Native Foods’ New Summer Menu is Deeelish!

Native Foods Summer Menu for 2015

Native Foods invited me to stop in for dinner yesterday to sample their new summer menu and, friends, I have to say I was blown away.

I love Native Foods but I tend to get the same thing every time, ever since I went gluten-free: the sesame macro bowl with extra ‘kraut. The new summer menu has officially shaken me of this habit with fresh new dishes that are light, flavorful and unique:

Grilled Avocado Plate

Native Foods Grilled Avocado Plate

The Grilled Avocado Plate has a whole huge avocado, grilled, atop a bed of zippy greens, tofu bacon and radishes tossed with a lemon vinaigrette, and topped with crispy tortilla strips. This was my favorite thing that I could try (my friend Sara had to be my “mouth” for the glutenous stuff). The vinaigrette was so flavorful without being overpowering, and the avocados were creamy delicious. The tortilla strips added the perfect amount of crunch and salt to the dish.

The only thing I would change is that I would probably order without the tofu bacon. It was fine on its own but I just don’t like smokey things and was never a huge bacon eater. For me, it sullied the clean flavors of the dish but that’s just my take, Sara was a fan of it.

This was a fantastic dish, one I will absolutely get again. It’s marketed as an appetizer, but would make a fine meal with the addition of a small side (the lemon dill potato salad would be an excellent pairing!).

Summer Berry Salad

Native Foods Summer Berry Salad

The Summer Berry Salad is a gorgeous dish, alive with bright joyful colors that scream, “Nutrients!!!” It has kale and romaine, blueberries, strawberries and seasonal veggies (mine had jicama!) tossed with a mango lime dressing and pumpkin seeds.

I love how kale-based salads take a while to eat, and I was chewing my way through this beauty the entire meal. As an overeater, raw kale is a great tool to help me slow down and enjoy my food. The berries were vibrant in each bite, and I was always delighted to detect a little pumpkin seed in there.

This is something I would absolutely order again, but it definitely needs something (for me!) to be a filling meal. Those that are used to eating high-raw might be ok, but I find I need a little cooked carbs or some whole fats in my meal to feel satiated. Tempeh would be an amazing addition, or avocado. In fact, I stole some avocado from the grilled plate, put it on the salad, and was in heaven.

Korean BBQ Sub

Native Foods Korean BBQ Sub

Unfortunately, I couldn’t try the Korean BBQ Sub because it was (obviously) not gluten-free. It has seitan, marinated and sliced thin, crispy mushrooms, tomatoes and pineapple slaw on a beautiful sesame seed baguette, served with a pickle on the side.

I did sneak a bite of a mushroom, and I ate some of the cole slaw, and both blew my mind. Sara, in between enthusiastic bites, told me it was one of the most unique things she’s ever eaten – savory, sweet, and salty with a hint of cinnamon somewhere. She said the “meat” was very tender and flavorful, and declared, “Any meat-eater would be fooled!

The Korean BBQ Sub is a feast for the eyes. I can’t imagine ordering it and not having everyone at the table drooling over it. Please go order one and eat it on behalf of me and all my gluten-sensitive brethren!

Blueberry Crumble

Native Foods Blueberry Crumble

The star treatment ended with this sexy giant slice of Blueberry Crumble. This was not gluten-free either, so Sara ate it for me and exclaimed that it was, “So fresh! You can taste the blueberries” and “Mmmmmmmmm!!!! The bottom tastes like cookies!” She highly recommends it!

I want to thank Native Foods in Point Loma (San Diego) for having me, I was honored to come in and try their menu, and the staff were all so sweet to us. If you have a Native Foods near you, go check them out and tell them VeganSpin sent you!

Little black heart

Purely Elizabeth Cereal, Oatmeal and Muesli Review

After seeing a shout-out of mine on Instagram for their granola, Purely Elizabeth – Vegan Gluten Free Granola Cereal and More! kindly reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try their new cereal, oatmeal and muesli. To which I said, “Uhh…YEAH!!!”

About Purely Elizabeth

Purely Elizabeth is definitely a green, big picture company. They strive to have eco-friendly packaging, organic and NON-GMO ingredients, and products that integrate perfectly into a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been a huge fan of their granola since my friend Abby recommended it, so I could vouch for the quality of their products before, but I’m happy that my research on them turned up such good eco-friendly practices.

Purely Elizabeth is a member of 1% for the Planet, a very cool organization that gets companies to all pledge 1% of their sales to go to nonprofits that work to improve the environment. Right now, this means over 100 million dollars going to over 3,300 environmentally focused nonprofits.

Their products are made with ancient grains, including millet, aramanth, quinoa and kaniwa. They incorporate ancient grains because they are:

  • Preserved in their original form, unmodified
  • Easier to digest
  • Packed with fiber and protein

All of their products are gluten-free and vegan, which makes me happy!

