Very very very excited to indulge and treat myself to some amazing vegan eats. Toronto’s Vegandale Festival is taking over Fort York. Go hungry because… yummmm. Although I’m not vegan myself, strictly, I support the ethos, love the movement and mostly eat vegetarian food, interspersed with moderate amounts of animal-based products. I’m a flexatarian… especially during this pregnancy. However, whenever I can, I support and cook with ingredients that are kinder and gentler to our animal friends. No judgement, just love and tastebuds.
Eating in pregnancy has been a challenge at times. I am turned off by foods I used to love (sorry, Hummus). I plan a meal and sometimes have no desire for it by the time I am ready to make it. I also have to eat small meals, frequently. This was tough on my work schedule, but now that summer is here I’m finding it a pleasure to shop locally and get fresh items as they pop into my head. Here’s what’s on the pregnancy menu:
I make batches of foods like frittata and gazpacho (I toss in whatever fresh ingredients I have and hide all the nutrients I can in the mix). I am loving the Oh, She Glows cookbook’s Gazpacho recipe and the local tomatoes and red peppers are making this a fave to drink straight from a mason jar.
I am following an intuitive eating plan – I look up what I’m not allowed to eat, strike that from the record – and eat whatever my body is craving. Grapefruit. Steak. Broccoli. Asparagus. Cereal. Papaya. Peaches. Cashew butter on English muffins. Strawberries and cherries.
Baby is getting lots of good stuff. Plus I’ve found (thanks to my sister-in-law) a great sub for my daily icecream cravings: PC makes a fantastic Skyr frozen yogurt bar in three flavours (berry, mango and caramel) – they are high in protein and delicious. There are also great Motts fruit freezies in a variety of apple and berry blends.
I’m not saying no to foods. This has been a huge blessing. I am enjoying the full palate available and really giving myself permission to eat what I want, when I want it. What a nice, guiltless approach. Sometimes it’s not so healthy: “Babe, I need you to go get me Chinese food and a Dairy Queen Blizzard.” But more often, I’m eating fresh, whole foods and feeling pretty great.
Even though the ‘eating for two’ excuse is a bit of a cheat, I am loving the variety and healthy (with some great indulgences) that pregnancy has encouraged me to consume.What are your go-to recipes?
We recently painted the whole main floor of our house a fresh coat of gallery white. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes – with everything all tidy, with this beautiful clean palette. The windows are open, brunch has been served and here is a whole afternoon with a house that feels calm and bellies that are full.
We served up some French lentils ( care of Oh She Glows cookbook), bagels, smoked salmon, simple salad, quiche, mango and peach punch… and peanut butter chocolate ice cream cake for dessert.
Not as posh as you’d expect, but super tasty and surprisingly affordable (if you aren’t getting the caviar) – it was a great start to our evening out and is perfect for rubbing elbows with foodies (who might just so happen to be some big-time influencers like the Chef from Epic Meal Time.
If you are in Toronto – Momofuku won’t disappoint.
I love a good gimmick. A costume party, a themed restaurant,… a well-conceived motif. Especially if it’s not just a gimmick. Naturally, I fell head over lederhosen for Otto’s Bier Hall, where the selection of brew is impressive and their long tables gave a nod to the bier markets of Germany and Austria, with a hipster twist of neon tube lights, more than usually stylish servers, five dollar happy hour specials and living plant walls.Photo Credit: google image
I even went with my German friend, who was equally pleased with the selection of currywurst, schnitzel, pretzels and lots of other sharing plates, sides and ‘feasts’ that sound way better when he says them in a German accent.
After a good meal, some brew and a great hangout with friends, a trip to the powder room turns into a highlight … as the gender neutral facilities are also individually equipped with – mystery buttons.
Being the naturally curious gal that I am, it took all of five seconds for me to press the button, when to my delight, the stall was transformed into a blacklight dance party with illustrations on the walls and 15 seconds of music.
Stay tuned for more local gems from the Six, the T.Dot and what we actually just call Toronto. Party on!
Nothing makes me smile more than fun little surprises. Otto’s is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Toronto. Affordable. Tasty. And refreshingly adorable, with friendly staff and it’ll make washing your hands a real party.