Eating vegan made easy: recipes, apps and Oakville restaurants

A vegan version of Fettuccine Alfredo made with cauliflower and almond milk.
Eating vegan made easy: recipes, apps and Oakville restaurants

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Jasmine Anthony

Jasmine Anthony

Jasmine Anthony has spent her life exploring the Mississauga & Oakville areas. Right now, she is a journalism student at Sheridan College's Trafalgar Campus.

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It’s a common misconception that choosing to be vegan means cutting your choice of restaurants in half and skipping desert. On the contrary, eating vegan provides you with the opportunity to expand your diet to include vegetables and nutritious food that may otherwise have been overlooked.

Lightly toasted sprouted corn tortilla. Top: almond butter, strawberries, sprinkled with cinnamon. Bottom: Avocado and sea salt

Lightly toasted sprouted corn tortilla. Top: almond butter, strawberries, sprinkled with cinnamon. Bottom: Avocado and sea salt

Eating Out

As a vegan, going to a restaurant with the family may prove challenging. With menus full of steak and chicken parmesan, meatless meals can seem hard to come by. In many cases, a quick call preceding a dinner date will smooth over any issues. This gives the chef the opportunity to put together a vegan meal pending your arrival.

Looking, even briefly, at the menu online before going to the restaurant can be beneficial. In many cases, ordering a variety of side dishes- sweet potato, mixed greens, steamed veggies- can create a meatless meal to your liking.

But if you want to take a simpler approach, there are plenty of fantastic vegan-friendly restaurants scattered across Oakville and the surrounding areas.

CJ’s Café in Bronte boasts a handful of vegan options for customers, and much of their food is organic. A favourite of cafe-goers: The Tuscan Vegan Sandwich (vegan ‘cream cheese’, roasted red pepper, marinated artichoke, organic greens and CJ’s dressing.)  Furthermore, CJ’s offers the option of substituting real cheese with vegan cheese, which can make many of their vegetarian menu items vegan-friendly.

Lettuce Love Café in Burlington is both vegan and gluten-free. The cafe has foods such as the B.L.A.T. (Bacon Lettuce Avocado Tomato) a vegan version of the popular B.L.T. sandwich, and smoothies filled with antioxidants and heart-healthy ingredients.

If you’re looking for take-out, Whole Foods Market has a hot counter and buffet section where you can put together a meal of your own, priced by weight.

A final piece of advice: always let your waiter or waitress know your dietary restrictions.

For more restaurants around you, visit Happy Cow.

Making your own meals

You may choose to make a meal yourself, but if you have company over, it can be difficult to accommodate the tastes of everyone. Here are a few animal-free alternatives to popular meals and desserts.

Click on an item below to open up the website with the recipe.

Dairy free cupcakes.

Dairy free cupcakes.

 

Sandwich: “The Best Vegan BLT (with Eggplant Bacon)”

Pasta: “Pasta With Roasted Cauliflower and Cashew Sauce”

Mac and Cheese: “Creamy Vegan Mac and ‘Cheese'”

Pizza: “My Favorite Vegan Pizza”

Brownies: “Wonderful Vegan Brownies”

Pudding: Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding

 

There are also a list of plant-based products that can be used instead of items like eggs, milk, and butter.

Here are a few:

Milk: Rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk

Eggs: Tofu, applesauce, mashed bananas

Butter: Soy butter, coconut margarine

Of course, each recipe differs and some substitutes may not work for particular recipes, so it’s advisable to do your research before using any of these items in your recipe.

Apps

If you own a smartphone, there are also numerous apps that can be helpful. A few are listed below:

Happy Cow: A worldwide vegetarian/vegan restaurant guide.

Go Vegan with Sarah Kramer (iphone/ipad only): Animal-free recipe’s and video’s by author Sarah Kramer.

Forks over Knives: Plant-based and whole food recipes, updated weekly.

Dr McDougall Mobile Cookbook: Healthy recipe’s, health tips and a new “shopping list” feature are just a few things found on this app.

 

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