Guest post by Sia Veeramani
Nu Grocery, Ottawa, ON
Did you know that an average Canadian produces over 700 kg of waste each year? Many of us recycle and compost, but most of our waste still ends up in landfills. This waste pollutes our rivers, lakes and oceans, deteriorates our soils and harms wildlife, while landfills contribute to climate change with a whopping 20% of Canada’s methane emissions.
While the idea of going zero waste may seem overwhelming, we can all without a doubt do our part in minimizing our waste and protecting the environment. A great place to start is within the comfort of your own home!
Say ‘No’ to junk mail
If your mailbox gets cluttered with unsolicited flyers, catalogs, brochures and advertisements to a point that it you a few minutes to sort your mail - maybe it’s time you change that. It can be as simple as putting a ‘No Junk Mail, please’ note or going online and cancelling your mail subscriptions. This will hugely reduce your paper waste!
Shop in bulk
Now that the paper waste is reduced, let’s tackle the packaging. Most of our household garbage comes from food packaging. While certain items are hard to find unpackaged, try these few tips:
Save leftovers and get your compost going
Did you know that we throw away nearly a quarter of the food we buy? Shopping in bulk will help you buy as little or as much as you need and minimize food waste. But take it a step further and plan your meals or save your leftovers for later (e.g. eat the next day or freeze to keep it longer)!
We only compost less than half of our food scraps and other organic waste - we often simply mix our kitchen waste with garbage destined to the landfill. Take a minute and look through the items that can go in the green bin in your city and you’ll be surprised how much you can compost along with your kitchen scraps (..even kitty litter!)
Living in a condo without a green bin? Talk to your neighbours and ask the condo management to do something about it (like these guys in Toronto)! Condos are where most of us live and thus where most of our waste comes from, so it’s time for them to join the green bin program. The City would even provide you with an in-unit kitchen container! Just ask. Meanwhile, try asking your neighbours across the street to use their green bin, while yours is being delivered.
Reuse is the new recycling!
Given that recycling is extremely energy intensive and recycling rates are fairly low , the best strategy is to minimize your waste in the first place. Reusing extends the life of products, minimizes the use of packaging and keeps our consumerism culture at bay.
The easiest way to minimize your daily waste is to Bring Your Own reusables.
Going out for coffee? BYO mug!
Getting a bubble tea or frappuccino? BYO straw!
Feeling like eating out? BYO tupperware & utensils or just sit in and enjoy!
Grocery shopping? Show off that cool reusable tote of yours!
Whatever it is, choose reusables instead of disposables. For some of you, it may be a second nature, for others - a new thing and you just need that little nudge to make it a habit!
And there you go - 5 easy switches that you can make to minimize your waste. Start with just one of them today!
Do you lie awake at night drooling over memories of bagels schmeared with cream cheese and piled high with Lox and capers?
We can make that a vegan dream come true!
If you're not familiar with Lox, it is traditionally made from thinly sliced smoked salmon. Our carrot version has the same rich smokey taste with none of the fish... or the fat.
And bonus - it's so easy! You can pull together an impressive spread like this for the whole family in about the same amount of time it takes to finish your favourite latte.
With something for everyone, this healthy and delicious Easter brunch idea is sure to impress even your fussiest guests.
Make your Carrot Lox
4 carrots, pealed and cleaned
1 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp. Dulse flakes or other seaweed flakes
1/2- 3/4 tsp. liquid smoke
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice the carrots into long, thin strips using a carrot peeler. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, Dulse flakes and liquid smoke.
Line a shallow oven proof pan (like a pie dish) with aluminum foil. Place the carrots onto the aluminum foil and drizzle with the soy sauce mixture. Toss the carrot strips with the marinade and then fold the aluminum foil up around the carrots into a pouch.
Bake the carrot lox at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely. You can put them in the fridge to speed up the process. Just before serving squeeze the lemon juice all over the carrot lox and toss to coat.
Assemble your Cream Cheese and Lox Platter
Who doesn't love a dessert that's healthy and delicious?
These Cheesecake Bites are raw AND free of added sugar! No mess, no fuss and no baking. Six simple ingredients and VOILA a sweet treat sure to please your sweetheart! Right on time for Valentine's Day!
For the crust :
1 ½ cup of almond flour
2 Tbsp. of cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. of maple syrup
½ cup of coconut oil, melted
For the cake:
½ package of Fauxmagerie Zengarry Brie style cashew cheese
1 cup of frozen fruits (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
For the crust:
1. Make the crust by mixing together all of the crust ingredients in a food processor until it comes together.
2. Scoop out a little crust mixture with a spoon and press into the bottom of the heart mold – about ½ inch thick. Put in the freezer to start to harden while you work on the cake part.
For the cake:
1. Put the Fauxmagerie Zengarry Brie style cashew cheese and the frozen fruits into the bowl of the food processor and process until smooth. Spread about 2-3 Tablespoons of cheesecake filling onto each crust.
