I spent most of Saturday with a group of foodie friends from school — first shopping at Toronto’s spectacular St. Lawrence Market, then making, eating and sharing delicious food. I generally find that people who self-describe as “foodies”, in the traditional sense, tend not to be very vegan friendly. Often, I notice a subtle attitude to the effect that vegetarian food can be good, but is somehow inferior in taste to cuisine centred around animal products. (Note: this is not a specific commentary on any of my friends – it’s simply a general observation!)
At any rate, when dining with non-veg friends, especially those of the foodie variety, I feel that it is my mission to show them that vegan (and raw) food is complex, inventive and yes, dare I say it, better than traditional fare. And there’s no better way to do so than with a raw dessert. So I wowed my omnivorous foodie friends with a strawberry-topped raw vegan cheesecake!
The vegans ate roasted asparagus, zucchini and portabello mushrooms, with fresh organic greens, wild leeks, broccollini and a simple olive oil and lemon vinaigrette.
I am realizing that for the past few years, I have tended to seek out and spend time mainly with veg friends. I socialized frequently with friends from the vegetarian association in Ottawa, with which I was involved, and friends from work, who mostly ate the same way that I do (I used to work in politics, and for an animal protection organization – lots of veg folks). But when I moved to Toronto and became immersed in the new world of law school, I made a lot more non-veg friends. Andnone of them have ever even heard of eating raw! It has been fun to share my style of cuisine with a new group of people, but at the same time I’ve had to step a little outside my comfort zone while participating in some social dining situations. For instance, I’ve eaten at restaurants I would never choose myself in a million years, such as a Korean BBQ joint. (Thankfully, they had some straight-up veggies and rice. Thank you, Asian cuisine, for your veg-friendliness.) For the vegans out there, especially those of you who eat a lot of raw food, do you find it difficult to share meals with non-veg folks? How do you cope?
I hope a fabulous weekend was had by all. I’ll leave you with some photos of the goods at the St. Lawrence Market, including Cruda Cafe’s raw goodies! Although we didn’t eat there this time, I’m glad to see that Cruda’s menu has grown immensely since the last time I was there, and equally happy that the place was insanely busy. Raw food is good food 🙂