Celebrate 'Don't Eat Meat Week' July 25-31
Take part in 'Don't Eat Meat Week' at some of Houston's healthiest hot spots.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 14:13
EAT MORE VEGGIES: National 'Don't Eat Meat Week' takes place July 25-31. (Photo: Muffet/Flickr)
While July has served to commemorate things like "National Grilling Month," "National Hot Dog Month," "National Ice Cream Month" and "National Tequila Day," it has also incorporated the healthy celebratory event of "National Don't Eat Meat Week" to close out the month of our unhealthy eating discretions.
Houston is not exactly known for having the most vigorous options of restaurants, but there are places you can find in the mix to enjoy "Don't Eat Meat Week" while it lasts, or to better your diet in general. Here are a few spots to try:
1) HUNGRY'S CAFE AND BISTRO: Established in 1975 with locations at Memorial Drive and Rice Village, Hungry's "offers a unique take on new American cuisine in a comfortable and welcoming environment."
The quaint, family-favorite café has a menu full of vegetarian and healthy options to choose from for lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekends from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Some of its most popular healthy-choice lunch and dinner items include:
- The Garden of Eatin' wrap: Complete with grilled squash, zucchini, red peppers, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and jalapeno hummus in a whole wheat tortilla. Served with Spanish rice and refried black beans for $9.
- Southwestern portabella delight: Served with a medley of sliced portabella mushrooms, grilled vegetables, herb basmati rice, black beans, guacamole and pico de gallo for $11.
- Vegetarian black bean burger: Cooked to perfection and finished with avocado, pico de gallo and provolone cheese for $9.
- Greek farmers market salad: Comprised of crisp greens, feta cheese, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes and Greek olives. Topped with House vinaigrette dressing for $8.
- California sandwich on wheat: Includes avocado, provolone cheese, mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise. Served with tostada salad for $8.
Popular brunch menu items — excluding meat — include:
- Greek omelet: Prepared with sautéed spinach, feta cheese and tomatoes. Served with herb roasted new potatoes and fresh fruit for $9.
- Southwestern omelet: With black beans, corn, tomatoes and scallions. Served with refried black beans and fresh fruit for $9.
- Eggs florentine: Two poached eggs in creamy sautéed spinach on ciabatta bread, topped with pico de gallo. Served with herb roasted new potatoes and fresh fruit for $10.
- Croissant French toast: Underneath fresh strawberries and bananas, with drizzled maple syrup and finished with powdered sugar for $8.50.
Hungry's Cafe and Bistro offers the option of delivery and pick-up options if you are in a rush or not wanting to dine in. They are also available for catering special events.
Click here to find out Hungry's hours of operation for each location. If you would like to be up to date with Hungry's information, you can sign up to receive the restaurant's newsletter, or follow on its Facebook or Twitter pages.
2) A MOVEABLE FEAST: Family owned and operated off Echo Lane since 1971, A Moveable Feast is a unique Houston health spot in that it's a restaurant within a health food store, with one side serving as a fit grocery and the opposite side contributing as their eatery.
Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., the store produces an array of vitamins and supplements, as well as organic, vegan and gluten-free items for purchase. The Grab & Go Freezer has previously prepared meals available for purchase with various entrees, salads, appetizers, soups and desserts.
A Moveable Feast's food items are extremely good for your diet, in that none of them uses trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, propylene glycol, too much salt or anything artificial. The store doesn't even own a deep fryer. The menu is comprised of an infusion of Mediterranean, south-of-the-border, vegan and vegetarian options, making it a great place to bring anyone for a meal.
A Moveable Feast has a vast menu with countless items to choose from, but here are some highlights to try during "Don't Eat Meat Week":
- Tabouli and avocado sandwich: Tabouli salad with melted monterey jack cheese and sliced avocado on whole wheat bread. $6.99.
- Mediterranean sampler salad: Homemade tabouli, hummus, Greek salad, with rice stuffed grape leaves and a slice of foccacia bread.
- Enchiladas: You can get them prepared with cheese and onions or cheese and vegetables for $7.99, or you can opt for the spinach and mushroom for $8.99. All options are served with pico de gallo and a choice of pinto or black refried beans, Spanish or brown rice.
- Macrobiotic plate: Complete with steamed vegetables and marinated tofu sautéed in tamari soy sauce. Served with brown rice for $6.99 or soba noodles for $8.99.
- Big veggie bowl: Every vegetable offered from the kitchen cooked and served with either marinara, tomatillo, chipotle or tomato curry sauce for $8.99. You can add tofu for $2.99, brown rice for $0.99 or cornbread for $1.29.
- Grilled vegetarian burger: Served with lettuce, tomato, purple onion and a dill pickle, with a choice of plain or chipotle mayonnaise, regular or Dijon mustard for $5.99.
- Vegetarian chili: This is my personal favorite for lunch with a side salad. You literally cannot taste the difference between it and a regular cup of chili with meat. You can purchase a cup for $1.99 and a bowl for $3.99.
