Stuffed Acorn Squash (Hot For Food)

This is a long-time favourite in our house, and it’s the perfect thing to make when you want to impress someone, but don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen! In the time that it takes to bake the squash (40 minutes), you make the rice and sauté the rest of the ingredients so it’s all ready at the same time. I used to make this dish with a few sides, but it’s so filling that no one could finish! This is a great meal to make for non-vegans, because they’ll be so full and satisfied that they won’t miss meat at all! I’ve made it for Thanksgivings, Christmases, Cottage Dinners, Family Dinners.. you name it!

You can totally make the cranberry sauce that’s in the recipe… but I just buy a canned cranberry sauce and had the juice of half an orange ;).

The other great thing is that all the ingredients can be found at any grocery store!

The recipe is by Hot For Food, and can be found here: https://www.hotforfoodblog.com/recipes/2013/12/15/stuffed-acorn-squash

Vegan & Gluten Free Carrot Cake (Minimalist Baker)

I made this for my grandparents and they loved it! You would never know that it’s vegan and gluten free - I was pleasantly surprised! It’s simple to make, and all of the gluten free flour ingredients can be found at a bulk food store (like Bulk Barn!).

The recipe is by Minimalist Baker, and can be found here: https://minimalistbaker.com/1-bowl-vegan-gluten-free-carrot-cake/

(Very) Freezer Friendly Breakfast Burritos (Emilie Eats)

These have officially taken over as the reigning burritos in our household. If our freezer ever runs low on these, my husband goes into crisis mode haha.

Unlike other burritos, something about these make them reheat in the microwave BEAUTIFULLY!. I promise you that they don’t get soggy. They’re magic.

They’re very very easy to make, and a triple batch makes about 27 burritos. My husband goes through these like no one’s business, and will often grab two a day to take to work.

The recipe is by Emilie Eats, and can be found here: https://www.emilieeats.com/freezer-vegan-breakfast-burrito/

30 Minute Creamy Vegetable Risotto (Minimalist Baker)

Even though this recipe is only 30 minutes… it terrified me haha. I’d never made risotto before, and I’ve heard that it’s easy to mess it up! Don’t worry though, this recipe is super easy and the instructions are really straightforward. My husband and I loved this! We’ll definitely be making it again.

The recipe is by Minimalist Baker, and you can get it here: https://minimalistbaker.com/creamy-vegetable-risotto-30-minutes/

Lentil & Eggplant (or noodle) Lasagna (Minimalist Baker)

WOW. This recipe is absolutely amazing, and easy enough that my husband can make it by him self ;).

It tastes equally as good with pasta noodles as it does with eggplant! If you make it with eggplant the layers are more gooey and sooo good, but if you do it with pasta it feels more filling and it’s more sturdy. Both options are great!

We make this very often in our house, and will do a double batch (one eggplant version, and one pasta version) so we can freeze it in individual potions to have for lunch and dinners later on. You can reheat it in either the oven or microwave, but actually the microwave works a bit better so the sauce doesn’t dry out.

When you make this you HAVE to make the ‘parm’, it’s so good and only three ingredients! I promise that you’ll want to put it on everything you ever make again.

The recipe is by Minimalist Baker, and you can find it here: https://minimalistbaker.com/lentil-eggplant-lasagna/

The first photo is with eggplant noodles, and the second one is with regular noodles

9 Ingredient Easy Shepherd's Pie (Minimalist Baker)

My husband and I batch cook (and then freeze individual portions) A LOT. This is a crazy easy recipe for Shepherd’s Pie that freezes well and reheats easily in the microwave or oven!

We normally make a triple batch and then have easy meals for weeks!

The recipe is by Minimalist Baker and can be found here: https://minimalistbaker.com/1-hour-vegan-shepherds-pie/

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Burritos (Oh She Glows)

My husband is a burrito FIEND. He was addicted to the frozen Amy’s burrito’s, but those get expensive when you eat 3 a day haha.

He’s made this recipe so many times, and will make a triple batch and then freeze then so he can grab them and bring them to work. If you put them in the oven/toaster oven they reheat great, but they do get slightly soggy if you reheat in the microwave (my husband doesn't mind at all, so he microwaves them). This recipe has Daiya cheese in it (which my husband likes, but I don’t), but you can totally just omit the cheese and it will still taste good. The filling is so good that when my husband makes it normally make myself a bowl to eat before he adds the cheese and starts filling the burritos :)

It you’re not going to freeze them, you can add things like lettuce, avocado, and salsa - they would be great to serve at a big casual family lunch!

