Vegetarian and Vegan Events in Toronto – 2012

Hey everyone! 🙂

I love food festivals, and I love finding fun things to do in Toronto.

So just a little heads-up on some awesome foodie events in Toronto that are coming up in the next few months that I’ll be attending for fun! Check them out!

Toronto Veggie Pride Parade – June 2 2012

Toronto Raw/Vegan Festival – June 9-10 2012

  • 918 Bathurst St. (North of Bloor)
  • Saturday June 9, 2012. 10:00am – 8:00pm
  • Sunday June 10, 2012. 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Workshops after 4:30pm
  • Admission is FREE!

28th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival  – September 9-11 2012

  • Harbourfront Centre – 235 Queens Quay West
  • Friday September 9, 2012. 4:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Saturday September 10, 2012. 12:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Sunday September 11, 2012. 12:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Admission is FREE!
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Vegan Peanut Butter Mousse

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve updated because I’ve been putting a lot of focus on my class project blog, so here’s a little something sweet to make up for it! Check out Accack of the Vegan’s Blog for an AMAZING peanut butter mousse recipe!

I’m not going to re-post the recipe, so you’ll have to give her blog a look-see to find it. 😉 My alterations to the recipe were that I used coconut sugar in place of regular sugar, silken tofu in place of hard tofu + soy milk, and I used agave nectar in place of molasses.

Here’s a picture of my serving of this delightful mousse! I highly suggest you give it a try…

YUM! Peanut butter mousse!

YUM! Peanut butter mousse!

Vegan Ice “Cream”

I posted an entry in my other blog “Vegan Fitness With Nikki” for some awesome vegan ice “cream”, so if you’re looking for a tasty alternative to dairy ice cream to try at home, check it out! 🙂

There’s two flavours:

  1. Coconut Banana Cream Pie (made with coconut milk)
  2. Chocolate Strawberry (made with cashew milk)

Vegan Fitness With Nikki

A Sister-Blog to Cook With Nikki

Check out the new blog I’ve started for a project in my Interactive Marketing class!

We were asked to create a blog about something we’re passionate about on the Blogger website, and since I’ve already got this blog as my baby, I decided to do something somewhat related, but with a twist! It’s still new, and still in the works… But I really like the direction it’s going in! 🙂

It puts a primary focus on:

  • Vegan/vegetarian foods
  • Fitness related entries
  • Reviews on random products focused on fitness and vegetarian/vegan food
  • My own personal progress with P90x
  • And there will also be some recipes thrown in because it’s impossible for me to have a blog without that!

Late Night Snack Vlog – Hot Chickpeas

I had a huge urge to eat the bag of chips sitting in my pantry that a friend left here. They’re all-dressed Ruffles chips. I was really, really close to opening the bag… But I don’t want to put those in my body! I’m pretty good with resisting the majority of these junk foods, mind you I do slip up a few times… Tonight, I promised myself I wouldn’t give in [again]… So I decided to make something else that was spicy and crunchy! I also threw together a little something else for dinner this evening/lunch tomorrow! Click play to check it out! Enjoy! 🙂

Post-video posting thought: hmm… What a strange still of the video that shows up on the preview! Makes me look like the old lady on the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa gets lost on her way to the museum… The lady I’m talking about, she’s the one trying to get Lisa to buy an octopus or squid or something… Then she pushes it up against the window of a phone booth and says “You buy it! You buy it!”… Ugh…

I also seem to talk with an upward inflection. Maybe it’s because I get nervous in front of a camera? <–That’s me mocking my upward inflections… ha… ha… ha…

Click below to see the written version of the recipe/method!

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Late Night Snack Vlog – Easy Apple “Crumble”

Here’s a random vlog! I was hungry, and didn’t know what to make… So put together an apple “crumble”. It’s not quite a crumble in the traditional sense, but my goodness is it ever tasty! This video is MUCH shorter than my last one, and I go through the few ingredients of this tasty little dish slow enough for you to write it down if you need to, so I’m going to keep this a text-light entry! Here’s you go, enjoy! 🙂

Here’s the link to my original apple crumble recipe!

Here’s some pictures!

In the oven!

In the oven!

 

Mmmmmmm! :)

Mmmmmmm! 🙂

Review – Kensingtons Espresso Bar in Kensington Market

On a random urge to wander around the Kensington Market area, I saw this place called “Kensingtons Espresso Bar” and decided to try it because it had the word “espresso” in the name. I’m a coffee fanatic, and this place claims to have the best coffee in the city. Hmm, I’d have to say that’s not true… It’s good coffee, but far from the best…

So click below to check out my review!

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“Fat Tax” in Denmark – Interesting Article

Denmark has imposed a “fat tax” on fatty foods in an effort to convince Danes to
eat healthier. The tax is a complex one, in which rates will correspond with the
percentage of fat in a product. The value of the tax is about $3.00 for every
2.2 pounds of saturated fat.

This is one of the more interesting articles I’ve read in regards to a “fat tax”. I heard about this being in consideration a while ago, and thought it was an interesting idea… I know we all enjoy treats from time to time (sometimes more times than not), but this would be a great way to potentially curb people’s decisions on whether or not they purchase healthy foods. Can you imagine what it would be like if it were actually more expensive to buy the “cheap, easy, and unhealthy” foods that so many people buy? Can you imagine what it would be like if it were cheaper to  buy a bag of almonds instead of a bag of chocolate/candy?

