Sunday, December 4, 2011

Vegan Reuben Sandwich

I have to start off with a confession: I've never eaten a "real" reuben sandwich. In fact, when I was in high school, I would go with my sister and her boyfriend to their favourite little deli shop near our campus. Every time, I would want to gag at the smell of the reuben they always ordered. I don't even actually knows what goes in one of those things... sauerkraut, rye bread? That's about it.

So, for some reason that still escapes me, I started suddenly having vegan reuben cravings like mad earlier this week. Seriously, I was like a pregnant woman craving ice cream and pickles... I may have spent precious hours of prime thesis proposal writing time scouring Pinterest for options, like Option #1:
or Option #2:
I looked, I considered, I conquered... I had to try my hand at this. The upside? Since I'd never had one before, there was little chance I'd be disappointed! I knew I wouldn't make a traditional reuben anyway. I wasn't a fan of all the use of veganaise, fake cheese, and what not, so my final result was chock full of whole, organic ingredients and deeeeelicious local flavours:
2 slices of miche (a type of sourdough bread) from Art-is-In Bakery
red cabbage sauerkraut from Roots Down
pan-fried mushrooms
caramalized onions
tomato slices
home-made garlicky cashew cheese sauce*

*apple cider vinegar, soaked cashews, lemon juice, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, hint of maple syrup

Reuben or not... this combination of flavours was addictive, and was repeated twice over the week in a big bowl minus the bread. Hmm, maybe I should create the "Reuben bowl" in that way that they have sushi bowls... yummy...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

5 New Flexibility Goals

For a change, I'll allow myself to boast and say (perhaps again) that I've always been fairly flexible. It might have been the years of dance or perhaps my obsessive childhood perseverance of trying to remember to stretch during commercials... whatever it is, something paid off. 

I mentioned a while back that, for almost a year now, I've achieved my lifelong goal of easily being able to go into the splits. I also posted the basic stretching routine, which I do after every workout, that I think really contributed to where I am now.

After reaching my splits goal and all sorts of other crazy stuff, I've decided to up the ante. As of today, here are some of my goals for the year ahead. Good thing I've started dancing a couple times a week again... Hopefully, that will both help and motivate me to get there.

1) The Standing Splits
(not necessarily on pointe, but hey, why not dream big)

2) Laybacks like I used to be able to do...
a la Rachel Brice...
or in a crazy "I have no spine" way...

3) Controlled Forearm/Headstands
kinda like that, so I can one day move it slowly into...

4) ... this Crazy Chinese Acrobat-Looking Pose
Though this definitely requires strength, I find is so absolutely beautiful...

5) Partnered Goal

Andrew's new goal is also to be able to do this... Essentially, to use me as his human kettle bell, which I have no problem with! It will require more lightness and body control on my part, and some more crazy man muscles from him... Yay, we all win!
Here's to continuous new crazy shoot-for-the-moon goals!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Creamy Vegan Squash Soup

So I promised a coup recipe.... and I deliver! Recently, we bought one of these beauties at the market:
That's a Pink Banana and/or a Georgia Candy Roaster. Now do keep in mind that those are about the size of my torso, if not longer. I haven't figured out yet if those two breeds are the same squash under a different names, sub-families, or just two unrelated squash. Anyway, we bought one and it barely fit into the oven.

That's a lot of squash. It turned it a pretty wicked vegan birthday cheesecake, it was also became yummy roasted squash with honey, sea salt, herbs, and olive oil, and with all that was leftover it also became bowls and bowls of this delicious soup.

Now, I know that soup is a pretty easy thing to make, but I'm a lazy soup maker. I don't know why. This one takes about 5 minutes or less to make, which is definitely a feature. I'm sure that you can also use any of your favourite squash instead of the one I used to come up with an equally simple and tasty recipe.
Creamy Vegan Squash Soup
Makes enough for 1 big bowl

1 C cooked squash
1/2 C "milk" (I used coconut milk)
1/2 C water
1 teaspoon of liquid sweetener
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
half a clove of garlic
dash of cumin

1. Blend ingredients in Vitamix.
2. Heat over medium heat on the stove, if you like.

See? Simple and delicious. I've also made variants where I fried onions and the garlic in the pot before I tossed in the soup. I've also added rosemary and thyme. I've used almond milk, coconut milk and soy milk, and they all turned out lovely. 

