Summertime Recipes for Easy Living

Ah, the joys of summer! We’re all a little more relaxed. Life is a little less intense. With the long days, it seems like we have more time on our hands. Many of us naturally tend to lighter, simpler fare in the kitchen during these warm summer days. The VegFest London committee members are sharing here their favourite easy breezy vegan recipes for all to enjoy. Have a wonderful summer!

 

Banana Protein Smoothie

Recipe by Amanda

1 banana

3 dates

1 heaping tbsp natural peanut butter

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 tsp chia seeds

1 tsp hemp hearts

1 cup almond milk (add more depending on desired thickness)

2 tbsp raw cashews (optional)

2 strawberries or a few raspberries for colour

4 ice cubes

Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth.

 

Alfredo Sauce

Recipe by Joan

1/2 cup vegan butter, such as Earth Balance

227 g cream cheese (try Daiya Chive & Onion Cream Cheeze)

2 cups nut milk (an almond/cashew blend milk works well)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 cup parmesan cheese (try the Oh She Glows recipe here)  

Parsley or cilantro for garnish

Heat butter, cream cheese and milk on the stove until blended and smooth. Then add garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir until well blended, then add the parmesan cheese. Mix well.

Pour over your favourite cooked pasta, sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro. The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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Easy Cheesy Caesar Dressing

Recipe by Amanda

This dressing tastes great with a romaine & kale salad. It can also be added to wraps and roasted potatoes!

1/3 cup soaked, drained raw cashews

1 tsp chia or flax

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/3 cup water

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

½ tsp Dijon mustard (optional)

1 ½ tsp agave (or maple syrup)

In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.

 

Jude's Summer Salad

Recipe by Teresa

It's the perfect time of year for this fresh easy dish because it calls for fresh corn and tomatoes. It can be eaten as a salad or served as a salsa with nachos.

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

3 ears of corn cooked and taken off cob

1 can of black bean, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups chopped and seeded tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 chopped avocado (optional)

salt and pepper

Mix liquid ingredients together. Mix non-liquid ingredients together. Combine everything and serve.

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Ice Cream Sundae

Recipe by Krista

Who doesn’t love an ice cream sundae in the summer?! Check out Krista’s delicious recipe here. As she says, it’s so wholesome that you can even eat it for breakfast…

NEW TO VEGANISM

If you are new to veganism, this is an exciting time in your life! Whether you were drawn to veganism for animal rights, health or the environment (or all three!), it may take some time for you to figure things out and find your way. What will you eat? How will you avoid wearing leather goods? How will you explain your decision to family and friends? Be patient with yourself and trust us, everything will fall into place.

There are many resources available to inform and guide you in this journey. The VegFest London committee members have assembled here some of our top picks…the films, websites, podcasts and books that stand out for us because they inspire and influence us and give us a deeper understanding of the breadth and depth of veganism’s significance. Some resources simply make our day-to-day lives easier and more enjoyable (think awesome vegan recipes).

We’ve divided them into four categories: Learn & Be Inspired, Vegan Starter Kits, Fun & Fabulous Food, and Beauty & Fashion. The list barely scratches the surface of all that’s available…so it is perhaps merely a starting point for your exploration. We wish you an amazing journey. We're rooting for you!

LEARN & BE INSPIRED

Vegan Organizations

Mercy for Animals

Animal Ethics

Vegan Philosophy

Eat Like You Care (book)

The Case for Animal Rights (book)

Puppies, Pigs, And People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases (essay)

Animal Sanctuaries

Farm Sanctuaries in Ontario

Karuna Lane Sanctuary

Critical / Social Justice/Activism Organizations

Food Is Power

Sistah Vegan

Afro Vegan Society

Anonymous for the Voiceless

The Save Movement

For Answering All the Questions You’ll be Asked by Friends & Family When You Go Vegan (and Answering Your Own Questions Too)

The Animal Rights FAQ  

Carnism Debunked

Your Vegan Fallacy Is

Books & Websites about Plant-based Nutrition and Health

See London Public Library vegan books.

