Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’


Passover is soon approaching (April 10th to 18th to be exact) and I have no doubt that many of my facebook friends will be busy this Sunday cleaning and cooking (in that order).

It’s certainly not an easy holiday as it involves a lot of food and entertaining and a list of restrictions.  However I’m going to share a tip with you to make it easier. It’s called PINTEREST.

I actually created a Passover Board on Pinterest (see bottom left) to help me organize the recipes that I’m going to attempt to make for the Seder.  Why didn’t I think of this idea before?

passover - pinterst

Here’s the menu for my Vegetarian Seder that I will be serving on the first night!  (thanks to my Pinterest Passover Board).

Arugula Orange Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing

Salmon with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Matzo Stuffed Herbed Tomatoes

Garlic Herb Cauli-Rice

Spinach Potato Nests

Dessert: Fruit (not making anything that involves a gazillion eggs or matzo meal)

As for my table – I’m naturally going to use my grandmothers china that I pull out every Passover. But I’m also going to attempt to make a few of these great “table decor ideas” that I found on Pinterest – not with purple but with burgundy to match the china (of course. LOL). I actually made the idea on the bottom right last year and it was a huge hit.

passover - table

 Not sure if the matza vase is going to turn out but we will soon find out. Hoping its’ not going to be a #PinterestFail.

Here’s one more tip to make your Passover Seder easier! I saw this idea on Pinterest a few months ago, and IT WORKS.  Trust me.

passover eggs

Wishing all my friends who celebrate Passover, a very meaningful holiday.

Happy Cooking (and Cleaning).


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Please Welcome YamChops.

What is YamChops? Well..they are positioning themselves as a vegetarian butcher!! Kind of a cool concept if you ask me. They believe that this is exactly the type of store that the vegetarian/ vegan /and flexitarian community is looking for. A store that offers great service, convenience, flavourful food and value.

All I know is I’m sold on their concept, marketing and what I saw when I visited!

Here’s what the store looks like (minus the paper – as they are now open for business)


Inside the store,…you will find prepared foods, cold pressed juices, refrigerated items, and plenty of shelf stable items that one does not usually see in a retail store. Plus there’s a small area where you can eat your lunch.


I had the opportunity to sample  Coconut Ba-Con and all I can say is “WOW”. I had no idea that coconut could ever taste THIS GOOD. There is no question that I will back to sample their Carrot Lox, No Pork Pulled Pork and to try their cold press juices as well. There is one juice in particular that has caught my’s called “Divine Blush – Carrot, Beet, Turmeric, Ginger, Nutmeg”.  Not sure I’ve ever had a juice with tumeric in it but I’m eager to try it.

I'm going to be sprinkling this on EVERYTHING. LOL

Wishing Michael and his team..only the very best with their new adventure. I have no doubt that YamChops is going to be a welcome addition to the food scene in Toronto.

For more information:

YamChops 705 College St (3 blocks East of Ossington), Toronto  Tel: 416-645-0117

Hours: 11 am to 7 pm daily

Twitter; @YamChopsTO


Instagram; YamChopsTO


Disclosure: YamChops is a client however all opinions are my own.

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For months, I drove by a window sign that said “Fresh..Coming in the Summer”. I waited and waited and waited. Finally the day arrived ( was Fall but that’s OK) and it was open. I was excited to visit as I knew that this location was going to be a hit, for this popular  vegetarian/vegan restaurant. (which now boasts 4 locations).

Heading north of Bloor was a smart strategic move. This is easy for me to say – seeing as I live about a kilometre away!

I love that this particular location is paying attention to the fact that single diners might want the option to sit at a BAR  to eat, and not by themselves at a table. I think I counted THREE bars (by the window…when you first walk in ..and at the back). #ANOTHER #SMART MOVE.

fresh - single

What did we order?

Well I can’t seem to visit Fresh without having these epic quinoa battered onion rings . They come as an appetizer but I wish they came as a main dish!!

fresh - quinoa

We also ordered:  the big salad, the soup of the day with grilled cornbread and hummus, and the picnic burger. Everything was FRESH FRESH FRESH and completely inhaled. Our waiter was also super attentive and helpful too.
fresh - 3 photos

For more information:

Fresh on Eglinton…90 Eglinton Ave East, Toronto 416.599.4442 PS take out is available too.

Twitter: @freshoneglinton


Instagram: freshrestaurants

Foursquare: Got a message today that if you check in before Dec 31 on Foursquare ,you could become the mayor and win!!

This company really gets social media and gets serving FRESH food. Hope you will get a chance to also visit this location soon.

