Monthly Archives: May 2012

Air Eater Interview: Sage Fair 2012

The Sage Fair is happening June 2-3 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. According to the site, the Sage Fair is the first body, mind and spirit expo to focus on local and environmentally friendly products and services.  Sage Fair is dedicated to promoting and showcasing Canadian, local businesses that are working to provide happier, healthier and greener lifestyles.

Toronto is not the first time Sage Fair has been in operation, the first Sage Fair was held in London, Ontario and was a great success.

June 2, 2012 General Admission: $10
11am – 6pm Students & Seniors (55+): $7
June 3, 2012 Kids 12 & Under: Free
11am – 5pm (Cash Only, ATMs on Site)

I had the pleasure of speaking with Val Nicholson, one of the founders, please see our conversation below.

1. What inspired the name Sage Fair? What does it mean to you?

Sage has so many meanings to many people. It means wise beyond one’s years but it also refers to a herb that is often sacred to spiritual practises. In our own spiritual practice, it is a herb that cleanses and can be used to help one attain needed wisdom. We loved it for a Fair that is intended to open people’s eyes and minds to the amazing and wise things thriving in their own communities! It also helps that my daughter’s name is Sage.

2. How would you describe yourselves? Are you both vegan/vegetarian/activists?

Krysia Kwiatkowski and I are enthusiasts of humanity. We believe that there are so many amazing businesses, people, and activists in our communites that are promoting a healthier, happier and greener lifestyle for Canadians. We are absolutely obsessed with getting their names out there and making sure that their communities know that there are alternatives to big, corporate and environmentally-unfriendly products and services. We also enthusiastically support and promote consumption of locally-grown foods and locally-made wares as an important step in protecting the environment. I am not sure I would classify us as activists, but definitely connoisseurs of the amazing things that Canada has to offer. I have been a vegetarian since I was twelve years old. It was a long journey to figure out exactly how to provide my body the support it needed, but it is a journey I cherish. While my partner is not a vegan, her brother is Vegan and she grew up in a very Vegan-friendly household. We are both really excited that the Toronto Vegetarian Association will be at our Fair. This is definitely a cause that is near and dear to both of our hearts!

3. Thank you for bringing your fair to Toronto, I know it was a great hit in London. What inspired the Sage Fair? What made you feel the need to create such an event?

London had such an amazing community to work with, and we having just as much fun working with our awesome vendors in Toronto! It is hard to pinpoint exactly what inspired us to collaborate and create Sage Fair. Together, we had attended many Fairs and found that they fell into one of two categories – psychic fairs or corporate fairs. We see an underlying similarity in the people that are concerned with health and natural living, spirituality and protecting the environment. We fashion our Fair to cater to these people who are concerned with promoting and experiencing a happier, healtheir and greener lifestyle.

4. Do you both have day jobs? How much work does it take to create the Fair? How long would you say is the whole process?

Krysia has a full time day job and I am a full-time University student (Double major in Psychology and Gender Studies) and a mom of a 4 year old girl (Sage). So we are very busy, but we love everything that we do! We each probably put in about 40 – 60 hours per week on Sage Fair. So in short, it is A LOT of work! The whole process is at least a year long. We spend a lot of time researching what companies/organizations we would like to invite to the event. Then I personally invite each of them and work with the ones who are interested to provide the best experience for their companies. We like it best when exhibitors get creative and we love their input on what would make the Fair better! Once that process has begun there are countless hours devoted to social media, advertising/marketing, contests, the website and the details of the event. It is a very involved process and tends to take over our lives for he last two months leading up to the Fair.

5. Do you have a team of people?

We do not have a team of people at all. It is just us. Our friends and families lend a hand when they can; and my husband is our biggest fan and supporter! We are really lucky! We couldn’t do any of this without their support.

6. Thanks to ChangeMatt, there is a play area and a private nursing and change station, how important is it to you that this is a part of the Fair?

ChangeMatt, Toronto Mompreneurs, Etobicoke Mompreneurs and EcoParent have collaborated to provide an amazing area geared directly to moms and families. They are sponsoring a diaper change area, a private breastfeeding area and a play area that will feature some eco toys. We are very proud of this and think that it will be a great place for families to explore how they can make their lives and their children’s lives happier, healthier and greener! As a mother, I am always happy to see things for my daughter when I go to events! It jsut makes the day smoother for parents!

7. How did you select your vendors? What is the screening process like? Did you turn away vendors due to “green washing”?

At the beginning fo the planning process, we research local businesses like crazy. We try our hardest to avoid “greenwashing” and only invite those vendors that we think really encompass a good direction for our communities and culture to go in. We screen as best as we can. There are no perfect systems, but I think hat we manage pretty well. It helps to talk to the vendors and really learn about them and their vision for their business. Like I said earlier, we are humanists and believe the best in people – and we employ that philosophy when selecting and dealing with our vendors.