Ancient Grain Granola + Puffs Cereal

Purely Elizabeth Cranberry Cereal

I was prepared to hate this cereal because it has puffs and I hate puffs. I HATE THEM. They are the packing peanuts of cereal (evidence: the top left picture above – see how menacingly they float?!). They stick to the cereal packaging, they get EVERYWHERE, and when you so much as breathe near them they fly out all over the place.

However.

I loved this cereal! The puffs are made from millet and have a healthy, earthy flavor. The granola clusters are made of their granola, which I was already a huge fan of, swwet and buttery; and the cereal has dried cranberries, my favorite dried fruit to have in cereal. I sate this with chopped pecans and flax milk and I was a happy, happy girl. Brian has tried it too, and loves it. In fact, he’s out buying a box as I type this!

The cereal is surprisingly filling, probably from all the fiber and protein, but still feels like a light meal. I don’t eat cereal anymore but I’ve bought two more boxes since the one Purely Elizabeth sent me to review ran out, I’m hooked!

Ancient Grain Muesli

Purely Elizabeth Tropical Muesli

I’m not a huge muesli person, so when I got the Purely Elizabeth mango almond muesli, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Fortunately, the package suggested that I make overnight oats with it, which I quite enjoy, so I used the muesli, vanilla coconut milk yogurt, flax milk, and fresh raspberries to make a couple jars.

This made for some yummy overnight oats, my favorite part of which was the dried pineapple included in the muesli. Each little pineapple, and there was a fair amount of them, was a delightful pale yellow treasure. I have some leftover and am excited to make more jars, maybe with blueberries this time!

Ancient Grain Oatmeal

Purely Elizabeth Oatmeal

Because I’m a bad food blogger, I apparently never got a picture of the oatmeal, so I had to pull this picture from Purely Elizabeth’s website. >.< I quite enjoyed the oatmeal that Purely Elizabeth sent me. It was hearty and filling, a perfect quick breakfast. I will say, as advertised, there is no added sugar so this oatmeal is not sweet AT ALL. If you like sweet oatmeal, just be aware that you will definitely to add a sweetener. I prefer my breakfasts not sweet, so I loved it.

The apple flavor was a little dull for me (since I don't sweeten), so I would probably purchase the cranberry one next time to have a little more "pop" in my breakfast, or I would add some raspberries to it ;)

Granola
Purely Elizabeth Granola

Since I’m a huge fan anyway, I’ll give a bonus review of the Purely Elizabeth granola. It is soooooo good. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and super buttery. They use coconut nectar sugar, which has a gorgeous carmel-y flavor. I highly recommend it!

Little black heart

PlantPure Nation Screening

I went to the screening of PlantPure Nation last night, and ended up in the first row, which meant I was WAY too close to the screen but had the honor of being just a yard away from T. Colin Campbell when he and his son, Nelson, and Nelson’s wife Kim when they did a live Q&A with the audience:

T Colin Campbell at Plant Pure Nation Screening

The film was really good, another documentary I’ll be happy to add to my recommendations. PlantPure Nation focused mainly on health, as would be expected from something linked to T. Colin Campbell, but had the unique angle of also documenting Nelson Campbell and Rep. Tom Riner trying to get a House Bill passed. It was eye-opening to see political inner workings and understand what is truly involved in getting legislation passed.

The rest of the film is focused on Nelson Campbell as he tries to make change through instituting a trial “Jumpstart” program in Mebane, North Carolina, a small town that loves it’s meat. The results are inspiring, and the interviews the real people who participated in the program made me laugh and cry. There are, of course, several snippets of interviews with health professionals and high-profile vegans, T. Colin Campbell being frequent among them, that are interesting and also inspiring.

In the Q&A, a woman who is a nurse stood up and said she’s been plant-based and from this diet has reversed disease in her own life, but that she gets frustrated with her patients, who don’t seem to care or listen when she tries to tell them that a plant-based diet can improve their health. T. Colin Campbell had a great response to that, saying that he knows it can be discouraging but to look at things on a bigger scale and see the changes that are happening all the time. For instance, he offered up that when he started, he had trouble booking speaking engagements anywhere, and now he is regularly invited to speak at medical schools. As I talk about frequently on my podcast, Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack!, I think it’s critical to practice “big picture veganism” so that you don’t get burnt out as an activist and so that you can see the changes that are happening, instead of focusing on what is stubbornly staying the same.

My favorite line from the movie was from T. Colin Campbell’s speech at the first PlantPure Nation screener: “Our system is about gaining wealth for the few at the expense of the health of the many.” So heartbreakingly true. Fortunately, veganism and plant-based eating give us the ability to stop participating in that system. Let the plant-based revolution begin!

The release for PlantPure Nation is July 4th weekend, I highly recommend you go see it and bring all your friends and family along!

Little black heart