Disease Proof

Eating to Live on the Outside: Veganopolis

Okay, the past couple weeks have been up and down for Eating to Live on the Outside. Two weeks ago we all bore witness to the nightmare that is Indigo Joe's, an ooey-gooey super-cheesy standard American restaurant—certainly not for the faint of heart! But last week we redeemed ourselves with Thai Kitchen, a much healthier option for the discerning Eat to Liver. Not perfect, but miles ahead of other Eating to Live on the Outside flops like Denny’s, Friendly’s, and Houlihan’s. So, what does this week have in store for us?

What if I told you things like avocado and tofu regularly show up on this menu? Not mention, the word vegan is actually in the name of restaurant! Alright, I’ll stop trying to build suspense. This week Portland Oregon’s Veganopolis goes under the microscope. And as you’ll see, it’s a great place for an Eat to Liver to grab a quick bite to eat. So what do you say? Let’s crack this menu open!

I’ll start with the breakfast menu. First up, I’m really digging The Garden breakfast sandwich. It’s prepared with raw organic tahini, wheat toast, cucumber, tomato, spinach, and avocado. Obviously this dish appeals to me because of the avocado—I’m a total avocado mark—but the tahini also caught my eye. Tahini is made from sesame seeds and Dr. Fuhrman considers sesames seeds to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Of course the other veggies are great too. Okay, I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, “What about the bread?” You’ve just met the concession. Sure, eating bread isn’t exactly high up on Dr. Fuhrman’s list of smart things to do, but I’m okay with it. I’ll just have to make sure I don’t eat anymore bread for a while, besides, the sandwich comes with a side of fresh fruit. That should make you feel better about eating a little bread.

Now here’s an interesting dish, Red Flannel Hash. It’s made with yams, turnips, rutabagas, onions, kidney beans, dill, and spices. A very unique assortment, don’t you think? I’m sure most people—especially standard American dieters—would head for the hills if someone presented them with this, but not me. I’d give it a whirl! Would you?

It’s time to move onto the lunch menus. The Roasted Eggplant sandwich is looking mighty good. Again, the bread—in this case a ciabatta roll—is the concession. In addition to the bread it includes eggplant, tomatoes, spinach, roasted red pepper sauce, onions, and soy mozzarella or almond feta. Personally, I’m going with the almond feta instead of soy mozzarella. It sounds more interesting. I’d also ask the wait staff about the red pepper sauce. It might be prepared with some sort of oil, which might deter you. Although this wouldn’t bother me too much, as I’ve said a bunch of times, I don’t eat out very often, so that makes me more willing to bend a little. The Roasted Eggplant sandwich also comes with a side of potato chips or roasted potatoes. Between to the two, I’d obviously pick the roasted potatoes, but, since I’d be already be eating bread, I’d just skip the both of them. At the risk of sounding like a low-carb lemming, too many carbs!

And the last menu item to catch me eye is the Marinated Grilled Tofu salad. It comes with spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, peapods, rice vinegar, and organic tofu marinated with tamari. What’s tamari? Soy sauce, which brings me to an important side note, a few days ago I received an email from a concerned reader. He wanted to know why I selected dishes from Thai Kitchen’s menu that had a potentially high salt content, like ones made with soy sauce. Now my answer is pretty simple. I’m aware that soy sauce and a lot of the sauces used to prepare Asian-style cuisine can be very salty—then again most restaurant food is salty—so I just kind of deal with it. If you’re eating out, most of the time it’s unavoidable. Take me for example, I know if I’m eating outside my home I’m going to have to make some allowances, but, I try my best to limit them. And if I do eat something that might be on the salty side, I make sure that I’m vigilant not to do it again for a long while. Unfortunately the standard American dietary frontier is not easily conducive to an Eat to Live lifestyle, so you better be prepared to roll with the punches.

Now don’t forget to check out the Veganopolis menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Also, be sure to weigh in on the problem of salty restaurant food. How do you approach the whole situation? Leave a comment or email us at diseaseproof@gmail.com.
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Paige - June 29, 2007 3:27 PM

I love Veganopolis! I used to eat there when I was a "normal" vegan (junkfood vegan) and I could even take my omni parents there and they loved the food. I hadn't considered it since I switched to ETL. One place in Portland that's AWESOME that I'm not sure if you've reviewed is the Blossoming Lotus. They actually have two restaurants, one in Portland and one in Hawaii. It's all vegan and they have food where the only concession would be salt and maybe some oil. Examples:

The Monk Bowl with basmati brown rice, beans, steamed greens with our sweet ginger or spicy peanut sauce

The Indian Bowl with basmati brown rice, steamed greens and curried veggies with our mango chutney

The Incan Bowl with quinoa, beans, steamed greens with sweet ginger or spicy peanut sauce $7

Beans and greens. mmmmm


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