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Cafe Marmelade: Gluten-free, organic and delicious

Posted by Amie / June 13, 2013

cafe-marmelade-yocomo-montreal-yogaThere's a really good reason to go to Pointe-Claire. I didn't have to bike or brave gridlock to take advantage of it, though. All I had to do was stand on my head to enjoy a vegan, mostly organic, gluten-free feast at Yocomo's Yoga Festival Montreal a few weeks ago. But YOU! You should go to Pointe-Claire. Here's why...

THE FOOD

I've definitely done less fun things (and less digestive friendly things) than shoulder stands for comforting lentil dal with mustard seeds, carrots and celery, a homemade savoury vegetarian patty, warm and sticky rice brown salad with roasted red peppers, and a raw kale salad with cherry tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and liver-detoxifying, anti-inflammatory turmeric vinaigrette.

THE CHEF

Cafe Marmelade owner, Eleanor Arless, is passionate about "good food, happy bellies, and a warm greeting and connection with customers." At her cafe (which isn't all vegetarian) she does vegan quiches, avocado and roasted eggplant sandwiches, curry chicken, completely homemade soup (no bouillon cubes with corn, yeast or sugar), and her famous quinoa burgers. No preservatives, no cut corners, and no junk. But it's not all granola and clouds of sugar substitute fluff - she does a classic soy latte, addictive, you-wouldn't-know-they're-almost-healthy lemon squares and a mean dark chocolate, gluten-free brownie.

It was completely worth getting up at 6am to get to Mona Kennedy's 8:30 class and meditation with Dr. Hiteshini Jugessur from Art of Living Montreal for Arless' Ayurveda-based treat.

THE FEST

Miranda Chapman from Yocomo explained the selection process for the food provider at the two-day fest:

"We really wanted someone who supported the yoga community, the use of Ayurvedic principles when it comes to food (digestive spices, food combinations, etc.) and food preparation, and supports organics. Café Marmelade has been operating in Pointe-Claire Village since 2002 with an emphasis on homemade vegetarian whole foods. They also just started to offer their own, baked in house, gluten-free breads and brownies (which are delicious)!"

And while the gluten-free muffins, cinnamon-raisin brioche, scones and renowned dark hot chocolate didn't make it onto the Yoga Fest menu, they all sound like another good reason to get to Pointe-Claire. You can even pre-order her whole gluten-free cakes. The nice thing about Ayurveda is there's a time and use for almost every food, and a need for balance.

Chapman says Arless speaks "heart language" when it comes to doing business. She's "super flexible, open to suggestions, invested in community building and just wanting to spread the love -- something that really goes a long way!" Midnight Poutine seconds that.

Anyone who knows to add turmeric (for its health properties as well as colour), dark leafy greens, and can properly season a dal with whole spices instead of a pre-ground spice blend gets my blessing, and my appreciation. It's not easy creating a well-balanced vegetarian meal if you're not used to it, especially if you avoid soy as may do. She also avoided nuts, dairy, gluten and refined sugar. I dare any chef in Montreal to do a better job. I also volunteer to taste-test.

In fact, speaking of vegan cooking competitions, that's exactly what I (and you) can do this Saturday night at the Vegan Rumble & Shake. If Cafe Marmelade was there, would she beat Crudessence, La Panthère Verte and ChuChai?

Lets just say she definitely has it in her.

Discussion

19 Comments

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