A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

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Bee Green: 100% Vegan

Bee Green Logo
Bee Green Logo


LA JOLLA.  If you were a celebrity, would you hire a vegan chef to prepare all of your meals?  If you are nodding your head in agreement, it’s time to learn about Bee Green, a company that prepares and delivers organic, plant-based meals to your front door.  This blog post chronicles my experience on the 3-day meal plan.


How Does the 3-Day Meal Plan Work?


Bee Green delivered the food to my doorstep in a reusable cooler bag with ice.  Unzipping the cooler bag was like opening a birthday present.  I couldn’t wait to see what surprises were inside!  I assembled everything on my counter: 6 drinks, 3 entrees, 3 salads, and 3 small snacks/desserts.


Bee Green Smoothie and Juices
Bee Green Smoothie and Juices


Bee Green also sent a helpful email with instructions and suggestions on how to maximize my meal experience.  My favorite suggestion?  Bee Green recommends eating your biggest meal between 10am – 2pm because that’s when your body burns the most calories.   Who knew?!

This meal plan is designed for maximum convenience.  All of the drinks, salads, and entrees are easily portable.  Also, the entrees are all housed in microwave friendly containers.


Day 1:


I started my first day with the Bee Green Super Food Bliss Smoothie.  This was a mild tasting creamy drink made from avocado, almond, coconut, and banana.  It filled me up and gave me energy for a morning work out.


Bee Green Bliss Smoothie
Bee Green Bliss Smoothie


Soon after my run, I began obsessing about the Butternut Squash Rito.  I love (and I assure you that “love” is not too strong of a word) butternut squash.  Unsurprisingly, I could not resist this burrito.  I put it in my toaster oven and tried to wait patiently as the intoxicating aroma filled my kitchen.

The burrito tasted as good as it smelled.  Warm vegan cheese clung to brown rice and black beans, and the roasted butternut squash melted in my mouth.   And all of this rolled up in a delicious spinach tortilla!  I applaud Bee Green for “making over” the traditional burrito – heavy with meat and dairy – into a healthy and energizing entree!


Bee Green Butternut Squash Rito
Bee Green Butternut Squash Rito


Later in the afternoon, I drank my Immune Boost Cleanser made from grapefruit, garlic, lemon, acidophilis, Udo’s oil, and cayenne.  I was not familiar with acidophilis or Udo’s oil, so investigation ensued . . .

Acidophilis is a bacteria that lives in the intestine and consuming acidophilis can help support a healthy intestinal tract and aid in digestion.  To learn more about the benefits of acidophilis, click on the following link:


Udo’ Oil is a certified organic, plant based oil (no fish!) designed to provide you with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the optimum 2:1 ratio.  For more information on Udo’s Oil, check out:


The drink tasted like spicy grapefruit juice with a small aftertaste of garlic.  I really liked it.  The spice complimented the citrus, and the drink kept my hunger at bay for a surprisingly long time.


Bee Green Immune Boost Cleanser
Bee Green Immune Boost Cleanser


I finished off my first day with the Mediterranean Salad made from baby kale, chickpeas, zucchini, cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, chia seeds, and dill/mint/lemon dressing.   The crunchy veggies in this salad contrasted nicely with the soft chickpeas.  My favorite part was the zingy, minty dressing.  It was a delicious entrée salad.


Bee Green Mediterranean Kale Salad
Bee Green Mediterranean Kale Salad


I had been eying the snack/dessert box – the Banana Bread Bar – since unpacking my bag that morning.  It looked like my favorite kind of food – one that feels like an indulgence but that is actually good for you!  A quick glance at the ingredients was reassuring:  oats, whole flour, banana, almonds, pecans, hemp, flax, chia seeds, and coconut oil.  As a helpful bonus, Bee Green had cut the banana bread into three pieces – one piece for each day.


Bee Green Banana Bread Bar
Bee Green Banana Bread Bar


Day 2:


I started off Day 2 with one of Bee Green’s new drinks, the Green Monster.  Made from gala apple, collards, chard, kale, coconut oil, and orange, it is sweet and easy to drink.  Luckily, its dark green color serves as proof of the dense nutrients inside.  And it paired well with my second piece of the Banana Bread bar – I couldn’t wait!


Bee Green Green Monster
Bee Green Green Monster


That afternoon, I was ready to try the Spinach Pie, which consists of spinach, onions, sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil, chives, and tofu in a spelt crust.  The spices and the sundried tomatoes ensure that there is plenty of flavor in this pie.  And the flaky vegan crust is both ingenuous and delicious.


