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Rouge Tomate | Upper East Side, NY
appetizers_ Hawaiian Walu Ceviche; Chickpea Hummus; Upstate Farms Lettuces and Fresh Herbs
entrees_ Winter Squash Agnolotti
_ Squab “En Sous Vide”
dessert_ “PB&J”; Rosemary Scented Polenta Cake (pictured above)
Lots of unique gems throughout the meal. The cuisine demonstrated unique twists on familiar dishes - especially the ceviche and winter squash pasta. Although we didn’t go with the NY Restaurant Prefix; no regrets. It was great and well worth the price. Humble, but filling portions.
rating: 3 munching mice
Sugarleaf: Not So Sweet After All
There seems to be no shortage of healthy dining options in Manila these days. With two branches under its belt (Makati and San Juan), Sugarleaf is another resto that promises “foods that nourish”. No crispy fried pork and chicken skin here sadly. Nevertheless, it was time to take the taste buds out for a run with my “healthy eater” friends Marie and Mona.
You can find Sugarleaf in Medicare building along Paseo de Roxas. The first floor is a tiny mart that sells organic products that range from food, condiments and beauty items.
The resto is on the second floor. You’ll pass all these goodies on your way up.
Unfortunately, we had to go on a day when the AC was broken. The three of us were melting and had to ask for an electric fan to face our table.
The menu looked pretty promising with choices of pasta, salads, sandwiches, shakes and desserts. There’s also this nice offer of Eat All You Can organic salads for P400. But would you believe they didn’t have any lettuce that day? What is a healthy restaurant without any salads?? My friend Marie is vegan and actually came just to try this out so you can imagine her look of dismay when the waitress sheepishly told us there were no greens at all.
“Okay, I’ll have the Soup of the Day instead,” Mars said, “The vegan option please.”
“Ma’am, there’s no vegan option available”, replied our waitress, while we all exchanged looks as the menu clearly stated that there should have been one.
“Fine, I’ll just have the vegetarian sandwich”, Marie sighed.
Here was her sandwich (P148) with a side of gluten-free baked soy chips. The chips were okay, the sandwich forgettable.
I got myself the Vegetable Quiche (P150) which I enjoyed. It was a rather large and hearty slice of spinach and cheese which was quite filling and actually comparable to the one Starbucks sells (or used to sell, I haven’t seen it lately). My only complaint was that the center of the quiche was still cold so I had to send it back to the kitchen.
I also got a plate of their Vegetarian Wraps (P148) to share, which consisted of organic greens, sprouts and avocado drizzled with Goody Kefir dressing. Again, I liked this and made me want to attempt replicating the sauce at home. The tortilla used here was soft wheat, however, a better option would have been to use real whole grain tortillas which are darker in color. Light colored wheat products (bread, tortilla, etc) aren’t actually made up of pure whole wheat. So it’s almost like eating white bread that’s been combined with some wheat, a fact that I only found out recently.
Mona got herself a Multigrain Oat milkshake (P150) out of curiosity. We had a feeling it was going to taste like cold oatmeal which it did—and very sweet at that! We asked the waitress what they used to sweeten it and she replied with, “washed sugar”, which is a form of raw sugar that has had a large reduction of molasses removed from its coating. It’s definitely better than regular white sugar but again, wasn’t this supposed to be a healthy restaurant? Besides, the menu said they use coconut sugar! What was going on here??
Mona’s Turkey Waldorf sandwich (P208): turkey, red apple, celery, toasted cashew with kefir-nutmeg-homemade mayo in a raisin cinnamon bagel. She said this tasted okay. She originally wanted the chicken sandwich but—you guessed it—it wasn’t available!
Probably the only positive note about our lunch (apart from the food I ordered), was the vegan ice cream sold downstairs (about P50 a cup I think). This one below reminded me of buko ice cream!
