Tag Archives | Jewish

Restaurant Review: Yamchops

I heard about Yam­chops this past sum­mer and it is a real shock that I wasn’t able to make it there until a few weeks ago. That being said, it was well worth the wait!

Two words: vegan lox.


Are you kid­ding me?! Amaz­ing! Yam­chops can be described as a veg­e­tar­ian butcher, mar­ket, and juice bar all rolled into one. When you walk into the Col­lege and Grace area store­front, you will be warmly greeted by one of the delight­ful staff and, if you’re lucky, a mem­ber of the Abram­son fam­ily will rec­om­mend some of their fab­u­lous in-house ready-made dishes that you can take home or sit down and eat.


It really does feel like a deli counter, but instead of dead ani­mals, you have the option of choos­ing beet burg­ers, sweet potato Yam­chops, Indone­sian grilled tofu, and many other mouth-watering dishes.


I believe this is the only place in the city, per­haps in Canada, that serves Vegan Chik*n Shawarma! …And let me tell you, it is fab­u­lous! Another star is their Kale Cae­sar salad with coconut ba-con.


Owner, Jess Abram­son, fel­low veg­gie Jew, spoke with us about her vision for Yam­chops explain­ing it as a place where one can come and grab some pre­pared foods and also shop in the vegan mar­ket at the back of the store. She also kvelled about her line of cold-pressed organic juices made in-house called AuJus. These juices are really tasty. I’ve tried a lot of juice bars around the city, and these ones really stand out. We tried Salad Days and BBQ Apple Pie and were thor­oughly impressed.


So if you are in Toronto and haven’t vis­ited them already, take a trip to 705 Col­lege Street (Just west of Mon­trose on the South side) and give Yam­chops a try. I promise, you will leave with a smile.

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Excit­ing news! Yam­chops caters! Have an upcom­ing simcha/ spe­cial occasion/holiday?

Give them a call: 416–645-0117 or e-mail them: talktous@yamchops.com

All photo cred­its: Sasha Arfin

Oy Vegan!

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Happy New Year! 5775


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.


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.



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.






What will you make?

Happy New Year! LeShana Tovah Umetukah!

Oy Vegan!



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A Reminder of our Uniqueness!


Just a lovely reminder that we’re all like snowflakes, each of us unique.

Here are 10 Pho­tos to remind you that Jews don’t fit into a stereo­type (and never have).

Fully Jewish; Fully Chinese


Big up to Pop Chas­sid for their awe­some post!

Oy Vegan!




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VeJEWtarian Celebrates Earth Day at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary

What are you doing on Earth Day?

RSVP to jamie@oyvegan.com as space is limited!

Oy Vegan!

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Chefs for Peace!

Last Wednes­day evening I joined a packed room in Uni­ver­sity of Toronto’s Multi-Faith Cen­tre for a night of cook­ing and con­ver­sa­tion. Cook­ing and demon­strat­ing for us were two top chefs from Israel– one Mus­lim and one Jew­ish. Ibrahim Abu Seir is the head pas­try chef at Jerusalem’s 5 star David Citadel Hotel and Joseph Elad is the owner of Menahe Yehuda Resu­tau­rant.

The room was filled with Mus­lims, Chris­tians and Jews at every table. The pur­pose of the evening was to bring all three faiths together in a pos­i­tive way– through food. While we helped the chefs pre­pare our din­ner, we were also encour­aged to dis­cuss whether or not we thought peace could be achieved in Israel. The dis­cus­sion was very inter­est­ing and for the most part quite pos­i­tive. When one stu­dent started to bring up cer­tain anti-Israeli sen­ti­ments she had wit­nessed on U of T cam­pus, founder and dis­cus­sion facil­i­ta­tor, Kevork Aleimian, was quick to get the con­ver­sa­tion back on track. Aleimian is Armen­ian and also from Israel.

Founded in 2001, Chefs for Peace is com­prised of chefs from all over the world…

Aleimian explained Chefs for Peace is a not-for-profit with a dream of peace. Founded in 2001, it is com­prised of chefs from all over the world from dif­fer­ent reli­gious back­grounds and its goal to is to encour­age peace­ful coex­is­tence. He explained that it’s easy to focus on who did what to who and dwell in the past, but the only way to bring about peace is by work­ing together to focus on it.

The meal we were served was deli­cious. An Israeli cucum­ber tomato salad, a beau­ti­fully spiced rice and veg­etable dish and a dessert of fresh figs in coconut milk with a berry coulis on top. All veg­e­tar­ian, all kosher, and all halal.

I had a really inter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tion about the sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences between what makes some­thing kosher and what makes some­thing halal with a girl of Mus­lim faith at my table. I think that every­one who attended learned a lot about each other in a pos­i­tive envi­ron­ment. If only there were more pro­grams like this, the world would be a more peace­ful place.

