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Meatless Monday Recipe

Happy Mon­day all!

Hope every­one enjoyed this past Mother’s Day. I sure did despite it rain­ing and even snow­ing at one point! Just when we thought sum­mer was around the corner…

In hon­our of the not-so-warm weather, I’m going to share a recipe with you just in time for meat­less monday.

Today’s recipe: French Lentil Soup.

This soup is awe­some for a num­ber of reasons:

1. Lentils are amaz­ing because they are high in iron.

2. The vit­a­min C from the tomatos help us absorb the iron in the lentils!

3. It’s really tasty!

4. It’s not expen­sive to get these ingre­di­ents and it’s easy to make! woot woot!

photo

French Lentil Soup

(Source: About.com)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingre­di­ents:

  • 2 table­spoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 medium car­rots, chopped
  • 2 cloves gar­lic, crushed and chopped
  • 1/2 tea­spoon salt
  • 1/4 tea­spoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 tea­spoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups veg­etable broth
  • 1 1/4 cups french lentils, rinsed
  • 14-ounce can petite diced toma­toes or dice the equiv­a­lent amount of fresh tomatos
  • 2 tea­spoons apple cider vinegar

Prepa­ra­tion:

In a medium saucepan, sauté the onions, cel­ery, car­rots, and gar­lic over medium-high heat for 12 to 15 min­utes. Once the veg­eta­bles have just started to turn light brown, add the salt, dried thyme, and black pep­per to the pan. Con­tinue cook­ing and stir­ring the mix­ture for 1 minute.

Add the veg­etable broth, lentils, and diced toma­toes to the pan. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the tem­per­a­ture slightly so that it is sim­mer­ing. Sim­mer the soup, cov­ered, for 30 min­utes, until the lentils are ten­der. Purée 1 3/4 cups of the soup with the cider vine­gar and stir the pureed mix­ture back into the soup. Serve the soup hot or store it for up to three days in the refrigerator.

This French lentil soup recipe makes 6 serv­ings. Enjoy!

Until next time, my mother and I in the 1980s wish you a happy meat­less monday!!

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Oy Vegan!

 

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Justin Timberlake — SNL– Bring it on down to Veganville

Amaz­ing sketch on SNL last night fea­tur­ing Justin Tim­ber­lake as a singing block of tofu. You have to watch this! Cudos to SNL writ­ers and JT for a hilar­i­ous sketch.

Oy Vegan!

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Healthy fat!

Check out Jason Wro­bel in his hilar­i­ous, infor­ma­tive video on healthy plant-based fats and the ones we should all avoid. Shout out to J-Wro. Love what you’re doing!

Oy Vegan!

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A very vegan Valentine’s

Tomor­row is the day of love, hearts, candy and friend­ship. If you came by the  Sun­day Antique Mar­ket at St. Lawrence North Mar­ket this past Sun­day, you might have seen me sell­ing turn of the cen­tury Valentine’s in prepa­ra­tion for the big day.

Vin­tage Valen­tines at the Sun­day Antique Market

For all you love­birds out there who are won­der­ing where to have an ani­mal friendly meal, check out these Toronto estab­lish­ments fea­tur­ing vegan price fixe menus.

Source for list of restau­rants: Toronto Veg­e­tar­ian Association

Hog­town Vegan 

www.hogtownvegan.com

Sadie’s Diner

www.sadiesdiner.com

Raw­li­cious

Check out their V-day menu here.

Veg­e­tar­ian Haven

Check out their V-day menu here.


Of course you can always make your own Valentine’s din­ner! Here’s a recipe for tasty baked vegan dough­nuts that are easy to make!

Raz­zle Daz­zle Valen­tine Doughnuts

Makes 6 doughnuts.

Needed: dough­nut pan

Ingre­di­ents:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tea­spoons bak­ing powder

pinch of salt

dash of nutmeg

dash of cinnamon

1/2 cup almond milk (any non-dairy milk is fine)

1/2 tea­spoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 tea­spoon vanilla

Egg replacer (equiv­a­lent of 1 egg)

1/4 cup vegan mar­garine (melted– then cooled. Mustn’t be too hot when added to mixture!)

