A Giant Soup a Day Keeps the Doctor Away! My Colourful Vegetable and Bean “Puzzle” Chicken Soup at Freshii

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Colourful, isn’t it?  A giant serving of soup, noodles, and vegetables a day keeps the doctor away!  Okay, so maybe not every day, but every once in awhile a meal like this makes you feel so good from head to toe, inside and out.  After feeling achy, flaming, and under the weather midweek several days ago, I decided that I need something warm and wholesome, something that would taste delicious and soothe me right down to my fingertips and toes.  I didn’t want anything heavy (the thought alone made me queasy), but I still wanted something flavourful and punchy to take away that icky feeling in my throat and mouth. 

Staying home wasn’t an option so I went out and enjoyed some fresh air and had myself some Freshii!  I had a mad craving for soup and thought, “Freshii has soup and I can finally try their rice noodles and stuff myself silly with vegetables until I roll down the street!”  That was the plan and I stuck to it.  Except the rolling down the street part.  I was like a little water balloon by the end of it, but I managed to stay upright for the rest of the day.

Every time I go to Freshii, a huge part of me always feels compelled to order the rice bowls because I love them so much.  I have to force myself to get out of that comfort zone to enjoy their other menu items and I did when I tried their special Mango Tango Burrito months ago last year.  I’ve always wanted to nosh on the rice noodles but the brown rice lover in me won out every time, so the rice noodles became a “I promise I’ll get to it” type of meal.  I finally made good on that promise last week when I came up with the perfect solution to my achies: pop two balloons with one pin by trying the noodles and soup at the same time!  Geninus!  And get my wholesome veggies in at the same time.  Win-win all around.

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“Let’s Enjoy Food” – The Joy of Freshii

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If you recognize this photo, it’s because I have it posted in my “For the Love of Food” page up on my menu bar 🙂  This photo was taken at my favourite Freshii restaurant location (Yonge St. and St. Clair) and it epitomizes everything I feel food should be about.  Food is about enjoyment, relaxing, and nourishing every part of you and because of our hectic day-to-day lives, I don’t think we take that time for ourselves enough.  You take things to go and rush off to your next appointment, you eat and work at the same time.  Heck, sometimes you may even skip a meal because you’re “too busy”. 

I love Freshii to death and it was about a year and a half ago when I first discovered it.  My boyfriend and I were taking a leisurely stroll around the Yonge & St. Clair neighbourhood two Hallowe’ens ago and I was intrigued by the bright green Freshii sign and the spiffy little menu screen outside the door.  I quickly scanned a few menu items and picked out a few words and phrases: “brown rice”, “spinach”, “burritos”, “lemongrass soup”, etc. etc.  I instantly thought, “good god, I need to eat here”.  And so we did.  And we’ve been happily squeeing over our Freshii food ever since.  And I mean squeeing.  I hug my warm little rice box and lay my cheek on it and sigh with contentment.  I am not embarrassed by my show of affection; it makes me happy 😀

Freshii is fantastic in terms of options.  It’s wholesome good food that’s healthy and energizing.  Think brown rice bowls, fresh mixed green salads (spinach, romaine, spring mix), soups in steaming chicken or lemongrass broth, burritos and wraps made with whole wheat tortillas, rice noodles, a gazillion fruits, vegetables, beans, and protein-rich add-ons for every meal, and frozen yogurt.  Even though I marked Freshii as a “veggie eat”, rest assured for those of you who enjoy meat, there’s plenty of meat options here too!  Freshii is all about customizing meals to fit your diet, your lifestyle, and your nutritional needs.  There are meals on the menu board for you to choose from, and you can also customize your meal by choosing a dish (for example, brown nice, salad, or soup) and checking off all the toppings and ingredients you want in it.  And this is where the fun part comes in!

The mini clipboard with menu paper and pencil!  Although I absolutely LOVE their “Bliss” bowl (brown rice with lots of yummilicious things which I will blog about another time), I also get so giddy creating my own meal, choosing all my own ingredients and toppings, and anticipating with glee how awesomely delicious it will be when it’s made.  Basically, you start off with either a salad, a bowl, wrap/burrito, or soup at the starting price.  Then you let yourself go NUTS with the ingredients!  There is a very long list of fruits, vegetables, and beans that you can choose without any extra charge and then you go about deciding what kind of  dressing or sauce you want (if applicable).  If you want other options such as meat and cheeses or extra sauce and dressing, you just add the extra charge designated by those lists.  Easy peasy!  So, what did I choose for this time?  Look below and you will see.

I was in conniptions over how delicious this was!  Not that I’ve ever eaten anything here that I haven’t loved, but I was just nom, nom, noming up the wall.  I had myself a brown rice bowl with black beans, sweet corn, roasted red peppers, spinach (I replaced the tomatoes I had initially checked off; totally worth it), mushrooms, cilantro, added avocado and blue cheese, and had it all dressed in extra virgin olive oil.  OH.MY.GOD.  I scarfed this heavenly box of brown rice, veggies, beans, and cheese down faster than my boyfriend did. 

I was hungry, it was so yummy, and I felt SO GOOD after.  The kind of good that makes you feel strong, energized, and ready to run a marathon.  Okay, maybe not a marathon, but I certainly could have flown up several sets of stairs Rocky-style.  And it blows my mind because it’s rice and, if you’ll recall from Monday’s post about Mela, rice and pasta and starches are filling and they can unfortunately lead to sluggishness and overall discomfort during the day with digestion and all.  Not with Mela and not with Freshii either.  It lives up to its name.  So fresh and so good.

Whenever I eat at Freshii, I have such a sense of contentment.  I sit down with my box of rice and enjoy my meal.  No rush.  No crowdedness.  Not to knock other locations, but I’m telling you, the most enjoyable spot to eat is the St. Clair one.  For one, there’s more than  just a bench bar to eat at.  For another, there are windows up at the front for nice sunlight to stream in (I’m not entirely fond of food courts and being stuffy indoors with lackluster lighting.  And yes, this partially has to do with my pickiness about pictures!).  It’s a great place to eat if you’re looking for healthy options that can be molded to your needs, and I’d say that most meals are under $10.  If you go wild with things like cheese and meat, you’ll probably exceed that price point, but if you’re solely vegetarian or vegan, you can definitely do a meal for about $6 or $7. 

As well, Freshii is environmentally conscious, providing recycling bins, biodegradable containers (you can bring in your own bowl too!) and providing food that is sustainable and environmenally responsible in its growth and harvesting methods.  It’s food with a conscience, a mission, and a statement and it tastes damn good.  I can’t wait to do more Freshii posts and share more photos and combinations with you guys.  I love it that much 😀

*****

Freshii in Toronto serves 11 locations in the city with one also serving Mississauga.  Click here for a list and map of specific locations, as well as more information on Freshii’s menu, goals, and mission statement.  The Yonge and St.Clair Freshii is located at 1560 Yonge St., just north of St. Clair Ave. on the west side of Yonge.