Sugarleaf does a good job of educating its customers on the benefits of healthy eating and what particular products they should be consuming for a better body. The menu and website provide all these useful information, making one think that the chef must be some sort of health nut or organic expert. However, the restaurant failed to deliver on their promises. (I mean really, no salads??) Call it a bad day at the kitchen, a misinformed waitress who gave us the wrong information, or simply a lack of understanding of what they’re supposed to be so knowledgeable about. Whatever it was, it’s sad to say that our little trip here wasn’t worth it. I left with two unimpressed friends, one of them still starved.
Personally, I would go back for the veggie quiche alone, but then again, if Starbucks still serves it, then perhaps I’d be better off there instead.
Chowin' Healthy in Chattanooga
I had the good fortune of spending some time in Chattanooga, Tennessee recently. One of the greenest cities in America (surprised?) Chattanooga is home to quite a bit of history what with the trail of tears, the famed Chattanooga Choo Choo and its placement on the Tennessee River. It’s a beautiful scenic city with places like Lookout Mountain and its proximity to the Appalachians, there is a lot to do and see in and around the Dynamo of Dixie. But most importantly, there is some awesome vegan, gluten free and overall healthy grub!
One of my favorite Mexican restaurants experiences ever was at Taco Mamacita. A super hip joint just across the river from downtown, in North Shore, they offer local organic Mexican “street’ food along withe a full blown vegan menu! There were so many delicious options I couldn’t choose just one. So I started with an incredible tortilla soup (an absolute must!) and shared the freakin’ vegan taco (yeah, that’s the name). The margaritas are made from freshly squeezed lime juice and everything is insanely good and a ton is gluten free. So if you pop in to Chattanooga, Nashville or Sullivan’s island, you now know where to get kickin’ fresh mex!
I was very excited to stumble across Sluggo’s North. Having frequented their original location in Pensacola, Florida, it was fun to check out a familiar place. A fun bar and vegetarian hot spot, Sluggo’s is known best for their indie entertainment. A great basement level stage and concert area, they are a fun place to hang, drink and eat too! Awesome pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and yummy apps, come for the foo and stay for the tunes!
If a hearty breakfast or brunch is what you’re in search of, The Bluegrass Grill might be your choice. With dishes like tofu hash, vegan granola bowl and black bean chili, you’re sure to start your day on the right foot!
Now if you’re looking for a juicy burger to fill you up, make a beeline to Urban Stack. A trendy burger palace, they take care of non-meat eaters quite nicely. The vegan on shrooms is terrific with its homemade mushroom patty, tomato, roasted red pepper, balsamic onions, lettuce and vegan garlic mayo. Add a simply southern side of sweet potato fries, pickled beets or tomato blueberry salad and you are in for a treat!
Another all-American treat is the hot dog and Good Dog is the place for veggies to indulge. Being able to make virtually any version of their hot dogs veg and gluten free friendly, it’s tough to make a decision. I fell in love with the BBQ dog that comes complete with fakin’ bacon! Oh yeah!
I was only in town for a short while but was so happy to soak in some local flavor! I’d love to visit again soon and take in more of their green attractions and tasty veggie food!
Couva Calypso Cafe
Calypso is one of those places you either love or you hate. I fall on the LOVE side of the spectrum.
Their mission is to serve up high quality, hearty dishes at a reasonable price in a fun, relaxed, and efficient setting. Mission accomplished AND they serve delicious fruit tea, do I even need to post further?
If you went once and where underwhelmed, please bear with me and try again with one of my recommendations. I have several friends that wrote it off after one trip with a stinker order. They came back with me and we are now equally addicted.
1) Fruit Tea ($1.65)
I never like it too sweet and usually mix with un-sweet tea to even things out for myself, I do 1/2 1/2 here. Calypso’s is heavy on the orange and pineapple juices. Ask to take a cup to go ($.26), add vodka or rum when you get home. Party at your house!