How Not to Die

Nutrition Facts

Becoming Vegan

Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness

Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program for Maximum Strength, Health, and Fitness

Children’s Books

That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things

Vegan is Love: Having Heart & Taking Action

V Is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind

Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids

Blogs & Magazines

Brown Vegan

Accessible Vegan Adventures

T.O.F.U. Magazine

Chick Pea Magazine

LAIKA Magazine

Veg News

Podcasts

The Livegan Podcast

The Bearded Vegans Podcast

Our Hen House Podcast

Main Street Vegan Podcast

Nutrition Facts Podcast

Easy Vegan with JL Fields

Documentary Films

Dominion

On Netflix (and elsewhere):

·         What the Health

·         Forks Over Knives

·         Food Choices

·         Food Inc.

·         Cowspiracy

FUN AND FABULOUS FOOD

Vegan Cookbooks & Recipe Websites

Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed

Hot for Food Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face

Oh She Glows (we like the app too)

Forks Over Knives Recipe App

Sweet Potato Soul

Fuss-Free Vegan: 101 Everyday Comfort Food Favorites Veganized

Vegan Everyday: 500 Delicious Recipes

Plant Powered Families

Minimalist Baker

Eating Out or On the Road

Refer to our blog posts Firmly Rooted: Celebrating London’s Established Vegan Eateries ,New Places to Eat Green in the Forest City Area and Vegan Travel Hacks.

Happy Cow

Alcoholic Beverages

Barnivore (vegan beer, wine and liquor guide)

Online Vegan Food and Supplies

Vegan Supplies

Well.ca (filter for vegan)

VEGAN STARTER KITS

African American Vegan Starter Guide

PETA Vegan Starter Kit

PCRM Vegetarian Starter Kit

Veganuary Vegan Starter Kit

BEAUTY AND FASHON

Beauty Products

Learn about and look for the Leaping Bunny and Cruelty-Free product label logos.

Vegan Beauty Review

Purdy Natural (lots of vegan products)

Kat Von D Beauty

Fashion

Matt & Natt

Pixie Mood

Moo Shoes

Nice Shoes

Firmly Rooted: Celebrating London’s Established Vegan Eateries

We’re spoiled in London with many exclusively vegan spots to enjoy fabulous food. Perhaps more than our fair share compared to other cities, but we’re not complaining one bit. We love to support and encourage them…we watch their every move and get so excited when they shine. These passionate business owners are on a mission to put an end to animal cruelty, one awe-inspiring and liberating vegan forkful at a time.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at vegan hotspots for eating, drinking and living the green dream…

For those of us with a sweet tooth, The Boombox Bake Shop knows no bounds when it comes to ridiculously delicious vegan cupcakes. We featured this thriving business in this post shortly after they moved to a bigger location mid-2017 to meet growing consumer demands. It’s hard to imagine London without Boombox. 

Plant Matter Kitchen threw open its doors in early 2016 and has been a force to be reckoned with ever since. This beloved Wortley Village restaurant serves up breakfast, dinner and lunch. Did you know they are now offering the wildly popular Beyond Burgers?! They also host monthly charity dinners for like-minded organisations in our community. See our feature blog post here.

While we were still outright dazzled by Plant Matter Kitchen, sister restaurant Plant Matter Bistro launched downtown in 2017. The Bistro is a sophisticated fine dining experience, serving lunch and dinner using organic and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. It’s absolutely geared for the foodie in us!

Then the next thing we knew, this year The Ground Up Cafe teamed up with The Plant Matter family to create Plant Matter Cafe. This Richmond St. location focuses on breakfast (opening at 10 am), soups, wraps, salads, pizza and baked goods. And did we mention the amazing coffee, offered with a variety of plant-based milks? 

Curley Brewing Company, a vegan craft beer café, is re-opening its doors soon at a new location: 1634 Hyde Park Road. We can’t wait for their small batch brews, as well as house made soups, salads, sandwiches, baked goods and kombucha.

Globally Local is on a mission to veganize the fast food world. They started with Canada’s first all vegan fast food restaurant, then with Canada’s first all vegan drive through. And wherever Globally Local sets up its wildly popular food truck, there are sure to be long line ups for its iconic Famous Burger.

London not only has an amazing array of vegan eateries but is also home to companies that sell exclusively vegan food. Here’s a look at what’s been going on lately:

In addition to the highly rated vegan cooking workshops, Naturally Vegan now has a “Little Vegan Cheese Shop” at the Covent Garden Market at Sacred Earth. Seven days a week, you’ll find a variety of cheeses there like Fauxmagerie Zengarry, Sheese Cheese, Main Vegan Deli and VegNature. 

