Thursday, June 19, 2014

Healthy Neighborhood Bites

When I'm searching through my refrigerator and waiting for the perfect healthy snack to appear on my shelf, I am usually disappointed when it's not there.  I truly enjoy going grocery shopping to buy healthy foods and always have it in my best interest to turn them into delicious, fresh, low calorie meals and snacks, but sometimes the day gets away from me and before I know it I am reaching for the bag of chips or some cheese (aka the whole block).  

So when I know I am going to have a busy week or not enough time or energy to keep my own house stocked with clean and green food, I head out the door and only have to go a few miles, and I have multiple health food choices all locally made just for my hungry appetite. 

A new eat-in or take-out salad restaurant to hit the scene of the Back Mountain this past year.  And thank goodness! Hasn't everyone been wanting a place where you can go and create your own salad with any toppings you would ever want or not even know you want and have the most satisfying salad? Well then look no further because Red Leaf has given us this option. They use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible including lettuce from Rowland's Farm, which really is the most fresh and crisp lettuce I have ever tasted and many more fresh veggies to come as the summer season continues.  The team working at the store is just as awesome, putting in long hours to feed our community with a never ending supply of health benefits and happy and satisfied bellies.  Whatever you are craving in the moment, they can create, from a traditional garden salad, caesar salad, waldorf salad, tex mex salad, to my favorite salad of carrots, cucumbers, red beets, feta cheese, hard boiled egg, craisins, and some walnuts. No matter what kind of salad you want, it can be created at Red Leaf!

Canteen 900 always serves me some of my favorite lunches.  I'm a fan all their salads (minus the meats for me), and I love to build my own panini. It is always a treat for me to take an hour or two out of my day and take in the delicious food and vibrant atmosphere at Canteen.  Their staff truly delivers service with a smile and a great attitude-I think it is because you just can't be upset when you are always serving fabulous meals.  And when I want to be extra healthy they whip up a fresh fruit or veggie juice or a smoothie.  I'm in love (yes I think it's possible to be in love with a drink) with their beet, apple, carrot juice.  My go to smoothie is the peanut butter, banana, soy protein, and coffee for the perfect pick me up for a midday snack to keep your feeling energized for the rest of the day, and I have the wonderful chefs at Canteen 900 to thank for it!

My last choice is the newest to arrive on the scene for vegan/vegetarian fare that draws all people who are hungry for raw, flavorful foods.  They have created a space right in downtown Luzerne that has become a little mecca for delectable meals that are 100% raw, vegan, gluten free, and delicious.  I am a vegetation, sometimes vegan myself who is always searching for healthier, but still tasty vegetarian options, and it has been challenging to find in this area of NEPA.  But now only five minutes from my house is this wonderful place that keeps growing and inspiring the community to try new ways of eating while still enjoying the meal and staying healthy.  The owner and his team are taking on a new hurtle in the area and are sharing the struggles and especially triumphs with any of us lucky ones who makes time to stop in for a meal they will definitely be back for again! (Like my parents who are not vegetarians and ate both lunch and dinner every day their last week.)

I hope everyone checks out these local healthy places and is able to share their comments and feedback! 


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