The health food restaurant and store features a daily special complete with a chef's choice entrée that changes every 24 hours. Today's special includes the eggplant quesadilla, with grilled eggplant and monterey jack cheese folded into a spinach whole wheat tortilla. Served with refried beans, Spanish rice and pico de gallo for $9.99. Its vegetarian special soups are lentil and gazpacho.
The restaurant/grocery store fusion also serves breakfast Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. It has fresh fruit smoothies and various juices offered alongside healthy breakfast food options. Here are some breakfast items the eatery features sans meat:
- The breakfast pita: Complete with two scrambled eggs, tomatoes, onions and green peppers in a pita with baked chips and a small Greek salad for $5.79.
- Multigrain pancakes: Served as singles for $2.99 with butter and maple syrup. You can add any fresh fruit for just $0.50 extra.
- Carrot and celery and carrot juice: Served chilled. Priced at $3.99 for 16 ounces.
- Wheatgrass shots/juice: Served chilled. Priced at $3.99 for two ounces.
- Super body power smoothie: Priced at $4.99. Made with fresh strawberries and bananas, protein powder, lecithin and apple juice.
The conveniently healthy cafe describes its establishment on its website, saying, "A Moveable Feast Restaurant and Store is a place where people gather to celebrate life, socialize with friends old and new, discuss art, philosophy and current issues of the day while enjoying good food and drink. John and Suzanne Fain, owners of A Moveable Feast, believe that life is what you make it and that life is definitely a moveable feast."
If you would like to contact the restaurant directly, call (713) 365-0368 or visit its website for more details.
3) FIELD OF GREENS: With a playful name reminiscent of the classic movie "Field of Dreams," Field of Greens is a fresh take on Houston dining and only in business for around five years. It is certainly a dream come true for Houstonians living a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle in the area.
Located off West Alabama, the restaurant's cuisine — consisting of vegan, low fat and low carbohydrate options — is described as being, "So good ... and so good for you!" A fan was quoted on the website saying, "The food is always fresh, from scratch, creative and beautiful. The owners and staff are super and the prices are great."
Apparently, the fans of the website are not the only ones who think Field of Greens is worth mentioning. The restaurant was awarded "Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant" by The Houston Press in 2008, as well as runner-up for "Best Vegetarian Restaurant" for an Out Smart Award in the same year.
Here are some highlights from Houston's healthiest restaurant menu:
- Macrobiotic platter: Steamed broccoli, carrots, zucchini, squash and cauliflower, with kale in miso sauce, brown rice, daily beans, tofu quiche, pickled daikon and seaweed for $8.50. You can add a soup or side salad for $3.45 extra.
- Vegetarian fajita plate: Grilled tahini marinated wheat roast strips, "Braggs" marinated onions and red and green bell peppers. Served with organic brown rice, daily beans, red radish pico de gallo and whole wheat tortillas for $11.95.
- Green pasta primavera: Steamed medley of vegetables tossed with organic pasta, garlic sauce and pesto. Served with a side salad for $9.50.
- Green bean hummus wrap: Fresh green beans, grilled soy ham and hummus, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Served with a side salad for $10.95.
- Grilled vegetable BBQ: Grilled zucchini, yellow squash, red and green peppers, red onion and soy ham tossed in an organic barbecue sauce. Served over organic brown rice for $10.95. Only available on the menu after 2 p.m.
- Vegan chocolate tofu pie: Cooked with chocolate chip and tofu filling, maple syrup and granola crust for $3.95.
All of its fabulous soups are vegan and can be purchased as the different vegan soup du jour selections on the menu, available for purchase in a cup for $3.95 and $5.95 for a bowl.
The vegan soup du jour menu is as follows: Monday — vegetable barley, Tuesday — split pea, Wednesday — "chicken" noodle, Thursday — vegetable, Friday — white bean and "ham," Saturday — ginger carrot and Sunday — cream of broccoli.
Seventy percent of Field of Greens' menu items are organic, with no chemical additives or pesticides used in their preparing technique. The restaurant's oil and butter are 100 percent G.M.O. free and organic.
Their gluten free choices are the Greek salad, spinach salad, super tuna salad, guacamole salad, tofu quiche salad, the macrobiotic platter (based on the macrobiotic principle) and the vegetarian platter.
The cafe's soy free items featured are the Greek salad, the portabella burger, the salmon burger, the barbecue sandwich, the eggplant sandwich, the tabouli avocado, the grilled cheese, all the soups, the grilled and wild salmon, quesadillas and the raw rainbow.
Click here to view the restaurant's full nutritional information on all its food items, and visit its photo gallery to see some featured dishes.
The Houston Restaurant Guide praised Field of Greens saying, "In a town where a menu without the holy trinity of cheese, beef, and bacon [is hard to find], Field of Greens responds with heartwarming and heart-healthy food that might actually save you from [a heart attack]. With so many places trying to kill you these days, it's hard to eat out without getting an earful from your mother, or an eyebrow raise from your doctor. Field of Greens is one of the rare places that you can actually enjoy without having to lie to [either of] them."