(Spiced sweet potatoes and black beans)
2) Cuban Black Beans ($1.83)
They have got to be laced with crack, our CEO insists it must be stronger, possibly heroin, because there is no saying no. Topped with tangy red onions and a dollop of sour cream, they cannot be beat. My standard cheap order is the $6 Beans & 3 (sides.) I order the beans on top of double side salads with sprouts and lite vinaigrette and a side of their delicious spiced sweet potatoes with shredded coconut. Based on my dining companions selections, I’d have to say the Black Bean Salad is their best seller. Its the side salad with beans, bbq sauce, and either chicken, beef, or rice.
(double side salad… under dress your salad, depending on your appetite it can usually pass for 2 servings. We’ve all tried saving leftover dressed salad, it doesn’t work.)
3) Lucayan Chicken Salad ($7.41)
Chicken, mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, vinaigrette and these delicious Boija sweet corn and coconut muffins. (Be sure to ask for those heated, they are a bit dry served straight up) Try it once and you’ll crave it for the rest of your natural born life. I quit ordering it at Calypso and just started making it at home, but I can’t seem to duplicate that dressing.
4) Chicken ANYTHING.
Calypso is known for their Rotisserie Chicken. Served with BBQ, Jamaican Curry, or Jerk sauce and your choice of healthful sides, this is the health conscious foodie’s dream stop.
(pulled BBQ sandwich with slaw and spiced sweet potatoes)
The boyfriend was anti-Calypso until he got his hands on the pulled bbq white chicken sandwich. At $6.64 with 2 sides, it can’t be beat.
I’ve been known to add white meat chicken to the delicious Veggie Pita ($5.86) with a cup of soup and a side salad and have enough for two meals. Color me happy, healthy, and content.
For Families and Crowds:
There is a kids menu, and even the pickiest kids can usually find something good to eat here.
Calypso does fantastic take out business, mostly because its always packed and you are sitting on ridiculous plastic patio furniture. You cant feed your family any cheaper or easier than you can at Calypso. Grab a Family Special of 1 whole chicken (quartered or whole) with choices of sauce and 6 servings of side items. Or grab a pound of pulled BBQ chicken, 4 buns, 4 servings of side items and a side of sauce for $15.93. Vegetarian families are covered with 3 pints of side items and 4 Boija muffins for $11.94. They also do catering for large parties.
It’s not that I’m a picky eater, per se, its that I know what I want and how I want it. You should have seen me during fitness boot camp when I had to write everything down that I put in my mouth. I pretty much only ate at Kalamata’s and Calypso during that 10 weeks of hell. They are happy to work with you to get your order the way you want it. I tend to ease them into it with, “I hate to be a pain in the ass, but can I get ____ but with ___ instead of ___ and add a side of ____ and go easy on the ____. ” The answer is always “Absolutely, that is not a problem.” And you know what? They get it right EVERY TIME. I can’t even get the BBQ sauce with my nuggets at Wendy’s.
Things to know before you go:
Every location is slightly different. It might take a few shots to find YOUR Calypso Cafe.
Every Calypso features the same menu, the same quirky island decor, the same uncomfortable plastic lawn chairs, and mostly the same M-S 11-9 and Sunday 11:30-8 hours.
(100 Oaks Calypso)
Elliston is ALWAYS packed and parking is ALWAYS a nightmare, but the staff is fantastic. The diners are largely professionals, hippies, and college kids in workout clothes. In college, I used to look forward to my oil change light coming on. I’d leave my car with Jiffy Lube and I’d get a Calypso fix without having to deal with that tiny awkward parking lot.
I’ve never had great service at the Belle Meade location, but they have slightly more space and patio seating. Their parking is only marginally better than Elliston.
Cool Springs, tucked away by Sperry’s on Frazier Drive, is NEVER busy. EVER. I’ve been at several times of day and am almost always the only one in there. Parking is definitely not a problem and you certainly can’t ask for better service than when a place is dead. Calypso Cool Springs’ Sunday Hours are 11-4, Monday through Saturday are the same as the other locations.
