Last-minute silent auction addition: A Vitamix!

For many health food lovers, especially raw foodists, a good blender is an absolute kitchen necessity.  One of the best types out there is the Vitamix. It also doesn’t come cheap. The retail value for one of these puppies is somewhere between $500-700.

So the NCVA was absolutely thrilled when we learned that Vitamix is going to contribute a black Vitamix 5200 to the Veg Fest silent auction. It is the single highest value item we’ve ever had contributed!   The silent auction was already pretty awesome, and it just got better.

Unfortunately the blender won’t be at Veg Fest, however Vitamix has offered to ship the blender to the lucky highest bidder once the NCVA has received payment.

Don’t miss this opportunity- there may be a deal waiting, and at the very least, you know that the funds are going to a good cause!

For more information on Vitamix blenders, visit the company Web site.

More reasons to become a NCVA member at Veg Fest

If the NCVA’s work in the community (Veg Fest, the restaurant outreach program, community outreach, events etc.) or its vast array of hard earned member discounts aren’t reason enough to shell out $20 to become a NCVA member, at Veg Fest there will be an added incentive.

Who wouldn't want to join this group?

Anyone who becomes a member or renews their membership at the event will be entered into a draw with a chance to win one of several prizes including tickets to see Forks Over Knives when it comes to Ottawa in June, several $20 gift certificates from Cafe My House, and a number of books and other media.

If you joined at last year’s event (May 31) and are concerned about renewing early, fear not. All renewals made at Veg Fest will run until June 1, 2012. So you’ll still get a full year of great discounts… and of course you’ll be supporting the NCVA’s work in the community both promoting plant-based lifestyles to the general public, and making life easier for those who wish to consume plant-based food.

The NCVA is so thankful for the contributions of all members, because without their support the NCVA would truly be unable to do the work that it does. When you consider that as an organization the NCVA is 100 per cent volunteer-run, and is less than five-years-old, its accomplishments are quite remarkable.

Join the NCVA and support Ottawa’s veg revolution!

Three cheers for The Table!

When Veg Fest was but a wisp of an idea a few years ago it became a concrete prospect when Simon Saab, owner of The Table Vegetarian Restaurant, jumped on board.

With Simon’s promise of title sponsorship, suddenly putting on an event of this size became feasible. In hindsight, now that the event is a proven hit, it was a great decision on his part. But at the time he was saying “yes” to a couple of enthusiastic volunteers who had never put on an event bigger than a potluck.  He took a chance on the NCVA and on Veg Fest, and we’re now just days away from the third annual Veg Fest.

Simon’s commitment to the NCVA has been wholehearted. Even when he was unable to send staff to the festival because of illnesses for the first event in 2009, and couldn’t even get away from the restaurant to see for himself, he still felt that the promotion the restaurant received, as well as the good accomplished by the event, was well worth it. He was so impressed that he offered to sponsor the event in 2010 while the 2009 festival was still in progress!

Table head chef Ian Lipski takes a stab at the NCVA's mascot carrot.

The NCVA is thankful for the Table’s unwavering support of Veg Fest, and all of our activities. It’s partnerships like this that have enabled us to grow and thrive, as the NCVA is completely volunteer-run, and receives no government or grant funding.

This year the Table will be in attendance and selling sampler platters of some of their customer favorites.  And they’re always at 1230 Wellington Street west, corner Holland.   Visit them online at their Web site.

Don’t miss the Veg Fest silent auction!

Every year the NCVA holds a silent auction at Veg Fest, and this year’s may have some of the coolest contributions yet!  The NCVA’s volunteer organizer, Nadia, has been working hard lining up contributions. It will be held on the main level of the Glebe Community Centre, in the small room on your left when you come in the GCC’s main entrance.  You don’t want to miss it; even if there’s nothing that interests you personally, there are many fabulous items that would make great gifts.

The silent auction fulfills a few purposes for the NCVA. Firstly, the NCVA has a waiting list of about a dozen businesses and organizations that we simply can’t accommodate at the event because of space constraints. The silent auction offers these businesses an opportunity to still receive some exposure at the event.  Secondly, as the NCVA doesn’t charge any visitor admission for Veg Fest and have kept exhibitor prices very affordable, it helps the NCVA to cover the event’s costs.  It’s win-win-win for everyone!

We are so thankful to our generous contributors for their enthusiastic participation!