Stay warm!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving & 5 Seasonal Foods I'm Grateful For

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, family, and readers! May your day be filled with gratitude and yummy delicious food. 
We had our first snow here in Ottawa yesterday, and while everyone started to complain, I'm still choosing to get excited by how magical the first snow fall looks! So to go along with the whole theme of the day, here are 5 foods that I get really excited about during this time of the year and that I'm grateful Mother Nature decided to give to us:

1) Persimmons
So, I know a lot of people who didn't grow up eating persimmons find them gooey and weird, but there's something about their strange texture that I just can't get enough of. I can't say I know much about other types of persimmon, but hachiyas steal my heart away every winter. Their awesome colouring shows that they are high in anti-oxidants like vitamin A, B, and C, beta-carotene, and lycopene, amongst others. They also contain a carotenoid, called zeaxanthin, which is really good for your eyes (something to do with protecting your retina and light-filtering functions). So, eat your gooey fruit!

2) Clementines
Ah, nature's candy. They're perfect to fight colds and flus because of their high levels of Vitamin C and they're like little bursts of energy in the cold dark winter months.

Speaking of being grateful, can you imagine what kind of expectations we put on presents and stuff around Christmas time nowadays? Before, people would be really excited just to get an orange or a clementine for Christmas because they were so rare and came from so far away. There's perspective for you!

3) Pomegranates
Gotta love the sweet tartness of these awesome alien fruit. Hey, go figure, another winter fruit very high in Vitamin C! Pomegranates have gotten quite the PR boost over the last few years because everyone realized just how high in anti-oxidants they are. Because of that, they're heart healthy, help combat Alzheimer's and bone loss, are good for lady problems, and are great for your teeth! I also find it very meditative to peel them...

4) Hot Chesnuts
"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." There's a reason we put them into song. They're part of the quintessential deliciousness of winter. I don't get to eat these all the time, but on those cold winter days in France, there's nothing to me like going up to a hot chestnut vendor and wrapping your hands around the toasty warm paper packaging for a winter treat. 

On top of that, chestnuts are one of the few nuts that are relatively lower in calories. They're also one of the best "repair food." They're great for building muscle because they help build and mend damaged body tissue, for your teeth, and to help patch up holes or leaks in blood vessels and capillaries.

5) Soup

One of my favourite non-raw allowances in the winter is just a bowl of plain ol' hearty vegetable soup. They're nothing quite as satisfying as warming yourself with soup when you come in from those minus 30 degree temperatures. I'm sure I'll be posting more recipes for these in the next couple months since one of my goals is just being more creative about my soups in general... Actually, I have a pretty good squash soup recipe in the making!!!

See, even our kitty likes his seasonal foods:
Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, November 14, 2011

5 Amazing Potluck Dishes

This was meant to come up last night, but to start off your week, here are some yummy food pictures from Andrew's birthday party this weekend. Hopefully, it will inspire you on what to bring to your next vegan potluck!

1) Harvest Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
Made by our lovely friend, Kadri, these babies were stuffed with cranberries, nuts, wild rice, apricots, and all sorts of other indescribable harvest-y yummies. They were as tasty as they were gorgeous!

2) Polenta and Ratatouille
So I've been wanting to try polenta for ages now, but have never really had the opportunity. 'Lo and behold, but the wonderful Angela comes over with polenta covered in all my all time favourite... ratatouille! Now there's a winner! As for my first taste of polenta? Everyone always told me polenta is bland, and I suppose that the taste is kind of understated, but there's something about the texture that is way too fun!

