If you clicked on this article link, then you are among the thousands of GTA residents looking to start making simple vegetarian recipes. I should preface this article by mentioning I am not vegetarian. However, I recognize the impact that the meat industry has on the environment, hence why I am trying to add more vegetarian recipes to my repertoire.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scoured the internet, or my Instagram feed, looking for quick and easy vegetarian meal prep ideas. I can usually find recipes that pique my interest, but I never get around to making them. I recently came across a workshop on Eventbrite by EcoSource called “Kitchen Roots.” This workshop combined my interest in healthy vegetarian recipes with the bonus of allowing me to make and meal prep my food.
What is EcoSource?
EcoSource is an Ontario-based organization that started in Mississauga in 1979. The organization inspires communities to become more environmentally friendly. They promote waste reduction, urban agriculture, sustainability education, nature connection and youth leadership through creative public education programs.
The staff at EcoSource take great pride in the programs they run. Their plans are interactive and engaging learning experiences. The hope through these programs is that guests will bring their learnings home and share them with friends and family. EcoSource programs take place in communities across the GTA and include projects such as Local Foods, Sustainability and Nature Play, Waste Reduction Education and Youth Action.
Funny enough, I first learned about EcoSource through some of my crazy eco-friendly friends who are passionate about climate change. I was intrigued when I saw a friend’s post about a community garden she was planting with EcoSource. I’ve always wanted a vegetable garden, so I undoubtedly clicked the follow button to see what the organization was all about. The power of social media, right? After scrolling through Instagram, I came across an IG story by EcoSource. It was a swipe-up story that led to an Eventbrite webpage for the “Kitchen Roots” workshop.
What did I do at the workshop?
Kitchen Roots is a vegetarian meal prepping program put on by EcoSource. I signed up through Eventbrite and eagerly awaited the free event. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that. The event was completely free, which was astonishing to me.
I arrived at St. Hilary Elementary School and entered the EcoSource office. I was eager and ready to begin the program that took place inside of the Teaching Kitchen. Finally, I was going to learn new vegetarian recipes and how to meal prep them. The staff at EcoSource were well prepared and very friendly. They had all of the kitchen utensils, recipes and produce laid out for us. We split into two groups of about 6-8 people. One group learned how to make a quick, cheesy vegetable pasta and a delicious, easy apple spinach salad, while my group cooked sweet potato enchiladas and enchilada soup (see bottom of this post for recipes). The meal prepping aspect of the program was a real eye-opener. We learned how to make two different recipes using the same ingredients and how to meal prep both for the week. Or even longer if you chose to freeze the enchilada soup.
What I loved most about this event was the sense of community I felt. After learning the recipes, prepping the ingredients and cooking the food, everyone gathered to eat some of what we had made. The whole event lasted roughly two hours – which flew by – and at the very end, most attendees packed up to-go containers to take home. The overall experience was fun as well as educational, and it made me feel a part of a community. The experience really pushed me towards wanting to get more involved in similar events.
How to get involved?
I’m not going to be preachy and tell you to live a more eco-friendly life. The decision is up to you. However, if you’re interested in learning how to be more environmentally conscious, or you just love food or want to grow your own, you can follow EcoSource on any of their social platforms or check out their website at https://ecosource.ca.
The Kitchen Roots event by EcoSource inspired me to attend more events like this one. It provided me with knowledge and made me feel part of something bigger than myself. I think that’s the reason most people go to events, gatherings or anything in a group setting. We all want to feel connected to something. If you’re interested in living a more eco-friendly/conscious lifestyle, there are many things you can do, but start small. Follow an account on social media, attend an event, join a class or try something new and heck, drag some of your friends out with you. There’s no telling where it will take you, what you will learn and the people you will meet, but I promise, there will always be something to take away. Like these recipes below, enjoy!
Recipes Here: “Rock What You’ve Got, Recipes for Preventing Food Waste.”
NOTE: I, along with Mississauga Climate Action, are not associated with EcoSource. All opinions are my own.