(festive picnic tables at 100 Oaks Calypso)
100 Oaks is probably my favorite location because they have plenty of parking, plenty of space, plenty of staff, and they even have this ridiculously funky outdoor dining space. You have to order your food to go and then take it outside, but have no fear, they will still refill your Fruit Tea if you don’t mind popping in for your refill (over and over again ;))
There is also one in East Nashville, but we already know I don’t get out there much. They have the most variant hours. 11-9 Monday-Friday, 11-4 Saturday, and 11-8 on Sunday.
Those baked goods at the register look fantastic, but they are just ok. Give those a pass, and ask for the Blue Mountain Chocolate Mousse. $1.88 for a frozen mocha treat with whipped cream.
Vegetarian, Vegan, and figure friendly. What have you got to lose?
Red Stripes up!
How to Dine Out Healthy
We spend more money and waste more calories by dining out than ever before. The US Department of Agriculture estimates that we eat 29% of our meals away from home. And the National Restaurant Association says that these meals take up 44% of our food budgets. This could grow to 53% in the next few years.
As if it’s not already, eating out is about to become a bigger and bigger dieting challenge. Sticking to your guns away from home is hard for many reasons. They all seem to boil down to this dilemma: How can you possibly have control of your diet when you don’t control your eating environment?
But here’s the surprise—you CAN control your environment, no matter where you eat! You are the customer and you are in charge. From the time you pick up the car keys to the time you pick up the check, only you can decide whether to take a simple step forward or allow yourself to be coaxed (and yes, sometimes even manipulated) into busting your calorie budget.
Here are some ideas and strategies that will help you take charge of your next culinary adventure, every step of the way
CHOOSING A RESTAURANT
Eating healthy while eating out is all about one word: preparation. If you go into a restaurant cold, without any thought, you’ll be more susceptible to the creamy, the fatty and the gooey before you can prepare your defenses. Give yourself a chance by giving yourself options.
* Avoid “all-you-can-eat” places. More diets go here to die than any other type of restaurant.
* Choose a place with a varied menu. It’ll make it easier to find something healthy and to your taste.
* Don’t decide to eat out on the spur of the moment, if possible. It’s best to make plans and account for it during the rest of the day’s menu planning.
* Seafood restaurants and restaurants with extensive salad bars usually have healthy options available.
* Try to avoid restaurants that promote “entertainment” eating, where the food is one of several attractions. This usually means the menu is choked full of fried, fatty and huge dishes.
* Any restaurant with a mascot is probably bad news.
BEFORE LEAVING THE HOUSE
Sometimes, the battle is lost before we even open the door. Know what you’re getting yourself into so you’re not surprised later or forced to choose between two deep-fried evils. All it takes is a few minutes.
* Go to the restaurant’s website to find a menu (or have them fax one to you) and study it.
* Decide what you want to eat before you leave the house. Is this a chicken night or are you craving pasta? If possible, choose a specific menu item so you’re not tempted by the menu at the restaurant.
* Make reservations. This cuts down on waiting and hunger time at the restaurant, as well as the number of drinks you have at the bar.
* While making reservations, check on preparation methods and their ability and willingness to accommodate your requests. Learn what options you have and what substitution choices are available.
* Try to reserve a table away from the kitchen so piles of delectable dishes aren’t paraded by as you’re deciding what to eat.
* Know what you can afford to spend out of your calorie budget – but don’t starve yourself, it’ll only court temptation.
* Don’t leave the house hungry. About 1-2 hours before eating, have a small, healthy snack (apple, small salad) to avoid pre-meal munching later.
* Bring along some whole wheat or rye crackers and packets of your favorite low-calories salad dressings. Don’t count on the restaurant to always have the ones you like.
WHEN YOU SIT DOWN
This is a critical point that sets the tone for the rest of the evening. It’s when much of our mindless munching happens, we can see and smell the food all around us, and we’re usually at our hungriest. If there were ever a perfect time to take charge of your experience, this is it. Get off on the right foot.
* Start by politely sending back those free munchies that show up right away. Bread baskets, rolls, tortilla chips or Chinese noodles can be bottomless pits of calories. Not to mention all of the butter that usually comes with them.
