Saturday, January 20, 2018

Is Veganism a Religion?

Veganism is not like a religion, but it is an ethos and way of life, and those of us who are ethical vegans are sincere and steadfast in our adherence to veganism’s tenets.  And in Ontario, where I live, it is now, perhaps accidentally, recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Commission as a creed by that body.  While it was not perhaps the intention of the OHRC to specifically include veganism under its umbrella protection, it is clear that, using the OHRC’s definition of a creed, veganism fits the bill.  To determine whether or not a belief is a creed, you must consider the following questions:  

Is the belief:
-sincerely, freely and deeply held
-integrally linked to a person’s identity, self-definition and fulfilment
-a particular and comprehensive, overarching system of belief that governs one’s conduct and practices
-addresses ultimate questions of human existence, including ideas about life, purpose, death and the existence or non-existence of a creator and/or a higher or different order of existence 
-has some connection to an organization or a community that professes a shared system of belief

It is very clear to me, that using these criteria, veganism is a creed. And should some court in Ontario eventually decide that veganism is not in fact a creed to be protected in this province, I can state with certainty that it is definitely a creed and ethos for me. This is not a position I take lightly, or adjust from time to time or from place to place to appease certain people and not hurt their feelings - this is a deeply held belief. My only regret is that I did not wake up and become a vegan earlier in my life. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

It’s Happened Again

Whenever I read articles like this I feel consumed by rage.  All of that rage is focussed on people who  won’t wake up and face the reality of what their food choices mean for animals.

Please don’t tell me you love animals, and then eat them.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ginger-Peach Scones

I might start calling myself the Scone Queen if this keeps up - I made ginger-peach scones today.

These are beautiful, light-tasting scones that are perfect with a cup of tea.  I used my basic scone recipe which you can find here:
scones.html But just make a few substitutions.  Leave out the orange zest and cranberries, and add
about a cup of chopped peaches and a teaspoon of ground ginger or a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger.  Instead of using 3/4 of a cup of almond or soy milk, I used a half a cup of almond milk and added 1/4 cup of the light syrup from the peaches to it.  (I used canned peaches, but when peach season starts here in southern Ontario, I will use fresh peaches.).

Cook the scones at 400F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cherry-Walnut Scones

It's a beautiful day here in Toronto - just the right day for a scone!

These are Cherry-Walnut Scones.  To make them, follow the recipe at, but substitute dried cherries for cranberries and omit the orange zest, although to be truthful, these would be fantastic 
with the addition of a little orange zest!!! Sprinkle the top with about 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts and a bit of sugar and bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy them with tea or coffee! 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lemon Blueberry Scones

The great thing about scones is that it's always the right time for a scone!

This recipe is simple and the results are fantastic.

First: Pre-heat your oven to 400F


2 cups + 1/8 cup of all purpose flour (1/8 cup is two tablespoons)

1/2 cup of sugar plus more for sprinkling

3/4 Cup of plain almond milk

1/2 to 3/4 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries - the advantage of frozen blueberries is that they tend to mix a little easier without bursting

Zest of 2 lemons - if you want the scones to be a little less lemony, only zest one lemon

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of margarine - I used earth balance brand - and it has to be really cold.  Measure it out and put it in the freezer for twenty minutes so that it gets good and hard

For an optional glaze
Mix one cup of vegan-friendly icing sugar and two or three table spoons of lemon juice.  


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.  Add solid margarine and a pastry cutter, and cut in the marg until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  3. Add the almond milk and stir until all the dry ingredients are mixed in and a soft, slightly sticky dough is formed.  Then add the lemon zest and blueberries and stir them into the dough.
  4. Dump the dough out onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  If you like wedge-shaped scones, shape the dough into a circle about 8 inches in diameter and cut into eight wedges with a bench knife.  The dough will be too sticky to separate the wedges, but that's ok because you will have to cut them again later.  If you find that your dough is firm enough to separate the wedges, you can do that before you put the pan in the oven.  If you prefer smaller scones you can shape the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches x 4 inches and cut it into squares.
  5. Before you place the scones in the oven, sprinkle sugar over the top.  It will make them look   slightly sparkly when they are all done.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the scones are golden and the edges begin to brown.
  7. If you were not able to separate the individual scones when you put them in the oven you will notice that they have baked into one large round scone.  You should still be able to see the marks from where you cut the dough into wedges - use your bench knife to cut along these lines and separate the wedges to allow the scone to cool faster.
  8. If you want to drizzle glaze on the scones, wait until they are cool before you glaze them

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Between the seemingly-endless rain storms in Toronto this spring, there have been some gloriously sunny days.  Those sunny days saw me working in the garden trying to clear out all the weeds that grew to huge size due to all the rain.  But the rain also helped my rhubarb patch grow and ripen early, and inspired by their beautiful red stalks, I decided to make a rhubarb strawberry crisp.


1 cup of all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup of vegan-friendly granulated sugar and 1/3 cup of vegan-friendly granulated sugar

1/2 cup of vegan margerine - I used Earth Balance

3/4 cup of rolled oats

Pinch of salt

1 tsp of cinnamon

Rhubarb and strawberries - enough to fill an 8"x8" baking dish about halfway


Pre-heat your oven to 350F

1. Wash your rhubarb taking care to be certain that no garden soil remains on the stalks.  Cut the stalks into pieces about one inch in length and put them in the baking dish.

2. Wash the strawberries under running water.  Hull and slice them and put them into the baking dish along with the rhubarb and toss them together.

3. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of granulated sugar over the strawberries and rhubarb, and set your baking dish aside.

4. Into a large mixing bowl, add the flour, the brown sugar, 1/2 cup of sugar, the cinnamon and the pinch of salt.  Whisk the ingredients together.

5. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the margerine until the mixture resembles very small peas.

6. Using a wooden spoon, blend in the oatmeal.  Do not use your hands for this because the heat from your fingers will melt the margerine and you don't want that to happen.  The mixture will get a little clumpy, but that is ok.

7. Spoon the mixture evenly over the rhubarb and strawberries in the baking dish.

Note: if you have been generous with the amount of rhubarb and strawberries that you put in your baking dish, you run the real possibility that the fruit will boil over in the oven.  Do yourself a favour, and put the baking dish on a parchment covered cookie sheet.

8. Put the baking dish into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  In my oven, the crisp was done in 55 minutes.  Remove the crisp from the oven when the top is golden brown.