Disclosure: I was given a gift certificate to visit this location however all opinions in this blog post are my own.

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I’m not in love with tofu but I know it’s a good source of protein for me. Plus I know that it will absorb any flavors I have hanging around my kitchen!! So I came up this recipe that I must say – is pretty good. Just for this occasion…I actually measured out the ingredients. You can thank me later.

This can be used as a side dish or as a main course with some rice. I even snack on it. It’s an unusual snack but don’t forget I’m on a carb free diet (still).

One more idea: you could add this sauce to a bowl of pasta. Last nite, I added it to these tofu noodles I have been buying. Needless to say – it’s a versatile sauce.


This is what you need:

Just a few ingredients that might already be hanging around your kitchen


1/2 package of EXTRA FIRM tofu, cut up into small chunks


1 tablespoon grated garlic

1 tablespoon grated ginger (organic makes a difference. Really)

1/4 cup natural peanut butter (again it makes a difference)

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon tamari sauce

1 tsp honey

2 tablespoons of water (or more..depends how thick you like your sauce)

salt and pepper, to taste


1. Prepare the sauce by adding all the ingredients together in a small bowl – stir, stir, stir

The addition of ginger is the secret to this sauce

2. Lightly sautee the ginger and the garlic in a frying pan

3. Add the chunks of tofu

4. Add the sauce – stir stir stir


One pretty healthy (yet tasty) dish!!

Do you have a favorite tofu dish? Please don’t hesitate to share it with me!! (hint)



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I was invited to a media dinner at Noka a few weeks ago. We tasted a selection of amazing specialty rolls and I was impressed enough to return in order to eat “Chirashi”. I have been eating Chirashi at Ichiban (in North York) for well over a decade and was curious to check out the Chirashi at Noka. I went on of of those nights when I had nothing in the fridge (sound familiar)?

Our meal started off with a decent bowl of salad and miso soup. I appreciated the addition of some mushrooms in the miso soup and the salad was crisp with just enough dressing.

A great start to our meal.

Then the “main” attraction appeared at our table. If I were handing out Presentation Points…I would be giving this dish a 10/10. The chirashi  arrived with a bed of perfectly seasoned rice and 12 pieces of sashimi. I had called in advance to see if they would accommodate our needs: (no shrimp, eel etc) and the chef gave us exactly what we wanted: 8 pieces of salmon and 4 pieces of salmon. Bonus points to Noka for amazing customer service.


Speaking of “special requests” – if you are a vegetarian then you are going to love their selection of rolls. Check this out:

Impressive selection of Vegetarian Options

Seeing as I am on a carb free diet, I just nibbled on the chirachi (ie the fish) and ordered their Spicy Salmon Salad:

Spicy but Nice.

I really enjoyed it but then again I like spice and can understand why it’s a popular item on the menu.

Sadly I didn’t take a picture of the space but Noka is really inviting, clean and comfortable.  Seeing as there are so many sushi restaurants on Bloor St. – these small things make a difference. Not to mention that they have gluten free options available as well as gluten free sauces and salad dressings. Plus they are nut free and vegetarian friendly.

One more thing: they totally “get” social media. Super impressed to see them on twitter (@nokatoronto) and on facebook. On my way out I even noticed a contest that they are running on their facebook page.

Noka 513 Bloor West, Toronto 647 351 1188

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Back in 1994, I ate at P.F. Chang’s in Las Vegas. See, I was a foodie even in 1994! I remember how impressed I was with their vegetarian options and can still remember ordering their famous Lettuce Wraps. (which are still on the menu). Now I don’t have to eat at P.F. Chang’s in the States anymore , as they have finally arrived in Canada! Just last week, they opened at Shops At Don Mills. I’m pleased to say…that they still have vegetarian options and now offer gluten free options as well.

Here were a few highlights of the evening.

Would go back for this dish – in a heart beat

Described on the menu as: Sushi grade ahi tuna served with a spicy mustard vinaigrette on a bed of fresh mixed greens.

Described by my belly and taste buds: I want more.

Not your average green beans

Described on the menu: Fresh green beans lightly battered and served with a tangy dip.

Described by my belly and taste buds: Goodness.

Dessert was epic. I’m not kidding. My eyes were popping out of my face.

Described on the menu: 6 rich layers of frosted chocolate cake topped with semi-sweet chocolate chips, served with fresh berries and raspberry sauce. Appropriately called: The Great Wall of Chocolate!!

Described by my belly and taste buds: There are no words.

