Pharmacist|Plantbased Nutritionist|

PO Box 11904, Silver Lakes,

Pretoria, South Africa

email: dlangley@netactive.co.za

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Tel: 083-310-3747

© 2017 by Debra Langley

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Plantbased2go Restaurant Challenge

September 2, 2017

Plantbased2go restaurant challenge. Consider yourself a creative chef? Enter our wholefood plant based menu challenge and win the guaranteed healthy seal of approval.

 

The new Times Square in Pretoria has been in the news quite a lot lately. I am not a gambler by any means and truly find casinos a fool’s paradise, the flashing lights and enticing sounds just edging you on to push the spinner and wait for the jackpot. The new modernized one-arm bandits suck away millions in mere minutes.

 

What had people so intrigued I wondered? Curiosity got the better of me and so date night with my husband had us visiting Times Square to enjoy a romantic dinner in an exotic new location. We started our adventure with a rooftop drink at the Altitude Bar enjoying the magnificent view of Pretoria and then proceeded to have dinner at JSomething.

 

 

 

I had glanced at the menu as we walked past and the following vegetarian options had me intrigued:

 

 “Mount Fritter R145 A Mexican-inspired vegetarian dish that I make when my vegetarian friends come over. It’s always a hit. It’s literally a mountain of deliciousness. Charred corn and jalapeño fritters with layers of guacamole, black bean paste, cheese, topped with an unforgettable salsa and a splash of lime with coriander dressing.”

and

“Vegetable Paella R90 Bra Hugh always insists on vegetables with every meal. I once made him traditional Paella and he loved it. I than made him this vegetable Paella and he loved it even more!”

 

Wow! Both options sounded incredible. Could I really indulge in something exciting for a change and skip the traditional sides or vegetarian sushi that often proves to be the only options at most restaurants?

 

It was a night on the town, and so I decided to step outside my comfort zone, be a bit more adventurous and enjoy something that sounded like a five star meal for a change – the vegetable paella it would be.

 

How hard could it be to mess up a paella dish after all? If you’ve ever tasted paella the mix of rice, vegetables and spices could prove to be a winner. I pushed the spinner, waiting to see how lucky I was and if the elusive jackpot was within my reach after all.

 

I had pictured a substantial portion of brown rice tossed with a selection of vegetables (lots of them) and then flavored and spiced up with a secret blend of herbs and spices, what arrived was a rich cheesy and creamy risotto.

 

 

Risotto and paella differ quite considerably in my eyes, if I had wanted a rich creamy risotto I would have ordered risotto. This proves once again how challenging it is for wholefood plant based followers to find and enjoy a nutritious wholesome and filling meal on the run. Restaurants seem to believe that we exist in isolation, only a few kindred souls who stay cooped up in our homes all day long. We have taste buds too and like to eat out.

 

Restaurants continue to think that if you follow a wholefood plant based diet that a simple bowl of salad consisting of a lettuce leaf pile, six olives, four tomato wedges, a few slices of onion and some blocks of feta will get you salivating and have you back again next week. It is a price per calories game here. If you are going to charge me the same price as a regular carnivorous plate, give me the same amount of calories please and limit the lettuce!

 

There are hundreds of thousands of cancer fighters, heart disease sufferers, people struggling with weight issues and thousands more striving for better health and vitality out there – give us some decent food to eat!

 

I have now decided to challenge all restaurants out there to offer at least three to five wholefood plant based dishes on their menus. Give us the options, let us test taste the food and we will send you the customers.

 

I will be featuring restaurants and their wholefood plant based winners whenever I find them. Do keep me posted if you happen to stumble across any winners yourself by leaving your comments in the forum, email me or use the #plantbased2go. Let us raise awareness for healthier options and help pave the way to recovery for the many disease fighters out there.

 

I will also be secretly reviewing vegan and plant based options out there so that there are not any hidden surprises on your plate when your order arrives next time.

Let us share the guaranteed healthy stamp of approval and grow a database of healthier options.

 

 

So what will it take to win the guaranteed healthy seal of approval? Some freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, some wholesome hearty vegetable soups, some exciting fruit and veggie platters, brown rice and veggie bowls, maybe a delicious five star homemade veggie burger, vegetable curries, Mexican bean burrito bowls, vegetable pasta dishes, or HUGE healthy plant based salads in creative combinations of colours and tastes.

 

We are not asking restaurants to redesign their menus and change their winning concept completely but hey there are other people besides carnivores out there, give us at least three to five options, more will be a bonus.

 

Wholefood plant based eating consists of the following:

  1. All Vegetables, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash and more

  2. Whole Fruit: Fresh or frozen

  3. Intact Whole Grains: Brown rice, oats (steel cut or rolled), quinoa, farro, bulgur wheat, rye, spelt, wild rice,  

  4. 100% Whole Grain Items: Breads, pastas and tortillas (watch out for added oils!)

  5. Legumes: black beans, lentils, pinto beans, chickpeas, split peas, cannellini beans, butter beans, oil-free hummus and more

  6. Extra Flavor: Herbs, spices, vinegars, hot sauce, mustard, ketchup, lemon juice

Any creative chef can whip up a myriad of exciting combinations. The question is are they ready for the challenge?

 

Will JSomething be inviting me back to review something else? Watch this space.

 

P.S. If you are not striving for better health and vitality and love a rich and creamy meal try JSomething’s Vegetable Paella.

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