* If you need to munch a little to ward off hunger, ask the server if something else is available. They might have rye or whole wheat bread or rolls, melba toast or whole wheat crackers instead.
* Ask if there is a lower-fat alternative spread instead of the butter. If not, plain rolls aren’t so bad.
* Choose salsa over con queso or other cheesy dips.
* Order water right away and start sipping. Much of what we mistake as hunger is often merely thirst.
* A glass of spicy tomato juice or vegetable drink can bridge the hunger gap.
* Dessert menus, with huge, tasty close-ups of caloric landmines are on the table for a reason. Even if it’s a tabletop display, give it to your server.
Many people stumble here as they make split-second decisions and rationalize away poor choices. But since you have a plan ahead of time, it should make it easier to stay on course. If you’re faced with a menu and no time to prepare, there are still a number of rules of thumb and tricks you can use.
* Try to order first. Listening to everyone else’s choices can be pretty tempting.
* Don’t ever be shy about asking questions or making requests. The food is every bit as important as the restaurant, the table and the setting, so make sure it’s what you want.
* Try ordering menu items a la carte. Platters, combos and meals may come with extras you might not want. For example, a group of side items can make a great meal and fruit can make a delicious appetizer.
* Ask about the size of the dish. This could be important information when watching calories.
* You can add vegetables to just about anything (salad, pasta, soup, cheeseburgers) if you just ask.
* Watch out for cheese, sour cream, gravies and special sauces. Ask to put on the side.
* Ask for your food not to be prepared with butter, cream sauces or oil
* When in doubt, opt for brighter color. Most high-calorie, high-fat menu items are brown, beige, white or pale yellow (other than some desserts, of course).
* Don’t feel rushed into making a hasty decision. Just because your server is in a hurry doesn’t mean you have to be. At the same time, if you’ve made a healthy decision, stop looking at the menu immediately.
* Try ordering one course at a time. Order a healthy appetizer, but don’t order your soup or salad until you’re finished, then eventually your entrée. Sure, you may be starving now, but how will you feel in 20 minutes after the appetizer? Still feel like facing that pile of country fried chicken? Take your time, relax and enjoy.
When faced with a menu, the first reaction of many dieters is to skip right to the entrees without considering an appetizer. While they may believe they’re eating less this way, jumping right into the heavy stuff when hungry may actually load on more calories. To stave off hunger or the desire to binge, try to start with something other than the entrée.
* The good news is that this “something” can come from anywhere on the menu, not just the Appetizer section. Look at other parts of the menu (Salads, Soups, side items, even breakfast items) for healthy starter options.
* Some great starter options: fruit, melon, steamed seafood, smoked salmon.
* The kitchen may be able to put together a small vegetable tray for you upon request.
* Broth-based soups or consommé can be a tasty first course.
* Avoid anything fried or breaded, and be wary of any item that comes with a dip.
* If you do end up with something breaded, peel off the coating; much of the fat usually resides here.
* Avocado is high in fat, so take it easy on the guacamole.
* Use ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, salsa or taco sauce instead of mayonnaise, tartar sauce or any creamy sauces or dips.
SOUPS & SALADS
Often high in fiber, the right soups and salads can curb hunger and add a bunch of vegetables and nutrients to your meal. Much better to be filling up on leafy greens at the beginning of your meal after all, than munching on those last few dozen french fries on your plate.
* Salad bars can be good or evil, depending on how you use them. Pass over the grated cheeses, eggs, creamy dressings, bacon, croutons, pasta salad, potato salad and macaroni salad, and stick with the staples of sliced carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, raisins, nuts, garbanzo beans, fruit and other fresh produce. That alone can be quite a meal.
* Ask for extra vegetables on your house salad.
* Spend a little extra and order the spinach salad or one with more vegetables. House salad greens often lack nutrients and taste and try to make up for it with more high-calorie toppings.
* Always get your salad dressings on the side. Instead of pouring it on top, dip your fork in the dressing before taking a bite.