Banana Spring Rolls

Described on the menu: 6 warm, crispy bits of banana served with coconut pineapple ice cream and drizzled with caramel and vanilla sauce.

Described by my belly and taste buds: Please take me back to P.F. Chang’s.

As you know, I’m on a carb free diet so I tried hard to just nibble my way thru the media dinner. I can’t wait to go back when I’m not on this diet and can really indulge.

I’m not’s great to see this fabulous restaurant in Toronto. What a welcome addition to the already amazing selection of restaurants at Shops at Don Mills.

P.F. Chang’s can be found at Shops at Don Mills, 1090 Don Mills Road, 416 510 8838

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Fact: It’s winter and all I want to do is eat comfort food. I have a freezer full of soups and I wanted to diversify and make something different. Of course, twitter inspired me when I saw a tweet from @cookincanuck about a crockpot stew! Bonus Points: it’s VEGETARIAN.

I made one stew and I was immediately in crockpot heaven – so I went back and made another crockpot stew from her Cookin’ Canuck website.

Believe it or not, I used dried chickpeas for both recipes which I have never done before. Generally I use canned chickpeas. But I wanted to reduce the sodium and find out if there was a difference. Indeed there WAS a difference…both in flavor and texture.

I should mention that I didnt exactly follow the recipe seeing as the original recipe called for canned chickpeas. I cooked the chickpeas first in the crockpot and then added the onion mixture. I leave it up to you if you want to use canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas.

Both stews were super easy to make and chock full of protein, fibre and other goodness. Not to mention a very very affordable dish.

Crockpot Gingered Chickpea with Spice Tomato Stew; (from the kitchen of Cookin’ Cancuk).


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 onions finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (I used organic and again I really think it makes a difference)

2 tsp ground corriander

1 tsp corriander seeds

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 cups canned or fresh chopped tomotoes (I used canned)

2 cans of chickpeas (rinsed and drained) or 2 cups of dried chickpeas (previously cooked)

2 cups fresh spinach leaves.


1. heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring until the onions begin to brown.

2. add garlic, ginger, ground coriander, coriander seeds, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute.

3. add balsamic vinegar and tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil.

4. spread the chickpeas in the bottom of the crockpot. Pour the tomato mixture over the chickpeas and mix well.

5. cover the crockpot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours

6. Just before serving, stir in spinach.


RECIPE #2: Crockpot Chickpea Stew with Balsamic Onions (from the kitchen of Cookin’ Canuck)


2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups chopped canned tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped kalmata olives.

2 cans chickpeas (I used 2 cups dried chickpeas)

1/3 cups crumbled feta cheese

1/4 fresh parsley, chopped


1. heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. Stir in brown sugar. Cover and cook unitll the onions are golden brown (about 10 minutes)

2. add 1/4 cup water and oregano, cover the pan again and cook unitll the onions are deep golden brown (about 15 minutes).

3. stir in balsamic vinegar, salt and an additional 1/4 cup water. Cover the pan and cook until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.

4. Stir in tomatoes and kalamata olives

5. Pour the chickpeas into the bottom of a crockpot. Pour the onion mixture over the chickpeas. Cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or 3-4 hours on high heat

6. Garnish before serving, with crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh parsley.

Who else loves their crockpot?

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A while ago I was introduced to PUR Gum and immediately I fell in love with the pomegranate mint flavor.

Not quite sure if there’s another pomegranate mint flavored gum on the market – but I think it’s a brilliant flavor. Not that I don’t like spearmint or peppermint (which PUR also carries) but sometimes change is good. I’m tired of fruity flavored gums and Pomegranate PUR gum has just the right amount of tart.

After I was intoduced to PUR gum, I started to see it everywhere!!  Due to the fact that I’m a sales rep and know a few store owners,  I asked a retailer why their customers preferred PUR over their competitor and they replied “our customers like the fact that it’s made in Switzerland”. I actually heard the same statement from two different retailers. Interesting, don’t you think?

As a consumer, I loved the clean packaging and the different flavors (you know me, it’s all about flavors). It also appeals to me because it’s aspartame and GMO free, vegetarian friendly, with no artificial colors or flavors. Pretty impressive.

I’m so Pomegranate crazy these days – that I’m going to give away ANOTHER pomegranate tool.

Here are the contest rules:

a) like MOM WHO RUNS on facebook. simple eh?)

b) the contest will run for two weeks and will close on Sunday May 8, 2011 at midnite. The winner will be selected using and the winner will have one week to contact me otherwise I’m going to select another winner.

c) only residents in Ontario can enter (sorry about that).

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