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Cruelty-free Thanksgiving and Fall So Delicious Giveaway!

Thanks­giv­ing just came and went here in Canada and I thought I would share some of the recipes we made in hon­our of the upcom­ing fall sea­son (also ben­e­fit­ting all those cel­e­brat­ing Amer­i­can Thanks­giv­ing next month).

You can find the Fall So Deli­cious Give­away in the mid­dle of this post!

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We made a bunch of amaz­ing dishes (pic­tured above). Oven-roasted Brus­sels sprouts with gar­lic, gin­ger car­rots (recipe below), gar­lic mashed pota­toes (recipe below), vegan stuff­ing, all slathered in Por­to­bello mush­room gravy (recipe below), cran­berry sauce, and the Hol­i­day Roast from Gardein.

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For dessert I made the chilled chocolate-espresso torte with toasted hazel­nut crust and raw pumpkin-maple pie with baked oat crust (both pic­tured below) from The Oh She Glows Cook­book. My fam­ily LOVED these tortes. I def­i­nitely rec­om­mend them!

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We also enjoyed So Deli­cious’ new win­ter bev­er­ages. Pump­kin Spice, Mint Choco­late, and Nog coconut milk. They were all super tasty and we were all very impressed with how low-fat and low-cal they were in com­par­i­son with the real thing– not to men­tion being cruelty-free!

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Which brings me to my next announcement…

THE FALL SO DELICIOUS GIVEAWAY!

We are giv­ing five lucky read­ers a VIP coupon for a free So Deli­cious prod­uct like their new hol­i­day beverages.

TO ENTER, look below to like Oy Vegan! on Face­book, fol­low us on twit­ter, and respond to this blog post with an answer to the fol­low­ing ques­tion: What autumn recipes do you want me to veganize?

This con­test closes next Sat­ur­day Octo­ber 25 at mid­night.  Con­test open to res­i­dents of Canada.

Best of luck!

a Raf­fle­copter give­away

Here are some Thanks­giv­ing recipes that will knock people’s socks off.

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Porta­bello Mush­room Gravy

Yield: Just over 2 cups of gravy

Ingre­di­ents

• 1 table­spoon of extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 onions, chopped

• 2 cloves of gar­lic, minced

• 2 medium por­to­bello mush­rooms cleaned and chopped

• 2 1/4 cups of veg­etable broth

• 3 table­spoons Tamari or soy sauce

• 1/4 tea­spoon dried thyme

• 1/8 tea­spoon of sage

• 3 table­spoons of corn starch

• 6 table­spoons of water

• Pep­per to taste

Instruc­tions

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over low to medium heat.

2. Add onion and cook for 4 min­utes until soft­ened and translu­cent. Add gar­lic and cook for another 30 sec­onds to a minute.

3. Add mush­rooms and cook, stir­ring often, till they begin to release their juices for about 10 minutes.

4. Add broth, Tamari/soy sauce, thyme, and sage and sim­mer for 10 minutes.

5. Mix corn­starch and water in a small bowl. Once thor­oughly com­bined, add to gravy and stir until thick­ened about 10 more min­utes. Sea­son with pepper.

6. For a smooth gravy, pour into a blender or Vita­mix OR use a hand­held immer­sion blender to purée .

7. Slather over every­thing and enjoy!

Sasha’s Gar­lic Mashed Potatoes

Yield: Serves 7 people

Ingre­di­ents

• Head of garlic

• 6 large Rus­set pota­toes, washed, peeled and quartered

• 1/2–1 cup of Earth Balance/ vegan mar­garine (amount depends on preference)

• tea­spoon of salt

• hand­ful of chives, chopped (optional)

Instruc­tions

1. Pre­heat the oven to 375 degrees F

2. Slice the top off the head of gar­lic and wrap the head of gar­lic in alu­minium foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes.

3. Mean­while, bring a large of pot of salted water to boil. Add pota­toes and sim­mer on low, cov­ered for 20 min­utes or until a fork can be inserted into pota­toes. They should be soft but not falling apart.

4. Once cooked, drain pota­toes in a colander.

5. Once gar­lic is cooked, unwrap and squeeze the gar­lic out a clove at a time into a big bowl. It should be cooked and gooey.  Add Earth Bal­ance or vegan mar­garine to gar­lic paste and mix together with a fork.

6. Put the pota­toes through a ricer into the bowl with the gar­licky but­tery mix­ture. If you don’t have a ricer, you can mash with a potato masher or with the back of a big fork.

