Tag Archives | Toronto

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival Top 5!

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Pic­tured above: Sport­ing the new Oy Vegan Tee at the Toronto Veg­e­tar­ian Food Festival!

Arriv­ing at the Toronto Veg­e­tar­ian Food Fes­ti­val thrown by the won­der­ful peo­ple at the Toronto Veg­e­tar­ian Asso­ci­a­tion is always a treat. Row after row of booths sell­ing vegan prod­ucts, food, and rais­ing aware­ness about issues of ani­mal wel­fare adorn Toronto’s Har­bourfront. That famous Christ­mas carol comes to mind ‘It’s the most won­der­ful time of the year!’ and despite some rain on Sat­ur­day, Oy Vegan attended everyday.

There were many high­lights for us here at Oy Vegan and it was hard… but some­how we man­aged to nar­row it down to a top 5.

Here goes!

5The food from Karma ChaMEA­Leon Food truck. This vegan food truck came all the way from Hamil­ton for the fes­ti­val. Would LOVE for them to come to Toronto per­ma­nently!! Just sayin’

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Pic­tured above: Jamaican Jerk Jack­fruit Tacos from Karma ChaMEALeon

4The panel of heroes that spoke about ani­mal activism and their fab­u­lous ani­mal sanc­tu­ar­ies in New York State. Check out Kathy Stevens’ Catskill Ani­mal Sanc­tu­ary, Jenny Brown’s Wood­stock Farm Ani­mal Sanc­tu­ary, and Gene Bauer’s Farm Sanc­tu­ary. I look for­ward to read­ing all of their books!!!

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Pic­tured above from L to R: Kathy Stevens, Gene Bauer, Sonia Faruqi, Jenny Brown, and Sayara Thurston.

3. Meet­ing Chef Roberto Mar­tin. Known for being Ellen Degeneres’ chef, Roberto Mar­tin made a super tasty ceviche out of hearts of palm. A very cool down-to-earth guy I must say.

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Pic­tured above: Roberto Mar­tin and I

2. I was also hon­oured to receive Chef Taymer Mason’s St. Maarten gift bag give­away fea­tur­ing a green sea­son­ing that she made in St. Maarten! She served up a super tasty lentil patty and an egg­plant and sea­weed accra that was mouthwatering.

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Pic­tured above: Top– Taymer Mason and I, Bot­tom– Lentil Patty and Egg­plant and Sea­weed Accra

1. Strong­man Patrik Baboumian break­ing the Guin­ness World Record by lift­ing 1213 lbs (550 kilos)! This vegan hero was so pumped from his amaz­ing feat that he screamed vegan power with all his might after walk­ing over 10 metres with 1213 lbs on his back. An unbe­liev­able moment and an unbe­liev­able guy. The video I took is a lit­tle shakey but cap­tures his speech at the end which touched every­one in the crowd just as much as the actual feat of strength that he per­formed. An amaz­ing moment that will go down in food fest history!

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Pic­tured above from L to R: vegan ath­lete panel fea­tur­ing Patrik Baboumian,

UFC fighter James Wilks, Iron­man ath­lete Roch Roll,  and for­mer Hockey player Georges Laraque. 

I would also like to send a spe­cial shout-out to Sweets from the Earth for their Cin­na­mon Babka. It was unbe­liev­ably tasty!!!

As well, we want to shout-out Green Zebra Kitchen for their de-constructed Tem­peh Rueben Bowl. Yum!

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Pic­tured above: Green Zebra Kitchen’s de-constructed Tem­peh Rueben Bowl

I also want to com­mend the TVA for mak­ing this year’s event com­pletely vegan. It really made it acces­si­ble for every­one and I felt more com­fort­able and excited know­ing that I could eat any­thing I wanted! I hope this becomes the norm for the food fes­ti­val as it is a cel­e­bra­tion of a plant-based lifestyle after all!

Oy Vegan!

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Marchin into June: Veggie Events!

Feel like march­ing for ani­mals?! Here are two upcom­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties in Toronto:

Toronto Veg­gie Pride Parade.

June 1st from 12pm-4pm

Start­ing out­side the Toronto Ref­er­ence Library and head­ing south on Yonge Street. For more info, click here.

Toronto march to close down all slaughterhouses.

June 15th from 11am on

Start­ing from the south­east cor­ner of Christie Pits park and end­ing near Qual­ity Meat Pack­ers slaugh­ter­house. For more info, click here.

Happy march­ing! Feel free to com­ment with other veg­gie events com­ing up in June!

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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Green Cooking — Tu B’Shvat!

Come cel­e­brate and cook a scrump­tious vegan meal with me on Tues­day at 7pm! We’ll wine, dine, and cel­e­brate the new year of the trees! Lim­ited space avail­able. Sign up now!

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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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10 Thousand Tastes 10 Billion Reasons

I had the plea­sure of attend­ing a totally vegan event a few week­ends ago. It was called 10,000 Tastes 10 Bil­lion Rea­sons and it took place in one of the busiest squares in down­town Toronto.

Scores of dif­fer­ent vegan food ven­dors lined Dun­das Square giv­ing away free sam­ples of their prod­ucts. Silk gave away choco­late almond milk, Daiya sam­pled their new cheese wedges, and local Toronto fire­fight­ers cooked up Gardein veg­gie burg­ers for throngs of Toron­to­ni­ans and tourists alike.

Rip Essel­styn and I

The fea­tured guest on the main stage was Rip Essel­styn, vegan celeb and son of Dr. Cald­well B. Essel­styn who con­ducted the ground­break­ing 20 year study that proves that a change in diet can cure heart dis­ease.  Rip spoke about his plant based nutri­tion pro­gram called “The Engine 2 Diet”. I  also found out from a lovely fire­fighter who was cook­ing up my veg­gie burger that Rip also spoke to the fire­fight­ers up at Downsview and suc­cess­fully got 75 of them to try a vegan diet.

Sadly, I arrived after Rip had fin­ished speak­ing but I did get to hear the vocal stylings of the tal­ented Jenn Grant as I filled my belly with vegan treats.

I espe­cially loved these signs that were fea­tured around the site!

We also bumped into a few veg­ans celebs along the way.

Us and Georges Laraque. 

This was an awe­some event for veg­ans, veg­e­tar­i­ans, and non-veggies alike. I love that it was in such a cen­tral loca­tion and that it got a great mes­sage out to all the inter­ested passersby.

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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VeJEWtarian Beginning of Spring Meet-up!

Vegan/ Veg­e­tar­ian? Jew­ish? Come to the veJEW­tar­ian begin­ning of spring meet-up! Please pass this on to any­one you know who might be inter­ested!
Thanks! Happy Spring 🙂

Oy Vegan!

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