Food | AzSustainability.com
Oct 11
vegan eats in Phoenix
icon1 Tracy Perkins | icon2 Food, Uncategorized | icon4 10 11th, 2011| icon36 Comments »


Here is a working list of my favorite restaurants that are vegan, vegan friendly, and places that are just darn delicious but require some special ordering in the Phoenix area. I’m looking for more places in the downtown area. Any suggestions? Any favorites I didn’t include on the list?

Restaurant City What to eat? Veg-Friendly
24 Carrots Chandler “eggsalad” sandwich is fav with fabulous seasonal dishes, excellent dessert VEGGIE
Blue Nile Tempe The vegetarian messob with collards, chickpeas, lentils, yellow split peas, and cabbage/potato. I could drink a gallon of their delicious house tea, too, fyi. OMNI
Breadfruit Phoenix Coconut curried tofu, Dessert: sweet potato pudd’n –> DO IT OMNI
Chakra 4 Phoenix Clearly marked vegan options, loved their Morroccan stew, salads, desserts. VEGGIE
Chill Tempe Wonderful sorbets, soy gelato, & soy soft serve! Sadly out of business. VEGGIE
Fez Phoenix black bean cumin burger (no cheese or aoli) w/ extra salad dressing to dip. <3 OMNI
Gallo Blanco Phoenix Get their veggie tacos made vegan and order yourself some guacamole. YUM! OMNI
Green Tempe, Phoenix 100% vegan! ORDER IT ALL! No harm parm or the Original G are my favorites. VEGAN
Inside the Bungalow Mesa Love their cashew curry tofu wrap and great drinks! OMNI
Loving Hut Phoenix, Peoria 100% vegan! ORDER IT ALL! Love their Pho or the Hawaiian burger. VEGAN
Morning Glory Café Phoenix Granola with soy milk OMNI
Nami Phoenix 100% vegan! ORDER IT ALL! They serve just coffee drinks and desserts, all amazing! VEGAN
Nourish Scottsdale Clearly marked vegan. I recommend Teriyaki rice bowl + Treehouse Cupcakes OMNI
Oregano’s Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa Bollopasta, sub pizza sauce, no cheese or garlic bread OMNI
Persian Garden Phoenix Falafel sandwich at lunch is fantastic. I had to give this place several chances over several years but lately it has been great! OMNI
Pita Jungle Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa Lentil fetoosh, macro platter, falafel – weekend brunch southwest tofu scramble is good OMNI
Pizza Heaven Bistro Phoenix Vegan cheese and soy-sausage available. Love the hot veggie sandwich made vegan! Excited they deliver! OMNI
Pizza People Food Truck Phoenix+ Vegan cheese available and their crust is fabulous. Highly recommend their “Fun Guy” pizza with soy cheese. Mmmm. Love love love the owners, too! OMNI
Pomegranate Ahwatukee Brunch fav – vegan lumberjack or vegan breakfast burrito, excellent dessert VEGGIE
Quiessence Phoenix Great for a splurge, my go to fancy date night place when the season’s right. Request vegan dish. OMNI
Sahara Tempe Falafel is the best I’ve had, sunbusek is to die for, lentil soup will blow your mind! OMNI
Someburros Tempe, Chandler Veggie burro with no cheese (whole beans are vegan, refried isn’t vegetarian!) OMNI
Spinato’s Pizzeria Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee Great selection of veggies for toppings BUT I can’t recommend highly enough the Baked Spaghetti Calzone without cheese, add kalamata olives OMNI
Tasty Kabob Tempe Veggie kabobs… omg… you won’t believe they can be so good. Their spicy beans and hummus rock. OMNI
Thai Basil Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler I love the fresh rolls, Tom Kha or peanut curry without fish sauce. FBI dessert is great! OMNI
That’s a Wrap Phoenix Ask to special order any of their veggie wraps made vegan. Very accomodating! OMNI
The Farm Kitchen Phoenix Sweet potato salad and the veggie sandwich without mayo or cheese. OMNI
Ticoz Phoenix Burrito or street tacos made vegan (no cheese or crema, ADD GUACAMMUS!) OMNI
True Food Phoenix, Scottsdale I’ve never had anything I didn’t love. Clearly marked vegan options, desserts and entrees. OMNI
TSOM Tempe Tasty falafel bar with wonderful fixings, zucchini fritters are delish, salad bar is exceptional! VEGGIE
Udupi Tempe The buffet comes with dosai but dinner is better. Mmm. Chili Gobi with Chana Batura = best! VEGGIE
Aug 3

Do you know where your food is coming from? Food Inc is a fascinating and disturbing look at where our food in the US comes from. You’ll definitely not look at food the same again. http://www.foodincmovie.com/

Click here to find a showing at Harkins Camelview in Scottsdale.

