Sunday, April 26, 2009

As you may have noticed, I haven't been writing and posting very regularly these last few weeks. I have been reeling in the wake of life events, from both ends of the spectrum.

As we welcome a new life into the world, my family ushers another out. This week we will be saying goodbye to our gentle-souled Joseph--father, grandfather, great-grandfather.

I will be back next week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ever wonder if your diet is balanced since going vegan? Remember those awful food pyramids produced by the USDA?

Well, thanks to, we now have a Vegan Food Pyramid:

Eco-Brand Zoe & Zac Hits Stores

Payless has finally released their first eco-collection of accessories--Zoe & Zac. The brainchild behind the line is the original "Eco-Model" Summer Rayne Oakes. Oakes, a model and environmental advocate, is also the author of Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion & Beauty. Oakes, while still studying entomology and environmental sciences, decided to use her burgeoning modelling career to bring attention to issues of sustainability through fashion and mainstream media.

The launch of Zoe & Zac is a perfect example of her life's mission. Made entirely from man-made or natural materials, the line is not only eco but vegan as well. A variety of footwear, jewelery, and handbags are made from organic cotton, canvas, and rubber from recycled materials. And, if this wasn't exciting enough, the entire range is under $30.
Snap Dragon ballet slipper, organic cotton upper & inner lining with recycled rubber sole, $24.99Persimmon Large Tote, organic cotton & waterbased ink, $24.99

Payless has committed to donating $1 for every Zac & Zoe item and for every reusable shopping bag sold to The Nature Conservancy, towards their tree planting efforts.
Payless reusable shopping bag, $1.99

Online shopping available on the US site only.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Soy Dessert Contains Undisclosed Milk Ingredient

A week ago, on April 9th, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency released an advisory that So Good Non-Dairy dessert products contain an "undisclosed milk protein". The advisory names the vanilla flavor specifically, however, personally, I am now skeptical of all flavors across the board.

The company's website claims that the soy dessert is both free of lactose, dairy, and animal fats. Perhaps they are hiding behind this language, but I think this is pretty evil.

Admittedly, I was slowly working my way through a pint of the rich chocolate frozen dessert last week.

Now, have been left with a sour taste in my mouth.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Vegan Easter Options

In my house, we have always fallen back on our oh-so traditional veggie lasagna for all our holiday meals--be it Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving. Since turning vegan, though, I have been curious about what my vegan options are for this traditionally meaty-holiday.

Luckily, Girlie Girl Army has rounded up some great vegan options for Easter from across the web, including this scrumptious Easter Pie recipe as a brunch option:
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup dairy-free margarine
    1/4 tsp. sugar
    1 1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 cup water
    1 lb. vegetarian sausage, crumbled
    2 lbs. firm tofu, crumbled
    1/4 cup soy Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
    1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
    1/4 tsp. cayenne
    1/4 tsp. paprika
    1/4 tsp. ground fennel seeds
• Preheat the oven to 350°F.
• In a food processor, combine the flour, margarine, sugar, and 1/4 tsp. of salt. With the machine still running, add the water to form a dough ball.
• Divide the dough into two balls and set aside.
• In a large bowl, combine the vegetarian sausage, tofu, soy Parmesan, parsley, remaining salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and fennel seeds.
• Roll out the dough into two 11-inch circles. Place one circle in a 10-inch pie plate and spread the filling mixture over it. Cover with the other dough, pinch the edges, and prick the center with a fork.
• Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown.


Happy Holidays Everyone!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vegan Fashion Grabbing Attention

Most likely due to Earth Day coming up, vegan fashion has been garnering attention from mainstream fashion media. The latest example? In an online exclusive, W Magazine posted their "best vegan-friendly accessories" , which included Vivienne Westwood's capsule collection for Melissa Plastic Dreams, my favorite olsenHaus, and local vegan brand MATT & NAT. The list even included vegan-friendly options from designer staples like Marc by Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney--although, clearly not having done their research, they featured a cashmere tunic from the vegetarian designer. A gaffe that readers didn't let slip.

olsenHaus sandalMATT & NAT bag

Marc by Marc Jacobs sequined bag

With luxury magazines like W and Vogue taking notice of the merits of vegan brands, I can't help but wonder, is vegan the new luxury goldmine?

In other vegan-related fashion news, The Humane Society announced late last week that the Benetton Group is the latest brand to commit to a fur-free policy, joining Calvin Klein,, BCBG, and others.

