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Toronto Vegetarian Challenge – A week without meat

February 17, 2017
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While you may already participate in Meatless Mondays, could you go without meat or poultry for a whole week?

The Toronto Vegetarian Association has created a 7-Day Veggie Challenge, taking place now.

Whether you’re prepping meals at home or dining out, there are limitless options for sumptuous meals, and they don't all have to be raw salads or steamed veg, or cost a fortune either.

New plant-based restaurants such as Planta, Awai, and Nutbar make it easy to accommodate vegetarian and vegan dietary needs and preferences. 

And don’t think you have to forgo junk food - Toronto outpost of L.A.'s Doomie's is a vegan joint serving up fast food. Their most popular item? A meatless Big Mac: the Mac Daddy ($16) with two soy patties, toasted bun, lettuce, pickles, onions, secret Mac sauce, and fries (note: while similar to the golden arches beef burger in flavour, it packs almost double the calories).

No meat for seven days is easier than you might think, thanks to our great chefs and restaurants in the city.

Here are my recommendations for exciting, enticing, affordable vegetarian fare to get you started:

- Homemade Dumplings ($3.50) at Budapest Restaurant

- Palak Paneer ($10) Sautéed puree of fresh spinach with cottage cheese, garlic, onion and spices at Daiko Indian Kitchen & Nepali Street Food

- Any and all five salads ($12.50 full/ $9 half) at Flock (available at all locations: Bloor, Harboard, Adelaide and Richmond). Best in the city!

- Anchovy Potato Salad ($8), served with seaweed salt taro chips at Imanishi Japanese Kitchen 

- Spicy Charred Brussels Sprouts ($13) with chili jam, oyster sauce, lime and crispy anchovy at Lake Inez

- Crispy Tofu ($7 for 5 cubes) Marinated and fried five-spice tofu garnished with peanut, green onion, and chili at Lasa 

- Fried Pickles ($3.99 for 4 spears) coated in crunchy panko seasoned batter and served with sweet chipotle aioli at Leslieville Pumps

- Jido’s Delight ($8) Fried cauliflower seasoned with lemon juice and salt, served with tahini sauce at Little Sito

- Roasted Garlic & Grilled Sourdough ($6) with chili clementine oil, honey, and olives at Pray Tell

- And because dessert is as essential as any vegetable: Salted Caramel Brownie ($1.86) from Contra Café, Daily Donuts ($4.50) at White Lily Diner, and Green Tea Opera Cake ($14) at Miku.

(Note: Dishes, ingredients, and prices subject to change).

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Sign up for the 7-Day Veggie Challenge now.

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