Las Vegan

Panacea Eco Shop

Posted in Groceries by karoumy on November 18, 2011

Update: Panacea is closed

Panacea is was the only vegan store in Toronto.

panacea store shot

The store



Smoked Tofu: Gluten Free Vegan Lunch Meat

Posted in Groceries by karoumy on May 26, 2011

I’ve been searching for a good gluten free alternative to vegan lunch meats. I recently had enchiladas with smoked tofu  at The Branch in Kemptville, ON. I remember trying a smoked tofu a long time ago and I didn’t like it. The enchiladas at The Branch convinced me to give it another try. So when I saw Soyganic’s Smoked Tofu at the grocery store I decided to try it.

At $2.49 a package it’s a pretty good value.

I decided to try it cut up over brown rice with miso tahini dressing and some sauerkraut. If it wasn’t for wanting a quick lunch I would probably add some colour to this meal with some shredded carrot or some kind of steamed greens.

The tofu has a real smokey flavour and the texture is firm. If you’re looking for a quick gluten free tofu to add to your sandwiches or meals instead of faux meats I would recommend Smoked Tofu.

Daiya Cheese Arrives in Toronto

Posted in Groceries by karoumy on March 1, 2010

2011-05-25 Update:

Daiya is available everywhere in Toronto now. You can find it at most health food stores like Qi, Panacea and Essence of Life. Even Sobeys carries it. Remember though,  it’s not healthy food.

I never cared that much for cheese even before I became vegan. Most veggie cheeses have dairy-derived ingredients and the ones that are vegan can have a strange after-taste. I’ll admit recently there have been better vegan cheeses available.

And then I heard about the new, mind-blowing Daiya Cheese from

So last year on a trip to Los Angeles I went straight to Whole Foods (it’s only available at some US locations) and got a small pizza with cheddar-flavoured Daiya Cheese. While cheddar is not the ideal flavour for a pizza I was impressed. It tasted good, didn’t leave any weird after taste and it melted.

Oh ya, did I mention the texture? And it’s soy-free?

During that same trip I had an amazing pizza at Pizza Fusion. I fell in love that night. Notice the mood lighting…

Santa Monica Pizza Fusion

Last week the TVA announced that Daiya was available at Panacea. I was surprised since it seems that Daiya is selling primarily to restaurants. As soon as I could I went over and bought both Cheddar Style Shred and Italien Blend Shred.

The Daiya Shreds

Before I even got to the cash register to shell out the $11.49 per tub I was already scheming. What was I going to make?

I decided to start with a pizza but I wasn’t going to make it myself. Pizza is a food best ordered from a restaurant. So I took the Italian blend over to the local Italian restaurant and asked them to throw it on a pizza for me. (And ya, I had to repeat it a couple of times – none of your cheese at all, use this cheese instead).

Daiya Pizza

I got a large pizza with mushrooms, red onions and tomatoes. And the Daiya Cheese of course. It turned out really well. It kind of gets foggy at this point, I remember taking a few pictures just to boast about it later on. I ate the whole thing in one sitting.

I really hope Toronto vegan and non-vegan restaurants start offering Daiya. For now, I’m happy enough to carry it around with me like that mythical sitcom character who loves his one hot sauce so much he carries it in a bottle around his neck.

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