3) Vegan Chili, Roasted Squash, & Soup Fixin's
With some of my roasted pink banana squash featured in the background (roasted with rosemary, thyme, maple syrup, olive oil, and salt), is Rob's perfectly spicy chili. Though I suppose not for the faint of heart, it was the perfect level of mouth tingly goodness to me... that, and I was apparently having a thing for corn that evening.

4) Spicy Flu-Curing Kale Soup
Oh Ashley, like I mentioned already, this soup literally rocked my world. I always eat kale raw, and this was such a good reason to make me change my mind. It was full of flavour, garlic, onion, basil, cayenne... I was really excited that I was able to have its leftovers for dinner last night. Also, she taught us the neat trick from Mexico of putting avocados in your soup. Weird? Think again! A warm avocado is delicious!

5) The Desert Assortment
What's better than one birthday cake? Two birthday cakes! Kadri provided a lovely vegan carrot cake and I made a raw chocolate chipotle decadence torte/cake/brownie thing with spicy chocolate, avocado frosting. Though not featured here, these were both paired with triple berry gelato made by our circle's gelato expert (it's always good to have one). Reports said that it was perfectly creamy and what Italian ice cream dreams are made of (and I may have licked the spoon to check, and yes... they were right!)

6) Laury's Stuffed Artichokes
And just because I can never stick to the number I put in my post title, I also made my version of Laurie's to-die-for Quinoa & Tempeh Stuffed Artichokes early this week and had to rave about. Though Andrew's not a huge fan of stuffed foods, I definitely am. I'll stuff a pepper, a zucchini, a tomato, a squash, a cucumber, an eggplant, and now an artichoke! I'm all for self-contained meals. 

Actually, of all things, these reminded me of one of my favourite childhood Chinese treats: zong zi. Essentially, there glutinous rice and other goodies (my favourite was always peanuts, mushrooms, salted meat, and tiny shrimp) wrapped and steamed in bamboo leaves. The flavours are always so delicious, and somehow this recipe had that same aromatic taste.  

Is life always this delicious? Have a good week!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

5 Awesome Foods of the Week

Here are a few of the raw and/or delicious things I have consumed and made this week to keep you inspired in your own health journeys:

1) Can't... Stop... Eating... Collard Wraps
They're so good I always end up eating them before I remember to take a picture. I've usually been filling mine with carrot, beets, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, and my sun-dried tomato/sunflower seed/almond "meat" (a variation of this old recipe). In fact, I may go make some more when I'm done writing this.

I mentioned a little while back that one of my goals this winter was stay way more raw than I did last year. I know that a big part of that is finding the foods that make me feel raw and nourished when it starts to go below zero. Last year, I got too lazy to try, got cold, and just had whatever would take that feeling away (among other excuses, I tell myself that it was also my first winter in Ottawa, so I was adapting...). I know that a lot of people say that cold climates weren't designed for raw foodies, but I'm sure there's a way of eating seasonally and raw that will defy that! 

2) My First Attempt at a Raw Tiramisu
This was one of my two creations for my weekly raw catering. I based it largely on Cafe Gratitude's Tiramisu recipe in their I am Grateful recipe book. Of course I added my own flair here and there based on ingredient availability and desire to make it a little less complex, but I thought it ended up pretty convincing!

3) Raw Carrot Cake Take 2
My raw birthday carrot cake was so amazing I had to make this my second catering order this week. Thanks again Amanda for giving me ideas for awesomeness... I used the same ingredients I listed last time, except for the maple syrup. To keep it 100% raw and vegan for my job, I stuck with raw agave nectar (which I don't wholly endorse).

4) Cauliflower Jerusalem Artichoke "Stew"
My one cooked recipe of the week was based off of a fantastic dish I recently had at the Table. I can't remember what it was called, but all I know is that it was delicious, had cauliflower, jerusalem artichokes, and coconut milk in it, and that I had to try to make it at home. My version also had tomatoes, a mix of soy milk and coconut milk, a little bit of curry powder, onions, raw honey, sea salt. It was soooo good. I love the subtle flavour of jerusalem artichokes and it goes so well with cauliflower! To add some green to the meal, I paired it with a lovely massaged kale salad.

