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Meat-free Monday

Welcome, *|TITLE:FNAME|* to the first full day of your Veggie Challenge.

Note: The email for Tuesday will be sent to you early (12 hours from now). For the rest of the week we will send emails the night before at 8pm (Eastern Standard Time) so everyone gets them in time.

You will find a print version of all the recipes on our website and more meal ideas on our breakfast, lunch, salad and dinner pages. We hope you have a delicious week!

*|IF: CITYE=Toronto |*

Toronto Edition

Featured restaurants

Big Carrot Vegetarian Deli

All-vegetarian organic cafe inside the excellent Big Carrot Natural Food Market. Yelp comments: “… ready-made meals that are really delicious and healthy and a good way to try “exotic” health foods … like Quinoa.” “the variety of dishes is soooo vast and intriguing. … you pay by weight – 3 different dishes on one plate cost me under $8.” “All the items from the cafe have the ingredients listed plus a different tag for ‘Made without Gluten’.” 348 Danforth Ave – 10% off weighted items with a Toronto Veg Card.

LIVE – Organic Food Bar

Try some of Toronto’s best raw food offerings. Yelp comments: “My fav was definitely the “Spaghetti and Neatballs.” “Very cute place … friendly quick service. Some things were great (quinoa bowl, pizza and tacos).” “Everything is clearly marked (nut free, gluten free, cooked, raw, etc.” 264 Dupont St – 15% off Mon-Wed. with a Toronto Veg Card.

See Yelp’s Best Vegetarian list and Toronto Vegetarian Association’s Vegetarian Directory for more restaurants, cafés and cooking classes.

*|END:IF|* *|IF: CITYE=Vancouver|*

Vancouver Edition

Featured restaurants


Raw vegan gluten-free, soy-free. Daytime only. Yelp comments: “… take-out counter with a bench where you can eat /sip on your lap.” “The food is sooo goood! My favourite is the Pad Thai and the Superexpialadelicious smoothie. Mmmmm!.” “Yes the price is a bit high, but they really get organic vegetables and it really taste fantastic.” 451 Granville St (at W Hastings) – 10% off with a Earthsave Card

Gorilla Foods

11 am – 8 pm. Yelp comments: “This is vegan, raw food heaven!” “I love the reggae jungle getaway vibe.” “This place gets really busy during lunch time, rain or shine. It’s probably best to take your lunch time early or a little later to avoid the rush.” 436 Richards St (near W Hastings)

See Yelp’s Best Vegetarian list and EarthSave’s Veg Directory for more restaurants, cafés and cooking classes.


Myth #1 – Protein

“A vegetarian diet doesn’t provide enough protein for optimal health.”


Where do you get your protein?” That’s the first question people usually ask me when I tell them I’m vegetarian.

Imagine their shock when I list a staggering assortment of delicious, whole-plant food sources of quality protein! And then, imagine their amazement when I state that, in fact, most people don’t need to worry about “getting enough,” because North Americans typically consume too much protein each day. Can this be true? I kid you not!

A diet high in protein can actually contribute to osteoporosis, cancer and kidney disease.

Plant-based foods high in protein include quinoa, tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds, soy milk and many vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, asparagus, spinach and snowpeas).

Quiz Time

True or false?

Vegetarians need to combine grains and legumes in the same meal in order to get complete protein.

ANSWER: Scroll to the end of this e-mail to see the answer!

Menu Theme / Quick Ideas


Cook up your favourite noodles, then add a sauce such as tomato, pesto, mushroom, or just herbs and olive oil. Sauces can be purchased ready-made or create you own.

• For a heartier meal add in some diced tofu, chickpeas, lentils or nuts.

• Toss in some steamed veggies or serve on the side.

Tip: Pasta is best cooked until al dente (tender but firm). Taste it to tell, then add cold water or drain right away to stop the cooking process.

• Rice pasta is a nice gluten-free option, but make sure not to over-cook as it can turn to mush.


These are some of the fastest meals to make, especially when eating alone. Start with your favourite *|IF: GF=yes|*gluten-free *|END:IF|*bread, tortilla, rice cracker, wrap, etc.