8. What steps are you taking to ensure your event is green friendly and vendors will have recyclable materials etc?

We are working to make Sage Fair as environmentally friendly as possible! We encourage our vendors to recycle and create as little waste as possible. Bullfrog Power will be powering the event with their 100% green electricty. Most of our vendors are already very environmentally conscious. We are very lucky to be able to deal with a group of people that feel as strongly about the Earth as we do!

9. Will this event be annual?

This is the second year of Sage Fair and we hope to continue to grow!

Sage Fair Facebook:
Sage Fair Twitter:!/sagefair


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Filed under Eco, Health, Trade show, vegan

Air Eater No. 15 Contest – Win Tickets to Sage Fair

Sage Fair is coming to Toronto June 2 – 3 and we have 2 sets of 2 tickets to give away!

June 2, 2012 General Admission: $10
11am – 6pm Students & Seniors (55+): $7
June 3, 2012 Kids 12 & Under: Free
11am – 5pm (Cash Only, ATMs on Site)

 Why not win tickets?

Here’s how:

1. Comment below with a way to contact you (email/twitter)

1. Tweet “@Lidialf I want to win a #green lifestyle prize from Aireater”
2. Like Air Eater’s Facebook page: Comment, “I want to win a green lifestyle prize from Aireater.” If you already like the Air Eater page (thank you!), the comment will count.

Contest starts: May 30, 2012 @ 8am EST
Contest ends: June 1, 2012 @ 5pm EST 

Good luck!



Filed under Contest, Eco, Trade show, vegan

Chickpea Fries

As I have a strong affinity for Live Food Bar’s chickpea fries  I decided to attempt my own. I looked at a few recipes and I figured I’d go with a recipe posted on Oprah’s site. It looked to be similar to what I imaginen Live does.

Here’s the site with the recipe and instructions: 

Needless to say, they did not turn out like Live’s, but they were good nonetheless. I did not fry mine, I baked them. I use a 9″ x 13″ glass Pyrex dish to set the fries in the fridge as per the instructions. I also found the recipe made a lot and I found it best to cut the fries while in the dish (after chilling) at 3″ intervals and then divide even further at 1″ width. The dish was rather deep, so I cut them again in half.

I wish I made a sauce to go with this, but Organicville ketchup was good enough.

Here’s how it turned out: Continue reading


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Filed under gluten free, Meals, vegan

BBQ Marinated Tempeh with Crunch

Seeing as my last attempt at tempeh was a disaster, this time I decided to do something fool proof, marinate it and coat it with something crispy for that awesome crunch.

I had the BBQ sauce left over from my Jackfruit “Pulled pork” recipe and marinated the tempeh over night in the sauce. I broke the square into four pieces. The next day around lunch time,  I took a plate flipped it at the 15 minute mark.

Here’s the before the oven shot:

Needless to say, I really enjoyed this and would totally make this again, plus I would suggest bringing this to a party or making it for guests. Really was satisfying and filling.

I went a little photo crazy here, but I really like the texture in the tempeh crust.

Continue reading


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Filed under gluten free, Meals, vegan

Banana Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Who doesn’t love pudding and it’s so easy to make a healthy version versus a store bought one with additives etc. I’ve heard about making pudding with avocado before and I’ve had it in restaurants, but I figured, hey why not attempt this.

I found this recipe on Vibrant Vegan (the following is from the site)


This is a thick, rich, creamy, smooth treat! It’s perfect for breakfast, dessert, or a snack. This pudding is a great baby food, and kids of all ages will love it! This recipe contains 250-350 calories (depending on your using 1 or 2 bananas).

You’ll need:
1-2 bananas (riper will make a sweeter pudding)
1/2 avocado
1-2 teaspoons raw cacao or cocoa powder, optional

Place both (if you’re making this “chocolatey” add the cacao/cocoa powder too) in your blender/food processor, and blend until smooth (mash with a fork in a bowl if you don’t have a blender/food processor–no biggie. It may not be as smooth, but will still taste magnificent). Pour the pudding into a bowl or cup, and devour. This is best eaten immediately.”

Instead of raw cacao I used cocoa powder and I have to say it turned out freaking good. I made this recipe times four as I had 2 ripening avocados and I used 5 bananas, I really could have done with one less banana; it was still good mind you. I used 1 tbsp of cocoa powder. As I used my Blendtec I did add 1 cup of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla milk to make the blending process smoother. I’m sure you can add water instead, or do this in a food processor.

Here’s what it looked like: Continue reading


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Filed under celiac, gluten free, Healthy Snacks, vegan

Fresh Jackfruit Vegan “Pulled Pork”

I’ve heard so much about Jackfruit and how it’s supposed to be awesome. I went in search of fresh Jackfruit. I wasn’t sure what the ingredients were like in the can versions (in brine) and if it was gluten free. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with making things myself and thus avoiding chemicals and gluten.

What is a Jackfruit? According to Wikipedia:

“The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus)[1] is a species of tree in the Artocarpusgenus of the mulberry family (Moraceae).”

Here’s what it looks like growing on the tree:
Image: Wikipedia

I went to T&T, Galleria and Foody’s, but to no avail. Instead, I found the elusive Jackfruit right on Spadina, north of Dundas on the west side in a small fruit mart. It was $14/lb, rather expensive really, but I had to see what the talk was all about.