Something to keep in mind: If you bid, please be prepared to actually complete the transaction.  Contacting the bid winners and organizing to get the items to each bid winner is a lot of work, and the NCVA is 100 per cent volunteer-run.  You can help to make the process easier! If you are bidding towards the end of the day, it may even be a good idea to stick around to claim your item(s) at 5 p.m. when the event ends.

The list below may not be complete, and some items may be bundled for ease of distribution.


Business Item Value
LUSH Gift basket containing gels, soap, shampoo, shower gel, etc $95
Green Door Restaurant Gift certificate $50
Rama Lotos Yoga Studio Gift certificate for 5 free yoga classes $75
Vega Gift basket of Vega products $150
Nature Clean Basket of Nature Clean products $125
B.goods 3 packs of 6 cookies $27
Coconut Bliss 2 pints of ice-cream, 1Coconut Bliss water bottle, 1 Coconut Bliss Chici bag $28
Veg News Magazine 1 year subscription to Veg News, Veg News tote bag, 6 vegan cookies $50
Kelly of Gift certificate $25
Matt & Natt Wallet $120
Gardein Signed copy of ‘The Concious Chef’, Gardein apron and free product coupons $60
Lindsay S. Nixon (author) The Happy Herbivore $25
Ruby Roth (author) ‘That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals’ $20
Robert Cheeke (author) ‘Vegan Body Building & Fitness: The Complete Guide to Building Your Body on a Plant-Based Diet’ $23.95
Natasha Kyssa (author) ‘The Simply Raw Living Foods Detox Manual’ $19.95
Alicia C. Simpson (author) ‘Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations’ $20.50
Claire Gosse (author) ‘Are You Sure That’s Vegan’ $19.95
Kim Barnouin & Rory Freenman (author) ‘Skinny Bitch’ $14.95
Kim Barnouin (author) ‘Ultimate Everyday Cookbook’ $35.00
Kathy Freston (author) ‘Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World’ $29.00
Ani Phyo (author) ‘Ani’s Raw Food Essentials’
Jay Fothergill (author) ‘The Vegetarian Manifesto: Cookbook’, donated by Earthsave Canada $12.00
Nava Atlas (author) Vegan Express $20.99
Perfection, Satisfaction, Promise Gift certificate $20
Sarah Kramer (author) Go Vegan Calendar $14.99
Rainbow Foods Gift Basket $50.00
La Belle Verte Gift certificates $40.00
PETA T-shirt and ‘Practicle guide to animal rights’ $40.00
Auntie Loo’s Bakery Gift certificate $35.00

Meet NCVA Vegan Cupcake Challenge judge, Ian Capstick

Veg Fest and The NCVA Vegan Cupcake Challenge is less than two weeks away! Ottawa’s best amateur vegan bakers are no doubt immersed in a frenzy of last-minute baking and testing as they vie for the title of the NCVA Vegan Cupcake Champion and the fabulous prize package that accompanies the prestigious title.

As of now, there are 18 entrants to the competition, so it’s going to be fierce! And delicious.

Today in the last part of the “Meet Our Judges” series we introduce Ian Capstick.

Ian Capstick, principal of MediaStyle, an Ottawa-based communications firm, has been saying ‘thanks’ with cupcakes since he opened up shop.

His enthusiasm for baking has manifested in the sponsorship of an unconference about cupcakes known as Capital Cupcake Camp. With hundreds of entries, t’s definitely the largest cupcake event in Ottawa. Which means Ian Capstick knows cupcakes.

While MediaStyle is not a cupcakery, Ian believes that cupcakes are meant for sharing, much like the communications work MediaStyle does online.

Mayor Jim Watson to proclaim May 1 Veg Fest Day in Ottawa

The NCVA is thrilled to sthare with everyone that Mayor Jim Watson is proclaiming May 1 Veg Fest Day in Ottawa.

It even came in a fancy blue folder!

“This is a solid statement on how far not only the NCVA and Veg Fest have come, but also the growing acceptance of veganism amongst a more mainstream audience,” says NCVA President Josh Flower. “The NCVA is committed to promoting veganism to the widest audience possible, and offering our support to anyone who wants it.  We are delighted to be on the leading edge of this evolution locally, and to have our efforts recognized by the Mayor of Ottawa.”

Seriously though– how cool is this!?