Visit the HSUS website to see a complete list of fur-free companies and take the fur-free pledge yourself.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lola Rosa: A Vegan Treasure in the Ghetto (McGill Ghetto, that is)

The weather on the East Coast has been variable to say the least: warm Springtime one day, only to be plunged into near Winter temperatures the next. And I, at the mercy of Mother Nature's wild mood swings, was rewarded with a cold. Fingers crossed that it's the last one of the season. As I have been hiding under the covers for the last few days, I missed my usual Friday Food post.

Better late than never.

Last week, during one of said Spring days, my sister, nephew, and I made our way to Lola Rosa on Milton in the McGill Ghetto. In a former life, before Lola Rosa existed, my sister and I, ironically neither of whom a McGill student at the time, were roomies in the Ghetto. As longtime vegetarians always looking for new places to eat, had the restaurant been around in our days, we would have surely spent many an evening here.

The menu is vegetarian with many vegan options--often by simply omitting the cheese, and ranges from a standard veggie burger to a mystery dish aptly named Pleasure Pie. Flavors are a mix of Mexican and East Asian Curries.

My sister opted for the burrito. Served with a salad, and slathered with their homemade salsa, she reported that it was delicious, although I did not have a taste due to the cheese. For us vegans, however, the burrito can be served without the cheese.

Intrigued and unable to resist the lure of its name, I originally ordered the Pleasure Pie, but ended up with the hemp burger due to a light kitchen glitch. No disappointment here. Served on a classic Montreal bagel, the burger was perfectly spicy all on its own. The homemade salsa served on the side and hot peppers give it an added kick, if you so choose.

We were then spoiled and offered a dessert on the house, to make up for the Pleasure Pie mix up--although, I have to admit, that it worked in my favor. The dessert menu is a nice mix of cakes and pies, from chocolate to key lime, that includes a vegan chocolate option. No thought required on this one. Served with a raspberry couli, the vegan chocolate cake was so moist and light that it was hard to believe that it was both vegan (my sister's comment) and chocolate cake (my own). Vegan or not, I highly recommend that you make your way over to Lola Rosa simply for the cake.

A quick peak into our table's drawers gave up a cute surprise:

With a healthy coffee and tea selection as well, Lola Rosa is the perfect destination for a brunch (weekends only, with vegan options), lunch, dinner, or an afternoon (after-class) snack. Word to the wise: the portions are enormous, so come with either your appetite securely in your backpocket or ready to share. Also, the restaurant isn't very large, so either arrive early (as we did) or be prepared for a bit of a wait. We sat down for lunch around noon, and within 30 minutes all of the tables were occupied.

Cozy, surpringly good for children, and very affordable, there's no question why Lola Rosa has become popular.

I do have one teensy complaint: no vegan cheese option.

Lola Rosa: 545 rue Milton, @ Aylmer, 514 287 9337

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pamela Anderson: Fashion Designer

Natalie Portman, Leona Lewis, and now Pamela Anderson. As reported by ecorazzi this week, Pam is teaming up with NYC clubkid-come-designer Richie Rich to produce an eco-friendly, vegan fashion line.

Like many of her counterparts, Pam has been a vegetarian and outspoken animal-rights activist for years.

The line, to be named Muse, will include everything from vegan footwear, to casual separates and swimwear.

When asked about designing, Pam was quoted as saying: “I really don’t like to wear clothes. I would rather go naked. But I love Richie’s designs, so I agreed to be part of Muse.” The two have been friends for years, and Pam is a regular feature at Heatherette shows.

Muse is set to debut this summer, although where has yet to be released. Think what you may of Pam Anderson, a new vegan line out on the market is pretty exciting in my books.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's past Noon, prank-time is over, time to get serious. As today is the first day of April, the month of Earth Day, I thought it appropriate to change focus a little. Green and vegan are often lumped together, for a number of reasons, so I thought it would be fun to look at all things green (and vegan) for the month of April.

What better way to start than to educate ourselves a little?

Earthlings takes a hard look at the true nature of our relationship with animals and nature: economics. Earthlings is incredibly moving and forceful, holding nothing back. Brace yourself.

In my past life, I had the great pleasure of meeting and working with Director Shaun Monson--a kind and passionate person who lives what he preaches. I've heard rumblings that he has already begun work on his next project, which I am eagerly anticipating.

Fuel,the Sundance Award winning documentary from Josh Tickell, explores America's destructive relationship with oil.

The film is currently traveling across the US. Consult the website for local listings.

Fact or Fiction?

You be the judge...