M and I recently returned from two different trips to the US, and at no time did we feel we didn’t have access to good, healthy food, with the only possible exception being while on the airplane, and even that was easily solved (more about that below).
Mediterranean Flatbread from GreenSpace Cafe
We were fortunate that our travels took us to Detroit for a few days. It was our first time there, and we really did enjoy it. There is a great energy and genuine friendliness throughout the city.
Detroit also happens to be home to one of the healthiest restaurants in America! Greenspace Café. The restaurant is a joint venture between America’s Heart Attack Prevention Doc, Joel Kahn, M.D. (who wrote a BYOL post) and his son Daniel.
The space is about 10 miles from downtown Detroit and is incredibly beautiful. They have two different menus, one normal menu, where all the food is non-gmo, mostly organic, and largely locally sourced. The second menu is also all of the above, but is special in that it is oil-free! Both menus change frequently. They also have a fully vegan bar, serving all the classic drinks and cocktails, but also creating many signature drinks, infused with healthy veggie juices, giving them an antioxidant boost. There is also a local raw juice bar near the entrance, where you can grab a juice to sip while you wait.
We can’t express how great of an experience Green Space was, and getting to spend sometime with my friend Dr. Kahn only made it that much better! However, even if you don’t know Dr. Kahn, that won’t stop him and his charming wife Karen from greeting you, and treating you as if you are old pals.
Teriyaki Mushroom was our favorite dish
Because, the menu changes so frequently, I won’t spend too much time talking about the specific dishes we had that night. We chose to do a tapas style meal, selecting a bunch of smaller dishes and then sharing one of their main dishes. They were all fantastic, and surprisingly generous portions. Then M and I split the chocolate cake with vanilla cashew ice cream (sorry I couldn’t get a photo, it was a little too dark) which was one of the richest cakes I’ve tried in a long time.
Seriously, Detroit is lucky to have such a gem so close by. A place like this will surely help spread the plant based message to an entirely new crowd! I can only hope that Dr. Kahn and his son receive the reception they deserve with their new enterprise, and given the fact that the restaurant was packed on a rain soaked night, I think they will! I also hope they some day decide to expand, because a restaurant like this will succeed anywhere!
(note: photos taken from GreenSpace Café instagram, as it was too dark to get photos that do the space or the food justice.)
Whenever we travel, particularly if we have a long flight, we always request the strict vegetarian food, but we also like to make a few hummus sandwiches ahead of time, to keep in our bag just in case. These are great, because they are filling, and are also really easy. We often add tempeh or some greens, basically anything that can literally be eaten right out of the packaging, keeping prep time to a minimal. Also all the ingredients can be found at any grocery or natural foods store.
But outside of flying, there’s really never a time when you will find yourself in the US without an option. Most restaurants have at least some veggies hidden in their menu, and many are more than accommodating and willing to prepare something for you. The key is to ask.
While visiting new restaurants is one of our favorite reasons to travel, sometimes M and I still prefer to make our own food, and I think a lot of people would be surprised at how easy it can be in most places. Many hotels have microwaves in the room, or are more than happy to let you use one. And nearly all grocery stores have canned or frozen veggies and beans.
M and I have recently started using AirBnB as an alternative as well. The plus side to this is not only do we get to meet cool new local people where we are staying, but more importantly we also have access to a kitchen, which allows us to prepare our own food, not only healthier, but it also saves us money from eating out all the time.
(sorry for the lame photos, I worked with what I had)
Today’s recipe is for an easy breakfast burrito that we made one morning before a flight. We used canned black beans and frozen vegetables to make it easier, but feel free to try it with fresh veggies as well. This can be made on a stovetop or in a microwave, so which ever you have available, give it a try. The dish turned out so nice, that we will be making them again soon!
1 bag of tortillas – I always look for either whole wheat, brown rice or non-gmo corn
1 can black beans - rinsed
1 bag frozen peppers and onions
1 bag frozen yellow and green squash
1 bag of chopped greens of choice
1-2 cans of fire-roasted tomatoes
Rinse the beans and drain half of the liquid out of the tomatoes. Now place all ingredients with the exception of the tortillas in either a microwave safe bowl or stovetop pot. Heat well until all of the ingredients have completely become hot and allow for some of the liquid to cook off. It should only need about 10 to 15 minutes on the stovetop and about 5 minutes in the microwave (although I suggest do 2 minutes then tossing, 2 minutes tossing, until hot)
Now serve on top of the tortillas. Feel free to add fresh avocado, salsa, or hot sauce of choice to top it off!