Mediterranean diet favorite dishes return to Pita Jungle

For the last 25 years Pita Jungle has been serving up healthy Mediterranean diet inspired dishes. Many customers have their favorite’s over the years but they tend to come and go with seasons. As part of their Seasonal Kitchen Crafts Menu they’ve brought back many fan favorites from the past.

All 23 locations throughout Arizona are serving dishes with a balance of Mediterranean diet and global cuisine. The menu is popular with all dietary needs including keto, paleo, vegan and gluten-free. The seasonal menu will be available thru the rest of the year. Dishes include……

  • Cauliflower Hummus (V) – cauliflower, tahini, garlic, evoo, lemon juice, cucumbers, pita (gluten free with blue corn chips).
  • All Veggie Pita Pocket – avocado, baby greens, seasonal mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onion, sprouts, tabbouleh, lemon vinaigrette, in a pita pocket, severed with tahini (vegan with no tabbouleh, gluten-free with gluten-free pita upcharge).
  • Bone Broth Ramen with Shirataki Noodles (GF) – beef bone broth, with miso, kimchi, red onion, gluten-free soy sauce, garlic and ginger, shirataki noodles, spinach, green onions.
  • Ginger Stir Fry with Shirataki Noodles (GF) – stir-fried fresh vegetables and kimchi, shirataki noodles, spicy ginger sauce, beef bone broth, fresh cilantro, fresh mint, pea sprouts (vegan with no kimchi and no beef broth).

    Mediterranean
    Ginger Stir Fry with Shirataki Noodles
  • Wood-Fired Medchilada (GF) – savory garlic-cilantro chicken in a beef bone broth enchilada sauce, cheddar and feta, turmeric cauliflower rice, cabbage-kale super greens, fresh jalapenos, radish, pico de gallo, pine nuts, gluten-free pita.
  • Chicken Avocado Pita Tostada with Cauliflower Hummus – grilled and chopped marinated all-natural chicken breast, avocado, cilantro-avocado crema, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled red onions, bell peppers, cauliflower hummus, feta, pine nuts, baby arugula, pea sprouts, chipotle vinaigrette, pita tostada or low-carb pita or gluten-free pita (vegetarian option without chicken.
  • Mediterranean Tuna Pita Pocket – albacore tuna, avocado, seasonal mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, tabbouleh, lemon vinaigrette, pea sprouts, in a pita pocket.
  • Baklawa Bread Pudding sweetened with stevia and agave syrup.

To find a Pita Jungle near you head to their website.

Laura’s Gourmet Granola celebrates 15 years with continued growth

You’ve probably had Laura’s Gourmet Granola if you’ve been to OverEasy, Scramble or Fox Restaurant Concepts locations. They’re just a few local restaurants who serve the popular healthy mix of nuts, oats, fruits and other ingredients. As the company celebrates its 15th anniversary it expands to accommodate the growing demand. The new west Phoenix location is triple the size of its original production facility.

“Our sole focus always has been to make unparalleled, classic granola using only all natural ingredients and prove that healthy and delicious can coexist in every artisan crafted, gluten-free bite,” says Laura Briscoe, founder and executive chef of Laura’s Gourmet Granola.

The growth is not only due to local restaurants using her granola but consumers supporting it in Arizona markets including AJ’s, Tempe Public Market, Whole Foods and others. Until recently Laura’s Gourmet Granola was only found in Arizona specialty retailers, now it’s available in Texas, Chicago and Wisconsin. In 2012 Laura’s started working with hotels, restaurants and healthcare organizations around the country.

Started in 2004 with the classic Vanilla Almond Crunch, there now six flavors including AppleLicious Crunch and the newest, Sinful Cinnamon Crunch. The seasonal Pumpkin Pecan is available through the end of the year. “We are committed to creating granola flavors that will delight the palate without compromising one’s health or sending one to the dictionary to understand our ingredients. We have done this for 15 years with seven flavors and look forward to more.” says Briscoe.

The granola is low in sugar, has healthy fats and proteins with nut free, vegan, dairy free and gluten free options.

To find Laura’s Gourmet Granola near you visit her website.

 

Kaleidoscope Juice expanding to The Shops at Gainey Ranch

A food lovers life can’t always be about cheeseburgers, pizza and bacon. Healthy food helps to cleanse the body and your mind so we can continue to eat the guilty pleasures. Fortunately there is Kaleidoscope Juice which is opening their newest location at The Shops in Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale. Opening in October, the 1,000 square foot store will offer an all organic menu of cold pressed juices, salads, sandwiches, protein bowl and more.

“We are delighted to open this new, beautiful location in the neighborhood where I started the company delivering juices to people’s homes,” said Alexandra Maw, founder and owner of Kaleidoscope Juice. “We believe in the vibrancy of Kaleidoscope and look forward to sharing our passion for healthy, healing foods with the Scottsdale community.