The recipe is by Oh She Glows, and can be found here: https://ohsheglows.com/2011/10/24/black-bean-and-butternut-squash-burritos/

Spring Stuffing (Oh She Glows)

This stuffing is the best of both worlds, as it has both bread and a ton of veggies! The asparagus, edamame, and peas in this recipe as a welcome update to a traditional stuffing recipe (but isn’t so different that your family won’t love it!). This recipe is great to serve at Easter when the weather is getting nicer, but I also serve it at Christmas! It works in every season :)

As with all stuffing, remember to cube your bread the night before so that it’s nice and stale(ish) for when you’re ready to make it the next day.

The recipe is by Minimalist Baker and you can find it here: https://ohsheglows.com/2012/04/02/lightened-up-spring-stuffing/

(the Spring Stuffing is the one at the top of the bowl)

30 Minute Stirfry (Minimalist Baker)

This recipe can be made two ways. The first way is to follow the recipe (which is awesome). This was the first time I’d had cauliflower rice before and was actually very impressed. I used to think that it was for people who were scared of carbs, but it’s actually so good and a nice change from rice. The cauliflower makes the sauce shine through more because it doesn’t absorb it like a rice would.

You can totally make this recipe with rice as well (I do!).

The second version of this recipe is to make it with rice… and to use a green giant frozen veggies instead (the mix of corn, peas, carrots, and green beans). This is my go-to dinner for when I’m busy/tired and still want something healthy for dinner. I’m telling you, this sauce it so amazing that it makes even rice and frozen veggies seem fancy :) . It tastes even better when you top it with sesame seeds.

The recipe is by Minimalist Baker, and can be found here: https://minimalistbaker.com/30-minute-cauliflower-rice-stir-fry/



Pulled Mushroom & Artichoke Sandwiches (Hot For Food)

My husband and I have made this recipe at least 10 times. Easily.

It’s insanely easy, and the ingredients are totally “normal” (no “weird vegan ingredients” haha). This is a great meal to make for a casual night at home, or when your making dinner for 10 friends at the cottage (I’ve done both multiple times!). I absolutely promise you that this recipe couldn’t be any easier, and that you’ll LOVE IT! It’s quick, and requires hardly any work!

The recipe is by Hot For Food, and you can find it here: https://www.chatelaine.com/food/how-to/vegan-pulled-pork/

Tots-Giving Casserole (Hot For Food)

“This is how the vegans convert you. They lure you in with tatertots” - my uncle-in-law.

My husband says that this is one of the best dishes that he’s ever had - and he’s not wrong! I mean… vegan sausage, veggies, and gravy topped with tatertots.. how can that not be good.

This recipe is very easy to make (hello, it calls for frozen veggies), and is a fun twist on a holiday dinner, or really dinner any night of the week! The Apple Sage Sausage that she mentions in the recipe is by Field Roast (you can get it at Whole Foods of Noah’s), but it would honestly be just as good if you left it out. I’ve made it with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour, and it worked just as well (just make sure that you either omit the sausage or find a gluten-free one).

The recipe is by Hot For Food and can be found here:

https://www.hotforfoodblog.com/recipes/2018/9/27/totsgiving-casserole

(The first photo is by Hot For Food).

Vegan & Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie (Minimalist Baker)

This pie is grandma approved!!! I made this for Thanksgiving this year, and my husband’s grandma had her Irish cousin in town who had never had pumpkin pie before… I was so nervous for this to be her first pumpkin pie experience, but it was SO GOOD! Grandma even asked if she could take the last slice home :)

I’ve never made any kind of pumpkin pie before so I had no idea what to expect especially considering that this one is vegan AND gluten free! I can’t even begin to tell you how easy this recipe is. The dough is insanely easy to make (only three ingredients), and then you just blend up the rest of the ingredients and pour it in the pie crust!
The only thing to keep in mind, is that the pie has to cool completely before you put it in the fridge, and then it’s best if you put in the fridge overnight. This is really great actually, because you can make the pie the day before, and then focus on your holiday mains the day of! Just make sure that you give yourself enough time for the pie to cool completely before you have to go to bed.