7. Stir in chives if using.

8. Enjoy!

Gin­ger Carrots

Yield: Serves 7 people

Ingre­di­ents

• 2 lb bag of car­rots, washed and peeled

• 1/2 cup of Earth Balance/vegan margarine

• 2 table­spoons of gin­ger, peeled and roughly chopped

Instruc­tions

1. Cut car­rots length-wise into small sticks

2. Place Earth Bal­ance and gin­ger in a medium pot and heat over a medium heat until Earth Bal­ance is melted.

3. Add car­rots and cook for 15–20 min­utes or until car­rots are soft­ened. Car­rots should be par­tially sub­merged in the vegan mar­garine. Add more vegan mar­garine as needed.

4. Enjoy!

 

Oy Vegan!

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Stay Tuned: SO DELICIOUS giveaway!

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So I have been obsessed with coconut milk recently and believe me when I say So Deli­cious makes an amaz­ing coconut milk. I’ve been using it a lot in my morn­ing smooth­ies but it also is great with chai tea, in soups, pump­kin pie, and in sauces. Because I am cuckoo for coconuts, it is with great excite­ment that I announce that the week after Cana­dian Thanks­giv­ing, Oy Vegan will be giv­ing away a VIP coupon for a free So Deli­cious prod­uct to five lucky read­ers.  Stay tuned for more details!

Oy Vegan!

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Happy New Year! 5775

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This com­ing Wednes­day, Rosh Hashanah will begin. The new year is almost upon us! Do you know what vegan dishes you will be making?

Check out Rhea Par­sons of the “V” Word blog’s list on Oné Green Planet How to have a happy and healthy vegan Jew­ish new year.

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I’ll be prepar­ing a roasted beet salad like Oh She Glows Cit­rus Beet Salad with Creamy Avo­cado and Lime dress­ing and some sort of leek and cau­li­flower gratin like this one. As we know, Rosh means “head” and a head of cau­li­flower is a vegan answer to using a head of some­thing sym­bol­i­cally at the Rosh Hashanah din­ner table.

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Last but not least, I’ll pre­pare a sweet dessert for a sweet new year such as these Choco­late Straw­berry Short­cake Cup­cakes or this Egg­less Apple Upside-down cake.

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What will you make?

Happy New Year! LeShana Tovah Umetukah!

Oy Vegan!

 

 

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Toronto Vegetarian Food Fest 2014 Roundup!

Happy Sep­tem­ber all!

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The Toronto Veg­e­tar­ian Association’s Veg Food Fest is always a treat. This year was no dif­fer­ent. There were awe­some talks, tasty food demos, many new and cool ven­dors, and scan­dal! The scan­dal I’m refer­ring to is the Field Roast- Cana­dian Gov­ern­ment scan­dal. Please com­ment with your opin­ions and any news you’ve heard on that front. All I know is that Field Roast wasn’t allowed to bring their new prod­ucts over the boarder for the food fest this year. At their booth they left this sign:

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Why isn’t Field Roast allowed to sell their prod­uct on the Cana­dian mar­ket? Are they a threat to the sausage indus­try in some way? In what way are reg­u­lar sausages health­ier than vegan ones? It’s all very scan­dalous if you ask me. So buy your Field Roast now because they may not be restocked in your local Cana­dian retailers.

Luck­ily, there were many high­lights at the Veg Food Fest this year– so many it was hard to nar­row them down!

Nev­er­the­less, here are Oy Vegan’s top five highlights:

5. I was thrilled to see Hot­beans and Through Being Cool Vegan Bak­ing Com­pany team up as a food ven­dor in the world café this year. I noshed on the vegan Mac n’ Cheese bur­rito with home­made potato chips. It was ridicu­lous (in a good way).

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4. The open­ing night panel ‘Nutri­tion Myths Debunked’ fea­tured Dr. David Jenk­ins, Ginny Messina RD, Dr. Tushar Mehta, and Marni Wasser­man mod­er­ated by Lisa Pit­man. It was highly infor­ma­tive as the pan­elists explained many of the mis­con­cep­tions about soy cit­ing many med­ical stud­ies and explain­ing them in depth. They also explored stud­ies about gluten intol­er­ance, how much B12 we need, and oth­ers. Dr. Jenk­ins gave every­one an inside look at what the peo­ple of Oki­nawa, who have the longest life expectancy in the world, eat. Many of my mis­con­cep­tions about soy were addressed. The bot­tom line? Eat­ing soy is good for you and has many health ben­e­fits! Woo hoo!