For more infor­ma­tion visit chefsforpeace.com.

Spe­cial shout out to Emily Berg, the Wol­fond Cen­tre Hil­lel team and all the other orga­ni­za­tions that brought Chefs for Peace to Toronto for a week of amaz­ing events!

Oy vegan!

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Hamantaschen for Purim!

As many of you may know, last Thurs­day was Purim. My madrachim group for Cana­dian Israel Expe­ri­ence threw an awe­some car­ni­val for kids at the Lipa Green Cen­tre in Toronto which was a blast. Check out pics from Purim Fun 2012 here!

Even though Purim has passed, I thought I would share my vegan recipe for Haman­taschen! These are super delicious.

For more infor­ma­tion on the story behind Purim and what peo­ple do at this time of year, click here.


Vegan Haman­taschen


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tea­spoons bak­ing powder
  • 1/8 tea­spoon salt
  • 1/2 cup veg­etable short­en­ing (I use Earth Bal­ance vegan shortening)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Vegan egg replacer (equiv­a­lent of 1 large egg)
  • 3 table­spoon fresh orange juice
  • 2/3 cup fill­ing such as apri­cot or cherry jam.

Into a bowl sift together flour, bak­ing pow­der, and salt. In another bowl beat short­en­ing, sugar, and egg replacer until light and fluffy. Add juice and beat until incor­po­rated. Add flour mix­ture, stir­ring, until a smooth dough is formed. Gather dough into a ball and flat­ten into a disk. Chill dough, wrapped in plas­tic wrap, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

Pre­heat oven to 375° F.

On a lightly floured sur­face roll out half of dough (keep­ing other half wrapped and chilled) 1/4 inch thick. With a 3-inch cut­ter cut out as many rounds as pos­si­ble. Trans­fer rounds with a metal spat­ula to a large bak­ing sheet, arrang­ing about 1/2 inch apart. Reroll scraps and cut out more rounds. Put 1 tea­spoon fill­ing in cen­ter of each round and fold up edges to form tri­an­gu­lar cook­ies resem­bling a tri­cornered hat, pinch­ing cor­ners together and leav­ing fill­ing exposed.

Bake haman­taschen in mid­dle of oven 15–20 min­utes, or until pale golden. Cool haman­taschen on bak­ing sheet 5 min­utes and trans­fer to racks to cool com­pletely. Repeat with remain­ing dough. Keep Haman­taschen in an air­tight con­tainer at room tem­per­a­ture for up to 5 days.

(Adapted from a recipe on Epicurious.com)

Oy Vegan!

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Shamayim V’Aretz– What Mayim Bialik, Matisyahu, and I have in common!

Call­ing all Jew­ish peo­ple– veg­e­tar­ian, vegan and non-veg!

I’m very excited to announce a new project out in L.A. started by Rabbi Shmuly Yan­klowitz  called The Shamayim V’Aretz Insti­tute.

Hear Rav Shmuly talk about Shamayim V’Aretz!

Read their mis­sion state­ment below:

Mis­sion Statement

The Shamayim V’Aretz Insti­tute is the spir­i­tual cen­ter inter­twin­ing learn­ing and lead­er­ship around the inter­sect­ing issues of ani­mal wel­fare activism, kosher veg­an­ism, and Jew­ish spir­i­tu­al­ity, for those any­where on the jour­ney towards com­pas­sion­ate eat­ing and liv­ing within Judaism.

The Insti­tute trains lead­ers to address the abuse of ani­mals, injus­tices in kosher slaugh­ter­houses, and other ani­mal wel­fare issues while also serv­ing as an edu­ca­tional resource to help peo­ple make informed and pas­sion­ate Jew­ish moral choices about their eth­i­cal consumption. 

It’s about time that some­one started some­thing like this, and I’m so excited that Rav Shmuly has taken this on. Com­pas­sion­ate liv­ing and eat­ing is an eth­i­cal and moral issue.  As Jew­ish peo­ple, we have a respon­si­bil­ity to strive to improve con­di­tions for our planet and all its creatures.

And I’m not the only one who thinks so… Rav Shmuly has assem­bled a top notch team of found­ing mem­bers and advi­sory com­mi­tee mem­bers includ­ing Mayim Bia­lik (Blos­som), Matisyahu, Jana Kohl, Ellen Lavinthal and yours truly.

Watch Mayim’s hilar­i­ous promo video below!

For more infor­ma­tion about the insti­tute visit www.shamayimvaretz.com.  Also, be sure to check out their upcom­ing spir­i­tual retreat on Sun­day June 3rd in L.A.!

Oy Vegan!



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Too Funny!

Do you ever feel like this at Jew­ish events? LOL! Oy Vegan!

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