* If you can’t find low-fat dressing options that you like, try a squeeze of lemon, or vinegar with a touch of oil.
* “Meal” salads often have more toppings than veggies. Avoids salads piled with breaded chicken, olives, cheese, bacon, eggs and croutons.
* Taco salads are notorious for seeming healthy, but actually being high in calories. Much better to start with a house salad and ask the kitchen to add on ingredients and taco flavorings.
* Avoid creamy soups like chowder or bisque, which can be loaded with fat and calories. Instead, try broth-based soups, like minestrone, wonton, beef barley, gazpacho, tortilla, or the classics like chicken noodle or vegetable.
* Bean or pea soups (like split pea, bean and ham, lentil, black bean or navy bean) have more calories, but are so packed with fiber and nutrients, and are so filling, that it may be worth it.
Ah, the centerpiece of your meal – and usually the biggest collection of calories. Still, there is no need to sacrifice fulfillment and taste for the sake of eating lighter. You are usually safe with this course if you simply make good choices in two areas: preparation methods and sauces.
* Bad preparation words = buttery, breaded, buttered, fried, pan-fried, creamed, scalloped, au gratin, a la mode.
* Good preparation words = grilled, baked, steamed, broiled, poached, stir-fried, roasted, blackened.
* Avoid sauces made with milk, cheese, oil or mayonnaise.
* Marinara and tomato-based sauces are usually more flavorful and healthier than creamy sauces and gravies. As a rule of thumb, red is usually better than white or yellow.
* Get all sauces, gravies and creams on the side so you can add to taste.
* Even better, rely more on herbs and spices to flavor your food. Become familiar with your favorites and ask for them by name.
* If ordering pasta with a cream sauce, ask the kitchen to go light on the sauce.
* Know your fatty and lean meats. Pork: fairly lean except sausage, bacon, and ribs. Fish: all fairly lean or contain healthy fat. Chicken: fairly lean especially when skin and fat is removed, and white is leaner that dark meat. Ground beef products (in order of most to least fat): ground beef, ground chuck, ground round. Eye of round and roasts are leaner, while steaks and ribs have more fat.
* Don’t eat the skin of chicken, turkey or duck. You can save yourself loads of fat and calories with this simple step.
* Ask for your fish or meat to be broiled, with no extra butter.
* If you order prime rib or roast, ask for a center or inner cut, as there will likely be less fat.
* A recommended serving size of meat is 3-4 ounces. If you order a 9 ounce steak, make sure there is some left. Cut it in half and save the other half for the next meal.
* Vegetarian options are not always lower in calories if they’re loaded with cheese, nuts and other non-vegetable ingredients.
* Remember, a salad and a healthy appetizer can make a great meal!
This course is so often an afterthought, but can really make or break your dining out diet. It’s a great opportunity to load up on nutrients and build confidence with some smart choices.
* Order as many vegetable options as possible. Steamed, stewed or boiled veggies are best, with little or no added butter or oil. Avoid butter and cheese sauces. Watch out for anything “creamed” or in casserole form.
* Potato options are good too. Stick with baked, boiled or roasted potatoes instead of fried potatoes, such as chips, fries or hash browns.
* The loaded baked potato can be a loaded problem. Instead of butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon bits, try salsa, chives, pepper, margarine, low-fat sour cream, broccoli or salad bar veggies.
* Coleslaw is often mistaken for a healthy option, when in actuality it can be really high in calories.
* Fruit or fruit salad can make a sweet side dish (and might subside any craving for dessert). If there is no fruit cup side listed on the menu, the kitchen may still have the ingredients.
* Plain rice or noodles is better than anything fried or steeped in creamy sauce or gravy. A tomato-based sauce can be added as well.
* Bottom line: try to never dine out without at least one vegetable on your plate.