Choco­late Glaze:

1/2 –3/4 cup of vegan choco­late chips

1 table­spoon coconut oil

red sparkling sprinkles

Instruc­tions:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F

2. In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients.

3. In another bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.

4. Add wet mix­ture to dry mix­ture and mix together until just combined.

5. Scoop out your mix­ture into a pre­pared dough­nut pan. Don’t put too much mix­ture in! Make sure it is level or below the sides of the pan so it doesn’t bal­loon up in the bak­ing process.

6. Bake for 12 min­utes or until a tooth­pick inserted comes out dry. Let cool a few min­utes before turn­ing the dough­nuts out of the pan to cool completely.

Choco­late Glaze:

1. Melt 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of vegan choco­late chips and coconut oil in the microwave for inter­vals of 30 sec­onds. Stir­ring in between until melted completely.

2. Dip cooled dough­nuts half way in the choco­late glaze turn­ing as you pull them out to avoid drip­ping down the sides.

3. Dip the glazed dough­nuts into another bowl of sparkling red sprinkles.

4. Serve and enjoy!

 

Wish­ing all you lovers and friends out there a Happy Valentine’s Day from Oy Vegan!

 

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Restaurant reviews: Vegan Israel — Tel Aviv

I’m back from the holy land, a lit­tle jet lagged and full of fab­u­lous vegan food!

After lead­ing a won­der­ful young adult Taglit Birthright Israel trip with Canada Israel Expe­ri­ence, I  stuck around in Tel Aviv for another 9 days to enjoy the sights, sun, and eats.

Here are Tel Aviv’s top 10 vegan and vegan friendly spots that we vis­ited (in no par­tic­u­lar order):

1. Bud­dha Burg­ers- We ate here almost every day for lunch or din­ner. This really is a vegan restau­rant in every sense of the mean­ing. The vibe here is very relaxed. The walls are adorned with posters, stick­ers, and inspi­ra­tional quotes encour­ag­ing vegan activism, and adver­tis­ing events.

Above: Bud­dha Burger with soy cheese

Above: Wall at Bud­dha Burgers

Above: Salad from salad bar

High­lights: the bud­dha burger with soy cheese. Amaz­ing! The schnitzel cheese burger is also good. The lasagna is tops. I also enjoyed mak­ing my own salad at the salad bar that is fully equipped with count­less veg­gies, tofu, sprouted lentils, and even vegan shawarma made from sei­tan. A great place to meet other veg­ans and hang out with the res­i­dent restau­rant cat.

There are 2 loca­tions in Tel Aviv. Check out their menu in Eng­lish.

2. Vegan Shawarma- Great totally vegan spot to grab some quick super tasty vegan com­fort food!

Above: Cheese­burger, vegan shawarma, and pizza with olives and mushrooms

High­lights: cheese­burger, pizza with soy cheese, schnitzel on a bun, and of course, the clas­sic vegan shawarma.

Loca­tions in Tel Aviv, Beer­sheva, and Haifa.

3. Taam Hachaim- Nice space on Ben Yahuda run by mem­bers of the Hebrew Israelite com­mu­nity. Tasty food that is 100% vegan and organic.

Above: Humus platter

Above: Side salad

High­lights: Lasagna, humus plat­ter, fresh sal­ads, stir-frys with rice, and fresh juices.

Check out the Eng­lish menu.

4. Mezze - This is a very cute veg­e­tar­ian restau­rant on Echad Ha’am that we vis­ited on new year’s eve. The food was fresh and mediter­ranean inspired.

High­lights:  Mush­room wal­nut and cashew pâté served with organic rye toast, vine leaves stuffed with rice, herbs, and nuts served with cashew cream, black rice with pump­kin and tofu, and the quinoa cucum­ber cran­berry salad served with pome­gran­ate tahina dressing.

Check out the Eng­lish menu.

5. Orna & Ella - This hip vegan-friendly bistro on Shenkin is pop­u­lar so try call­ing in advance and mak­ing a reser­va­tion to avoid dis­ap­point­ment. The vegan options are clearly marked on the menu. The dishes we enjoyed were really stel­lar. Though we never expe­ri­enced it, we heard that they serve a tofu scram­ble for brunch!

Above: Antipasto platter

Above: Vegan choco­late bounty

High­lights: antipasto plat­ter, pome­gran­ate tofu with herbed rice, baked cau­li­flower and tomato in tahina with rice and lentils, and for dessert the vegan choco­late bounty.