5) And... My Marathon Training Plan
Oops, so I ran out of food things to write about... I could have featured my other creation of the week which another first attempt: a very successful veggie pate, but being me, I neither took pictures nor wrote a recipe. Instead, I'll let you know that my 1/2 marathon training plan is still moving a long slowly but surely. I've obviously done my share of 10K+ type long runs, but because I kind of fell off the training wagon over the spring/summer, I'm just going through the whole 18 weeks to allow my body to get back into the whole running thing.

As I mentioned before, I'm following a plan I saw on Tone it Up's blog back in September (and I think they got it from Self Magazine). I really started to take it more seriously this week (I'm on week 3) as I've been a little off when it comes to gym time recently. On the upside, I've been dancing a lot recently which has been fantastic, and have made the commitment as of this week to really just start doing both!

That's it for this week! Hope you're having a lovely and still marginally warm weekend! (Don't forget to turn your clocks tomorrow :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

5 Awesome Weekday Happenings

1) Making my own Version of this Raw Chocolate Orange Cheesecake
Gorgeous, isn't it? I did get to taste it, but it was for my catering gig. I changed the crust from the original recipe. I also tweaked the proportions of the filling and omitted the orange extract because I was out. It's the perfect for the Fall!

2) Pairing an Awesome Chocolate Orange Cheesecake with a Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is one of my own making. The crust was pecan, walnuts, and dates. The filling was pumpkin, lemon juice, soaked cashews, agave, vanilla, pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, mace, allspice), and sea salt.

3) Receiving a Stash of Sunwarrior Goods in the Mail
So over a month ago, I won a giveaway from the lovely Ayah over at Healthy Tasty Cheap. When I won, it totally made my day since that was around the time my laptop had gotten stolen. However, the package must have had quite the journey to get to me. I'd been in and of town, there was a mail strike up here in Canada, the package was sent back to Ayah and then sent back here again, but one month and a bit later, it finally got to my door! Thanks again Ayah for not giving up on me :)

The food goods are all from Sunwarrior (a great brand of raw protein) and include Raw Activated Barley packs, their raw vegan protein powder in two flavours, their Ormus Supergreens powder mixes, and because the Healthy Tasty Cheap folks are awesome, I also got lots of other neat goodies :) Look out for smoothie recipes soon!

4) Our Awesome New Natural Rubber & Wool Bed with Organic Cotton Sheets
Our new organic bed comes from Obasan, and we love it so much. The difference between this bed and our old bed full of "toxic" stuff is phenomenal (as much as I was absurdly emotionally attached to the last one). I can just breathe the sunshine and lollipops the minute my head hits the pillow on our new bed... this is only marginally an exaggeration.

Why avoid "regular" bedding? Well, they're more prone to collecting mold and mildew, and bed bugs. If that's not enough, a lot of the components of regular bedding contain flame retardants and nasties like DEHP (a phthalate which outgasses badly enough that it's been banned in Europe), antimony (a toxic chemical), boric acid (mostly used as an insecticide or flame retardant), other pesticides, polyurethane foam (yet another noxious outgassing chemical substance), and penta-BDE (a flame retardant that's been attributed with behavioural disorders, also banned in Europe and California).

On the flip side, our awesome bed and organic bedding in general lasts longer, protects against dust mites and bed bugs, helps naturally maintain your body temperature when you sleep, and obviously doesn't contain any nasties.

5) Getting to Hang Out on Farms as Part of my Doctoral Work

Yep, as part of my PhD coursework, I will be spending the next few days (and hopefully lots of time over the next couple years) hanging out on farms, talking to folks about their work and their views on sustainable agriculture and food systems. Can you think of a more ideal scenario for me, because I can't! Hopefully, a lot of this will also roll over into my dissertation.