Yoda’s Kitchen is back, better than ever! There’s not only private catering services, but also a delivery service of meals and snacks called Yoda’s Little Green Food Co. Then there’s monthly pop-up restaurant events, and in-home cooking classes. Such joy…

London’s beloved Nuts for Cheese knows no bounds. These delicious hand-crafted cashew-based cheeses can now be found at a multitude of stores across Canada.  Go Nuts for Cheese!

Main Vegan Deli’s tagline, “Convenience with a Conscience” speaks to us. This company offers artisan nut cheeses and deli meat alternatives at a growing number of locations in Southern Ontario. In London look for their products at V Spot (see our blog post featuring V Spot here) and Naturally Vegan’s Little Vegan Cheese Shop. You can also shop online. Have you tried their Dill Havarti or Chive and Onion Chedd-ahh? How about their Bakon or BBQ ribs? We’re getting hungry just thinking about Main Vegan Deli. 

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The goal at Great Veggie Bites is to help people and the planet become healthier by providing a plant-based menu of truly classic comfort foods. We're talking cabbage rolls and 'Big Phil' Philly CheezeStakes, to give you an idea. And they deliver right to your door (for free in London and the Strathroy area)!

Whew, that's it for now! London's options are awesome, right? We're very grateful for all these amazing vegan businesses and the courageous, dedicated entrepreneurs behind them. And we're confident that their successes will continue to build as we march forward toward a more compassionate future. 

New Places to Eat Green in the Forest City Area!

Have you noticed some of the fun new veg-friendly restaurants sprouting up lately? Eating vegan out has never been so easy, or so tasty. We're excited to share some highlights from three new spots...two in London and one is neighbouring Stratford. They are absolutely drool-worthy!

Origins Co.

Welcome Origins Co.! Origins coffee shop opened its doors in January in London, at 140 Ann St. near Richmond and Oxford. With predominantly vegan fare on the menu, we're excited for this friendly and health-conscious grab-and-go coffee shop.

If you are looking for a warm drink, they've got a custom blend organic coffee, and a portion of every Origin’s Custom Blend coffee sales help support the Strathroy Woman’s Rural Resource Centre for abused women. Soy lattes are divine; almond and coconut milks are also available. For tea drinkers they offer a Matcha Green Latte as well as organic, Fair trade pesticide-free blends. Then there's the Golden Turmeric Latte! It sounds delicious.  

Origins offers vegan and gluten free fresh juices, smoothies and smoothie bowls, as well as Boho bars and doughnuts, kosuma bars, brownies, date squares, cookies, mini muffins, pad Thai salad and power bowls. 

Peter Cuddy, the owner, hails from Organic Works Bakery. Consistent with his vision and values, Origins offers quality ingredients that are ethically harvested, non-GMO, organic and locally sourced where possible and all in a convenient grab & go format. Note that they have ample free parking. 

Their large outdoor patio and walk-up takeout window will be opening soon!   

The Planet Diner

The newest kid on the block is The Planet Diner! It’s in Stratford and opened only a couple of weeks ago. With their tagline, “Where Herbivores can bring their Carnivores”, this little diner aims to meet people where they are in their approach to eating. They are making it easy for guests to experience delicious plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs.

Their specialty is satisfying comfort food, especially brunch. Even brunch for dinner! As in a vegan, gluten free benny, on sautéed-onion crispy polenta with marinated grilled tomato and house made cashew hollandaise sauce. Count us in. Or there’s a loaded burger or saucy pulled pork sandwich. But save room for the plant-based baking! And other desserts like the Naughty Waffle: warm waffles drizzled with chocolate sauce, a scoop of deliciously creamy cashew ice cream, strawberries and coconut whip. Need we say more? 

The Planet Diner collaborates with local growers and as many of the Stratford area resources as possible. In a city renowned for its culinary culture, we foresee The Planet Diner filling a much needed spot for vegan and gluten-free options. It strives to create a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere with the aim of welcoming us back, time and time again.