6. MizLaLaThis is the urban casual younger sis­ter of fine din­ing restau­rant Catit. Mizlala fea­tures the inven­tive cook­ing of Chef Meir Adoni. We went here on our last night in Tel Aviv. This is a place to see and be seen and is a favourite of Israeli celebs such as model Bar Refaeli. We called ahead and let them know we were vegan. They cre­ated meals for us when we arrived. The staff was extremely atten­tive to us and wanted to know if we were enjoy­ing our food and if it was sat­is­fy­ing us from a foodie stand­point. The flavours really were out­stand­ing. This is a more expen­sive place for Israel, but a lovely spot for a nicer dinner.

Above: Cucum­ber, Mango, tomato, corian­der, dark quinoa, and vinaigrette 

High­lights:  Salmon ceviche with­out the salmon– Mango, cucum­ber, tomato, tapi­oca, dark quinoa, corian­der, and vinai­grette. This dish is extremely flavour­ful and totally worth it!

Check out the Eng­lish menu.

7. Café Biren­baumThis veg­e­tar­ian kosher café on Naha­lat Binyamin was our go-to break­fast spot while in Tel Aviv. We went here almost every morn­ing! I miss the salad bar!! Run by two sis­ters, Café Biren­baum has been busy serv­ing Tel Avi­vians since 1962.  It’s very busy so I rec­om­mend arriv­ing early. The salad bar is all you can eat and fea­tures a major­ity of vegan sal­ads that are fresh and tasty. Biren­baum is a must-visit for a healthy, fill­ing, vegan breakfast!

Above: Salad from the salad bar

High­lights: The salad bar– fea­tur­ing over 20 dif­fer­ents sal­ads such as quinoa salad, sweet potato salad, orzo and mush­room salad, lentil salad, cel­ery herb and apple salad, kim­chi cucum­ber salad, pesto pasta, beet salad, and  (my per­sonal favourite) the mini sweet potato latkes.

8. The Chi­nese WallWe were on a des­per­ate mis­sion to find Chi­nese food in Israel as it is a favourite cui­sine of ours. While most estab­lish­ments are not open late night like in Toronto, there are a num­ber of yummy restau­rants open nor­mal hours of oper­a­tion. The Chi­nese Wall is a kosher restau­rant run by a Chi­nese fam­ily that con­verted to Judaism. It fea­tures a num­ber of dishes that are vegan friendly– just let your server know.

Above: Chi­nese tea

High­lights: Veg­etable dim sum, Tofu and rice noo­dles in brown bean sauce, and the Szechuan tofu with rice.

9. Giraffe Noo­dle Bar- Asian cui­sine with vegan options. Just let your server know and they will have sug­ges­tions. You can also order for deliv­ery if you want a low key evening.

High­lights: Veg­e­tar­ian Maki, Pad See Ew (ask for it with­out egg)

Loca­tions all over Israel.

Check out the Eng­lish menu.

10. Thai HouseA super tasty Thai restau­rant. This place is near and dear as it’s the first meal I had after my engage­ment! This is a another pop­u­lar Tel Aviv estab­lish­ment on Bograshov, so call ahead to make a reser­va­tion. The décor is bam­boo and bud­dhas and the food feels a lot more authen­tic than most Thai restau­rants out­side of Thailand.

Above: Papaya salad

High­lights: The Papaya Salad, Pad Thai with tofu (minus egg, shrimp), Browned rice noo­dles– with Tofu (veganized)

Check out the Eng­lish menu.

Above: pub­lic bench on Hertzl Street

I have to say there is a strong cur­rent of veg­an­ism sweep­ing the coun­try. I could really feel it when I was there. Just say , “Ani Tivonit (F)/ Tivoni (M)” (I’m vegan) and peo­ple seem to under­stand. I even had some great con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple in the street about veg­an­ism. I hap­pened upon about 15 peo­ple in front of Dizen­goff cen­tre mall who were leaflet­ting about ani­mal rights. I even brought home a pin that says “basar” (meat) with a big bloody cross through it. This coun­try is really pas­sion­ate about many things and veg­an­ism is fast becom­ing one of them!

In the end, it was an incred­i­ble, unfor­get­table trip to Israel. Tel Aviv and the Brown Tel Aviv Hotel will for­ever be in my mem­ory as the place where I was pro­posed to and the place where I ate my fill of deli­cious food!