WHEN THE MEAL ARRIVES
How you eat is often as important as what you eat. Dining out is not a race, or a contest, or a chance to solidify your membership in the Clean Plate Club. It’s a chance to enjoy yourself and a good meal. Guilt can ruin everything. You can choose to not feel guilty (not likely for many of us), or you can give yourself less to feel guilty about. A few small eating strategies will make your experience away from home a positive one and help you build momentum for next time.
* Eat your lowest calorie items first. Vegetables are always a good place to start.
* Eat the amount you would eat at home. Just because it’s on your plate, it doesn’t mean you have to eat more.
* Eat slowly, take your time. Enjoy and savor one bite at a time. Put your fork down between bites, or take a sip of water.
* Concentrate on the conversation, not your food. If you’re talking, it takes longer to eat and helps you feel full before stuffing yourself.
* When half of your food is gone, stop a moment and ask yourself this question: “Am I hungry?” It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how often the answer is “no.” If so, why keep eating? Think of it this way, would you enjoy stuffing yourself now more than having the same delicious meal again tomorrow when you’re actually hungry again?
* Don’t pick at your food after you’ve decided that you’re done. Cover your plate with a napkin, pour salt and pepper on it, or put your utensils on the plate, making them messy.
* Keep your hands busy with something besides your utensils. Read a newspaper or write a note – or simply hold hands with your date!
* Chew some gum or have a mint after you’re done.
* Give the restaurant manager feedback on their ability to meet your dieting needs. They’re in the business of pleasing all of their customers, not just the ones who crave fatty, breaded, gooey foods.
* Keep a personal notebook of healthy dishes and restaurants. If you found a good option, keep it on file. Refer to the notebook when deciding on your next dining out experience.
You’ve done so well so far, don’t mess it up now! A healthy meal is something to build on, not an excuse to splurge on a triple fudge brownie volcano. You can have a delicious send-off without completely depriving your sweet tooth.
* You can never go wrong with fruit as a dessert, as long as it’s not buried under syrup or whipped cream.
* Sorbet or frozen yogurt are great alternatives to ice cream, but watch the sugar content.
* Total dessert deprivation doesn’t work in the long run. The key is to find smart ways to enjoy a little bit. One cookie isn’t going to derail your entire program.
* Angel food cake with fresh strawberries is a very refreshing healthy dessert, but it’s rarely found on menus. Again, watch the sugar.
* Lemon meringue pie, or other meringue pies, are generally decent choices.
* If you absolutely have to have something and you can’t find another alternative, plain ice cream isn’t horrible. Just keep it to one scoop and plan another 20 minutes on the bike.
The general health of the Richland/West-End community can be maintained with close access to St. Thomas Hospital in addition to the local Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Two local grocery stores also offer fresh food options, that many Nashville communities lack. The grounds of the schools as well as the popular Elmington Park offer space for exercise and physical activity.
More Memphis Bites
With so many incredible historic locations and delicious places to dine on vegan, gluten free and overall healthy food, I just had to return for a second post. Whether you’re checkin’ out the famed Beale Street or walking through the legendary Sun Studio, there is so much tasty food in and around the music city on the Mississippi River that you gotta make time for some awesome eatin’!
If indeed you are looking for a unique and memorable Memphis and delta area adventure, you may want to look into American Dream Safari Tours. Customized tours of Memphis and surrounding areas, curated and chauffeured by the one and only Tad Pierson. One of the coolest cats you’ll ever meet, Tad drives you around in style, in a pink ’55 Cadillac. Taking you to the most touristy to way off the beaten path, American dream Safari is the best way to soak in the city from its most popular sites to the most secret juke joints and everything in between.
One of the cutest places I had the good fortune to stumble upon is the Trolley Stop Market. Just a stone’s throw away from Sun Studio, the market is a kitchy market style eatery, bakery and bar that showcases local, organic and seasonal food as well as arts and crafts from local artisans. The menu is full of fresh daily offerings and even feature some of the owners’ own vegetables from their own farm. With a ton of great vegan offerings (they even have “Vegan Night” once a week), the sides, sandwiches and salads are delish. But what knocked my socks off was their vegan pizzas! Whoa Nelly, fantastic crust, delicious sauce and fresh veggies topped with a light sprinkling of vegan cheese that compliments all the ingredients makes for 1 of my all time favorite pizzas. oh so good!