Feb 8
Eating “green” the luxurious way
icon1 Tracy Perkins | icon2 Food | icon4 02 8th, 2009| icon3No Comments »

aFinances are tight for most people, enough said on that, but if you are looking for some help eating healthier, in a more eco-friendly way and have a bit of cash to burn there is a really cool service available. I am shocked at how affordable the pricing is for a personal chef! The thought never even crossed my mind in the past other than perhaps the fleeting delusion of my grandiose future as a kid. When I heard about Ripe Personal Chef services I was really impressed with their commitment to quality ingredients, particularly organics and the availability of vegan coaching and vegan menus. Who knew?? Organic farming and avoiding meat and dairy in your diets helps eliminate waste and toxins in the environment, and in your own system, so it is all around a healthy idea but some folks need a little guidance. It is hard to make a change and it sounds like this service can help you with that transition. I decided to contact Chef Stephanie Heller for some quick info on how and why she/her business is committed to the environment, here is what she had to say:

What are you doing to make your business more environmentally friendly? Why?

ChefI strive to make my business more environmentally friendly everyday. I buy local organic produce whenever possible. I make suggestions to clients where to shop and how to reduce waste. I use re-usable containers and recycle any product packaging I can. It is important to me to be more aware of my surroundings and appreciate everything in nature not just use and abuse the environment but work with it and help in anyway I can.

She has some flexibility around Valentines’ Day – how cool would a home prepared chef-quality, organic meal be for you and your sweetie? I love it! She provides service to most places in the valley so check out her website and see if your area is an option. Also, she has entirely vegan menus available as well as really great sounding omnivorous or vegetarian ones. I am so glad that this Chef is out there spreading the word about healthy eating, for individuals sake, and for the sake of our environment. Go Chef Steph!

Sep 17

After a fire tore through ASU’s Memorial Union last year the whole 2nd level had to be renovated and part of that renovation includes a new eco-friendly cafe. We haven’t been there yet, but once we do we’ll be sure to write up a review. Here’s some information about this new cafe from their website.

Engrained is designed as an educational food experience demonstrating how a restaurant operates focused on sustainability & environmental stewardship utilizing local, organic, humane and fair-trade foods.

Engrained is as much about the experience of dining as the food itself served in a fast-casual dining atmosphere, rather than fast-food or grab & go. The idea is to stop into Engrained for a casual lunch to step-back from the business of campus life. Engrained is designed as an educational food experience surrounding sustainability and environmental stewardship with a focus on what we are making, the ingredients used and how it is handled. In turn, the menu will change daily with a key focus on seasonal foods from the area. There is a focus on healthier eating based on seasonal fresh fruits & vegetables, vegan and vegetarian options, local meats and dairy etc. We are also partnering with the ASU by harvesting items such as produce, herbs, citrus and dates.

The restaurant also features environmentally responsible construction utilizing renewable resources and Energy Star appliances where possible. Built in the same footprint as the Maricopa Café on the upper-level of the Memorial Union, Engrained features a new layout with center-island where customers can dine and watch meals prepared and cooked in hearth oven, hip look and relaxing vibe.

Check out their site here for more information and their menu

Aug 21
Corn Plastic Cups

Photo by: Majiscup

Corn plastic or PLA (polylactic acid) cups, utensils, and packaging have been popping up everywhere and I have been curious how they stack up against conventional plastic. It seems obvious that plastic made from corn would be more eco-friendly right? I did a little research and compiled a list of PLAs green pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Manufactured from corn starch, a renewable resource.
  • Biodegradable, breaks down into mostly carbon dioxide and water.
  • Compostable, 6-12 months in a home composter (Many people are reporting that they will not compost in a home composter), 1-6 months in a commercial composter. Longer for heat resistant utensils. Once composted it is indistinguishable from the other compost.
  • Does not emit toxic fumes if incinerated.
  • Does not leech chemicals into food or soil.
  • Freezer safe.
  • Can handle hot items up to 120F (200F for utensils).
  • Looks, feels, handles just like plastic.
  • Is inexpensive.

Cons:

  • Is not recyclable, must be kept separate from plastic.
  • Few commercial composting facilities (113 in U.S.), only 1/4 of which accept residential materials.
  • Commercial Composters use Microbes to break down organic material. Large amounts of PLA in a composter would cause problems because it breaks down into lactic acid which is wetter and more acidic. They can break this down but it requires more oxygen for the microbes to consume. Commercial Facilities would have trouble providing enough oxygen for large amounts of PLA to breakdown. Anaerobic digesters would not have the same problem.
  • It is estimated that in a landfill PLA will take anywhere from 100 to a 1000 years to biodegrade.
  • Typically made from genetically modified corn and usually not organic.
  • Diverting corn away from the world’s food supply.

To me the cons don’t seem too bad considering plastic can’t be composted, takes longer to decompose in a landfill (starts decomposing after around 700 years), and can leech chemicals into food and the soil. Overall I think PLA is a pretty good substitute for disposable plastic cups, utensils, and packaging.  What do you think? Any more pros and cons?

edit: Lots of good comments made and a few saying that perhaps these are not as eco-friendly as their manufactures want you think. See comments for details..

For more in depth information check out these links:

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