• Add a spread such as mashed avocado, hummus, a store-bought dip, nut butter or tahini. Or instead of a spread use butter, coconut butter, mayo (vegan versions are available), flax oil or olive oil.

• Next, add lots of fresh salad veggies such as cucumber, lettuce, kale, sprouts, avocado, tomato, or even apple or pear slices.

• For a more substantial sandwich, throw in some veggie ‘meats,’ burgers, falafel, cheese, or cooked tofu or tempeh.

• Include a favourite condiment such as dijon mustard, sauerkraut, or salsa, and add salt and pepper to taste. The possibilities are endless.

Tip: A healthy variation is to have a whole-grain open face sandwich with lots of veggies.

Monday’s Recipes

Green Smoothie with Fruit

• 2 cups water, divided

• 2 – 3 pieces of fruit (e.g: 1 banana, 1 orange, 1 apple – OR – if you want a more uniform flavour, use the same fruit such as 2 – 3 oranges)

• Fresh greens – as many as you can cram into your blender (e.g: 6 – 8 leaves of romaine or other lettuce, or two handfuls of baby spinach, or any other mild green; whatever you have on hand is fine)

• Sprouts (sunflower, alfalfa, pea, etc.), optional

• ½ to 1 scoop of Vega (optional)


Pour 1 cup of water into blender. Add fruit and greens. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass or stainless steel bottle, swish out blender with remaining cup of water and pour in with the smoothie. Mix well and drink. The above amounts will yield 1 litre – drink it all at once, or throughout the day.

Also for breakfast

*|IF: GF=yes|*Toasted gluten-free bread *|ELSE:|*Whole-grain toast *|END:IF|*with nut butter or tahini.


• Avocado with cucumber and lettuce on whole-grain or gluten-free bread, cherry tomatoes.

Pasta with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

Serves 4, <30 minutes

1 lb (450g) your choice of whole-grain pasta
2 heads broccoli (1 lb)

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/3 cup pine nuts

A big pinch of chili powder

1 (28 oz/796ml) can tomatoes, chopped

Fresh parsley as garnish

Boil water for pasta. Prepare according to package directions.

Meanwhile, steam or boil broccoli pieces until tender crisp.

Sauté garlic in oil in a large frying pan until lightly brown. • Add pine nuts, chili powder and tomatoes, and simmer over medium heat for five to ten minutes. • Stir in the cooked broccoli and drained pasta. • Serve with fresh parsley.

Toasted Sandwich with Black Olive Hummus

Makes 2 sandwiches, <10 minutes

4 slices whole grain bread or 2 buns, toasted

1/2 (4oz/114g) package of hummus

6 black olives, pitted (or buy olive-flavoured hummus)

1 tomato, sliced

1/4 cucumber, sliced

2 leaves of lettuce, or other greens

Pepper to taste

Assemble each sandwich by applying a layer of hummus, 3 olives, 2 slices tomato, 2 slices of cucumber, and 1 folded lettuce leaf. Add pepper to taste.

Variations: Try different flavours of hummus. Try it as an open-face sandwich. Use a wrap, pita or gluten-free bread.


Tuesday’s menu plan


• Favourite *|IF: GF=yes|*gluten-free *|ELSE:|*whole-grain *|END:IF|*cereal with *|IF:GOAL=vegetarian|*milk, yogurt or *|END:IF|*non-dairy milk of choice, apple or other fruit


• Hummus wrap with lettuce or kale, cucumber and cherry tomatoes

Dinner – Rice bowl or noodle dish

• Green Goddess Rice Bowl

• Steamed Vegetables with Soba Noodles

Snack (optional)

Trail mix (nuts/seeds/dried fruit)

See our Breakfast, lunch, salad and dinner pages for recipe ideas for the week. Or click below to download a 7-page print version.

Quiz Answer

False – According to the American Dietetic Association, an assortment of plant foods eaten over the course of a day can provide you with complete protein. See their 2009 position paper on vegetarian diets.

“Now that I am vegetarian I feel healthier, and more energized and ready to learn and do more. I simply feel GREAT!”
– Christy-Marie, teen, Toronto

“We’ve both lost weight and feel great! I started this for ethical reasons, but the health benefits are amazing!”
– Linda (and her husband), age 40s, Lanark, ON

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