Another location will open soon after as the health and wellness company continues to expand from its current four locations.

The ingredients and recipes are scientifically proven to help with specific dietary needs and deficiencies. The menu is attractive to people with different diets including Keto and gluten-free. Ingredients are locally sourced when possible.

Brook McGregor, co-owner and COO and master’s degree candidate in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine added, “We are excited to expand our menu outside the normal fruit and vegetable combinations. Our new smoothies are intentionally crafted providing a myriad of healthy fat compositions, hormone maintenance blends and cognitive support.”

The Shops at Gainey Ranch is at 8977 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250. Kaleidoscope Juice will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. For more information check out their website.

Vegan restaurant Casa Terra creates new summer menu

After opening earlier this year Arizona’s only upscale vegan restaurant Casa Terra has revamped the menu in time for summer. Owner and chef Jason Wyrick draws inspiration for the menu for his plant forward cuisine from Mexico and the Mediterranean.

According to Wyrick, “As the temperature rises, our eating habits greatly change. With the summer menu, I wanted to focus not only seasonal ingredients but lighter, incredibly tasty food that would appeal to dining out in the summer in the Valley.”

Vegan pizzas and more

The new menu offers something for everybody including pizzas, small plates, soups, salads and entrees. Thin crust 12 inch pizza’s are made in a wood fired oven and can be made with gluten free dough. New dishes to the summer menu include…..

Pizza

-Margherita: marinara, heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and Aleppo chilis 
-Arizona Sunset: mole amarillo, queso fresco, smoked mushroom, epazote, cilantro, pine nuts
-Sausage and Sage: garlic cheese sauce, sausage, fennel, and crispy sage
-Pesto and Market Veg: preserved lemon pistachio pesto, ricotta, mojo roasted market veggies

Small plates

-Crispy Artichoke Tacos: gluten-free tempura artichokes, harissa, mojo aioli, cabbage, pickled saffron cauliflower & onions ($12)
-Garnachas & Smoked Pulled Porq: sweet potato masa cakes, ancho fig and mezcal salsa, queso fresco, pepitas, smoked porq, pickled onions ($13)
-Trumpet Mushroom ‘Calamari’: gluten-free tempura trumpet mushrooms, chipotle mojo aioli, grilled lemon ($13)
-Cheese Plate: ricotta, mozzeralla, queso fresco, seasonal preserves, harissa, olives, warm flatbread ($16)

House made soups, salads and entrees

-Summer Gazpacho: heirloom tomato and watermelon, ricotta, watermelon pico, and pine nuts ($8)
-Madelyn’s Salad: twisted infusion greens, watermelon, avocado, ricotta, bac’n olive oil, fig balsamic, toasted pine nuts, pepitas ($12)
-Enchiladas Mole: roasted squash & sweet potato, smoked mushrooms, huitlachoche, mole poblano, crema, queso fresco, and pico de gallo ($19)

Dessert and cocktails

Save room for dessert including Cheesecake ($12), a Churro Swirl with Ice Cream of the Moment ($10), or Seasonal Sorbet ($7).

Casa Terra now serves beer, wine and liquor with its vegan menu in mind. A few of the signature cocktails include….

-’84 El Camino: mezcal, grapefruit liqueur, lime
-Paper Cactus: reposado tequila, aperol, averna, lemon
-Seasonal Spiked Sorbet: seasonal fruit, festive garnish, mezcal or spirit of choice.

Casa Terra is at 6835 N. 58th Dr. Glendale 85301.

Tryst Cafe brings its healthy menu to new Chandler location

Owners Lisa and Sami Khnanisho have had their award-winning Tryst Cafe in the Desert Ridge neighborhood of north Phoenix for 9 years before expanding. With numerous offers to come to all parts of the valley they decided on a south Chandler location. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner Tryst serves naturally delicious assortment of sandwiches, salads, breakfast classics and more.

“We are excited to bring our affair with naturally delicious food to Chandler,” Co-Owner Lisa Khnanisho says. “The new location brings everything Tryst Cafe is about to the next-level.”

Egg Benedict

The healthy menu offers something for every diet and has been hailed by the vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian communities. Banana Quinoa Pancakes, Hawaiian 2-Egg organic Breakfast, Avocado Toast, Pork Adobo Tacos and a Bison Burger are a few of the dishes available.

The full service restaurant offers a walk-in coffee & juice bar, organic beverages including botanicals, Kombucha and a full bar.

The 3,500 square foot restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, a private dining room and meeting space for 14 people.

