Everything I Ate (And Some Things I Didn’t Eat) at The Toronto Vegan Food Festival

Sweets From The Earth Cupcakes
Sweets From The Earth Cupcakes

This weekend was the Toronto Vegan Food and Drink Festival (The name itself is a mouthful, so let’s agree to call it VeganFestTO for the rest of this post).

Here is a comprehensive list of everything I ate (and one thing I didn’t eat) on Saturday.

My boyfriend and I arrived around lunch-time and the lines were already growing long for Doug McNish and the Vegan Big Macs from Doomie’s. We agreed to walk around the whole festival before we chose to buy anything. It’s called strategy — I believe in making informed purchases.

Doug McNish
Doug McNish

VeganFestTO boasted vegan comfort food (although I did see a few salads), craft beer, and wine. We decided ahead of time that we would skip the drinks in favour of sampling more food. Again, strategy.

Sweets From the Earth, a vegan bakery in Toronto that has a nut-free and a gluten-free facility, had posted ahead of time that they were bringing vegan cronut holes – that’s croissant donuts!

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I bought seven (more strategy), they were that good. I knew we would be seeing friends later that night and wanted to share, so I had come prepared with a Tupperware container. The cronuts were melt-in-your-mouth, sweet-but-not-too-sweet goodness.

After much hemming and hawing, we decided to skip the longer lines which had formed for popular stalls like Doomie’s, Doug McNish, and NONA in favour of some lesser known vendors. The food was all amazing so it wasn’t a massive sacrifice.

I did ask someone if I could take a picture of her vegan Big Mac. The line up was an hour long and while I didn’t meet a single person who had regretted lining up, I opted out.

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We made our way to the Field Roast tent, where they were serving their smoked apple sage sausages with gourmet mustard. The blend of flavours was incredible. I was sad to only eat my half, but there was so much more food to be sampled.

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Wood and Water had brought mini cheesecake pops. Vanilla ice cream and cherries encased in chocolate. Delicious, but small, and definitely over too soon.

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Our next find was Dishum Dishum where we tried out their Bombay Spiced Black Chickpea wraps.

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To be honest I was skeptical of the little crispies on top, but was again blown away by the flavour (as I tried to express in thumbs-up form).

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Another pleasant surprise was Vaffles: waffles with vegan ice cream and strawberry topping. Not that waffles aren’t tasty, but I was expecting them to be too sweet. Instead, they were flavourful, quality waffles that any one of my non-vegan friends would happily devour.

Splitting everything with another person was definitely the way to go, because it always left us wanting more.

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Our last pick was the crabless crab cakes from Yam Chops. My boyfriend especially loved these, citing the sauce as his favourite part.

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I had so much fun at this event. The live music, the crowds, the happy dogs, the delicious food, and the great company made for a beautiful day outside. Unfortunately, I’ve heard that towards the end, a lot of stalls sold out, and the remaining line-ups were insane. We showed up about an hour after the event started, and were able to sample tons of food. Next year, make sure you get there early!

Did you go to VeganFestTO this weekend? I’d love to hear what you tried and what you loved!

— Laura

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Baked Butternut Squash Mac n Cheeze

Butternut Squash Mac N Cheeze

Welcome to June ladies n’ gents!

In Toronto the last few weekends have been fabulous. I’m talking sunshine, green grass, puppies, flowers, summer drinks, and good food. I’m so thrilled to be leaving the polar vortex behind!

Right now, my all-time favourite Mac N Cheeze is made by Toronto chef Doug McNish. It’s creamy, it’s unbelievably tasty, and –of course– it’s entirely vegan. If you live in the Toronto area, I highly recommend visiting his Public Kitchen or his Saturday-morning stall at the Brickworks Farmers Market.

Inspired by Doug, my boyfriend and I set out to master a butternut squash mac n cheeze of our own. After scrolling through our options online, we chose this recipe from Oh She Glows (who else)! We opted for the baked version, which is made with homemade bread crumbs.

Butternut Squash Mac N Cheeze

The result was a gorgeous, golden, creamy macaroni, which we were lucky enough to enjoy in the sun with a white wine sangria.

We threw the sangria together pretty quickly (because summer), using sweet white wine, tonic water, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and grapefruit.

White Wine Sangria

What are your favourite summer recipes? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @GreenGuineaPigs. Be sure to check out our Instagram as well for more green summer fun!

Have the best week ever,

–Laura

Butternut Squash Mac N Cheeze