Vegetarian Meal Ideas

Vegan cooking for the holidays

Care of Florence McCambridge Whether this is your first time cooking a vegan meal for the holidays or you’re just looking for some new menu ideas, The Vegan Holiday Cookbook: From Elegant Appetizers to Festive Mains and Delicious Sweets 
by Marie Laforêt has got you covered. It’s full of recipes and full-colour photos for spreads and hors d’oeuvres, soups and mains, not to mentions sweets and even festive cocktails. Many of the recipes included in this book are gluten-free, and the author has also included a helpful section listing them by category. I really appreciate the variety of recipes in The Vegan Holiday Cookbook, particularly in the section on appetizers, an often overlooked category that is particularly important at this time of year. Some standouts include the Foie Gras-Style Terrine made with shiitake mushrooms and tofu, the Blinis with Carrot Gravlax, and the elegant yet simple Squash Truffles. When it comes to dessert, this book does not disappoint. In addition to gingerbread and shortbread, there are some showstoppers like the Frozen Tiramisu Log, Chestnut Creme Brûlée, and a Snow White Layer Cake that looks almost too good to eat. I like to make my own… Read More


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Harvest Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Care of Andrea Howe at www.glowingongreens.com  Serves 4 Ingredients: – 2 acorn squash – 3 tbsp olive oil – 2 tbsp maple syrup – 1 onion, diced – 2 cloves garlic, minced – 1/2 cup celery, diced – 1 green apple, diced – 1/2 cup dried cranberries – 1 tsp dried sage – 1 tsp dried thyme – 1/2 tsp cinnamon – 2 cups cooked quinoa – 1/2 orange, zest and juice – Salt and pepper – Chopped pecans or walnuts (optional) Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out insides. 2. Combine olive oil and maple syrup. Brush dressing over squash and season. Place on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. 3. While cooking, heat skillet with oil. Add onion, garlic, celery, and apple. Once onion is translucent, add cranberries, sage, thyme, and cinnamon. 4. Add cooked quinoa, orange zest and juice and fully combine. Turn heat to low and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Season to taste. 5. When squash is ready, fill with quinoa mixture. Place back… Read More


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Five Great Post-Workout Snacks

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator   While vegetarians and vegans are a diverse bunch in many ways, there seems to be one common thread, and that’s an obsession with food. Our Toronto Veg Team at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon each year is no different and even though training and fundraising is top of mind, so is EATING! After a weekend long run or doing hill repeats, it’s important as ever for runners to re-fuel with carbohydrates and protein to keep their energy up and their muscles strong. Here are five great post-workout snacks that do just that! A giant smoothie: Smoothies aren’t just for fruit anymore. Throw in leafy greens which help fight inflammation, protein sources like peanut butter, flax or chia seeds, oats for carbs, and your favourite plant-based milk such as almond or coconut. A bagel with your favourite topping: Top a toasted bagel with peanut butter and chopped banana and you’ve quickly filled your quota for post-run carbs and protein! If you love to spread mashed avocado with chili flakes on your bagel as much as I do, just top it with hemp seeds as well to amp up the protein. Brownie smoothie:… Read More


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Valentine’s Beet Pancakes

Care of Ashley Sauve Serves 2 Ingredients 1 tablespoon ground chia or flax seed 1 cup rice flour 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1 ¼ cups non-dairy milk of choice ¼ cup roasted beet puree ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons maple syrup 2 teaspoons coconut oil Directions: For beet puree: Preheat oven to 350 C, roast washed beets with skin on until tender (45 minutes or longer depending on the size of the beets). Remove from the oven and let them cool to the touch. Cover your hands with gloves or sandwich bags to protect your nails from being stained red. The skin should slide off easily, use a pairing knife if necessary. Add one small to medium sized beet to blender or food processor and blend until pureed. Add a small amount of water if necessary. For pancakes: In a cup, whisk ground chia or flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Let sit until seeds begin to absorb water. In a large bowl sift together rice flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl whisk together milk, beet puree, vanilla, maple syrup and chia/flax mixture. Create a well in… 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


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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


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Getting Ready for a Veggie Thanksgiving

