Archive for the ‘Healthy living’ Category

Fabulous Encinitas Restaurant Unlike Any Other

Friday, September 17th, 2010

I had the pleasure of dining this week at The Greenery in Leucadia (Encinitas), and I have to say that if you want to sample a lunch that I guarantee will be one of, if not THE, healthiest, freshest and best tasting you have ever eaten, you need to plan a visit.

The Greenery is an all natural, organic, raw, vegan restaurant. Now, before you roll your eyes and move to find another blog to read, give me a moment to explain. Most people think of those who adhere to a raw diet sitting down to a plate full of carrot slices, some nuts and some raw leafy greens…boring and definitely not something you would get your family to eat, right? But if you truly understand the raw diet and actually taste what can be created with a little bit of know-how, you will be AMAZED.

Melissa and Chris Carrier, the owners of this restaurant, make all dishes fresh daily, with organic produce. For lunch everything is pre-packaged and you choose your items from the refrigerator. I tried the “burger,” which consists of a sprouted buckwheat bun topped with a veggie walnut patty, sun dried tomato ketchup, mac/pine nut “cheese,” mustard, carmelized onions, lettuce and tomato. It was so tasty I ate the whole thing, plus the fresh greens salad made with kale and a delicious creamy dressing. My husband had the pizza, his favorite, which is made on a butternut squash crust, with fresh marinara, sun dried tomatoes, and mac-pine nut “cheese” topped with kalamata olives, leeks and red bell peppers.

Some other offerings may include Vegetable Curry, Pad Thai, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and a Cream Cheese Sandwich. Aside from the incredible flavor of these dishes, you will likely notice you feel better after eating this “live” food. It is so beneficial for your body and provides natural energy.

One last thing, although we were full we wanted to try one of the homemade desserts. Skeptical as to whether a raw vegan dessert could actually satisfy a sweet tooth, we were pleasantly surprised by the scrumptious Banana Cream Pie. It had an almond-date “crust, with almonds and dates inside, loads of fresh bananas, and a creamy topping made from fresh coconut. I have to tell you that my sweet tooth was satisfied, and to think that it was actually good for me! There is no refined sugar, preservatives, chemicals, frying, cooking, fats, dairy or processed foods used in any of the dishes. But you will never miss them one iota…trust me!

Menu items may change daily, but there are a few staples that are usually available. Dessert items vary daily as well. Prices are reasonable, with a typical item costing between $8 and $12. I recommend going with a friend and sharing a few items so you can sample all the different flavors. Dinner is served from a menu and made to order.

The Greenery is located at 133 Daphne Street, in Encinitas, on the corner of Daphne and Highway 101 directly behind Mozy Cafe (the entrance is on Daphne). The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30-3:00 for lunch and 5:30-8:30 for dinner. Be warned that weekends are crowded, so plan accordingly. The number is 760-479-0996. To learn more you can visit their website at http://www.greeneryrawcafe.com/. Bon appetite!

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Fresh Organic Produce Every Week!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Many people are more conscious of the food they buy these days, especially with produce. Pesticides and other chemicals used to maintain flawless fruits and vegetables undoubtedly are not healthy for our bodies. Organic produce not only is free of these chemicals but the taste is incomparable, and local farms pick the produce when it’s ripe so there is no refrigeration and ripening on the market shelf like with most fruit…the difference in taste is astonishing.

Some markets have limited supplies of organic produce, and at times it is not so fresh. There is a great alternative to getting your weekly organic produce, and I guarantee it will be FRESH and delicious. If you have not heard of CSA’s , short for Community Supported Agriculture, these programs are fantastic. Local organic farms have members who pay to receive boxes of organic produce each week. The number of members determines how much produce the farmers will plant and harvest.

If you live in San Diego county there is a wonderful CSA called Be Wise Ranch. You can visit their website at http://www.bewiseranch.com/joinCSA.htm. Here’s how it works: you pay either $25 or $30 per week, depending on whether you want to receive a large or small box of produce each week (I have a family of 4 and the small box is perfect). The fees are prepaid on a quarterly basis and there is a $20 non-refundable membership fee.

Each week you go to a designated location near you (usually it is someone’s home, where the produce boxes are stored on a side yard), sign for your box and transfer your produce to your own bags or basket. You usually receive about 10-12 different items. There is normally lettuce and lots of incredibly fresh tomatoes (most times you get different varieties like heirloom and beefsteak and cherry), and other items like fresh beets, melons, carrots (if you have never eaten a fresh organic carrot you are in for a surprise…even my kids think they taste “way better”), greens, onions, squash, citrus fruit and seasonal produce.

CSAs are a great way to assure your family is eating not only quality and delicious produce, but pesticide-free produce. It is fun to get your box each week and discover what is inside…sometimes you may get something you never used before, and it is fun to find recipes to try something new. There is always a content list for both box sizes under the sign out sheet. A few weeks ago we had a yellow watermelon in our box. I have had these before but they are hard to find and I have to say that this particular watermelon was the best I ever tasted, as were the pluots and oranges that came last week.

If you do not live in the San Diego area use a search engine to find out if there is a CSA near you, and bon appetite!

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