A fun place off the beaten path is Three Angels Diner. Very vegan friendly, brunch, lunch or dinner, you can find a dish you’ll love. I popped in for brunch and went to town on my biscuits and gravy along with a nice helping of tofu scramble. Bring your friends, enjoy the local art and bring your appetite on over to Three Angels!
I’ve always loved the idea of cute diners or bakeries located inside of an old timey gas station. Fuel Cafe is just that kind of place! Obviously fuel is a great name for restaurant in an old gas station but it has a double meaning as the food is fresh, local, seasonal and healthy. Lots of vegan options as well as a number of local and organic dishes, this cute place doesn’t skimp on taste. With one of the first food trucks in Memphis, Fuel is cornering the market of healthy eats both at a great brick and mortar locations as well as mobile. A Fuel must: Vegan tacos or shall I say Gorditas! OMG, 2 corn tortillas held together by delicious melted vegan cheese, stuffed with fresh pico de gallo, guacamole and homemade vegan taco meat. So yum but don’t miss their chili, vegan dips and so much more!
Now if you have a hankering for some authentic Italian, you may want to saunter over to PaPa Pia’s on Union. Just a quick walk from the famous Peabody Hotel, Papa has some nice Italian fare. I was delighted with their gnocchi primavera as it was so tasty and light, bursting with flavor, I didn’t have to douse my dish in marinara sauce to give it oomph. Very accommodating to special diets, it’s a great rustic place in the heart of downtown Memphis.
I had so much fun in Memphis, met some wonderful people ( like Tad Pierson, Chef Timothy, Chef Gary of Dejavu, Bianca Phillips of Vegan Crunk & Justin Fox Burks of The Chubby Vegetarian!) and can wait to see the healthy and vegan options grow in this bluesy, rock n’ roll town!
Portney (2003) argues that “no city has yet fully come to grips with the full range of activities and issues that it could confront or would have to confront to begin moving toward becoming more sustainable, even given limitations on knowing what becoming more sustainable means” (178).
The Richland/ West-End community is a model community within the wider scope of Nashville, with a multitude of resources, most within walking distance, easy access to roads, and strong social capital. However, there are many more ways this community can improve, including adding more walkways and bikeways for easier, more sustainable transportation options, and less expensive healthy dining options for those who cannot afford to spend much more on dining (such as the young singles living in West-End housing, including interviewee Sydney Peyser).
One last thing before I hit the hay.
I haven’t eaten meat in a while, and in both the times I have tried recently…it’s literally made me nauseous and given me the feeling that my insides are shredding to pieces.
I am finally at the point that I’ve wanted to be in terms of meat: I don’t crave it at all whatsoever.
And as far as fast food goes, it’s the same situation. I hadn’t actually had it in several months until this past week…and it did the same thing. Insides = destroyed…even the veggie burger I tried at BK today. It wasn’t happening.
I don’t really believe in labeling myself as a vegetarian, vegan, pescitarian, etc. I am just eating what I believe is good for my body.
Overall- considering the nasty things I have learned about our food industry these past few years, I believe this is the beginning of a healthier life choice for me.
After years of compromising meals based off of financial struggle and family household determined food choices, I am excited to have my own place where Tim and I can cook up tasty, healthier meals…where I decide what goes in my tummy every day. :)
When there are no vegetarian options available...
- Me: I'll just have a coffee.
- Woman behind counter: Just a coffee? Don't you want anything to eat?
- Me: I don't eat meat.
- Woman behind counter: (In a very hyper-friendly tone) Well that's ok! We have fish and chicken on the menu too!
- Me: Um... Thanks. But I don't eat meat. (Pays for coffee and then walks away feeling like a complete bitch.)
- Me: Maybe I should have just ordered that stupid iceberg lettuce salad with next to no other vegetables in it for a ridiculous price...