Recipes from my favourite cookbooks & blogs.

Love and Lemons afro vegan Smitten Kitchen

I know that most of my posts are about eating out in the city, which, as you know, is one of my favourite things to do. However, as mentioned in some of my previous posts, I’m on a budget so I try to keep eating out to a max of 1-2 times per week. Since the beginning of the year, I have made an effort to bring my lunch to work almost every day. Sometimes, I put my adult pants on and cook up a storm over the weekend. Other times, I drive over to my WONDERFUL parents’ house to “help” my Mum cook. I know I am biased, but I think my Mum is an incredible cook and I am not just saying that because she reads all of my blog posts. If you like healthy home cooked Indian food, you’ll like her recipes – which will be a feature coming soon to!

When I’m cooking by myself, I turn to my favourite blogs and cookbooks to find tasty and diverse vegetarian recipes. As a first-generation East Indian Canadian raised in Scarborough, I enjoy including Indian, Caribbean and Middle Eastern flavours in my everyday meals. Here’s a list of great cookbooks and blogs that have guided me on my cooking adventures:

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Brunch at La Cubana.

Vegetarian Options at La Cubana

When it comes to eating out in the 6ix, brunch is one of the most coveted meals. On almost every weekend from 10AM-3PM you will find restaurant tables all over the city packed, with queues that sometimes take an hour to get through. Brunch in Toronto can be a pretty ridiculous experience when you consider how much time you are spending waiting and how much money you are paying just to get some eggs, toast, and hash browns. You can just save time and money by making that stuff at home! In most cases this is true… BUT sometimes you find a gem of a spot that cooks up a meal so special that you forget all your woes and fall in love with brunch all over again.

Enter La Cubana, a sea-green tiled diner on Roncesvalles (with a location on Ossington too) that specializes in Cuban food…

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Sage Cafe.

Sage Cafe is a delightful little restaurant found in Toronto’s Baldwin Village (just south of Baldwin on McCaul) that is a favourite lunch spot amongst many of my co-workers. The cafe prepares fresh eclectic food daily and the majority of the meals are vegetarian friendly.

Sage is a great spot if you’re craving a savoury home cooked style meal. It was a particularly cold and windy afternoon here in Toronto and there was nothing that I wanted more than a hearty lunch that would warm me right up. My friend and I went on a lunch date to Sage and managed to cop a couple of seats at a table in the back room of the cafe. Sage always features an assortment of fresh vegetarian food including: Salads, Quiches, Pasta, Pizza, Soups and Vegetarian or Vegan Wraps. AND, if you’re headed to Sage with an omnivore friend (like me), the cafe has plenty of chicken and fish options as well.

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Zara’s Gourmet Kitchen.

Gluten Free Chickpea Vegetarian Roti Roll  Gluten Free Vegetable Pakoras

Dear Daylight Savings,

You’ve cheated me. I just got used to waking up to wonderful sunshine these past few weeks, but with one stolen hour last weekend, you screwed it all up.  The sun no longer greets me as I awake, I can’t keep my eyes open past 11PM, I wake up in the middle of my sleep thinking, is it 7AM or 3AM? You’ve made me so tired that I have failed to make my lunches for the week. There’s no other way to put it – YOU SUCK.

Yours in drowsiness,


OK so all drama aside… has Daylight Savings messed with my sleep? Yes, probably a little. But can I blame a measly hour time change on my sluggishness and failure to make lunch all week? Nope! That’s just pure laziness.

Lucky for me, my lunch woes were solved when Zara’s Gourmet Kitchen came to my rescue…

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Outrage and delight: a vegetarian’s first trip to Whole Foods.

Vegetarian options at Whole Foods Market

Truth: I am a vegetarian that has not set foot into a Whole Foods Market, so I warn you, this post will not be revolutionary for veteran Whole Fooders. I have always thought of Whole Foods as an expensive place for super rich kids (see: Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt), women who wear head-to-toe outfits of brand name athletic wear and the evangelical crunchy granola bunch. I do not fit into any of these categories and I also enjoy wisely spending my hard earned dolla dolla bills, y’all – so I have always skipped out on going to Whole Foods and instead frequent my local No Frills or FreshCo.

In the spirit of my blog, “hunting” for all that Toronto has to offer in the realm of vegetarian food, and in an effort to be more open and less judgemental…yesterday evening I decided, “you know what? eff it, I’m walking my butt up to Whole Foods to check this place out.”

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