Birthday Meal Recap - Week of April 5

Sunday, April 12, 2009

There was a lot of dining out this week! I only cooked a couple of times but I had some amazing meals with some wonderful company!

Pork chops with asparagus and spiced mashed sweet potatoes (Veganomican)

This was our usual Sunday supper. I ♥ asparagus! I really liked the mashed sweet potatoes, but Joey said they were a little too much like pumpkin pie and he was looking for something a more savory.

Dinner at Avli with Charis
I am a big fa
n of Greek food but I had never been to this particular restaurant. It was delightful! We decided to share a bunch of appetizers. We started off with the hummus and the skordalia (creamy potatoes and garlic).

Since I couldn't have the pita, the server brought me over some cucumbers for dipping. I particularly enjoyed the skordalia! It was very creamy and had a great garlic flavor. We chose a few selections from the vegetarian menu for our mains: grilled leek and sweet pepper and lentils with cheese and walnuts.
They were kind enough to agree to put cheese on half so I could have the half without cheese. Both of these dishes were fantastic. The leeks were very tender and the lentils were lovely! I also had a chicken souvlaki stick (not pictured) and dipped it in more of the skordalia. It was a great meal and I will definitely be going there again.

Cauliflower & Tofu Curry (Best Eats)

I didn't love this and I didn't hate it. Both the cauliflower and tofu had a lot of flavor, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if there had been some type of sauce involved. I found everything to be a little bit dry. I think I'll stick to other tofu recipes!

Dinner at Live with Joey
The website describes itself as Toronto's premier ORGANIC RAW FOOD restaurant so I was excited for something new and fantastic. Raw food has been intriguing me as of late as I've been reading a number of different stories of people who have cured their Crohn's and Colitis with a raw food diet.

In case you're asking yourself
what is Raw Food - it is food that has not been heated above115ºF therefore not destroying any enzymes which aid in digestion allowing for maximum nutrition. The more I read about it, the more I consider heading in that direction with my eating - so more on that to come! I chose the soft shell tacos for my main I actually got so excited about them that I dug in even before I had taken a picture!

They consisted of two (dehydrated) corn "tortillas" filled with ground walnut taco filling and guacamole with cashew sour cream on the side. There was also a salsa Verde but I opted for it on the side since it had tomatoes.

It was honestly delicious and had the same flavor and texture as a taco. The cashew sour cream tasted even better than regular sour cream. It was creamy and had an amazing tang. So amazing! The fact that it was room temperature didn't phase me at all as it was just delicious food! Joey chose one of the cooked mains and had the pasta of the day. It was brown rice pasta with a creamy red pepper sauce with veggies. I didn't try it but he said it was really good also! He couldn't get over the cashew sour cream either.

I had a lot of trouble choosing which dessert I wanted! They had a number of options, all which were gluten & dairy free as well as completely raw. I opted for the black forest cake.

Best cake ever. Seriously.

It was made from dates, almonds, cacao, cashews, agave and berries. It had the creaminess of cheesecake and was incredibly decadent. I didn't want it to end!! Joey had a couple of bites and was blown away. Eating raw food that tasted this good really started to sway me and has inspired me to want to go high raw with my diet. To assist with that Joey got me The Complete Book of Raw Food which I've been reading through over the last few days and I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes!! (It has also made me want a Vita Mix even more and now I want a dehydrator too!!) I highly recommend Live for vegetarians, vegans, gluten free folks or those just looking for an amazing lunch or dinner.

I have no meals to talk about for Thursday (as anticipated I had cereal for dinner since I was home later than usual) but I had some good eats on Friday! When I was at Live, I picked up some dehydrated cinnamon raisin "bagels" I enjoyed one with some almond butter alongside a small slice of some homemade gluten free zucchini loaf, blueberries and some Bengal Tiger spice tea - yum!
I love days off where I can enjoy breakfast at home and not feel rushed. The bagel was yummy! It was quite chewy, but I really liked the cinnamon raisin flavor.

For dinner Joey and I went to Mocha Mocha. This is one of our favourite restaurants. The food is good, the service is fast and it is well priced. I enjoyed the avocado salad plate. half avocado, mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers & half a boiled egg

Because the avocado was perfectly ripe and creamy, I didn't even need the salad dressing! Joey enjoyed the egg yolk and I felt perfectly full and satisfied after the meal.

Dinner at Vi Vetha with Lindsay, Avra, Melanie, Jaime & Ashley

This is what I had originally planned for my birthday - an evening with the girls! I had never been to this restaurant, but I think I found it on a Celiac website because of it's gluten free option. I chose it over some other pasta/pizza places that had a gluten free option because of it's location, prices and selection - I was not disappointed! It had a lovely atmosphere - dim lighting, cozy tables and lots of candle light. I started with the grilled veggie plate which I split with Avra.

It had a yummy selection of grilled vegetables (including golden beets and white asparagus) with a nice salad. We opted for the goat cheese on the side. For my main I selected the grilled chicken fettuccine. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and was able to give me details about what I could and couldn't eat and even verified my choices when he brought it to the table. Our mains took a little long to arrive but it was worth the wait!

It was delightful! It was a very generous portion and my gluten free noodles were cooked to perfection. I loved the pesto, pine nut and chicken combination! My non-gluten-free friends all enjoyed their meals and we decided that we would definitely return. After dinner some of us went back to my house for some tea and treats. I made some more zucchini loaf and coconut macaroons.

It was a really lovely evening with some of my favourite people!! I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends and it was a great end to my birthday week. I have to show you a couple of the gifts that I received. Mel brought me a beautiful notebook, super cute earrings and this mug:
It's the perfect size and I love the colour and design! At the bottom of the cup it says something about a cupcake world but I'm currently drinking tea out of it so I'm unable to quote it. Thanks Melly!

Lindsay went shopping for me with my list of food sensitivities listed on her iphone - how adorable!! She brought me this samurai:
He's a vegetable peeler!! Apparently there was a cheese grater that was similar, but after looking at her list realized that I couldn't eat cheese and she didn't want to depress me on my birthday so she opted for this cute little guy - I love him!! Thanks Linz

Birthdays are so lovely
. I hope you enjoyed my super long post, but I had to tell you about all the fun I had this week! If you're in Toronto, be sure to check out Live, Avli, Vi Vetha and Mocha Mocha.


CoconutGal said...

Wow! Lots of fun photos! You are so pretty :)
Happy Birthday again!

Linz said...

You're so welcome!!!!!

I think I had as good a birthday as you did, and it wasn't even my birthday!! :)

Unknown said...

Hey Ashley,
I've been reading your blog because I recently started training at Roland Semprie Rosedale and have been avoiding wheat, dairy, and processed foods as per my trainer's instructions (and feeling AMAZING -- probably also because I've been working out so hard)! Your recipes, meal plans, and ideas are inspiring! I'm just wondering if you know about Big Mamma's Boy, a great gluten-free option restaurant on Parliament Street, just south of Wellesley. Check it out! Also, if you're looking for new workouts, you should check out some of the classes I'm taking at Roland's: boxing, salsa, core ball, pilates, etc! ... as you say, it helps to find exercise you love to do! Keep up the great blogging!

Ashley Gibson said...

Thank you for the restaurant recommendation - I will have to check that out! I'm glad you're enjoying my blog and feeling better as a result of your new way of eating - that is great!!

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