The recipe is by Minimalist Baker and can be found here: https://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-gluten-free-pumpkin-pie/

Easiest Chocolate Chip Cookies (Betty Crocker)

Truly the easiest chocolate chip cookies. And the best part is how MANY little guys that this recipe makes! (easily over 40 cookies).

It’s really just the perfect recipe for a straightforward (not so healthy), great chocolate chip cookie.

The recipe is by Betty Crocker and can be found here: https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies/46353ed1-3071-4603-8c48-767dc73fe188

Rosemary & Blueberry Scones (Minimalist Baker)

These scones are absolutely delicious!!! I’d never made scones before, and they seemed a little scary… but I couldn’t have been more wrong. These scones are incredibly easy to make and taste unbelievable. I’ve never tried it, but I bet that you could replace the rosemary & blueberries for any flavours you could think of! The consistency of these guys are perfect. My friends ask me to make them every time we go to the cottage :)

The recipe is by Minimalist Baker and can be found here: https://minimalistbaker.com/coconut-oil-blueberry-scones-with-rosemary/

Apple Spice Cake with Maple Buttercream Frosting (Hot For Food)

This recipe is by HotForFood, and it’s absolutely amazing. This is a favourite in my family, and my husbands grandma even demanded that we make it for her birthday! You would never know that this cake was vegan, and insanely easy to make (with no ‘weird vegan ingredients’ haha).

If you make it with regular flour (like in the recipe), it’s fluffy and moist and everything you dream a cake could be. I’ve also made it once with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour, and it still totally worked out, it’s just a little firmer and not so fluffy. Definitely still worth making.

ALSO - the frosting is SO GOOD that I put it on every cake that I make.

The first photo is the regular recipe. The second photo was using the gluten free flour.

Here’s the recipe!

https://www.hotforfoodblog.com/recipes/2015/11/19/vegan-apple-spice-cake-with-maple-buttercream

Sushi Koja

120 Atlantic Avenue

Neighbourhood: Liberty Village

Phone Number: 647.343.7655

I recently went here with friends because they said it was their favourite place… and when I posted a picture of the sushi on Instagram, I received so many messages from people telling me that it’s their favourite too! All the sushi is uniquely made with purple rice (they use a combo if rice types, including black rice which makes it turn purple. It has a crazy amount of health benefits!). Our server was awesome and offered to steam the sweet potato rather than frying them so they weren’t contaminated by eggs. Overall, we loved it! They have a patio in the summer.

Copenhagen Vegan Cafe & Bakery

1312 Queen Street West

Neighbourhood: Parkdale

Website: https://www.copenhagen-cafe.com

Run by the makers of Vegandale, Copenhagen Cafe is filled with delicious vegan treats (think danishes, cheesecake, etc.) and warm drinks. They have some sandwiches too, but they’re mainly known for their desserts. It’s a pretty cute restaurant, and would be an awesome spot to share treats with a your friends of a casual daytime date!

Pizza Libretto

155 University Ave (and 4 other locations!)

Neighbourhood: Downtown (and other areas in Toronto)

Phone Number: 416.551.0433

Website: https://www.pizzerialibretto.com

How cool is it when non-vegan restaurants have house made vegan cheese?! And it’s actually GOOD! It’s soy based, and it’s easily one of the best I’ve had (it’s not chemically tasting like most store-bought cheeses). Everything is clearly labeled vegan on the menu, which is really helpful. This pizza was so delicious (I got the mushroom kind) and I’d definitely recommend going here with vegan and non vegan friends! I’ve never had their gluten-free dough, but I’m told it’s unreal. Highly recommend!

Selam (Ethiopian)

812 Bloor Street West

Neighbourhood: Christie Pits

Phone Number: 647.344.7225

Website: http://www.selamrestaurants.com

Toronto’s first 100% vegan Ethiopian restaurant! Located on the lower level of it’s sister-restaurant (a traditional-ethipian restaurant), this restaurant serves authentic food that happens to also be vegan and gluten free. I was there for media night, so we got to try everything on the menu - I can confidently say that every single dish is delicious!