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Work From Home

by
Courtney Greenberg

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Plant-based paradise in downtown Toronto

Plant-based paradise in downtown Toronto

In downtown Toronto, a pop-up dining experience, PLNT, was set up by Becel Canada as a way to showcase a variety of delicious recipes.

Jillian Harris was on hand at the temporary greenhouse at the northeast corner of Simcoe and Front streets to answer questions about switching to a plant-based diet and made it clear that the choice didn't have to be black and white. And you don't have to feel guilty about not being a full-time vegan. You can make little changes like switching to soy milk instead of regular milk, or having meatless Monday. (That was music to my ears because I can't live without chicken nuggets...)

 The pop-up greenhouse at Front and Simcoe

The pop-up greenhouse at Front and Simcoe

Harris' partnership with Becel was natural, she said, because she was already using the product a lot when cooking. The self-professed bacon-lover said she does have moments where she'll eat meat or vegetarian options—but for the most part tries to be vegan or plant-based because of her love for animals and to have a healthier lifestyle for her family.

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The decor

When they said everything was plant-based, they meant everything.

Walking into the greenhouse, plants dangled from the ceiling and along the side. Even the chairs, little tree stumps, were "plant-based." The menu was made of plantable paper embedded with basil seeds so guests could try their hand at gardening.

 

 You can see the seeds embedded in the plantable menu.

You can see the seeds embedded in the plantable menu.

The dishes

My favourite dish by far was the vegan mushroom Wellington. I'm not one for substitutes but I really didn't miss the meat. 

The play on "Deviled eggs" was also something I wouldn't normally try, but was delicious. (It was hummus on a tomato, so an easy recipe to try at home.)

 "Deviled eggs" aka hummus and grape tomatoes 

"Deviled eggs" aka hummus and grape tomatoes 

 "The Garden"

"The Garden"

 Mushroom Wellington with green bean salad and Hassleback sweet potato 

Mushroom Wellington with green bean salad and Hassleback sweet potato 

I won't lie, though. For me, the best part was eating in a greenhouse and being surrounding by plants. 

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Extended interview with Shamus O'Reilly

Extended interview with Shamus O'Reilly

Extended interview with menstruation historian and author Elissa Stein

Extended interview with menstruation historian and author Elissa Stein