan (reg:$24), Colour me Vegan (reg:$22) Books for $15: Engine 2 Diet (reg:$20), Georges Laraque Memoirs (reg:$20), Finding Ultra (reg:$18), Farm Sanctuary (reg:$18) Holiday Gift Packs: $50 gets you or a friend a TVA membership, TVA button, one of five books to choose from (Chloe’s Kitchen, Caribbean Vegan, Great Gluten-Free Eats, Raw Quick and Delicious, the Lucky Ones), and a gluten-free… Read More


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