Bee Green Spinach Pie
Bee Green Spinach Pie


My mid-day snack was the Super Food Bliss smoothie.  It was just as good as I remembered from the day before!

Next up was the Green Tahini Salad.  Here, we have kale, red onion, red potato, red pepper, carrots, pecans, and cranberries with a tahini dressing.  In case you just skimmed the ingredient list, I will emphasize that, yes, this salad has red potatoes!  They add gravitas to the salad, filling the belly.  I also enjoyed the strong taste of the tahini dressing.  One of the most unique and tasty salads I have had.  Ever.


Bee Green Green Tahini Salad
Bee Green Green Tahini Salad

Day 3:


I began day 3 with the Banana Rama smoothie, a mix of banana, spinach, almonds, coconut, and raw protein.  This smoothie was thick, like a milkshake, and had a light taste of banana with a hint of coconut.   And of course, while drinking this smoothie, my last piece of Banana Bread Bar disappeared.


Bee Green Banana Rama Super Food Smoothie
Bee Green Banana Rama Super Food Smoothie


Lunch time came, and I was excited for my final entrée, the Fideua Spanish Pasta.  This dish is made from quinoa pasta, mushrooms, onion, red bell pepper, parsley, tomato, asparagus, soyrizo, and garlic.  (People are making pasta from quinoa!  How did I miss this?)  Before Bee Green came into my life, I usually put pasta and red sauce in the “boring” category.   But the Fideua has rebooted my whole outlook on pasta.  I loved the abundance of veggies in the dish – every bite contained crunchy asparagus and delectable mushrooms.  I also appreciated that the dish wasn’t smothered in tomato sauce.  Rather, everything was in perfect balance, filling, but not heavy.


Bee Green Fideua Spanish Pasta
Bee Green Fideua Spanish Pasta


My final drink was the Amazon Power Antioxidant drink, blended from acai, red chard, red cherries, banana, and coconut water.  Perhaps it was fitting that my final drink was also my favorite drink.  This drink confused my taste buds in a good way – it started off sweet, but evolved into tiers of tartness.  It is wonderfully unique.


Bee Green Amazon Power Anti-Oxidant
Bee Green Amazon Power Anti-Oxidant


And my final day ended with my favorite salad.  The Roasted Veggie Salad combines beets, carrots, zucchini, grape tomatoes, spinach, basil, and vegan feta, served with balsamic dressing.  I will be buying some vegan feta soon.  Very soon.  It adds tremendous flavor to the salad.  Further, this salad also reminded me how roasted vegetables can have more flavor than their raw counterparts


Bee Green Roasted Veggie Salad
Bee Green Roasted Veggie Salad




I looked forward to each portion of my Bee Green 3-day meal plan.  The drinks were excellent.  I liked the variety of ingredients and the resulting energy boost.  The entrees were also special.  They demonstrate how fresh, whole foods are powerful, filling, and satisfying.  And Bee Green has renewed my interest in salads, especially those born of diverse ingredients and creative combinations.  Most importantly, this meal program unlocked valuable hours in my day and eviscerated the stress of seeking meals on a busy schedule.  My only task was to enjoy the food.  Mission accomplished.


To find out more about Bee Green (they also offer cleanses and cater!) check out their website at:


If you want to see the upcoming meal plan menus, take a look at:


Veggie Grill: 100% Vegan


Veggie Grill Sign
Veggie Grill Sign


LA JOLLA/UTC. Could a vegan enterprise be the darling of corporate America?  Yes, according to Forbes.com, which recently added Veggie Grill to its list of “15 Explosively Growing Companies to Watch This Year.”  In fact, during the past year, Veggie Grill successfully raised $20 million to further fuel its expansion.  As a result, its 20+ locations in the western states might be only the beginning! . . .   



So what’s all the fuss about?  Well, each Veggie Grill is 100% vegan and offers a wide variety of convenient, healthy dishes.  With vegan versions of comfort foods like buffalo wings, cheeseburgers, and steak tacos, Veggie Grill proves that it’s not boring to be vegan.

I am thankful that Veggie Grill decided to open up its newest location in San Diego, at the University Towne Center (UTC) Mall.  Although I am not a big fan of malls, I can be lured in with the promise of good vegan food.  (See previous posts on True Foods Kitchen and Seasons 52!)

Veggie Grill offers a well-rounded menu.  The diverse menu spans from salads and sandwiches to plates, wraps, and tacos.   On a recent visit, I tried the Gluten Free Power Plate, featuring a stack of blackened tempeh, portobello mushrooms, and caramelized onions with a side of kale and sliced tomato salad and chipotle Ranch dressing.  There is a lot going on in this dish!  And I love that Veggie Grill showcases kale as a staple side dish, complete with a creamy dressing and sesame seeds to reward the adventurous.


