Tag Archives: Raw

Live Food Bar: Restaurant Review

I really took it upon myself this summer to check out some new vegan-friendly restaurants in my hometown. I already had a few favourites (namely, Fresh) but I was really feeling the need to branch out. Last month I discovered Live Food Bar and have been wanting to go back ever since! Live was founded in 2002 and provides a 95% organic and 100% vegan and gluten-free dining experience. In addition to their sit-down restaurant, they also have a line of food products called Live Organic Raw (sold at various locations in Ontario), and a new storefront cafe/take-out location, Live Market in Liberty Village.

Source: livefoodbar.com

My pal Christianne and I ventured en bicyclette to Live’s sit-down restaurant at Spadina and Dupont. Not being accustomed to biking on a busy road, Christianne was a bit nervous but she toughed it out; I see a bright city-cycling career in her future ;)

Facilities

Above is a picture of the indoor dining area at Live; it was bright and cheerfully decorated. They have a counter in the back for easy take-away, as well as a shelf stocked with their own line of prepared food items. I can also report that their washrooms are clean, well maintained, and dare I say inspirational (they have some fun quotes painted on the walls).

Since it was an absolutely gorgeous day, Christianne and I sat out back on the patio. Just about every table had a huge umbrella and comfortable cushions on the chairs. It was a lovely atmosphere for a lovely meal.

Her face was red from biking, but you can see the patio!

Score: 5/5

Service

The service at Live was excellent. It was friendly, prompt, and not at all overbearing (no excessive water-filling; one of my pet peeves!). Out waiter did an excellent job at answering our questions and very helpfully helped to guide our order.

Score: 5/5 +1 (extra point awarded for outstanding customer relations/service; scroll down to read why!)

Food

Here’s the part we all came for! Christanne and I shared two main dishes and a dessert. The portion sizes gave us that perfect “satisfied but not over-stuffed” feeling, the flavours were wonderful, and the presentation was lovely! To start we shared the Big Bowl with Dill Tahini dressing. It came with sunflower hummus, which was new to me and very tasty!

As our main dish, we split the Raw Pizza. It has a really delicious dehydrated sweet potato and walnut crust, vegan pesto, and two types of nut cheeze. It was topped with various garnishes and an edible flower, which I ate!

Of course, we couldn’t leave without trying dessert. The reason I had initially wanted to try Live was a raw Tiramisu they had advertised via Twitter. Sadly, they were out of the Tiramisu that day (this story has a happy ending though; scroll down!) so we opted for the Strawberry Cheesecake instead. The picture doesn’t really do it justice, but it was top notch!

 

Quality/Value

I have really been gaining an appreciation of local and organically grown food, and I understand that it requires the price of dishes to be on the pricier side. Since Live promises that 95% of their food is organic, I can rationalize paying a bit more. I also appreciate their commitment to using biodegradable take-takeout containers, which I know cost more money. For a university student on-a-budget like myself, Live is certainly an indulgence when it comes to price but it is well worth it!

Score: 5/5

Total score: 21/20

Yes you’re reading that correctly; Live scored more than 100% in my books! The reason for the over-the-top score is the over-the-top customer service I received. After my Tiramisu disappointment, I tweeted to Live saying I would be back to try it some other time:

I promptly got a reply from Tara, who invited me to come by for a Tiramisu on the house! You bet I took her up on that offer! Since the Liberty Village location is closer to me, I decided to check it out. Luckily they had the Tiramisu in stock (which was delicious, might I add), as well as a treasure trove of other goodies. I picked up some of their raw sundried tomato wraps to try, as well as a tub of coconut yogurt to try.

Vegan tiramisu Live Food Market

Live Organic Food Bar on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I have not been compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. This is not a sponsored post, nor have I been paid to review this restaurant. The opinions expressed here my own and are not influenced by any endorsement. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

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Jordan’s Guacamole

I can’t take full credit for the recipe. It was born of out boredom, hunger, and a ripe avocado. It came to be using the only ingredients available at the time. Strangely enough, the flavours and textures come together to create a guacamole unlike any I have ever had before!

My co-worker Jordan is the mastermind behind this delicious dip, hence the naming of the recipe. Miraculously, I was able to whip up a quick batch of Lavash Flatbread to go with the delicious guacamole; the two went together like peanut butter and jelly. Keep in mind that you can eat the dip with anything you wish; store-bought crackers (I like Mary’s), homemade veggie burgers, a spoon, your fingers (clean).

Jordan’s Guacamole

Yield: Approx. 3 cups

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large or 4 small ripe avocado flesh (about 1 1/2 c.)
  • 1/4 c. red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 c. red pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 c. celery, finely diced
  • 2 -3 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • optional: cayenne, salt, pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Remove flesh from avocados and place in a bowl.
  • Chop vegetables, lemon juice and walnuts and add to bowl with avocado. Mash with a fork until avocado is mostly smooth and ingredients are incorporated.
  • Stir in dill and spices gradually until desired taste is achieved.
  • Enjoy immediately or store covered in the fridge for up to 2 days (give it a stir before serving).

Add ingredients to bowl

Sometimes the best things in life are unplanned and spontaneous. For example, babies (as I said, sometimes), that muffin calling your name at the café, and definitely this guacamole!

Question of the Day: Have you ever created something spontaneously that turned out really awesome?

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Dough

IMG_0276-1

How was your weekend? Was it filled with great weather and fun times with friends and family? Awesome, let’s celebrate with a new recipe!

What’s that you say? You broke up with your boyfriend and your kitty ran away! I’m so sorry to hear; thank goodness this recipe is here to cheer you up!

Regardless of how you’re feeling today, this recipe is for you. I remember in my younger days, buying cookie dough in a tube and eating it raw by the spoonful. While not the healthiest habit, it sure was enjoyable! Enter, Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Dough! This raw, vegan treat mimics the nostalgia of this childhood indulgence without the stomachache- oh yeah, and it’s gluten-free! Sweet Potatoes are naturally sweet, and in my opinion, this recipe doesn’t require any additional sugar (though you can certainly add a touch if that’s what you prefer)! This recipe does require some preparation and chilling time, but I promise you it’s worth it! Get cooking and you’ll be satisfying your inner pre-teen faster than you know it.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Dough

Prep time: 30 minutes Chill time: 2 hours

Yield: Approx. 2 cups

Inspired by Chocolate Chip Cookie Pota’Dough

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. sweet potato (boiled or roasted- skins removed)
  • 2 tbsp. cashew butter
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats (certified gluten-free if required)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. vegan chocolate chips, divided
  • Optional: 1 tsp. liquid sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave, brown rice syrup); 1 tbsp. raisins

Instructions

  • Boil or roast sweet potato. If boiling, remove skins and cut sweet potato into chunks; if roasting, roast sweet potato in tinfoil at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Sweet potato is done when it can be pierced easily with a fork.
  • Allow sweet potato to cool slightly and place sweet potato in a small mixing bowl; mash well with a fork until no clumps remain. Add cashew butter, vanilla, oats, and 2 tbsp. of chocolate chips (this will turn the colour more ‘doughy’ instead of bright orange). Mix ingredients well.
  • Cover and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • When adequately chilled, stir in remaining chocolate chips, optional sweetener to taste, and optional raisins. Eat with a spoon, reminiscing on your childhood, or serve with apple slices.

 

Enjoy!

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