V Food Spot

This downtown London vegan gem has become entrenched in the hearts of customers in an amazingly short period of time. It’s a take-out only food spot specializing in plant-based comfort foods. Think perogies topped with cheese sauce, tempeh bits and caramelized onions with a side of sour cream. Or their beloved Rueben sandwich. How about some decadent French onion soup to warm our souls?

They also sell fabulous donuts, house-made sauces and dips, along with Main Vegan Deli products.

Happy vegan eating everyone!

Plan your visit to VegFest London 2017

It's Almost Thyme for VegFest London!
Saturday, November 11 from 10 am - 6 pm

Get ready for the best-ever VegFest London...we've grown! We have more space, more vendors and more speakers than ever before. And we want to help you maximize your VegFest experience (awesome food definitely included). Read on for our tips and tricks for navigating the big day...

WHAT TO BRING

New this year, and in keeping with the festival's theme of Community + Compassion + Plants, please consider bringing a vegan non-perishable item for donation to the London Food Bank. Examples include canned beans, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta and rice. We'll have a drop-off location at the event. 

We encourage everyone to bring their reusable shopping bags and containers for your food and drink that you purchase.  Also some of our vendors will only be handling cash sales, so if you plan to shop bring some cash. There are two ATMs onsite too. On your way in you can pick up your program so you can be sure you don't miss a beet.

 And VegFest is even more fun with friends. So bring your whole squad and strike a pose at the Purdy Natural Photo Booth.

COME EARLY - SWAG BAGS FOR FIRST 500 ATTENDEES

Sweet coupons and goodies fill these awesome bags and the first 500 attendees at VegFest London will get one. You'll have to arrive early though as these go fast.

WHERE TO FIND US

This year, VegFest London will take place at the Metroland Media Agriplex, Western Fair District at 845 Florence Street in London. There is ample free parking. Need directions? Click here, we've got you covered.

ADMISSION

Admission is $5 - children 12 and under are free. Pay by cash or credit. 

HONOURING REMEMBRANCE DAY

 

At 11:00 am our event will pause in honour of Remembrance Day. 
Wear a Poppy. Donation boxes will be on site in support of the Poppy Fund.

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FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Thanks to our friends at Rebirth we have a whole area dedicated to kids, filled with face painting, colouring and more. The children's area is open all day from 10 am - 6 pm.

ENJOY EXPERT SPEAKERS & FOOD DEMOS

All guest speakers and cooking demonstrations will take place on two stages in the Metroland Media Agriplex. Seating is limited for each of the sessions so arrive early. Click here to learn more about our speakers.

Carrot Stage Schedule
11:15 am - 12:15 pm: Robert Cheeke ~ Plant Based Muscle: Build a Better Body on a Plant Based Diet
12:45 pm - 1:45 pm: Teresa Ford ~ Plant Based Nutrition: Eat to Thrive
2:15 pm- 3:15 pm: James Aspey ~ A Vow of Silence for the Animals
3:45 pm - 4:45 pm: Animal Rights Activism Panel
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Gene Baur ~ Living the Farm Sanctuary Life

Beet Stage Schedule
11:15 am - 12:15 pm: Chef Yoda Olinyk ~ Easy Ways to Eat More Plants (and Get Your Kids to as Well!) Food Demo
12:45 pm - 1:45 pm: Harold Brown ~ The Humane Myth
2:15 pm - 3:15 pm: Sam Turnbull ~ Fuss Free Vegan Cooking
3:45 pm - 4:45 pm: Dr. Linda Plowright ~ Food For Thought: The Importance of Nutrition for Mental Health

Special thanks to Glenn Whitehead and Jenna Goodhand our festival emcees. Learn more about Jenna and Glenn here.

OVER 140 VENDORS

Over 140 vegan food and product vendors, health and wellness vendors and animal sanctuaries and rescue organizations, such as Purdy Natural, Booch Organic Kombucha, Plant Matter Kitchen, Boombox BakeShop, Rescue Dogs vegan hot dog cart and two awesome food trucks Globally Local and Sweet Teeth Vegan, all in ONE PLACE for this ONE DAY! Check out our full vendor list here.

Come hungry and ready to shop. If you feel like you need a break along the way, visit the Booch Lounge or our dining area.   

 

See you on November 11!

We believe in a kinder world & we know that you do too!