Oy Vegan!

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Israel is going Vegan!

As I gear up for another trip to the holy land, I am excited to hear about the vegan fever that has been sweep­ing the country.

 

Pic­tured above: Gary Yourof­sky and friend

Con­tro­ver­sial ani­mal activist famous for his talk, “The best speech you will ever hear” Gary Yourof­sky and his team of sup­port­ers in Israel seem to be at the heart of this move­ment. Whether or not you agree with his approach, many Israelis are mak­ing the change to veg­an­ism includ­ing food critic, Ori Shavit, who has cre­ated an Eng­lish vegan din­ing guide for Israel. Music to this lady’s ears!

Read more about Israeli vegan-mania in Dana Kessler’s arti­cle.

Pic­tured above: Ori Shavit (Photo Credit: Lenny Ben Basat)

I’m excited to hear that the pop­u­lar chain Aroma Espresso Bar has added more vegan options to their menu. I’m also excited to try vegan shawarma while in Tel Aviv.

Pic­tured above: Vegan shawarma

Look out for updates with Israeli restau­rant reviews com­ing later in Decem­ber and early in the new year!

Here’s Vegan Style once more, just because it’s Israeli and awesome!

Oy Vegan!

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When Pigs Can Fly…

Check out this video from Ani­mals Aus­tralia. Inter­ested to know what you think!

Oy Vegan!

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Alicia Silverstone on going and being Vegan

Shout out to Ali­cia, a fel­low veg­gie Jew, for speak­ing out about the ben­e­fits of a vegan lifestyle!

Oy Vegan!

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Vegan Style!

Amaz­ing Gang­nam Style Par­ody from Israel. LOVE IT!

Oy Vegan!

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Highlights from the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival

On the week­end of Sep­tem­ber 7th-9th, the 28th Annual Veg­e­tar­ian Food Fes­ti­val took place. Oy Vegan was there all three days hang­ing out and attend­ing var­i­ous events and sam­pling delec­table vegan food. Here are some of Jamie and Jared’s top picks!

Jamie:

1. Learn­ing how to make tomato olive sei­tan gyros with Terry Hope Romero. I tried mak­ing these at home after and they were amaz­ing! I have to say the coconut yoghurt dill Tzatziki sauce is super tasty.

2. Bump­ing into veJEW­tar­ian friends wan­der­ing about the booths.

Shimmy, Jan­ice, and Jamie 

3. Eat­ing the pizza with sun­dried tomato, cashew cheese, and kale from Green Zebra Kitchen! I was hon­estly blown away by how great this pizza was. Best vegan pizza I’ve ever tried!

4. Vis­it­ing the awe­some peo­ple at Toronto Pig Save. Con­grat­u­la­tions to Anita Kra­jnc for win­ning the Com­pas­sion for Ani­mals Award!

Jared, Danielle, Jamie

5. See­ing Vegan Meal­time on the Red­path Stage. These guys were full of energy and totally hilar­i­ous! Sea­weed strips & Sea­weed strips & Sea­weed strips & Sea­weed strips!

Jared:

1. Hear­ing Dr. Michael Gre­gor’s two part lec­ture on the lead­ing causes of death in Canada. Check out his web­site nutritionfacts.org where he posts daily videos on all the lat­est studies!

2. Learn­ing how to cook Caribbean style with Taymer Mason and win­ning her Bajan/ Jerk wet spice mix hand­made straight from St. Maarten. Awesome!

3. Hear­ing Ultra­man Ath­lete Rich Roll speak about chang­ing his life with a plant based diet!

4. Eat­ing the sticky mush­room rice wrapped in a banana leaf from King’s Café for break­fast. Yum!

5. Try­ing Doug McNish’s new chewy gluten free choco­late coconut almond cookie for Sweets from the Earth and try­ing to name it.

 All in all, the TVA did an amaz­ing job this year and the fes­ti­val was a ton of fun. Despite the rain on Sat­ur­day, it was packed with peo­ple! There are many other high­lights that we are leav­ing out and we encour­age every­one to check out the Toronto Veg­e­tar­ian Asso­ci­a­tion and all the cool events they hold in the city.

Here’s to a healthy fall!

Oy Vegan!

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