Monday, August 20, 2012

Local Favorites for Fresh Food.

There's something about a gleaming-red beet or a well-seasoned piece of tofu that can switch my cravings from naughty to nice in no time. It's true - when we have well prepared, healthy food in front of us, it puts the thought of too-fried or too-sweet treats as far away from our mind as planet Mars. It's the kind of food our bodies TRULY crave. So, other than keeping a well-stocked produce basket at home, when you're in the mood for naughty food, call up the following cafes for the best cure: Food that'll make you feel spoiled and satisfied, minus the guilt.


Inside the zen-like Cafe SuperNatural (photo courtesy of cafesupernatural.com)

1. Cafe SuperNatural - Trolley Square
Ian Brandt, the owner of such veg-friendly establishments as Cali's Natural Foods, Vertical Diner and Sage's Cafe did well with his new joint to encompasses three of my favorite things: Yoga, plant-based food and WINE! Yes, this cafe just might be my nirvana. Sharing a space with a respected yoga studio, this chic, veggie haven offers only meat-free dishes, with much of it also RAW (allegedly preserving the "live, active" nutrients). The SuperNatural Wrap was divine, with a vibrant collard green encompassing fresh avocado, artisan sauerkraut and a "pate" mixture that sent tastebuds soaring. The wine was delish as well, and with yoga class happening in the other room, the good vibes were pumping strong. BONUS: Open Sundays for lunch.

Indian Spiced Peas photo courtesy WholeFoods.com

2. Whole Foods - Sugar House
Their salad and hot-food bar options change by the day, and I am always impressed with their small but varied selection. Sometimes it's an Indian theme, complete with Tikka Masala and vegetarian Kaali Daal; other days, it's Mediterranean with mushroom ravioli and caprese salad. But I can always count on at least three types of dressed-up tofu (mmm, the sweet chili tofu is tops!). And it's a straight shot to Droolville when I see Indian Spiced Peas with Tofu on the hot plate! (Whoa, I just noticed they list the recipe on their website!) But take it to-go, because seating during peak hours is hard to come by.



3. Harmon's - City Creek Center 
Best self-serve bar, ever! From Chinese to sandwiches to gelato (and yes, a behemoth salad bar in there, too), this festival of fresh food offers enough healthy options to break Atlas' back. Plus, the grocery store part allows you to purchase endless liquid accompaniment like Kombucha or coffee on the side. Pull up a chair; there's plenty of cozy, in-store seating.




4. Finca - 9th & 9th area
This farm-to-table restaurant by the owner of Utah favorite, Pago, has impressed me with their small plate panache. Spanish-themed and socially conscious, My love and I die for this semi-formal eatery, which can be the perfect place for both a casual lunch or a sizzling night out. Anything on the menu is excellent, and because they're small plates, it's great for dieters, as you focus on savoring smaller bites, ending up not eating as much, yet you leave feeling so blissfully satisfied. Bring your own bottle of wine to cut a chunk off the final bill (it's amazing how much you can spend as you get addicted and opt to try more and more!)

What are your favorite healthy food joints? Tell me - this girl's always looking to spice up her veg'!



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