The picture above is of highland cattle which I'm particularly excited about because I get to see some on a biodynamic farm on Saturday. Have to say that some parts of my life are pretty freakin' awesome.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

5 Awesome Weekend Happenings

Just a quick hello to share 5 of the awesome things that have made up my weekend (yes, 3 out of 5 of them are food... what did you expect?):

1) Ottawa Thai Massage's 3 hour Couple's Workshop 

The workshop was run by our amazing and absurdly multi-talented friend, Devin Johnstone.
For a really quick idea of what it is: Thai Massage mainly involves deep stretching and massage. It's usually done on the floor or mat, and the masseuse guides the receiver into a variety of yoga-esque/stretching positions and then applies firm and/or rhythmic pressure like a normal massage. While that made sound a little strenuous, it isn't at all. It's really relaxing, and after all, I'm one to love a nice juicy stretch.

We absolutely loved it! It was broken down into partner awareness exercises, a quick partner meditation, and then down to the dirty work. It was absurdly relaxing, and a wonderful way to connect. I may or may not have gotten a little emotional... We'll definitely be practicing what we learned as often as we remember!

2) Angela's Amazing Parsnip Fries
I originally thought these sounded kinda weird, but they are SO. GOOD... like I want to go back into the kitchen and use up my entire of bag of parsnips just to make these...

3) Our final fall harvest

It was made up of Andrew's lovingly planted heirloom potatoes and lots and lots of my green tomatoes! Oh Canada and your absurdly early frosts... FYI, for people who also planted their tomatoes too late in the season, here are 10 Things to do with Green Tomatoes...  I found some of these tricks pretty handy. Either way though, there is something so fantastic about growing your own food. I only didn't have to buy tomatoes all summer, and I can't wait to see what we'll be able to do with a "real" yard.

The potatoes were amazing, and I made do with all the green tomatoes by slicing them up and baking them with a little olive oil, pepper, rosemary, and sea salt. Yuummmmmyyy!
4) Shirataki noodles

Just discovered these at the Herb and Spice today! They're made from soybeans, and are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, about 40 calories a pack (about 4 times less than their "real" noodle kin). They're deliciously satisfying to curb pasta cravings! Sure they're a little processed for me, but I have no qualms with non-GMO soy. Once in a blue moon these types of things won't hurt me, instead they'll be delicious, and in my belly. I served them up with a raw avocado pesto tomato sauce,  broccoli, red pepper, my green tomatoes, and caramelized onions. Mm mm good.
This is what happened to them:
5) Starting Bikram Again

Though I've been feeling out of the fitness loop over the last few weeks, I took the bull by the horns and went for Bikram session for the first time in over a year. This was part of my commitment to go a couple times a week over the next month.
While I thought I would be completely out of it, since it had been so long, it actually ended up being amazing. It was just like getting back onto a bike, really. I was a little rusty, but it went very well. I made sure to drink enough water before hand, and sure I got a bit dizzy partway through (I think it's because I went at 6pm and hadn't eaten since about noon) but I poured buckets of sweat for 90 minutes and I left feeling absolutely elated. I forgot just how much I'd come to love Bikram, and how emotionally and physically clean it always leaves me. I'm not actually sure why I ever stopped. I can't wait to again next week!

For those interested, I took this class through Bikram Yoga Ottawa. I think it may be my favourite bikram studio to date. I loved the instructor from my regular haunt back in DC, but this studio was super clean, super friendly, and though it sounds random, they had organic soap dispenser and use filtered water, which was absolute icing on the cake after a sweaty session.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, and have a great start to this week! My tip of the day: Don't forget to eat breakfast, my kitty certainly never forgets to get in on our morning blueberry-banana-spinach-spirulina smoothie action:

Monday, October 3, 2011

How to Have an Epic Birthday

How to have an epic birthday, tip #1: Have awesome friends.

There are little things in life that you just don't realize how much you appreciate 'til you take a step back and realize how awesome everything you have is. That was how yesterday went for me, which also happened to be my birthday. It was everything I wanted nothing fancy, nothing crazy, and yet nothing boring or simple. After a year of crazy and self-inflicted ups and major downs, it was, in all respects, perfect. Friends, food, spontaneous music, laughter, happiness, all coming together under our roof. What more could you want, really?

