Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Raw Aura Organic Cuisine in Port Credit

My visit to Raw Aura in the quaint waterfront village of Port Credit (part of Mississauga, Ontario) marked my very first trip to a raw food restaurant. I know that a raw diet is becoming more popular these days and I admire the dedication of raw foodists. Many foods lose their nutritional value after being cooked and by consuming the foods raw, we are able to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from certain foods. However, I was not sure if Raw Aura would be able to create delicious cuisine while not heating their food over 105 degrees Farenheit. I wasn't even sure how creative you could get by keeping everything raw.

Well, the food that I ate at Raw Aura was absolutely delicious. That pile of noodles and vegetables that you see above is their "Sweet and Sour" noodles and that is what I ordered. Have you ever visited a restaurant and ordered an item, and decided that it was so tasty that you will keep ordering it no matter what every time you return? That's how I felt about this noodle dish. I have no idea how they created this immensely flavorful dish, but I sure wish that I had the recipe! It was my first time eating noodles made out of vegetables - these noodles were made out of kelp and zucchini. The full description of the menu item is: "A mix of kelp and zucchini noodles tossed in a light tangy maca infused almond butter based sauce with red pepper, fresh cilantro, romaine lettuce, red onions and topped with spiced almond bits." The noodles and the sauce were complimented by the crunchiness of the romaine, the spiciness of the onions, and the nutty almond pieces.  I'm in love!

I went to the restaurant with a couple of friends, but I brought home some leftovers of the pasta dish to Paul. After taking the first bite, he was totally sold on the meal and is already begging to visit the restaurant. I think we'll probably go back in a couple of days, just the two of us, so I may have some more pictures to post!

I also got a side of Miso Soup with my meal:

Here is what my friend, Shannon ordered - a Nacho plate.  The nachos were very interesting, definitely not your typical tortilla chips. From the menu:  "Crispy corn chips are served with guacamole, cashew sour cream, fresh tomato salsa and walnut taco meat." I tried a little bit of Shannon's nachos and they tasted way healthier and flavorful than any nachos I've ever tried! It was a different take on nachos, and definitely for the best.

Shannon also ordered the "Living Bread", which was sprouted sunflower, sesame, and spiced onion bread. I also didn't mention before that Raw Aura is completely gluten-free and dairy-free, so all of the bread items are not made with wheat. I didn't try the bread but she said it was very soft and tasted strongly of onion. Sounds good to me!

My friend, Chris ordered the Pasta Bolognese: "Zucchini noodles tossed in a rich tomato basil marinara sauce with red peppers, sunflower seed and sun dried tomato sausage, topped with almond Parmesan".  I didn't get the opportunity to try any of this for myself, but it certainly looked yummy!

I might also mention that the two friends that I visited Raw Aura are not vegetarian, vegan, or raw foodists, but thoroughly enjoyed their meal. I loved that I could order anything from the menu without the fear that dairy or meat might be hidden in the food somewhere. I also loved knowing that the meal was mostly all organic, plus it was extremely healthy with loads of veggies in their most nutritious state!

Shannon and I decided to order the same dessert, the Chocolate Ganache. The cake was divine - a crumbly layer on the bottom, a creamy cheesecake-esque filling in the middle, and a very chocolately top layer with caramel drizzled over the top. I don't know how this was dairy-free but it somehow was!  Yum!

The atmosphere of the restaurant was quite lovely - the cafe itself is very cozy and since it was rather nice outside today, they had the front windows wide open to the street. We sat in a prime location right by the window, so we were able to enjoy a fresh breeze off the lake.

I wouldn't hesitate to return to Raw Aura - heck, I'll probably be back there within the next couple of days. If you live in the area, I can guarantee that you'll love the food even if you aren't vegan, as I went for dinner with two meat-eaters and they loved it! A perfect haven for those who have a gluten intolerance and for those looking for a healthy meal away from home.

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