A common excuse for why people don’t eat healthy is that it’s too damn expensive to do so. I like to argue this point with people, because since I started buying healthier foods, my grocery bills are quite lower… However; if there were a tax on foods that are unhealthy, potentially a tax high enough for people to truly notice the price difference (and a tax that was high enough to make the healthier options cheaper), then maybe North America wouldn’t have such a problem with obesity. I know people like their butter, and their burgers, and whatever else… But I believe this to be a great idea. I’m not saying that everyone who is larger in size should lose weight, but I do feel it’s a great idea to incentivize people to make the right decisions when it comes to eating for optimal health.

I wonder what everyone else thinks…

Click here to read the full article, or click the quote at the beginning of this post!

Lemon Meringue Pie Minis with a Macaroon Crust

I’ve made these a few times now, and have enjoyed them each time. As the title says, these are mini lemon meringue pies with a macaroon crust. I find that the light taste of coconut really compliments the lemon curd used in this recipe.

For these little guys, I`ve found a way to make them just a bit healthier than the traditional lemon meringue pie. Taking away the traditional pie crust and replacing it with a tasty macaroon crust, removing egg yolks from the lemon curd recipe and increasing the amount of flavour with a few tweaks, and decreasing the amount of sugar in everything, allowed me to turn this into a dessert that`s a bit friendlier to those trying to eat healthy. Although, all treats should be enjoyed in moderation… But with these, it`s okay to have more than one… 😉

This recipe makes 8 minis. Enjoy! 🙂

Lemon Meringue Pie Minis with a Macaroon Crust

Macaroon Crust Cups Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (fine is best, but you can use larger flakes too)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I like to use turbinado sugar for this)
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white

Lemon Curd Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fine white sugar (I usually try to avoid white sugar, but it just works really well for lemon curd…)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 tbsp corn starch (this is being used in place of the egg yolk)
  • grated rind from 1 large lemon
  • juice from 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp butter (again, I try to avoid butter at all costs… However, it gives the curd a bit of a creamy texture just by adding in the smallest amount. You can omit the butter if you wish!)
  • 1/8 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Meringue Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (you may need a pinch more if you have troubles getting your meringue to stiff peaks!)
  • 4-5 tbsp fine white sugar (less or more, judge by your own taste! Try to keep it under 6 tbsp though, otherwise you may have trouble with the egg whites…)

Method:

  • Pre heat the oven to 350.
  • ***Make the macaroon crust cups:
  • Mix all macaroon ingredients in a bowl.
  • Divide the mixture evenly into 8 paper muffin cups (about 2 tbsp per cup)
  • Dip your thumbs in a bit of water, and press the mixture into the bottoms of the muffin cups, and a half way up the sides. Make sure the mixture is smooth.
  • Once you’ve done this with all of the cups, bake in the oven for 15 minutes. The edges should be golden brown.
  • Note: check the cups half way through. If they start to puff up in the middles, you will need to use a wet spoon to press the middles down.
  • Once done, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool while you make the lemon curd. Keep the oven on.
  • ***Make the lemon curd:
  • In a sauce pan, combine the 1 cup of sugar with the 1/4 cup of corn starch.
  • Set the sauce pan over medium heat, and slowly add the water while whisking until everything is smooth and combined.
  • Whisk in the 2 tbsp of corn starch.
  • Continue to whisk over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. This may take 10-15 minutes. Just keep whisking!
  • Once you’ve reached a boil, continue to whisk and boil for about 1 minute. If you stop whisking, the mixture will burn. Once the mixture has become thick, you can remove it from the heat.
  • Add in the rest of the lemon curd ingredients, and stir until combined.
  • Spoon the lemon curd into the macaroon crust cups. (About 2 tbsp per cup. You will have curd left over, so if you like you can put it in a glass jar once it cools and use it for another recipe!)
  • Set the filled cups aside in the fridge to cool while you make the meringue.
  • ***Make the meringue:
  • Put the egg whites into a clean bowl that has not come into contact with anything greasy. Grease/fat is an enemy of whipping egg whites into meringue.
  • Add the cream of tartar and vanilla extract, and using a hand mixer on a medium-high speed, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. When pulling the whisk away from the egg whites, soft peaks will pretty much look like a bird’s beak at first, but then the egg white falls back into itself. The egg whites won’t hold their shape fully, and won’t be that glossy. I also talk a bit more about meringue here, so check it out if you like!
  • Once the egg whites are at the soft peak stage, you can slowly add the sugar while whisking. Set the speed on the mixer to high now.
  • Continue to whisk until the egg whites are at stiff peaks. When pulling the whisk away from the egg whites, stiff peaks will maintain that “bird beak” shape. Also, when you hold the bowl upside down, the egg whites will stay where they are. (Although, you may not want to use that as a method to test what stage the egg whites are at…)
  • ***Prepare the cups for baking:
  • Once the egg whites are at the stiff peak stage, remove the filled macaroon crust cups from the fridge, and top each cup with 2-3 tbsp of the meringue. What you want is a nice puffy “cloud” of meringue on top of each cup. Using a spoon, you can spread the meringue on each cup to make sure the meringue covers the whole top of each cup.
  • Sprinkle the tops of each cup with some flaked coconut, and bake in the middle rack of the oven (which is still at 350) for 10-15 minutes.
  • When they are done, the meringue will be lightly browned at the edges, the coconut flakes will be lightly browned, and when you touch the meringue it won’t stick to your finger.
  • Allow to cool completely before eating.
  • These can be stored in the fridge over night, but should be eaten within 2 days.

    Finished product! :) Mmmmm...

    Finished product! 🙂 Mmmmm...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home made lemon curd :)

Home made lemon curd 🙂