Back in my university days I tried to become a vegetarian, but it was hard.
We had nowhere near the variety of restaurants or grocery items that we do today.
In those days it was fried tofu or a veggie stir-fry from a small chain restaurant; these days we have plenty of restaurants dedicated to vegan and vegetarian cuisine to choose from.
Never did I imagine that I would raise my in kids this lifestyle let alone marry a vegetarian; but here we are.
At first I felt bad because I grew up on meat as the daughter of people who hunted and enjoyed cooking things like deer, pork and who travelled to Nova Scotia for lobster seasonally.
But I also grew up with acne and struggles with weight gain and other problems that mysteriously disappeared after I stopped eating meat.
If I can spare my kids the things that caused me grief in my youth then I will; they will have the freedom to choose their diet when they are older.
We eat dairy and eggs, too.
Here are some all-star dishes in our home:
Paneer or tofu fried in coconut oil then in sauce of choice such as spicy chili or peanut sauce!
Spaghetti and Gardein Meatless Meatballs
Gardein Porkless Sweet and Sour Pork
Gardein Mandarin Orange Chick’n Nuggets
Fettuccine alfredo with garlic bread
Gardein Turk’y Cutlets or Stuffed Turk’y
Sol Cuisine Chick’n Nuggets with BBQ sauce
Sol Cuisine Hot Wings
Yves Sausage with scrambled eggs and toast
Yves luncheon meats as sandwiches
Gardein Crispy Tenders dipped in this President’s Choice chili sauce tastes like take-out when served with rice or fries and my toddler loves the tenders plain.
Most dishes are paired with rice, potatoes or fries and veggies steamed with butter and garlic.
My husband does all the cooking and I help by prepping or doing the dishes after and our daughter eats what we do, except that I cut it up small for her.
We miss walking around Toronto and eating at all the restaurants there.
The condo we rent out rarely has any issues so we don’t often visit anymore, especially since the pandemic started and we became homebodies.
Lord do we miss the food, though.
The restaurants around Kensington Market are endless for vegetarian options and affordable ones at that.
Plus, walking around let us feel less terrible for indulging in dessert like donuts and cream buns.
Time seems to have flown this week and is getting busier as it goes on; I hope you are enjoying yours.
by Kaila A. Notto
Business Name: Hattendo Japanese Chilled Cream Buns
Service Type: Dessert
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Experience: This place is dangerously addictive. The cream buns are out of this world. Soft on the outside, even creamier on the inside, these buns taste like they fell from the heavens above. Never had anything like it here in Canada and certainly the most delectable cream buns I have ever tried in my life. We visit this place each time we visit the city and purchase several buns to try. Custard and Azuki Bean cream buns were so good, our only regret isn’t grabbing more than one of each!