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3. The cin­na­mon babka from Sweets from the Earth. I have to admit…I have a soft spot for Sweets from the Earth. So much so that I had them do the desserts at my vegan wed­ding. Their treats are amaz­ing and they are very nice peo­ple. All their sweets are vegan and kosher cer­ti­fied. They also have a nut-free facil­ity and a gluten-free facil­ity so they have a num­ber of very tasty nut-free and gluten-free options to offer. If you haven’t tried their desserts, def­i­nitely check them out!

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2. New prod­ucts that I’m excited about! There are a bunch of new prod­ucts show­cased at the food fest this year. Here are the ones to watch!

- Buchie & Sash and their dairy-free cream cheese was extremely tasty. Their prod­ucts are cur­rently sold in west end health food stores and are hope­fully com­ing soon to the east end!

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- The Hon­est Leaf and their line of teas for healthy liv­ing. I’ve been lov­ing the Detox tea, the Serene tea, and the Slim tea.

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- Nongshim’s Soon Veg­gie Noo­dle Soup was giv­ing away free noo­dle soup and prizes at the food fest. I’m always a fan of a quick noo­dle soup. This one has a lot less of the crap you find in most brands and it’s vegan!

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- So Deli­cious and their line of coconut milks and coconut ice cream. I love the peanut but­ter swirl!

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- Yam­Chops coconut bacon. This stuff is hella good.

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1. Veg’to’pia. An exhibit that looked at the evo­lu­tion of veg­e­tar­i­an­ism through­out his­tory and Toronto’s role in the vegetarian/vegan com­mu­nity world-wide. Made me proud to be vegan and Torontonian!

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1.5. Spe­cial shout-out to the new doc­u­men­tary Cowspiracy. Check out the trailer below.

Oy Vegan!

 

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, oh me oh my!

 

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I’ve been excited by and obsessed with straw­ber­ries recently. Espe­cially local and organic ones. Straw­ber­ries are so fab­u­lous for so many rea­sons. Here are a few:

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Obvi­ously these ben­e­fits aren’t lim­ited to Cal­i­for­nia straw­ber­ries. The Ontario straw­ber­ries I used in this pie are just as sweet and fabulous!

What goes bet­ter with sweet straw­ber­ries than the tart­ness of rhubarb?! Rhubarb also has many health benefits.

5 ways rhubarb will boost your health
1. Rhubarb con­tains antiox­i­dants like lycopene and antho­cyanins, help­ing to fight off dis­ease.
2. It appar­ently can help lower cho­les­terol, boost­ing your heart health.
3. Rhubarb stalks are a good source of fibre, ben­e­fit­ing your diges­tive health.
4. It con­tains vit­a­min K, an essen­tial prop­erty that helps with blood clot­ting, pro­tect­ing the bones and help fight­ing off liver and prostate can­cer.
5. Rhubarb is also a good source of vit­a­min C (great for a healthy immune sys­tem), cal­ciumpotas­sium and mag­ne­sium.” (Payne, 2011, Canadianliving.com) 

So why not marry these two in a beau­ti­ful pie?!

Don’t mind if I do.

Straw­berry Rhubarb Pie

(Fill­ing recipe adapted from Bön Appetit retrieved from epicurious.com)

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 Ingredients

Crust:

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 cup vegan mar­garine ( I used Earth balance)

• 1 table­spoon of sugar

• 1 tea­spoon of salt

• 3–4 table­spoons of ice water (or more as needed)

Fill­ing:

• 3 1/2 cups of trimmed rhubarb sliced about a 1/2 inch thick

• 3 1/2 cups of straw­ber­ries, tops removed and halved

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup brown sugar

• 1/4 cup cornstarch

• 1 tea­spoon of cinnamon

• pinch of salt

Extras:

• a few table­spoons of non-dairy milk for brush­ing on pie crust.

Instruc­tions

1.  Crust: Whisk flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add vegan mar­garine and begin to work mar­garine into the flour. Con­tinue to cut the fat into the flour until the con­sis­tency resem­bles cornmeal.

2. Sprin­kle in ice water table­spoon by table­spoon, mix­ing in with your fork (or you can use your hands!) until it forms a dough. Sep­a­rate dough into two flat disks and wrap in plas­tic wrap. Chill for at least 30 min­utes to an hour in the fridge.

3. Fill­ing: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix all fill­ing ingre­di­ents in a medium to large bowl.

4. Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured sur­face. Then trans­fer it to a lightly greased pie tin/dish. The dough should cover the tin/dish with a bit of overhang.

