Hey there friends!
How are you today? I hope your Monday has been treating you nicely so far. As I mentioned on Friday, this past weekend was one I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. Some of you may already know Leanne from Healthful Pursuit, and she’s been over here on Eat Spin Run Repeat a couple of times guest posting about healthy travel snacks and how to get to know yourself nutritionally. We’ve been blog buddies for at least a year now, but had never actually met in person… up until Friday. Leanne recently moved from Calgary to Montreal, and while neither are very close to my little city of Waterloo, I was thrilled when she told me a couple of months ago that she wanted to come visit. She made the 6 hour train ride on Friday, and in exchange for her long day of travel, I promised to give her a weekend full of foodie adventures.
Our first stop immediately after meeting at the train station on Friday night was The Works for dinner. After hearing Leanne and some of my other friends rave about how awesome it is, I had to go and check it out for myself. We waited about half an hour for a table, and when we finally got one, we were absolutely starving. Our meals didn’t disappoint though – I got a massive salad with a huuuuge piece of perfectly grilled chicken on top, and Leanne had an elk burger on a gluten free bun with sweet potato fries. We were very bad bloggers and neither of us managed to snap photos of our meals prior to devouring them. Oops!
Saturday’s agenda was super packed, beginning with a trip to the gym in the morning. We did a little cardio, followed by a (very) hot yoga class, and since I haven’t done yoga in far too long for my liking, it felt great to stretch my muscles for an hour and a half. After showering, it was time to hit up Dana Shortt Gourmet so I could introduce Leanne to the wonderful world of flavoured oils and balsamic vinegars. (Read more about this here.) We sampled almost everything, and both walked away with a few bottles. I pretty much insisted that Leanne get a bottle of my favourite dark maple balsamic, and she paired it with the butter-flavoured olive oil, a totally vegan-friendly, all-natural oil that smells and tastes just like butter. I’m pretty sure she’ll be making pancakes when she gets back to Montreal!
Post-vinegar guzzling, it was off to The Naked Sprout in Burlington for lunch. (If you’re interested, check out my previous trips to this restaurant here and here.)Leanne was in for a grand foodie tour, and there was no way that The Naked Sprout was going to be missed!
I was a little disappointed to see that their menu was missing a few of its usual options, but the server told me that they had actually expanded their offering and split it into separate lunch and dinner menus. Although the lunch menu was smaller, it still took me a while to decide which of the amazing-sounding options to have. I started with the Morning Glory green juice, which contains celery, pear, kale, carrot, greens and ginger. I look forward to this one pretty much every time I go! Leanne got the Pretty in Pink juice, a blend of apple, beets, carrot and orange.
For my meal, I ordered the Kale Salad, a mix of massaged kale, red cabbage, avocado, seeds, grated carrot, pea shoots, goji berries, currants, and hemp seeds. It was ridiculously delicious!
Leanne got the Caesar Salad, made with crisp romaine lettuce, ‘smoked’ coconut bacon (which tastes fantastic, by the way!), parsnip croutons, brazil nut parmesan, and tangy caesar dressing. Although we both thought it could have done with some more greenery, it was pretty amazing! If you’ve turned vegan and have been missing your caesar salads, this one could definitely compete.
After devouring every last morsel on our plates at The Naked Sprout, we headed a little further along our route to Oakville. We stopped at Whole Foods to pick up a few ingredients for our Sunday cooking, then settled down into the comfy armchairs at Starbucks to work on all sorts of nerdy back-end blog business. I’ve got some improvements in the works and I’m excited to show you when they’re ready!
We started getting hungry again (not surprising when your entire day is consumed by talking about and looking at food!) around 5:30 so continued down the highway to Fresh in Toronto. Leanne had been dying to go and it was her only requested mandatory stop on her visit, so obviously I made sure it was in our itinerary.
One thing I love about Fresh is that they allow you to add a lot of options to your meals, and that’s exactly what I did. Leanne ordered the Macro Greens Bowl, which consisted of steamed greens, broccoli, extra sweet potato, tomatoes, bean sprouts, chickpeas, and green dressing. I apologize for the dark photos – we had some very dim lighting to deal with!
My selection was the Eat Your Greens bowl, a beautiful blend of mixed greens, cucumber, napa cabbage, sunflower sprouts, cilantro, parsley, edamame, and Fresh’s signature Fresh Protein Boost. Like Leanne, my dressing was the green dressing and it paired perfectly with all the veggies. I’d been battling a big tempeh craving all day, so I had a couple of sliced added to my bowl, as well as some spiralized raw beets and carrots. Mmmmmmm!
Leanne and I left Fresh with smiling faces and very happy tummies, and if you’re thinking the Eat Your Greens bowl sounds amazing, then I’ve got a little treat coming up for you on Wednesday!
We spent Sunday doing nothing but blogging and cooking up a storm in my kitchen. Prior to Leanne coming out here, we had been discussing all of the amazing things we wanted to make. Eventually we decided that quinoa sushi had to be one of them, so I made sure I had plenty of nori and other sushi-related ingredients on hand. Rather than using traditional rice, we subbed it for quinoa.
On Saturday night we began dreaming up a edamame pate sort of filling and once we started whirling it up in the food processor, we knew we had something great going on. After making several quinoa sushi rolls, we figured it would be a good idea to make some grain-free ones with the remaining pate and veggies. These were amazing!
I wouldn’t consider myself an expert sushi maker at all, but these were so easy to make. Want to try it for yourself? It’s your lucky day because I’ve posted the recipe for our Quinoa Sushi with Veggies and Edamame Pate for your viewing pleasure. Feel free to reference my first sushi making tutorial here before getting started, and let me know what you think if you make it!
Annnnd that brings us to this morning! Leanne is coming to my spin class for her first RPM experience, and she even brought her spin shoes for the occasion. We’re off for a major cycling sweatfest, so I hope you have a wonderful day!