Friday, 18 January 2013

Living With A Light Heart / Dining In The City with Canteen

Feels like I've been away for much too long! It's amazing how fast days pass you by when there is so much to do. Many things are happening right now that are exciting for me, both personally and professionally, that much of the Blogosphere has yet to hear about! But I assure you, all will be revealed when the time is right!

I was wondering how everyone has been doing on their first month of the year? January can often be a time of slow energy and mild depression; not just because the majority of people tend to dislike the bitter cold, but because it comes immediately after a time of heightened excitement and holiday parties. I for one never quite understood the ailment. I love Winter, I adore Winter style, and January is almost the perfect time to take extra time away from work to enjoy Winter spoils without the financial worry of the Holiday Season; not to mention the time crunch for most. There are many wonderful things Winter can give you, and it's a beautiful time to explore the city and find those hidden food gems. There's nothing quite like a fantastic, warm meal during Winter in downtown Toronto.

Photo Courtesy alexanight

In fact, just last night I headed out for a modest but wonderful meal with two awesome friends of mine. We dined casually at Canteen, a rustic but cheery bistro-esque staple that sits underneath the acclaimed LUMA (which we love!) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Nestled snuggly at the ever-evolving corner of King and John in the heart of the Entertainment District, Canteen seems to pride itself on the ability to host casual fare with pristine service to a diverse crowd of inner-city professionals and theatre-goers.  

I opted for one of the more rustic dishes on the menu, which the waitress assured me was almost completely Vegan (and that she would make it totally, for my sake). The Vegetable Tagine was a sweet, playful, and texturally magnificent dish that was almost a mix between a salad and an entrée. The dish was served ice cold with a mixture of dried fruit, quinoa, cilantro, root vegetables, and an herbed sauce; all topped with fluffy and warm chickpea fritters that added a richness and depth to the light fare. It was so yummy, so totally Vegan, and a lovely treat!

Though it's a modest example, Canteen reminded me of why being a Vegan in Toronto is such a great gift. We, I, am lucky enough to have the opportunity to live in one of the most progressive cities in the world. We are dense, liberal, extremely diverse, and house some of the best Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, and Vegan restaurants in the country. There are so many wonderful options to explore healthier eating in the city that offer incredible flavour, quality, and presentation - a little something for everyone, even if Vegan isn't to your taste.

It's my belief that Vegan fare should be regarded as a different type of food, as opposed to a limited food. Many omnivores and avid meat-eaters will steer far and clear from Vegan restaurants or Vegan food just from the notion that if it lacks certain ingredients it can't be good. But that simply isn't true! Quite often Vegan food is prepared with utmost care into every ingredient; manipulating vegetables, grains, and seeds in new ways to create new flavours. As a result, the end product is usually incredibly flavourful, full of nutrients, and more than satisfactory to almost anyone's taste regardless of diet. In other words, add Vegan to that list of ethnic options! One day you might feel like Japanese, one night Indian, another Italian; why not view Vegan in the same vein? I guarantee that you'll end up finding a culinary niche you never quite knew existed - and it's fabulous!

Stay Healthy!


No comments:

Post a Comment