5. Pour your pie fill­ing into the pie crust. Note: You may want to pour out excess liq­uid that col­lects in your pie fill­ing before plac­ing it in your crust.

6. Roll out sec­ond disk of dough and cover the fill­ing. Fold the over­hang­ing dough onto the top disk of dough and pinch with your fin­gers or press with the tines of a fork to make it look pretty.

7. Make four slits in the top of the pie to let steam escape dur­ing bak­ing. Brush pie with some almond, soy, coconut or dairy-free milk of choice.

8. Place pie in the oven for 20 min­utes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 1 hour and 25 min­utes. It may seem long but trust me it’s worth it!

Note: You may want to place a cookie sheet with tin­foil under your pie plate as the fill­ing has been known to bub­ble over in the cook­ing process.

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Oy Vegan!

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Vegan in Miami Beach

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Just returned from a quick get­away to Miami Beach with my hus­band. Though it was brief we had an awe­some time. We laid on the beach, swam in the ocean, vis­ited the Jew­ish Museum of Florida, danced to some Samba, caught a drag show on Ocean Drive, and had some very tasty vegan eats!

Here’s a top 5 list of the best vegan food in Miami Beach:

5. Sushi Samba

Sushi Samba Miami Beach on Lin­coln Road is a Peru­vian, Brazil­ian, and  Japan­ese fusion restau­rant and good news for us veg­ans as there’s a sep­a­rate vegan menu! You just need to ask for it when seated. This place is a bit pricey as it is in the touristy area of Lin­coln Road but the ambiance is fun and the servers are very friendly. We ordered a num­ber of dishes off the vegan menu. They were quite good. We also ordered drinks. Watch out for the cock­tails, they really make the bill add up!

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 Sushi Samba inte­rior. They have out­door seat­ing as well.

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Tofu dish with mushrooms

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Egg­plant skew­ers on Peru­vian corn

 

4. Tray­more at Met­ro­pol­i­tan by COMO

We had the plea­sure of stay­ing at a newer hotel, for­merly known as the Tray­more, now called Met­ro­pol­i­tan by COMO. It was a beau­ti­ful bou­tique hotel in the Art Deco style with a pri­vate beach and a fab­u­lous menu with many vegan items. Ask for their COMO Sham­bala menu. While not com­pletely vegan, it fea­tures a num­ber of well­ness juices and  raw and gluten-free options. The staff at this hotel was super friendly and accom­mo­dat­ing. If you let them know you’re vegan, they will make sure to make you some­thing fab­u­lous. There are three vegan options for break­fast, one being the scram­bled tofu which I ate two of the three morn­ings we were there! Also, try the Mus­cle mylk. It seri­ously tastes like cin­na­mon toast crunch.

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 Fresh fruit

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Scram­bled Tofu

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Inte­rior at Tray­more Restaurant

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Lobby at Met­ro­pol­i­tan by Como

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Relax­ing on the beach!

3. Maoz Vegetarian

Maoz Veg­e­tar­ian is a falafel grab n’ go chain that I’ve vis­ited in other inter­na­tional loca­tions. A few years ago we ate at Maoz in Ams­ter­dam. It’s clean, kosher, and very tasty. I ordered the falafel salad combo with avo­cado and egg­plant. Then I was able to serve myself from a big salad bar to add top­pings. Things that are vegan are clearly labelled as such which is nice. They also have fresh juices and vegan desserts.

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Inte­rior of Maoz veg­e­tar­ian with salad bar

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Falafal Salad. I really loaded up the toppings!

2. Indo­ma­nia Restaurant 

Indo­ma­nia is a small local restau­rant located on 26th Street just south of Collins Avenue. It’s an Indone­sian Dutch restau­rant that had such amaz­ing reviews that we decided to check it out on our first night in Miami. They had a lot of veg­e­tar­ian options and all we had to do was let them know we were vegan and they were able to make us a plethora of dishes. We ended up order­ing the veg­e­tar­ian (made vegan) Rijsttafel which means rice table. It was com­posed of about 20 dishes and they were all fab­u­lous! I highly rec­om­mend this place. The flavours were beau­ti­ful and reminded me of south­ern Asia. The décor was trendy and com­fort­able and the servers were lovely.

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Gado Gado, yel­low rice, and white rice with coconut shavings

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Corn frit­ters, tofu and tem­peh skewers

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Another close-up. You can see the sam­bal here.

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So tasty! 