I also can't say how grateful I am that everyone went out of their way to make beautiful and tasty dishes that fit within my vegan ethic. It was even an added bonus and awesome coincidence that everyone unknowingly ended up bringing a dish that completely randomly either had a) one of my favourite ingredients of all time b) something I've been jonesing for recently for no real reason. Some of these things included dulse (over edmame), mushrooms (in the most gorgeous and veganized fall pie with butternut squash and the most frighteningly convincing tofu cheese), samosas (really, I just eat the insides, but I've been dreaming of those insides for weeks!), a raw massage kale salad (it was my birthday, so I got to claim about half of it for me!!!!), and carob (in the form of vegan gluten-free and zucchini-based carob brownies... oh. my. god. yum.) 

Of course, the piece de resistance was the most amazing raw carrot cake ever topped with a maple cashew frosting. It was of course made with love by my bestie, Amanda, who specially came over early just so I could help :) (Love you soooo much, Amanada!!!) This girl knows me so well that when I asked her what I should do about dessert, she immediately texted me a whole recipe for her wicked raw carrot cake. Little did she know that I had wanted raw carrot cake so badly earlier in the week that I had actually started a to-do list on my phone just to figure out how I could put one together for myself some time... I didn't even have to do it because she made the magic happen!
Cake: carrots, apricots, dates, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, 
cardamom, nutmeg, orange zest, coconut, almonds, raisins & walnuts
Frosting: cashews, lemon, maple syrup, vanilla

In fact, everything was so tasty that even my kitty wanted in:
Thanks again so much to everyone, and especially to Andrew, for planning this and making awesomeness happen. It was perfect and I feel so blessed and loved :) Hope your starts to the month have also been as stellar!

For this coming week: Come up with 10 October goals like I did in September (I managed to actually accomplish 7 out of 10)! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Chai Latte

One of my favourite captioned photos of all time is of this kid:

Seriously, he's the cutest. Doesn't he just look SO excited? If you look at that picture though, that's kind of how I feel about fall. I love fall. Really it's kind of insane. A few days ago, I was trying to explain that the feeling I get in my mind and body when fall comes along. The only real way to describe it was that fall actually turns me on. Now don't get me wrong, if you actually look up the definition of a "turn on" in the dictionary, it doesn't have to apply to something sexual. In fact, it just means "something or someone that causes excitement or pleasure," and Hello does fall do both for me!

Since fall started a few weeks ago, everything has been amazingly falling into place. Yesterday, Andrew and I met at Dow's Lake for a kayaking date, and this is just one shot of my beautiful walk from class through the Arboretum to meet him:
No crazy colours just yet, but they're coming! I may or may not have actually frolicked through the park. I may or may not have gotten a few weird looks from passersby. I definitely did not care.

As part of my fall awesomeness plan, pumpkin has definitely been making an increasing appearance in our household. That's mostly thanks to all the raw vegan pumpkin pies I've been making for my awesome new catering gig for one of my favourite local restaurants. Since it got a little bit chillier tonight, I decided to stick with the pumpkin theme and try my hand at making a vegan pumpkin chai latte. This one turned out to be a little heavier on the "latte" part of that name than the chai, but it was tasty either way!

Pumpkin Chai Latte
Yield: About 2 Cups

2 C non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon of teeccino or ground coffee (optional)
1 tea bag of chai of your choice
2 generous tablespoons of pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spices*
splash of vanilla
dash of cayenne
very small dash of salt
sweetened to taste with maple syrup (about 2-3 T)

*I went heavy on the cinnamon, but also had ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and cardamon

1. Over medium heat, warm milk with tea bag, spices, and teeccino/coffee as if making regular chai.
2. Add all the other ingredients, and stir well until uniform.
3. When it's as warm as you wish! Drink away! I can see this going very well with some kind of warming fall treat, like pumpkin bread or some candied nut loaf... yum.

