After years of developing health recipes for restaurants and months of testing samples at her new Pureganic Cafe restaurant in Rye, clinical nutritionist and town resident Moshira Soliman has just launched a carefully crafted lunch and dinner menu designed to help health-conscious eaters and those with restricted diets enjoy flavorful food. That, and to guide those unfamiliar with a plant-based diet toward discovering its many satisfying possibilities.
“People have a misperception that plant-based will taste terrible, but that is not true,” Soliman says. “We view the new menu as a good starting point to get healthy or an easy way to continue to be healthy.”
Soliman’s goal is to reach a wider customer base with guilt-free comfort food dishes that may feel more approachable than salad bar items featuring tofu, chia, beans, fruit, and vegetable salads. It also caters to those on specific diets like Paleo or vegan, as all its offerings are additive-, gluten-, meat- and dairy-free.
Mac and “cheese,” spaghetti and “meatballs”(made out of mushrooms), and air-baked sweet potato fries served with beet ketchup are well-executed and not dissimilar to what you might find in high-end New York City vegan restaurants, i.e. interesting, flavorful, and satisfying without leaving you bloated or tired.
Before Soliman moved in last April, the location housed Andy’s Pure Food, and the former occupant’s regulars will be pleased to know she’s kept many of Andy’s favorites in the cold salad bar, just with her own personal touch. Originally from Egypt, Soliman lights up when listing the various items that feature Mediterranean flare, including tabbouleh, falafel, and gazpacho. Pureganic also still offers soups, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and juice cleanses, which are now made in a state-of-the-art cold presser rather than a centrifugal machine. And, most importantly, you can still find gluten- and dairy-free desserts in the cooler, an excellent bet for converting skeptics to treats without animal products.
Here are a few standout selections:
Mac Cheese, $9.95
Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free elbow macaroni with almond cheese and shiitake bacon.
Two gluten-free, dairy-free mushroom meatball sliders with marinara and basil.
Photo by Liz Giegerich
Mushroom “Meatballs” and Spaghetti Squash, $12.50
Spaghetti squash and mushroom-based “meatballs” with a fresh tomato sauce.
Quinoa Taco Salad, $11.95
Romaine, quinoa, pico de gallo, guacamole, avocado, black beans. The faux-sour cream and lime dressing pack a lot of flavor into this dish, which can also double as a great dip to share.
Sweet Potato Fries and Beet Ketchup $3.95
Fries that are air-baked, not fried, which means without the grease, but still delicious. The beet ketchup is sweet and tasty, but not for a non-beet lover.
PHOTO BY LIZ GIEGERICH
Apple Pie, $8 per slice, $60 per pie
Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and the ingredients are all organic: apple, almond, rolled oats, and maple syrup. It can also be special ordered nut-free.
Almond-y, fresh, and satisfying. Not too sweet, flavorful crust.
Granola $3.95 (3 oz); $12 (12 oz) $7.95
Contains oats, maple syrup, coconut, and (optional) almonds. Available as a bowl in the store with coconut or almond milk and banana.
Breakfast Cookie, $4
Oatmeal, almond (or sunflower), coconut oil, maple syrup, strawberry. A perfect breakfast on the go with a satisfying weight and flavor and delicious strawberry-gel thumbprint.
PHOTO BY LIZ GIEGERICH
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