GREEN + CLEAN: VEGAN DINING IN NEWPORT BEACH
Often confused with vegetarianism, the vegan diet abstains from all animal products — including flavorful butter, gelatin and honey. Subscribers’ motivations vary, from animal kindness and reduced carbon footprint to achieving optimal heath. And as awareness of the potential health benefits of such a diet, especially one abundant in a rainbow of vegetables and fruits, and fiber-rich legumes and whole grains have spread, the demand for fine vegan dining is on the rise. Fortunately, talented eco-conscious chefs throughout Newport Beach are finding innovative ways to put the flavor back in nutritious food — minus the animal bits. “These are nature’s multivitamins,” says Dr. Pulde, a family physician specializing in nutrition, best known for her appearance in the 2011 documentary Forks Over Knives. “They provide us with not only the necessary proteins, carbohydrates and fats, but also important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals.” Here are five clean eats to try this season, along with each establishment’s recommended wine pairing. Dive in.
Indulging in comfort cuisine is easy when it’s topped with heart-healthy nutrients. Hand-stretched artisan dough is stone-fired with Organic DiNapoli tomato sauce (created for the restaurant exclusively, it’s made with organic tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, organic basil and organic garlic). The hot pie is then topped with fresh arugula tossed in olive oil, lemon and a pinch of salt. A glass of Purato Nero d’Avola is the perfect complement to this healthy vegan pizza.
This seasonal salad is anything but boring. The colorful medley of roasted brussels sprouts, cauliflower and butternut squash is tossed with cannellini beans, dried pomegranate seeds and toasted mulberries, and drizzled with a sweet and tangy horseradish vinaigrette (made with Champagne vinegar, garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, EVOO, sambal, horseradish and scallions). Ordered as a side or entrée, this delicious dish is best paired with the Frog’s Leap Chardonnay.
Broccoli Curry Soup
Campbell’s canned variety may have given broccoli soup a bad rap, but haute chefs are jazzing up this vitamin B, fiber and calcium-rich vegetable. Ordered as an entrée or appetizer, Zinque’s house-made Broccoli Curry Soup is the perfect starter to a winter afternoon. Broccoli, green curry, spinach and coconut milk are gently simmered together, puréed and topped with cilantro to create a warming vegan dish. Pair with a dry white, like the Sancerre.
This all-vegan café is chockfull of plant-based goodness, from beer-battered coconut to macrobiotic bowls and mushroom-stuffed burritos. They’re all worth a try, but we’re currently crazy for the curry.
Humble/ Indian Curry Bowl
Your taste buds — and heart — will delight in this healthy mix of red lentil dal, spinach, roasted garnet yams, coconut mint chutney, spicy tomato jam topped over brown rice (or quinoa, if you choose). Wash it down with a light spritzer.
Veggie Taco Bento Box
This make-it-yourself taco dish is raved about among vegans and veggie lovers. Fresh ingredients change with the seasons — and include interesting options like brussels sprouts, radishes, cauliflower and toasted almonds — so mix it up anyway you’d like. Sip Leo’s white wine sangria while you savor the flavor of each mouthwatering bite.