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This weekend was full of cleansing culinary surprises—enough that the two men in my life could enjoy alongside me and my vegan ma. Having the parents in town usually serves as an excuse to order our own desserts and bottles of wine, but this time around, with only two more days(?!) left on the cleanse, it would just be wrong to cop out now.

I already blogged about lunch yesterday, a post-yoga smorgasboard of colour and things I thought I’d never be eating this month—spring rolls and pizza.

For dinner, my friend Ali had recommended vegan resto Fressen on Queen (same owners as Urban Herbivore in Kensington) and since it sounded a little more of an intimate, upscale vibe, we gave it a go for dinner. Prepare yourself to see how much vegan food four hungry 6”+ folk can eat.

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Clockwise, from top: Jicama Salad, Chickpea and avocado salad, spicy red lentil balls (crowd favourite, mum’s already working on her own recipe), and some olives.

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Wished I’d gotten a photo before we chopped it up, but this zucchini bundle was stuffed with nuts that tasted JUST LIKE ricotta and served up in a tangy tomato sauce. Seriously, you could have fooled me into thinking I was eating straight-up lasagna!

 

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Decadent hummus—unfortunately they were out of gluten-free bread options so we had it with carrot sticks. We also had some AMAZING tempeh fish styx—tempeh battered in gluten-free-ness, with a tartar-like, dairy-free dipping sauce and some lemon? Um, YAH.

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My charred portobello mushroom with roast potatoes and veggies. (yes, I ate a mushroom. for dinner)

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Dad’s yum Sweet Potato morrocan stew. Super filling.

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We went back to my parent’s hotel to have a glass of wine (okay, I’m not a saint!) after the meal, and this is what we’re greeted with. A gluttonous spread of fresh-cut fatty hams and homemade chutneys. Thankfully, all meat is somehow safe on this cleanse. So was my favorite, the onion-raisin chutney.. but it wasn’t really necessary. Even if I was a tooth-lacking senior and had to gum these slices down, it wouldn’t have been a problem. You think m’n’m’s melt in your mouth? HA!

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The nitrate-free prosciutto, at top right, ages for THIRTY-SIX MONTHS before being served. So basically you could meet someone, start dating, get married and pop out a baby before this thing’s even ripe for slicing.

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That’s a $10,000 one-use piece of machinery before your eyes, folks.

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“Fat is o.k., everyone!”

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DAY TWO: Back to Rawlicious in Yorkville for lunch. Okay, we’re boring but it was f&$in’ awesome. This is my kale-celery-spinach-pineapple-banana-orange (or something like that) smoothie with Sprulina for energy. Pretty thick, but the tropical fruits made it go down easy! We had the same spring rolls for appetizers too.

 

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These are the corn tacos my ma had yesterday—so filling I could only eat one. The tacos are formed from corn, red peppers and buckwheat(?), made on-site, and stuffed with refried beans, house guac, dairy-free sour cream, and lots of veggies. Seriously, eating one of these things is like running a marathon.

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And now for the creme de la creme. Vegan cheesecake. They said it couldn’t be done, but… The ‘cheese’ is cashews, almond milk, and agave, the crust out of crushed pecans and agave, and with a generous dollop of strawberry syrup. CLEANSE HEAVEN!

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For dinner, I met Ren and Carly at Green Earth on Broadview. A menu that reads like a novel, and I picked out this asian-inspired dish. Oh yeah, those prawns? They’re yams. WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND THAT.

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Dinner tonight. Nearly the same as before, but—craving starch—I opted for some brown-rice-and-wakame soba noodles instead of brown rice. So filling, so delicious, and for the first time in a long time, I feel frickin’ GREAT.

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