1. Esco­pazzo

We ate at here on our final night in Miami Beach. Located on Wash­ing­ton Avenue, I had read about chef Gian­carla Bodoni who we had the plea­sure of meet­ing after our meal. Esco­pazzo fea­tures organic Ital­ian fine din­ing.  We called ahead and asked if they could accom­mo­date veg­ans and they said, “absolutely!”. We ended up order­ing the 5 course vegan tast­ing menu with wine pair­ings. It was truly deli­cious. We asked them to sur­prise us and we were extremely impressed by what we received. All the ingre­di­ents were fresh, the dishes well-seasoned, the por­tions were just right and the wines were amaz­ing. The servers were atten­tive, out­go­ing, and knowl­edgable. The chef was lovely and we talked to her about our meal. The food here really reminds me of the food I had in Italy; fresh and deli­cious. I highly rec­om­mend Esco­pazzo if you’re in the Miami area. It’s also a short walk to Ocean drive if you want to make a night out of it after din­ner, which we did.

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First course– Avo­cado and tomato tartare 

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Sec­ond Course– Broc­coli soup with vegan cheese

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Lovely wine pairings!


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Third course– Pasta with mushrooms

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Fourth course– Pesto risotto

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More wine pairings


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Dessert– fresh straw­berry sorbet

All in all, it was a lovely trip! If you’re look­ing for some­thing vegan in Miami Beach, I would def­i­nitely check out the restau­rants on this list! There were some places that I wasn’t able to visit that I def­i­nitely will the next time I come.  I’ve heard that Choices Organic Café in down­town Miami is good. Also, if we had had more time, we might have dri­ven to celebrity-endorsed Sub­lime Restau­rant and Bar in Fort Laud­erdale as well.

Oy Vegan!

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Green Tea Chatz. Episode 2. SNACKS ONPLANE!

Hey veg­ans and vegetarians!

Ever won­dered what to bring with you while trav­el­ing by plane? While vegan options are more read­ily avail­able on planes these days, they are usu­ally lack­ing in flavour and freshness.

In this episode of Green Tea Chatz, Jamie explains what snacks and prod­ucts she might bring for a short or long flight above the clouds.

Enjoy!

Oy Vegan!

What snacks do you bring with you when you travel? Com­ment below!

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Green Tea Chatz. Episode 1. THE BEST VEGAN COOKBOOKS!

Wanna know what the best vegan cook­books are??? Check out today’s episode of Green Tea Chatz!

From her large col­lec­tion, Jamie show­cases her favourite vegan cook­books from over the years high­light­ing some of her favourite recipes in each cookbook.

 

 

Do you agree with her selec­tion? Do you dis­agree? Com­ment below!!!

Oy Vegan!

 

 

 

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Canada, STOP THE SEAL HUNT!

 

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So far, as of April 28th, the offi­cial num­ber of harp seal pups who have been killed from the Cana­dian Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans is 35,049.” (Read more info on harpseals.org)

The mass killing of these baby seals in March and April every year is bru­tal, unnec­es­sary, and, for all the cap­i­tal­ist thinkers out there, not even eco­nom­i­cally beneficial!

This info-graphic gives you the quick facts:

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Just because we don’t see this hap­pen­ing in front of us, doesn’t mean we don’t have a respon­si­bil­ity as cit­i­zens to call our coun­try to put an end to it.

Watch Rebecca Ald­worth of Humane Soci­ety Inter­na­tional off the coast of New­found­land a few weeks ago.

 

As a Cana­dian, I’m embar­rassed that we are so behind the rest of the world. Please, stop this sense­less killing.

Oy Vegan!

 

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Pesach 2014– What to make!

Pesach is quickly approaching!

Here are five tasty look­ing recipes that I am excited to make for Passover this year. Whether you are hav­ing a fully vegan seder (kudos to you if you are!!!!!) or are bring­ing a dish to a large gath­er­ing, you want to impress. These recipes might just do the trick. Let me know which ones are your favourites!

1. The Best Shred­ded Kale Salad. This is EXTREMELY tasty. I’ve made this for lunch quite a few times and I can never just eat one bowl. So you might want to dou­ble the recipe. It’s that good.

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2. Per­haps this Por­to­bello, Spinach, and Potato Matzo Mina with Basil Wal­nut Pesto and a Cashew Béchamel Sauce will float your boat.

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 3. Or how about a sim­ple, gorgeous-looking, Roasted Beet Salad with Mint.

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4. These Vegan and Gluten-Free Stuffed Pota­toes are a nice addi­tion to any seder meal.

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5.  Of course, a clas­sic Vegan Matzo Ball Soup with Spring Veg­eta­bles is a great starter.

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Gutt Yon­tiff!

Oy Vegan!

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