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Hello friends, happy (almost) fall!

I wanted to share a review of a fabulous find I came across while driving home from a wonderful week at the cottage in Muskoka, Ontario. We had wondered if there may be, fingers crossed, a vegan-friendly restaurant, somewhere near Barrie. A quick search on Happy Cow led us to Vidya’s Veggie Gourmet in Thornton (just south of Barrie) and what a treat that find was!  More than just vegan-friendly, Vidya’s is 100% vegetarian, gluten-free and mostly vegan, with an emphasis on healthy, organic and whole foods. Right up our alley!
Vidya's Veggie Gourmet Thornton July 2014 Earthgiven Kitchen (3)The owner Kim Vidya, a holistic nutritionist, transformed the historic 1854 Queen’s Head Hotel into a lovely yoga retreat centre, gourmet restaurant and elixir bar. The formal dining room is beautiful and spacious.The executive chef is vegan and we enjoyed great service from our server Tara who is also a Holistic Nutritionist and blogs at The Nude Mushroom.
Vidya's Veggie Gourmet Thornton July 2014 Earthgiven Kitchen (5)Here’s what we ordered:

Appetizers: Potato wedges with homemade apple cider ketchup, Chips and Dip: flax chips with hummus, guacamole and black bean dip. Both dishes were wonderful. I left resolved to use my dehydrator more for homemade crackers.  We enjoyed it with Spring Dragon tea.
Vidya's Veggie Gourmet Thornton July 2014 Earthgiven Kitchen (14)Thai Malasian Noodles: “Mung bean broad noodles, tamarind chilli lime glaze, jump fried veggies, toasted almonds, shitake mushrooms, Essa Gardens sprouts, cilantro”. It was so flavourful and fortunately didn’t taste like it was loaded with fat like many yummy pasta dishes.
Earthgiven Kitchen Vidya's Veggie Gourmet (2)Vidya’s Past Bowl: “Quinoa-Rice ‘spun’ pasta, tender asparagus, garlic confit, Vidya’s oven-fried tomatoes, hemp organic basil pesto, vegan almond ‘parm’”. We love a great pesto pasta and this delivered!
Earthgiven Kitchen Vidya's Veggie Gourmet (3)Both pasta dishes were wonderful but we had a preference for the Thai dish.

For dessert: Buddha’s Chocolate Mousse:  “Organic cacao, coco butter, coconut milk, maple syrup”. It was rich and decadent and a perfect sweet note to end the meal.
Earthgiven Kitchen Vidya's Veggie Gourmet (1)We loved every bite of our meals, give Vidya’s Veggie Gourmet a high recommendation, and hope it won’t be long before we can make the two-hour drive to Thornton to visit again.