By Autumn Ladouceur – Past TVA Communications Intern No matter what walk of life you’re in, Thanksgiving can be a difficult holiday for the vegetarians out there. When we think of Thanksgiving the first thing most people picture is a turkey, so our challenge as vegetarians is to try to make a satisfying Thanksgiving feast that we and our omnivorous friends and family will enjoy and maybe even love. These tips, hints and recipes should make this Thanksgiving a little easier for all the herbivores out there. Here is a list of alternatives that you will need for your veganized Thanksgiving feast. Not only can you use this advice in your own kitchen, but you can share it with mom and dad so that they can modify their Thanksgiving feast to meet your needs as well. Milk – Soy, coconut, almond or rice There is a peanut allergy in my family so we steer clear of almond milk during the big holidays, but all of these alternatives will substitute cow’s milk effectively. For instance, my dad always puts milk in the mashed potatoes, but since I went vegan he has been substituting it for soymilk. Not even my most… Read More


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Vegan Brunch Recipes & Breakfast Options

Check out these great vegetarian and vegan brunch recipes and quick breakfast options to start your day. We have delicious recipes and tips for toast, cereal, granola, muesli, hot oatmeal, apple pancakes, miso soup, tofu scramble and more. Don’t feel like cooking? Go out! See our new Vegetarian Brunch & Breakfast Guide 2013 for a complete list of Toronto and surrounding area spots that serve brunch and breakfast. Quick Vegan Breakfast Options Toast with tahini and apple slices.Try other nut butters such as almond, peanut, or hazelnut. Try other seasonal fruit slices or top with or applesauce. For sweet toast try jam, coconut butter, cinnamon and sugar, or tahini and molasses. Cereal, muesli, or granola with soy milk, rice milk or other non-dairy milk or yogurt. Fresh fruit such as apples, berries, a half grapefruit, banana, etc. Fruit salad with nuts or seeds. Try soaking the nuts ahead of time to improve digestibility. Packaged vegan toaster waffles from a natural food store. Vegan Brunch Options That Take a Bit Longer… but are so Worth it Hot cereal (porridge) – quick-cooking oatmeal, corn meal, red river, etc. Add raisins, cinnamon, soy milk, and maple syrup. A simple clear soup with some greens, carrots, and any other chopped veggies is… Read More


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Spring Vegetable Potstickers with Peas + Maple Chili Soy Dip

Care of Laura Wright Serves: makes about 24 Notes: Check the ingredients on your package of wonton wrappers to ensure that they are vegan/free of nasties! You can also wrap the cooked veggies with boston lettuce leaves and nix the sauteing step for a lighter option. Ingredients:  1 tbsp grapeseed or coconut oil, divided 1 small shallot, small diced 2 tsp minced fresh ginger 6-7 stalks of asparagus, woody ends snapped off + small diced 1 cup shelled fresh peas 1 cup shredded green cabbage juice of 1 lime salt + pepper 2 sprigs of mint, leaves chopped 10-12 wonton wrappers Sweet chili soy dip ingredients: ¼ cup tamari or nama shoyu 2 tbsp maple syrup or raw agave nectar 1 tsp minced fresh ginger couple drops of hot toasted sesame oil pinch of red pepper flakes 1 green onion, thinly sliced on a bias 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds Directions: Heat 1 ½ teaspoons of the grapeseed oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and ginger to the pan. Stir them up and cook until fragrant and shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus, peas and cabbage to the pan. Saute… Read More


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Vegetarian Passover Recipes

Photo care of Emilie Hardman Without the right resources, being vegetarian in an omnivorous family can be challenging. With two holidays this month, Easter and Passover, we thought we’d pass on some tips for making sure you’re not following the way of the Easter Bunny and just munching on some carrots while everyone else enjoys a flavourful feast! First, try our chocolate matzo bark recipe, below. If you use egg-free, whole wheat matzo, it’s simple, vegan, and healthy too! Second, check out Oy Vegan’s Top 5 Passover Recipes – find out how to make matzo ball soup, sweet potato kugel, and three other tasty dishes. Looking for more Passover desserts? We’ve got you covered with five ideas here! For more recipe ideas, check out the Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook, which is divided into chapters for each Jewish Holiday, available at our Resource Centre For links to recipes and meal ideas for Easter, visit our Vegetarian Easter Tips and Recipes page. Surprise your loved ones by making easter eggs out of Japanese sticky rice! Chocolate Matzo Bark 10-12 pieces matzo 11-12 oz. dark chocolate 5-6… Read More


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