2. Freeze the cheesecakes for 30-40 minutes until firm. Remove them from the heart-shaped mold and allow to thaw for 10-15 minutes or so.
Everyone loves pizza. Amiright?? These cheesy vegan calzones are just like pizza pockets. They are kid AND mom approved.
I tried some with Zengarry Gruyère Style fauxmage and some with Smokey Jalapeño. I'm not sure which I preferred. They were both delicious.
Here I used traditional 'all dressed' type pizza toppings. You could go to town and use whatever you happen to like. Some of my personal favourites are: olives, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, pineapple, broccoli....
Or if you're really crazy, try subbing in vegan pesto instead of pizza sauce and use our Sun-dried Tomato and Basil cashew cheese flavour.
Make them smaller to serve as party appetizers, or larger for dinner.
1 package of vegan puff pastry (I used Tenderflake)
½ package of your favorite Fauxmagerie Zengarry cashew cheese (I tried the Gruyère and the Smokey Jalapeno)
1 package of Yves Veggie Pepperoni
1 small can of pizza sauce (or homemade)
2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 lb. of button mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp. of dried basil
1 tsp. of dried oregano
1 tsp. of garlic powder
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Sauté your veggies in 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Adding in the basil, oregano, garlic powder and salt. Set them aside.
3. Roll out your puff pastry until you have two 6" x 6" squares. Use a small bowl or plate or even a cup as a template to cut out circles. Just place it on the pastry and use a knife to cut around it. I made 4 from each square of puff pastry.
4. Place your puff pastry circles on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Add toppings to one side of your circle avoiding the edges. You will be folding them in half and sealing them.
5. To each circle add about a tablespoon of pizza sauce, 3-4 veggie pepperoni slices, a dollop of sautéd veggies and a dollop of your Fauxmagerie Zengarry cashew cheese. Fold the puff pastry in half over the stuffings and seal the edges with a fork. Crimp all around the edges. This step can be a bit challenging if you stuffed your calzones with too much good stuff like I did, but it will all work out.
6. Brush the tops of the calzones with the remaining olive oil and prick them with a fork. You can make little 'v's like I did. Or your favourite kid's initials.
7. Bake at 375 F for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and puffed.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then devour them. Maybe with extra pizza sauce for dipping.
Family Day is the perfect occasion to spend time with your family and enjoy fun activities together!
Given the sub-zero temperatures we usually enjoy in February, we came up with a fun indoor cooking activity to get the whole family involved:
A PIZZA BAR!
Pre-prepare all your toppings and let everyone craft their own dinner! Pull out all your aprons and chef hats and play dress up too!
For the dough, choose something a little bit smaller than the original pizza dough size. You can get all kinds of vegan pizza dough at the store that is a perfect size for children :
Cheese & sauce
Don’t forget the cheese! Everybody loves cheese, especially kids. Here are a couple of Fauxmagerie Zengarry cashew cheese flavours that we recommend spreading on your pizza dough :
From what I remember, putting a mountain of toppings on my pizza was my favourite step when I was young! Your children will love it too. It’s the occasion for them to “design” their pizza exactly the way they like it! Here are a couple of topping ideas:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place a baking sheet at the end of your pizza bar so the kids can place their ready to bake pizza on it. Then all you have to do is place the baking sheet in the oven for 8-10 minutes and voila!
We did something amazing! We took our delicious cheesy artichoke dip and put it on a crust to make the ultimate cheesy artichoke pizza! It takes less than 20 minutes and it’s absolutely delicious!
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ cup of finely chopped onion
½ cup of finely diced red bell pepper
2 ounces of green chillies or ½ tsp of crushed dried red chillies
1 can water packed artichokes, drained and chopped
1 package of frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed)
½ package of Fauxmagerie Zengarry’s Garlic and Fine Herbs cashew cheese
2 Tbsp. of lemon juice
1 fresh tomato, sliced
1 package of store bought pizza dough (your favorite pizza crust)
Salt & pepper, to taste
1. On medium-high heat, sauté onions, green chilies (or crushed red chilies) and red bell pepper in a tbsp. of olive oil. When the onions have become transparent (about 5 minutes) add in the artichokes, and sauté for a few more minutes.
2. Lower the heat to medium and add the Fauxmagerie Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs cashew cheese, the rest of the olive oil, lemon juice and the spinach to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook until artichoke mixture is heated through and somewhat thickened.
3. Transfer the mixture onto a pizza crust. Spread evenly. Sprinkle with a pinch of paprika and bake at 400 degrees, for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
Who said that classics can't be reinvented? Check out our Margherita pizza recipe. We switched out the mozzarella for our delicious Fauxmagerie Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs cashew cheese to make a new vegan classic! You're going to love it.
4 rounds of pita bread
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 package of Fauxmagerie Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs cashew cheese
1 cup of tomato sauce
½ cup of fresh basil leaves
1 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. of sugar
1. Place the pita bread rounds on a baking sheet. Spread the tomato sauce and Fauxmagerie Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs cashew cheese on the pitas.
