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Vegan and Paleo Common Ground: Dessert

April 19, 2012

Organic-Lives-The-Ridiculous-and-Macaroons

I used to steer clear of anything vegetarian or vegan, not only because I wanted meat, but also because I didn’t think there’d be anything for me to eat without grains or soy. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised recently to find some common ground with vegans: dessert. It is after all, the only meal that I’ll happily eat without protein. It makes sense that there’d be vegans who are sensitive to gluten. But what about soy? Isn’t that pretty much the main component of a vegan diet? And what about all the other non-gluten grains? Imagine my delight when I found a treasure trove of desserts at two different raw vegan spots!

The first such find was at OrganicLives. Or, more specifically I first came across some macaroons that had incredibly clean ingredients. I then found that Whole Foods is selling them as well. I’ve been meaning to make it over to the OrganicLives restaurant, but in the meantime I stopped by their café at the Chopra Yoga Center. Not only is OrganicLives dairy and gluten-free, they’re also soy-free. And strangely enough, I didn’t notice any grains on their restaurant menu (though I have to find out what’s in their crepes and toast – I think it’s almond or coconut flour). It seemed that the only thing I’d choose to stay clear of was the almond milk in some of their drinks (high omega 6). Check out their menu to see what I mean (scroll down past all the juices/smoothies).

Organic-Lives-Chopra-Yoga-Center

Anyways, back to the café and the desserts. I tried The Ridiculous (chocolate “cake”), and 2 macaroons (raspberry and lemon). Definitely pricey (the slice was $7, and macaroons were $1.50 each), but wow. That cake – so velvety and smooth, not overly dense or rich. I would love the recipe. And the macaroons were delicious – light and refreshing. I can’t wait to try some of their other offerings at the restaurant (apple pie, pumpkin pie, coconut cream pie, cheesecakes ?!). I asked about the ingredients of the chocolate cake, and though I can’t recall what they were, they were all paleo-approved.

I had a similar experience at Café Bliss in Victoria – but their  desserts weren’t as phenomenal as OrganicLives, and their non-dessert menu has some grains and soy.

So, I’m puzzled. Happily so. Maybe it has to do with these places not only being vegan but raw? I hear most raw food is gluten-free. Which makes sense, since grains/gluten typically requires cooking. Café Bliss uses some sprouted grains, whereas OrganicLives focuses on almonds and coconuts instead.

I am definitely excited about this new unexpected snack/dessert option. And I’m pretty keen on checking out OrganicLives’ restaurant. I eat meat with the majority of my meals, but have nothing against a once in a while meat-free option, especially when it’s grain, dairy, and soy free, and sounds as interesting as their menu. I’ll definitely do a post once I’ve tried it – I hope it tastes as good as it sounds.

What has your experience been with vegan/vegetarian/raw restaurants?

Shared with Real Food Wednesdays.

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