“Our menu is natural, healthy, and clean with something for everyone from the vegan diner to the meat-and-potatoes lover,” Khnanisho explains. “We believe everyone can have an affair with naturally delicious food.”

Bison Burger

As part of the grand opening celebration Tryst Cafe will host an Organic Wine Taste & Vote event. On March 13th in Chandler (20th at Desert Ridge) guests can taste 5 organic wines and vote for one to be added to the wine list. The 21+ event is $10 per person with guests tasting appetizers. Guests staying for dinner will receive a free dessert.

Tryst Cafe is at 4205 S. Gilbert Rd Chandler 85249 and 21050 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix 85050. For more information visit their website.

Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery brings healthy food to Chandler

Locals and visitors in the Ocotillo neighborhood of Chandler have a new restaurant focusing on healthy food to visit. Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery opened this week offering gluten-free, vegan and Keto and all around healthy food.

Chef Steven Fowler created the menu bringing years of experience working around the valley. His culinary track record includes T. Cook’s at The Royal Palms, EVO, The Boulders Resort and Tonto Bar and Grill.

Greekin’ Out Bowl. All photos courtesy of Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery

The healthy menu at Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery is composed of salads, sandwiches, superfruit bowls, specialty dishes and cauliflower crust pizzas. The restaurant will serve the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The fast casual restaurant also offers a kiosk diners guests to order on their own.

The restaurant will be open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mon. – Thurs., 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fri., 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Sat. and Sun. from 8 a.m. –  9 p.m.

Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery is at 2551 W. Queen Creek Rd. Chandler 85248. (480)350-7245. For more information visit website.

Chef Sacha Levine brings her cooking and philosophy to Singh Meadows Cafe

You probably tasted dishes Sacha Levine has prepared at restaurants FnB, Rancho Pinot Grille and Ocotillo and never knew it. Sacha is one of the most respected chefs in the Phoenix restaurant community that many have never heard of, until recently.

Levine runs the kitchen at Singh Meadows Cafe in Tempe where her locally sourced dishes available Friday, Saturday & Sunday’s from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

“I have been a huge proponent of local, seasonal, and vegetable-driven food for the bulk of my career,” said Levine. “Preservation has always been a staple for me. We keep the larder stocked with pickles, sauces, and ferments that are sold in the market as well as used in the kitchen.”

Dishes from Sacha Levine

Working alongside Levine in the kitchen is Carlos Carbajal and Kevin Dragos helping to prepare breakfast and lunch. The menu offers a variety of delicious meal attractive to vegetarians, vegans and those looking for gluten-free options.

When I was there one Saturday morning recently it was hard for me pass up the Smoked Brisket Breakfast sandwich.

All dishes are under $12 and include Kimchi Fried Rice with pork belly, Indian Breakfast Tacos and Huevos Rancheros. Taste of the Meadows offers ricotta, honeycomb, fresh fruit, dates, pistachios and grilled Noble Bread.

On my next visit I’m going to have to try the Jerk Turkey Tacos.

“Cooking at Singh Meadows is a sort of coming home for me,” added Levine. “Working at the farm as a young cook helped to define me in the kitchen today. I am close to the source of what I get most excited about in the kitchen – beautiful, local produce.”

In addition to the fresh flavor of Levine’s menu, Singh Meadows offers fresh pressed and squeezed juices and a coffee bar. Fresh produce from Singh Farms is available as is locally sourced foods.

Singh Meadows is at 1490 E. Weber Dr. Tempe 85281. http://www.facebook.com/SinghMeadows

 

 

An Eggnog recipe for Hickman’s Family Farms Holly Jolly Eggnog

I’ve never been a fan of eggnog but from the looks of the ingredients in the recipe below I may have to start sipping on a glass or two. Eggnog dates back to when the country was first settled as the settlers were combining wine, spirits, eggs and sugar. Most are made from family recipes passed down from generation to generation.

Since eggs are a main ingredient in eggnog, Hickman’s Family Farms have provided their Grandma Gertie’s recipe. I’m probably not going to make it but if you do I’ll give it a try, preferably with the Maker’s Mark added.

Hickman’s Holly Jolly Eggnog

  • 5 Hickman’s Super Jumbo egg yolks
  • 5 Hickman’s Super Jumbo egg whites
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ cups Shamrock 2% milk
  • 1 pint Shamrock heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons favorite brandy eggs-tract (optional-Maker’s Mark Whiskey)
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add one cup of sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved.
  2. Add the milk, cream, egg-stract or whiskey and nutmeg and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a clean stand mixer and beat to soft peaks.
  4. With the mixer still running gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Whisk the egg whites into the egg yolk and milk mixture.
  6. Chill and serve.