For all you raw folk, I'll share a valuable trick with you. The secret to authentic tasting raw pumpkin anything is to dehydrate the pumpkin "flesh" first before making it into anything... it'll taste just like the real deal!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Raw on the Road: London and Toronto, take 2

Whether you're from there or just visiting, everyone knows that London is a pretty conservative town. Generally, conservative town = not super vegan friendly. Every time we go there, I tend to kind of forget about that, probably out of some sort of denial. However, if you know where to look, there are a fair number of organic and veg-friendly options. Especially if you choose to go the DIY route, their health food stores stock some very decent options: downtown London hosts the London Food Co-op, Wortley Village's Quarter Master Natural Foods, and the East End has Lyn-Dys (they are a bit pricier).

Even more exciting, we discovered Organic Works' new location, a mostly vegan and gluten-free bakery and cafe for all your yummy bread/baked good needs. We even got to meet the owner, Peter, who took us on a quick tour of the bakery! A foodie's dream come true! (If you're not in London, you can still find their stuff in most cities in the province and I would definitely recommend you try them!)

Restaurant-wise, you're pretty much limited to Veg Out, and while I'm grateful for the option, I'm honestly not crazy about the place. I always leave the place thinking "meh, that was nice" in the way I know I do when my options are slim and I'm making the best of it. Maybe I've been spoiled by the veg-friendliness of Ottawa and DC, maybe I just have a snobby palate, or maybe they're honestly simply not that great, who knows.

Despite that, we did manage to take a few friends and family members out there this week, so I'll leave it to pictures to tell you how it went:
The first night out, I had their raw collard roll appetizers "filled" with a date-nut mix, veggies and a really nice spicy cilantro chili lime sauce. While I know it was just a starter, the rolls had so little filling in them, that I was still pretty starved. To make up for it, I partook of a bit of Andrew's sweet potato corn soup featured in the background (then munched on more veggies when we went home).
Andrew raved about his chickpea-nut burger, which he got with sweet potato wedges. He also got me a side of raw coleslaw I loved so much that I scarfed it down before it was photographed. He also got it the second night we were there with some pretty fantastic sweet potato cornbread.
I wasn't willing to go hungry again that second night, so I opted for their tempeh BLT sans bread and over a bed of greens instead. I was really grateful they obliged but the tempeh was super salty (and remember, I like salt)!

Once again, were it not for Veg Out, we'd have nowhere to eat out in London, but meh. The one thing they do do really well are sides, their raw coleslaw, wedges and cornbread are amazing. So brownie points for effort and side dishes for sure!

The non-plussed feeling I got from London motivated us to add a couple extra hours to our return trip to go back to Toronto's Live on our way back home today. Just like the first time, it was soooo worth it. This time, we actually had the chance to eat there, and enjoyed some time on their back patio.

Andrew started with a pretty wicked protein smoothie with all sorts of superfoods (bee pollen, spirulina, maca, etc) and a kombucha.
Then I had the most fantastic curry noodle bowl, which included my beloved kelp noodles, peas, tomatoes, spicy almonds, green coconut curry and micro greens. I could seriously have eaten ten bowls of this... Actually, I did get another order to go for dinner tomorrow! I already can't wait...
Andrew had their raw tacos, which made for deliciously messy finger food. I was pretty impressed by them too!
I think Live is easily my favorite raw food restaurant in Canada as of yet. Obvious deliciousness aside, my top reason for loving them most is that their food has never left me feeling overfilled or draggy, like many other raw restaurants have. The latter often tend to be heavily nut-based or less optimally food-combined than Live. Plus, everything there is perfectly portioned, so fresh, and the staff is always really friendly. Truly a vibrant living food experience!

And of course, no epic restaurant outing is complete without desert. We tried their raw tiramisu, which may have actually been one of the best tiramisus in my life. It even beat many versions of the real deal. I'm not even usually a raw desert person:
On that note, we've been sitting on the bus for 8 hours now and just got to our final destination! We're home! Yay! Have a great weekend!