toronto veg blog

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

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


Filed under: News Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

Embrace Your Inner Hippy Granola Veggie

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator As a form of vegetarian outreach and in an attempt to convert meat-eaters to plant-eaters, us veggies are eager to dispel myths about bland, vegetarian food. We’ve probably all said more than once in our lives “vegetarians don’t just eat granola and salad!”. The last Toronto Veg Blog post shows that plant-based food knows no limits and that certainly, granola and salad are no longer required fare for vegetarians. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not shy about indulging in all the vegan versions of classic comfort food and sweet desserts that are abundant these days. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m vegan and yes, I love granola. It’s quick to whip up in a bowl and pop in the oven, ready to bring along wherever and whenever the next day. It’s a great snack, or if you make one filled with enough nuts and seeds, it can even be filling enough for lunch with a side of fruit and veggies. It’s the perfect food to bring along on vacation, to snack on the plane, or to bring on hikes or other day trips where there… Read More


Filed under: Eat Veg News Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes

Toronto Has it All

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator If you’re vegetarian, follow social media, and like to eat, by now you’ve certainly heard about the newest vegan bakery to open up, Through Being Cool. Blog posts and instagram shots galore have been spreading like wildfire, so I won’t go into too many details that others have already described oh-so-well about how fantastic their goodies are (you can just do a quick google search for Through Being Cool Vegan if you want the drool-worthy details). I had the pleasure of stopping by on my day off a couple weeks ago. As I sat on the subway home just staring at my bag of food in anticipation, I was suddenly overcome with a sense of awe, wonderment and excitement about where Toronto’s veg scene is at, and the fact that certainly this must represent a growing demand for vegetarian options. For those who think that vegans live with any sort of deprivation, let me just summarize where we stand here in Toronto: Donuts, apple fritters, pretzels and ooey gooey pizza buns? Check. (That would be the delicious spread from Through Being Cool you see on the right). Read More


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

Giving Thanks for Delicious Food

By Autumn Ladouceur – Past TVA Communications Intern Thanksgiving at the Ladouceur family home was a big hit! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the cornucopia of festive vegetables brought to the table. To name a few we had squash, yams, brussel sprouts, turnip and mashed potatoes, all made with vegan margarine. My aunt Donna even brought a vegan version of her famous coleslaw, made with oil and vinegar. The Tofurkey I made went over particularly well. Everyone who had some said that it was the best one we’d ever had at Thanksgiving. They asked me to continue making it that way every year. My meat-loving brother even tried it and said he liked its mushroomy taste. Unfortunately, because everyone enjoyed the Tofurkey so much it meant that there were no leftovers. Usually my left over Tofurkey makes for a couple days worth of hot Tofurkey sandwiches with veggie gravy. Fortunately, I had enough left over vegetables to fill a swimming pool and dive in with joy and excitement. In other news, I think I ate a whole pumpkin pie this week. I was in a pumpkin pie coma. All in all this was a very successful Thanksgiving feast. I hope all… Read More


Filed under: Front page post News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised Vegetarian Holiday Recipes

Cooking Up Sunshine

Hello! Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Barbi, TVA’s Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator and I’ve decided to join in on the blog fun that my colleague Carly enjoyed over the summer. Soon you’ll also be meeting Autumn, one of our past communications interns. Ever since the 29th Vegetarian Food Festival, people have been asking me what it’s like post-festival. “It must be such a relief!” “You finally get some relaxing time!”. Actually….no! Thanks to such an amazing, committed army of volunteers that the Toronto Vegetarian Association has, things don’t slow down after the Festival, and the office has been a buzz as we plan for almost non-stop outreach. Since September 8th, Toronto Vegetarian Association volunteers have staffed tables at Word on the Street, a Wellness Fair in Oakville and two Humber College events, and by the end of today will have also given out about 10,000 leaflets promoting a vegetarian diet on university campuses in the GTA. But there is one thing that changes in the office post-festival, and that’s the unveiling of the fully stocked, newly organized, bursting bookshelves full of all the latest and greatest vegetarian titles that shipped in just before September 6th. If you… Read More


Filed under: Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

The Gift of Support

Musings from Carly: Veg Directory Assistant 2013 One rainy Monday morning I was working away in the office of TVA when a long-time member phoned in with a unique request. She wanted to purchase a membership to give a friend’s granddaughter who had recently become vegetarian. Routine, I thought, and grabbed the form to fill out. However, this wasn’t just any gift membership (or maybe no gift membership ever is), this was much more. She explained that her friend was concerned over the belief that her granddaughter was “eating nothing but beans.” With a chuckle about the bean-centred meal she had been eating that day and the well-intentioned yet misinformed concern, she explained to me that she wanted to provide the new vegetarian with information to help her eat healthy, delicious, and varying meals while surrounded by meat-eating family members. She emphasized that she did not want to send anything that may be received as pushy, but rather offer help to someone with a genuine interest in and desire to live a vegetarian lifestyle. She wanted to purchase a cookbook or two and requested that helpful information be added to the package. As I spoke with her and gathered… Read More


Filed under: News Toronto Veg Blog