Yesterday, I awoke for the first time to a Toronto blanketed in white. The snow is quite pretty to look at (from inside), and makes curling up on the couch for hours with a book and a box of vegan dark chocolate mint thins seem even more enticing.
As it was a Sunday, Lisa and I started our day with coffee and crosswords. This is also known as Getting Our Learn On, or We Are So Smart, We Are So Smart, S-M-R-T! (Sunday coffee and crosswords with Lisa is currently one of my most favourite things about living in Toronto. Just so you know.)
Belmonte Raw is a vegan raw food boutique and producer/distributor of organic raw cleanses throughout Toronto. Carol Belmonte, the mastermind behind Belmonte Raw, is enthusiastically dedicated to showcasing the healing power and deliciousness of plant-based raw food, and her Leslieville boutique provided the perfect sunny spot for five kale-lovin’ Toronto-based ladies to meet, talk, and laugh over lunch. In fact, we were all so focused on chatting and eating that I forgot to take a group photo, but I can say with utter conviction that Ashley, Dani, Lisa, and Nicole are gorgeous, inspiring, and heart-soaring women, and I am delighted to know them.
I can also say with the same conviction that my Asian Kale Salad of kale, carrots, beets, jicama, lentils, sprouted beans, cilantro, green onion, cashews, hemp seeds and sunflower sprouts with a ginger tamari vinaigrette was utterly scrumptious. So fresh, so zinging, so energy-giving!
Carol generously gave us a platter of Raw Nachos to share, which I believe included raw corn chips, raw taco “meat” made with nuts and spices, a nacho cashew-based cheese sauce, fresh tomatoes, and sunflower sprouts. So good. SO GOOD.
And then the magic kept coming! Carol gave each of us a glass of jewel-like fresh pink juice, which matched the raw beetroot atop our salads perfectly. I felt a little like a princess, drinking it. Thank you, Carol!
A morning of crosswords, a wonderful lunch with new friends, and an exploration of Leslieville’s fantastic Arts Market which led to the purchase of a gorgeous Scotch/Rye ring with a tiny slice of cake on top and, all told, it was a pretty wonderful Sunday.