We took it home and chopped it up:

fresh jackfruit, Lidia Le François, Aireater

fresh jackfruit, Lidia Le François, Aireater

fresh jackfruit, Lidia Le François, Aireater

I peeled away the lighter colour parts and only left the bright yellow ‘flesh’. I removed the seeds, though I read they could be cooked like beans after. I suppose I could have saved them, but there’s always next time. I don’t think you can eat the flesh raw. It had an incredibly sticky feeling. Kind of like a dry mango/banana thing. Yes, so descriptive. I set about making the most delicious tomato based marinating sauce you’ve ever tried.

Marinating sauce: Continue reading



Filed under gluten free meals, Meals, vegan

Raw Pizza Recipe Video Review

I saw this video on Youtube and had to recreate it. I love the idea behind everything and I figured, hey, I have all this stuff – why not?

Here’s how mine turned out: Continue reading



Filed under gluten free, Meals, raw, vegan

Air Eater Dental Update – Thank you!

Hi everyone, hope you’re having a great Victoria Day, and have your fireworks ready! Happy early Memorial Day to my wonderful US readers. Even though I’m Canadian, I find it funny that I have a stronger readership in the US; I’m not sure why. Either way, just wanted to say THANK YOU for everyone being so incredibly kind and considerate. I really appreciate the Tweets, Facebook DM’s and the kind emails emails. You guys are really wonderful.

I’m much better, had a bit of extra soft pasta and I mean soft like geriatric soft. Felt like I was going nuts nut being able to chew something. I had no idea what an intense feeling/desire this simple action could create. By Wednesday I’ll have my stitches out and hopefully be back to normal.

It’s been a strange few days in the sense that I’ve not had an appetite and I suppose that has to do with the pain. Who can be hungry and be hurting at the same time? It almost reminds me of in the 80’s when people would get their jaw wired shut to lose weight.

If I could sum up my experience, I kinda felt like this guy:
I still can’t laugh, it hurts too much, but I can snort and make huffing noises and that’s good enough for me.

Thanks again everyone – I really felt the love and am grateful that people are so kind.

Happy eating to all you chewers!


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Filed under Meals, Rants

Update: Being Vegan at the Dentist

By the time you read this, I will be in a drug induced delirium listening to a mix playlist I made of: Radiohead, Foster the People, Crystal Castles, Elvis, LMFAO, Pony Up!, Handsome Furs, The National, The Carps, CSS, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga. Yes, I have some guilty pleasures, I’m sure you all do too.

I will also have an eye mask on and hopefully won’t be gripping the chair till my knuckles turn white. I’m getting that little piece that connects your lower gum to your lip snipped, as it’s pulling on my gum, I’m also getting a piece of the roof of my mouth cut and stitched onto a bit of my lower receding gum.

Doesn’t this sound like a party and a great way to kick off a Canadian long weekend? Sure! Should take about an hour. No doubt I will cry when it starts and hopefully the drugs kick in quickly.

My dentist offered me three options for the graft: 1. Another human’s skin, 2. Pig’s skin and 3. My own. I had no idea that pig was an option. I mean even if I wasn’t vegan I can’t imagine accepting a piece of a pig’s skin into my mouth. That’s pretty gross no matter how you cut it. Then there’s the cadaver option, I have watched Six Feet Under and I know it’s not a big deal, but no. I’d much rather they cut my own mouth to take a piece.

Who knew being vegan would extend itself at the dentist? Either way, I hope that I’m passed out enough that I magically wake up in bed with the cats snuggled and Mat holding my hand. Yes, that would be ideal.

Hope your day is better than this!


Update: I’m home resting and I am glad for the pain killers. I didn’t end up taking the Valium, I think she forgot to give it and I wasn’t sure to ask. It also would have increased the cost.  It already cost $1,500, thank god for insurance that covered 80%, but $300 is still a fair bit. I did have a moment where I screamed and had a bit of a panic attack. I don’t know of it was the idea that the roof of my mouth was being cut, or I felt the pressure from the needle. I’m not sure. Either way I’m starting my juice fast and I am grateful for Mat being so supportive and my dentist being so wonderful. She was so kind and understanding. Who knew being vegan was going to be an issue at the dentist?



Filed under celiac, Rants

Drunken Vegan Cheesy Popcorn

The other weekend I had a lovely time with my friend Mr. Vodka Von Juice. In the midst of my laughing, giggling and general carrying on I realized I better eat something before I feel the need to socialise in the bathroom. That’s when it hit me – POPCORN. Yes, that was going to solve everything and make me happy as can be. That’s right. Never mind the Young Thai coconut water we had, no, who needs that? Pppfft. Who needs electrolytes when you have glorious carbs? That sounded better to me for some reason, despite the fact that it was more work. The brain works in mysterious ways.

Drunken cheesy popcorn, Lidia Le Francois, Air Eater

Vegan cheesy popcorn: Continue reading



Filed under gluten free, Healthy Snacks, vegan