For cooked eggnog, follow this procedure:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add one cup of sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
  3. Return the incorporated mixture to the pot and cook until it reaches 160º.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the egg-stract or whiskey.
  5. Pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.
  6. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a clean stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form
  7. Once egg yolk and milk mixture is cool, slowly fold into stiff egg whites.
  8. Stir to combine
  9. Serve chilled

For more recipes from Hickman’s Family Farms go to https://hickmanseggs.com/

 

Farm & Craft now uses 100% grass fed beef on new menu

Locally owned Farm & Craft introduced eight new dishes for those looking for a healthy holiday season. The new dishes can be found throughout the menu from starters to entrees.

Because what you put in your body is important the whole menu now includes 100% grass-fed beef. The health focused restaurant also added 25% more organic products and 4 more vegetarian dishes that can be made vegan.

The new menu now lists all Farm & Craft’s local and responsibly sourced vendors. The new dishes are available at the Scottsdale restaurant and will soon be introduced at the Phoenix restaurant.

Super Green Salad. All photos courtesy of Farm & Craft and Mack Media Relations

New menu of healthy dishes

The 8 new dishes are listed here.

  • Cashew Chicken Salad: shaved chicken breast, togarashi maple cashews, romaine, red pepper, fresh spiral zucchini, with a sesame lime vinaigrette
  • Super Green Salad: spinach, zucchini, edamame, snap peas, green apple and cucumber in an organic tandoori cider vinaigrette and finished with toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Burrata & Grilled Vegetables: grilled seasonal vegetables with garlic bread and fresh burrata finished with tomato basil vinaigrette. Great for sharing!
  • Vegan Banh Mi: house made pineapple BBQ tofu, pickled cucumber, shredded romaine, jalapeno and a chili Dijon dressing on toasted ciabatta. Also available with BBQ chicken.
  • Probiotic Bowl: warm garbanzos with olive and tomato, quinoa tabbouleh, red beet power kraut, shaved pickled cucumber, romaine hearts and cucumber herb yogurt sauce
  • Chicken Fried Rice: organic farro, shaved chicken, pineapple, jalapeño, egg and toasted cashews, mixed with fresh veggies and a tamari glaze
  • Roasted Half Chicken: half of a roasted chicken served with seasonal vegetables & lemon herb chicken jus
  • Build-Your-Own Veggie Tacos: seasonal vegetables, smashed avocado, pico de gallo & tomatillo salsa served with three warm corn tortillas. Can add shaved chicken or shaved steak.

    menu
    Probiotic Bowl

In addition to the new dishes there have been changes to existing dishes.

  • The nachos made with quinoa flax chips are now vegetarian and can be prepared vegan.
  • There is no more turkey being served to help reduce sodium heavy dishes.
  • The popular Farro Mac & Cheese is back!
  • Gluten free pasta made from corn and rice is now available.

Soon a new kids breakfast menu will be introduced along with a new seasonal menu with seasonal ingredients.

 

Weekend breakfast now on the menu at Arcadia Tavern

The Arcadia Tavern has started serving breakfast on Saturday & Sunday mornings from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. In addition to breakfast the popular Arcadia restaurant is offering weekend specials at lunch and dinner. That’s not all going on at the corner of Indian School Rd. and 48th St., healthy and gluten-free options are now available.

Bowl of Creamy Tomato Basil soup. All photos courtesy of Lindsay Hansen

“Our customers have been asking for healthier and lighter options, as well as gluten free items,” said Scott Hilber, owner. “We listened and we’re really excited about the new menu”

Weekend breakfast, lunch & dinner

Start you day watching your favorite football team with Yogurt Parfait, Breakfast Burritio & Tacos, Pancakes and Chilaquiles. You can’t eat breakfast on the weekend with out a Bloody Mary and for $5 you can build your own.

Featured during lunch and dinner are a Veggie Burger($12.99), Chicken Salad sandwich or wrap($10.99) or a Lafayette Salad($12.99). I’d be ordering the Western Burger($13.99) with bacon & onion jam, Pepperjack cheese, onion ring, Applewood bacon and BBQ sauce on a Brioche bun.

Kale & Quinoa salad

Seasonal favorite soups such as French Onion, Creamy Tomato Basil & Corn Chowder are available by the cup or bowl. Kid friendly options are available at all three meals.

Gluten-Free and healthy menu options

Many popular dishes are still available but guests will have new salad options that include Kale & Quinoa, Caprese Salad and the previously mentioned Chicken Salad and Lafayette Salad. breakfast

Gluten-free options include the Arcadia Cobb and Steak salads, Tavern Wings, Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Camelback Mountain of Nachos.  Several other options are available from all the menus.

The Arcadia Tavern is open 7 days a week starting at 11 a.m. Mon.- Fri. and 9 a.m. Sat. & Sun. For more information check out their website.