Gluten Free Power Plate
Gluten Free Power Plate


Next up was the Cheeseburger, ordered “El Dorado Style” – topped with jalapenos and caramelized onions.  The burger is served with vegan cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and chipotle ranch on a wheat bun.  I enjoyed the vegan patty – it was thick and juicy – but the best part was the layer of warm, perfectly melted “cheese.”  A great example of the recent evolution of non-dairy cheese.


Veggie Grill Cheeseburger
Veggie Grill Cheeseburger


The first trip to Veggie Grill was so good, I went back less than a week later.  Plus, the menu presents a lot of real estate to cover!

We ordered the Baja “Fish” Taco Plate.  Three flour tortillas arrived cradling crispy “fish,” green cabbage, original Baja sauce, cilantro, and lime.  The plate also included a side of roasted corn salsa, and “Bean Me Up” Chili.  The Baja sauce and salsa provided fresh flavor, but this is a light entrée that pairs well with the hearty and well-spiced side of chili.


Baja "Fish" Taco Plate
Baja “Fish” Taco Plate


The All Hail Kale salad exceeded all expectations.  It is a mix of marinated kale and red cabbage, corn salsa, and agave-roasted walnuts with a side of ginger papaya vinaigrette.  A beautiful medley of bright colors.  We also added Blackened Chickin’ strips, which added even more substance to the salad with their firm texture and grilled flavor.


All Hail Kale from Veggie Grill
All Hail Kale from Veggie Grill


And because I can’t go anywhere without ordering dessert, I succumbed to the Grilled Cookie.  Veggie Grill takes dessert to the next level by warming the chocolate chip cookie (and what cookie doesn’t taste better warm!) and topping it with chocolate pudding and vegan crema.


Veggie Grill, Grilled Cookie
Veggie Grill, Grilled Cookie


Veggie Grill has a relaxed and casual atmosphere.  You place your order at the front counter, then sit at a table with a number until some friendly youngster delivers your food.

The interior is bright and cheery – red red walls and green chairs with huge windows to let in the natural light.  The outdoor patio allows customers to enjoy warm San Diego days under bright, yellow umbrellas.  Need one last reason to eat at Veggie Grill?  It is clean!  I don’t know how they do it, but the counters and tables gleam, and the floor is free from crumbs.


Veggie Grill Interior
Veggie Grill Interior


Veggie Grill Outdoor Patio
Veggie Grill Outdoor Patio


4353 La Jolla Village Drive

Suite, H28

La Jolla, CA 92122


Nekter Juice Cleanse: 100% Vegan

Nekter Sign


LA JOLLA.  As promised, I am chronicling my Nekter juice cleanse experience.  To say that I got “off track” during my recent vacation would be an understatement  —  Norwegians still prefer reindeer to plants – so I was thrilled to start the cleanse when I returned to San Diego!



Nekter offers 3 different cleanses: (1) Classic, (2) Advanced, and (3) Premium Organic.  Each cleanse can be 1, 2, 3, or 5 days, and all of Nekter’s juices are vegan, raw, and “cold pressed.”

What is the big deal about “cold pressed” juice, you ask?  Well, a traditional centrifugal juicing machine has a motor and can heat up the blades that cut the fruits and vegetables.  This heat can harm nutrients and enzymes.  But the cold pressed method involves squeezing the produce with an extreme amount of pressure in order to extract every last drop of “nectar.”  The end result is a juice especially dense in nutrients.

At Nekter, each day of any cleanse includes six bottles (500mL each) that are numbered from “1” to “6,” so even I could manage the proper sequence.  Also, it is recommended to drink plenty of water.  (Interesting note:  my friend found that hot water curbed his appetite between the juices.)  And for those of us who want to work out during the cleanse, Nekter has created a special two-drink bonus (for immediately before, and after, the workout) to supply the extra protein and calories.

I elected the 3-day Premium Organic Cleanse, with the workout drinks.  Let’s get started . . .


Nekter Organic Juice Cleanse, Bottles 1-3




Bottle 1 Ingredients:  Apple, grapefruit, celery, kale, parsley, spinach, and mustard greens

  • Benefits:  The grapefruit in this juice is included for its soluble fiber and liver detoxifying benefits.  The greens provide a powerful cocktail of antioxidants, especially the nutrient dense mustard greens and alkaline celery.
  • My Take:  The juice had a beautiful emerald, green color.  The apples make the juice sweet, but the rest of the greens ensure that it is not overly sugary.  A great way to start a day!