2. Spread the sliced tomatoes and the fresh basil evenly on the pitas.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes, or until the pizzas are golden. Top with balsamic glaze if desired.
For the balsamic reduction: Combine vinegar and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil until volume is reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken.
Who doesn’t like pizza? Seriously, it’s full of delicious carbs, amazing toppings and so cheesy! We came up with 3 amazing outside of the box pizza recipes. You should give it a try!
Roasted cauliflower BBQ pizza
1 store bought vegan pizza crust
½ package of Fauxmagerie Zengarry Sun-dried Tomato & Basil cashew cheese
½ of a cauliflower head, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup of BBQ sauce
3 Tbsp. of olive oil
2 Tbsp. of Sriracha sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a bowl, combine the cauliflower, garlic, Sriracha sauce, salt and pepper with olive oil. Stir to combine. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway.
2. Spread the BBQ sauce and the Fauxmagerie Zengarry Sun-dried Tomato & Basil cashew cheese on the pizza crust.
3. Top with the cauliflower mixture and onions. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
4 Portobello mushrooms
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup of tomato sauce
½ cup of diced tomatoes
½ package of Fauxmagerie Zengarry Smokey Jalapenos cashew cheese
½ white onion, diced
½ cup of medium-hot peppers
1 cup of vegan pepperoni (Yves Veggie)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Glaze the Portobello mushrooms with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Broil in the oven for 3-5 minutes.
2. In a pan, sauté the garlic, tomatoes, onions, medium-hot peppers and vegan pepperoni with the rest of the olive oil.
3. Spread the tomato sauce and the Fauxmagerie Zengarry Smokey Jalapenos cashew cheese inside the mushroom heads.
4. Fill the mushrooms with the pizza mixture. Season with salt and pepper and bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
Veggie loaded hummus pizza
½ package of Fauxmagerie Zengarry Garlic and Fines Herbs cashew cheese
1 store bought vegan pizza crust
½ of mushrooms, sliced
½ red onion, sliced
1 cup of hummus
½ cup of tomatoes, diced
½ cup of zucchini, sliced
½ cup of red bell peppers, chopped
1. Place the store-bought vegan pizza crust on a baking sheet.
2. Spread the Fauxmagerie Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs cashew cheese and the hummus on the pizza dough. Garnish the pizza with all the sliced vegetables.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
The Zengarry team would like to thank all of you for participating in our Zengarry Cheesy Pasta Recipe Contest! There were so many delicious recipe submissions, it was so hard to choose just one.
And the winner is...
Jasmine Carlton (@jazzleona) - Creamy Zengarry Garlic & Fine Herbs gnocchi
2 tsp of olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1 tsp of brown rice flour
3/4 cup of almond milk
3/4 package of Fauxmagerie Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs cashew cheese
1/4 cup of peas
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
Truffled balsamic vinegar reduction (store bought)
1. Put a pot of water on to boil the gnocchi in while you're making the sauce.
2. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a pan. Add the onions to the oil and saute until softened. Sprinkle in the peppers and rice flour to the pan and stir to combine.
3. Stir in the almond milk. Melt the Fauxmagerie Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs cashew cheese into the mixture. Add the peas to the sauce and then your seasonings. Adjust the seasonings to your own taste.
4. Combine the sauce with your cooked gnocchi, serve with a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
Portion: 2 servings
One of the questions that I get the most frequently is "What kind of vegan cheese can I put on my pizza?" People are looking for something to replace the gooey pizza that they grew up with. I get it. Food is comfort!! Textures are important. We want to go back to those foods we grew up with over and over!!
Plus pizza is easy. Throw it in the oven and it's ready in minutes. Unless you're the make your own crust crowd... I bow to you, because when I want pizza, I want it NOW. Some of my favourite crusts are pita and naan bread. They are readily available and crisp up in minutes.
But there is room for improvement over the vegan pepperoni with Diaya which is what my son wants because it most resembles what his friends have in their lunch boxes. Here are a few ideas to inspire you!
Sun-dried Tomato Pizza
1 package of Zengarry Sun-dried Tomato and Basil cashew cheese
1 zucchini sliced
1 cup of artichokes chopped
1 cup of fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 cup of Kalamata olives
½ cup of green onions
1. Top with sliced zucchini, chopped canned artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives and green onions. Pop it in a preheated oven and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Garlic Pesto Pizza
1 package of Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs cashew cheese
1 fresh tomato, sliced
1 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 package of pesto
1. Spread your favourite pesto on a pita. Top with sliced tomatoes, red onions, sliced bell peppers and Zengarry Garlic and Fine Herbs Cashew Cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Gruyère and Asparagus Pizza
1 package of Zengarry Aged Cumin cashew cheese
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halves
1 onion, diced
1 cup of asparagus, chopped
½ cup of capers
1. Spread Naan bread with pesto. Top with asparagus, caramelized onions, cherry tomato halves, Zengarry Gruyère style Cashew Cheese and capers. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, or until the naan is crispy on the edges.