You can reach Field of Greens with questions or comments by calling (713) 533-0029, or visit its website for more information.
4) ZIGGY'S BAR AND GRILL: Serving two locations at West Alabama and Montrose at Taft and Fairview, Ziggy's gastronomy is described as "comfort food that's healthy," with a completely trans fat-free menu, featuring organic beef and egg options.
The charmingly casual café presents a number of vegetarian and healthy menu items for lunch and dinner to choose from. Here are some that stick out:
- The spa salad: Prepared with fresh mandarin oranges, feta cheese, apples and pecans with mango and raspberry dressing. Served in a small or large portion depending on your appetite.
- Roasted red pepper soup: Cooked to perfection with all low fat ingredients, of roasted red peppers pureed with vegetable stock and garnished with sour cream. Served in a cup or bowl depending on your appetite.
- Roasted butternut squash soup: Simmered with roasted garlic and grilled onions. Served in a cup or bowl depending on your appetite.
- Vegetarian meatloaf: A vegetarian patty cooked with lentils, rice, various vegetables and herbs. Served in a small or large portion depending on your appetite. Also offered in a sandwich option.
- Vegetarian platter: Choose any three small sides ranging from acorn squash topped with pecans, apples and honey, fresh fruit served in a cup or bowl, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, broccoli, an array of steamed mixed vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, black beans and/or brown rice served in a cup or bowl, baked whole wheat tortilla chips or a mixed green salad.
- Black bean burger: A patty ground together with black beans and spices. Served with salsa on the side.
- Chickpea burger: A patty ground together with chickpeas, carrots, pecans and various spices.
In addition to its everyday menu, the healthy and trans fat-free restaurant has various daily special items featured on its menu available for purchase.
Ziggy's Bar and Grill serves breakfast Monday through Friday from open (8 a.m. at the downtown location, 9 a.m. at the Montrose location) until 11 a.m., and from open until 3 p.m. on the weekends.
Here are some breakfast vegetarian options from Ziggy's menu:
- Santa Fe breakfast burrito (with vegetarian sausage): A whole wheat tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, fresh vegetables, sweet potatoes, salsa and low fat cheese sauce. Served with fat free sour cream on the side and a choice of fresh fruit or a cup of black beans and/or brown rice.
- Three egg omelet: Pick two ingredients of your choice, from a list of various vegetables and cheeses. Each additional ingredient is $0.60 extra. Served with a choice of whole wheat or multigrain toast, sweet potato hash browns, fresh fruit or a cup of black beans and/or brown rice.
- Breakfast plate (with vegetarian sausage): Two or three eggs prepared any style with a choice of sweet potato hash browns, fresh fruit, whole wheat or multigrain toast or a cup of black beans and/or brown rice.
Ziggy's offers catering services for any special event regarding business or pleasure (with free delivery if ordering from the downtown location). The hot summer special of the cool salad trio serves eight to ten people for $39.95 plus tax.
You get the choice of three categories of salads with different salad options to choose from in each category, but take advantage of this offer fast, because the promotion ends on July 30. Here are the cool salad trio options to choose from:
Salad one (Pick one of the following):
- Pesto salad with whole wheat bow tie pasta, spinach and pesto.
- Southwestern black bean and corn salad.
- Wheat berry salad with cranberries and pecans.
Salad two (Pick one of the following):
- Chicken pecan salad made with toasted pecans, roasted chicken breast (only suitable after "Don't Eat Meat Week!"), fresh rosemary and low fat mayonnaise.
- Poached sliced chicken breast salad (also only suitable after "Don't Eat Meat Week").
- Shrimp and crab salad made with low fat mayonnaise.
Salad three (Pick two of the dressings mentioned):
- Mixed organic green salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and whole wheat croutons. Served with a choice of two dressings from low fat bleu cheese, low fat and low carbohydrate honey mustard, low fat Italian, fat free and low carbohydrate lemon ginger, low fat and low carbohydrate mango and oil and balsamic vinegar dressings.
Each dressing is served in eight-ounce containers.
If you would like Ziggy's to cater an event for you featuring the cool salad trio hot summer special or other catering menu items, you can reach them via telephone at (713) 527-8588 or email them at email@example.com. Click here to find out both locations' contact information and varying hours of operation and visit the About Us link on their website to learn more about the Houston restaurant.
Houston has thousands of restaurants to aid us during our meal times, but few promise that what we are ingesting is beneficial to our health and ourselves. While there are certainly more than four health-conscious eateries available in the Houston area, Hungry's Cafe and Bistro, A Moveable Feast, Field of Greens and Ziggy's Bar and Grill are independently and family owned spots available exclusively to Houstonians.
Take the rest of the week to explore these different restaurants' cuisine options in light of "Don't Eat Meat Week."
Photos: Takver/Flickr, sillywailo/Flickr and didbygraham/Flickr
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