About Bree and Urban Garlic

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Hello there! My name is Bree, and welcome to my own little corner of the Internet, Urban Garlic. This site is mainly a destination where I share some of my and my husband’s favourite, self-developed vegan recipes, as well as some personal recommendations on vegan personal care products, restaurants, fashion and more!

About Urban Garlic

I started Urban Garlic as a side blog in late 2014 when I was feeling very bored at an agency job and wanted a creative outlet.

It wasn’t originally a dedicated food blog but quickly evolved into one as I gradually became more interested in original recipe creation. I’ve always loved cooking, but in my mid-20s, I started experimenting with actually creating my own stuff. And it was good!

My first few years of photos and recipes were, by current standards, tragic. But there were still some good finds in there!

Today, Urban Garlic is a source mainly for vegan recipes, as well as occasional product, restaurant and shop recommendations, and a few vegan thoughts here or there.

Who I am

I’m 29 years old and a full-time reporter/editor based in Toronto. I teach tap dancing on the side and, when I remember to, update my blog!

I’m a very active and athletic person – I cycle to work every day (yes, even in January) and am almost always lifting, climbing or dancing. I’m a classically trained vocalist and pianist and love expressing myself artistically. I consider food an extension of that art.

In 2017 I married my soulmate, Jarrod, in Bowmanville, ON. We reside in East York with our cat, Ben, and live next door to our best friends. We have no children, nor do we have plans to have children, but we are very close with our respective families, who live very close, including my two-year-old nephew. Family and friends are very important to us. We love our community and love living busy lifestyles.

About the food you will (and won’t) see here

I have been a vegan since 2013. Therefore, all of the food here is 100% vegan — no compromise.

I don’t have any food allergies or intolerances and don’t restrict myself from foods like gluten, nuts or soy. However, I make efforts whenever possible to offer alternatives to common allergens. I do not claim to be an expert on this.

As an athlete, I tend to gravitate toward food that is high in fibre and protein, and doesn’t contain a lot of refined sugar (but I’m not anti-sugar by any means). And, like many people, I work nine to five and get home past six every day, so I wanted to make food for people who don’t want to wait another two hours to get some good food in their belly!

Some bloggers like to have themes to their blogs – some are all about re-creating comfort classics, while others are all about earthy, plantiful (heh) concoctions with exotic ingredients. Personally, the theme here is variety!

On Wednesdays, I’ll usually post something to inspire you to make for the weekend – something that might take a little longer or require a few more kitchen tools, and something that feels like more of an indulgent, weekend treat (although I believe in treats for all days that end in Y, sometimes it’s way more fun to treat yourself on the weekend when you have time to go all-out).

On Saturdays, I’ll be more likely to serve you something that feels a bit easier, a bit lighter and a bit more convenient for when you’ve reached the end of your cooking capacity and then see that it’s only Tuesday. No dough, no overnight prep, no crazy marinades (some marinades, however, are always welcome, but when it comes to something that has to sit in the fridge for 60 minutes? Ain’t nobody got time for that!)

What don’t I post? Well, for starters, I’ve always been of the belief that no one needs a blog to tell them how to make avocado toast. And I don’t just mean I won’t literally post avocado toast. I’m not interested in building an audience off of recipes that seem too simple, that other vegan bloggers have done to death, that I’m not offering an original take on.

I also don’t like to post recipes with labels like “healthy,” “clean” or “guilt-free.” There are all sorts of reasons for this, but being that I have a history of disordered eating, it didn’t feel right for me to potentially become part of the machine that ruled my life for so long. What’s “healthy” for people is subjective (no one’s saying you should go stuffing a fistfull of white sugar in your face, but to put it simply, for four years I wasn’t allowed to eat apples due to digestive problems, and my father is not allowed to eat spinach due to a chronic health problem. Lots of food can be unhealthy, depending on who’s eating it). I also don’t like associating food with labels like “clean” (because if there’s “clean” food that means there’s “dirty” food) or “guilt-free” (no one should feel guilty for eating).

I also don’t use labels like “detox,” “cleanse” or “re-set,” which I associate with food-guilt. If you’re fine with these labels, that’s your prerogative, but I won’t put them on my blog.

I love to respond to emails as well, so drop me a line if you’re so inclined!

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