2013 is my first year being vegan... Weird, I know. I almost feel like I've been vegan forever because I've been researching and dipping my toes into it for years. I grew up in a smaller northern Ontario town that had little (read: nothing) to offer the veg community, so it was difficult for me to make the jump from vegetarian to vegan. Immersing yourself into this culture and connecting with people in it is so amazing. I did this mainly online and with social media, since I felt I was so far from it physically. Toronto, by far, is the closest veg-destination and will probably always be my favourite (to be determined...) Their annual vegfest was the next step in strengthening my vegan lifestyle and of course, to be shared with you lovely readers.
My wrist tattoo - April 2013
Toronto has a huge vegetarian/vegan community thanks to the great work from the Toronto Vegetarian Association. They even have a Veggie Pride Parade!!! They also organize the BIGGEST vegetarian food festival in North America! This year was the 29th edition of the Vegetarian Food Festival held at the Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto. Since it was just a few days away from my birthday, I decided to take a little road trip and celebrate my birthday devouring delicious vegan food and enjoying Toronto's crazy nightlife with some girlfriends. How perfect is that!
Of course, I wanted to attend every presentation and visit every booth. When I got there, it was clear I wouldn't be able to do this - it was HUGE! I got there Friday afternoon, toured a few booths and got some amazing food.
Desert first - Vegan Chocolate Lavender Cupcake from Sweets from the Earth
VEGAN Philly Cheeze Steak with Slaw (not pictured - I ate it too fast) from Karma ChaMEALeon
Vegan Mac&Cheese (a childhood favourite!) from Green Zebra
After all this food, I was pretty darn full. It was time to attend a vegan baking demo with Ms. Cupcake. I loved her approach - fun and simple, easy ingredients, get creative by using simple ratios to keep the perfect consistency. She demonstrated recipes for Victoria Sponge Cake and some adorable chocolate Jaffa Cakes. If you needed some inspiration to get into the vegan-baking-mood, Ms. Cupcake delivered.
I even got a picture with her afterwards!
With Ms. Cupcake, who flew in from London, England!
Friday was a big success, now onto Part 2 - Saturday!