And of course, there’s no better place to celebrate “Veg Fest Day in Ottawa” on May 1 than at the event itself, the third annual celebration of veg food and lifestyles in the region put on by the National Capital Vegetarian Association (NCVA) and sponsored by The Table Vegetarian Restaurant.

“Veg Fest is a fun event for anyone wanting to learn more about healthy and conscious eating, and plant-based lifestyles. I visited the event in 2010 and I was impressed by its professionalism, dynamism, and of course the delicious food!” Mayor Watson says. “My great experience at Veg Fest ’10 prompted me to want to share this event with all of Ottawa, which I’m doing by proclaiming May 1 Veg Fest Day in Ottawa.”

As most blog followers already know, Veg Fest will be held at the Glebe Community Centre (175 Third Avenue), Sunday May 1 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free. It features a variety of exhibitors, guest speakers, cooking demonstrations, a silent auction, and the inaugural NCVA Vegan Cupcake Challenge for which a panel of local celebrity judges will crown best amateur vegan cupcake baker in Ottawa.

President Flower discovered the NCVA when he attended the first Veg Fest in 2009, and is thrilled to be presiding over his first Veg Fest as President. “Veg Fest is a fantastic and positive opportunity to learn more about plant-based diets and the multitude of businesses and resources available in Ottawa to support this lifestyle,” he says. “It’s also family-friendly. Kids and adults alike will enjoy interacting with our friendly mascots including the pea in a pod and the carrot. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the friendly rivalry between Pea in a Pod and Auntie Loo is reignited at the event.”

The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For

OK, it’s not the moment you’ve all been waiting for…but I figured that with everyone’s attention on the upcoming Veg Fest, it was either have an eye-catching title or be completely ignored.

And some people actually have been waiting for this – I’m finally posting the recipes from the food demo I did at the Go Green Expo last month.

First a little recap of the experience. As per usual, I volunteered Neil to help me. Also as usual, he did so cheerfully, even though the process involved transporting 50 pounds of equipment and food – including two unsealed pots full of hot soup –five kilometres by bike.

Yes, by bike people. We are that hardcore.

Hot soup nested for transport!

I decided to do a three course meal of all original recipes: Spicy Peanut Soup, Gnocchi with Pesto and Rich and Pretty Sauce, and _________ ________ ________ cake with _________ ________.

An old pic of the soup with faux ham and daiya swirly buns


Sorry guys – I had to edit out the dessert as it’s the basis for my entry in the VegFest cupcake contest and we’re supposed to keep our recipes secret.

Now some of you may be wondering how in the hell I managed to cook all that within my half-hour segment. The answer is, I precooked the soup and the sauce and took an hour instead. The Go Green Expo people eventually chased me off.

The themes of my demo were “hooray for the immersion blender,” “to hell with measuring,” and “orange.” I explained how people who use regular blenders instead of immersion blenders are crazy and should not be trusted, and that so are recipes that contain both baking soda and baking powder.

All turned out pretty well. I got sort of scared when I offered samples and people rushed the stage thrusting bamboo sampling skewers. On the other hand, they got scared when I admonished them for not making sure to scoop up a bit of tomato AND pesto sauce on their gnocchi because that’s how my recipe is supposed to work and they’d better not bugger it up.

So I guess I’d better get to the recipes…Well, in truth, like Kansas, they were there all along. They’re posted on Vegweb. Click on the recipe names above to find them. Well, the pesto and the cake aren’t there, but the latter is top secret and the former hardly needs a recipe…basil + pine nuts + olive oil + salt + lemon juice + hand blender = pesto.

Actually the gnocchi isn’t there either. Ok, to make gnocchi use equal parts mashed potato and all purpose flour and knead on floured surface for a minute. Then roll dough into logs, cut into bite-sized pieces, cook in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, mix with sauce, and serve.

more flour = firmer gnocchi. Experiment until you get them how you like them!

I’ll post the cake recipe after I win the cupcake contest 😉

Mint Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Amanda

Here is my recipe that I used for the cookies I brought to the GoGreen Expo. Not too sweet but loads of chocolate and mint…what a great combination!

Mint Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened (I used Earth Balance Soy Free)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon real mint extract
  • 2 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup any vegan milk…soy or almond
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a mixer cream sugars and butter until fluffy.   Add liquids…non dairy milk and mint extract.  Combine dry ingredients in a large separate bowl.  Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and mix well.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Roll into small balls onto cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.