Bottle 2 Ingredients: Water, lemon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, agave nectar

  • Benefits:  Cayenne pepper and turmeric have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties.  These ingredients help the body bring blood to the surface so toxin elimination can begin!
  • My Take:  This lemonade has a bright, golden hue.  It is tart, but delicious.  It also helped to curb my hunger.


Bottle 3 Ingredients: Carrot, celery, kale, parsley, spinach, ginger

  • Benefits:  This is an alkalizing green mix with carrots that eliminates free radicals and gives the body a good dose of Vitamin A.  The ginger aids digestion, circulation, and helps reduce inflammation.
  • My Take: Don’t worry about the murky green color — it’s delicious.  The carrots provide a mild, sweet flavor.


Nekter Organic Juice Cleanse, Bottles 4-6


Bottle 4 Ingredients: Water, lemon, agave nectar, beets, ginger

  • Benefits:  The beets help purify blood and assist in toxin elimination.
  • My Take:  Beets dress up this lemonade and give it a beautiful bright, pink color.  It is slightly less tart than the other lemonade (Bottle 2), and helps give variety to the cleanse experience.


Bottle 5 Ingredients: Celery, lemon, apple, kale, parsley, dandelion greens

  • Benefits:  The dandelion greens provide calcium while working with the lemon and apples to help flush out the gallbladder and the liver.
  • My Take:  This juice is a vibrant green and screams, “I’m healthy!”  Fortunately, the apple makes this veggie bomb easy to drink.


Bottle 6: Cashews, water, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg

  • Benefits:  This drink packs a protein punch and provides minerals like zinc, which help the lymphatic system to eliminate waste.
  • My Take:  Nekter describes this drink as a “dessert,” but it’s more than that.  Yes, you think you are drinking a cinnamon, vanilla milkshake, but it is thick and deeply satisfying.  It is your reward for staying on track.  It will lift your spirits, and you will go to bed happy.


Nekter's Protein and Mojo Drinks


Pre-Workout Drink (Mojo) Ingredients: Coconut water, lime, mint, apple, AFA (live blue-green algae)

  • Benefits:  The coconut water helps to hydrate the body pre-workout.  Blue-green algae has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  To learn more about blue algae click on:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/398318-blue-green-algae-benefits/
  • My take:  I loved the taste of this drink.  As the name suggests, it is sweet and minty like a mojito.


Post-Workout Drink (Protein) Ingredients: Raw almonds, dates, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla bean

  • Benefits:  This drink delivers necessary calories to your body post-workout.  The vanilla beans help calm the body while the cinnamon helps to steady the blood sugar.
  • My Take:  This drink is similar to Bottle 6.  And you know how I feel about Bottle 6.  More, please!


Nekter Premium Organic Juice Cleanse



I woke up and drove to La Jolla to pick up my cleanse package!  The bottles were nicely packaged in a refrigerated bag.  And I confess, at this point, my stomach was beginning to growl, so I opened up Bottle Number 1 for the drive home.  Am I desperate already?

After a few hours at home, I drank bottle number 2 and headed off to work.  Where was I going?  A vegan bakery.  That’s right.  While cleansing, I would be making cookies and icing cupcakes.  This was the ultimate experiment in self-control as there are MANY opportunities to “test” our creations in the bakery!  The upside of being at work, however, was being busy.  The hours flew by, and I finished bottles 3, 4, and 5.

Back at home, I was tired and starting to feel a little cranky.  But this is the genius of Bottle 6.  It is the velvet hammer.  And I went to bed full and slept very well.



On day 2, I woke up after nine hours of sleep.  (This is a good sign for me.)  I started with the Mojo bottle, because the day started with a workout.  My legs felt fresh.  I had been worried I wouldn’t have enough fuel in the tank to power through a full run.

When I got back to the house, I was definitely ready for something substantial.  And the Protein post-workout drink was ready for me on the counter.  It was perfect.  It is obvious that somebody put a lot of thought into this program and provide my body with exactly what it needed.  I enjoyed the rest of my cleanse day without feeling deprived.



I had some reservations about doing a 3-day cleanse.  Previously, I had participated in a 2-day affair with mixed results.  Although I felt some benefits, I also felt sluggish and developed headaches in the afternoons.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up on the third day, feeling good and ready to work out.  I even had the energy to accompany my fiancé and a visiting friend to both lunch and dinner and watch them eat while I drank my bottles!  Even though I was starting to fantasize about what I might eat the next day, I noticed my head felt delightfully light and clear during the long walk to dinner.  There was no tired fog or exhaustion.


Nekter Cleanse Relaxation Time



The Premium Organic Cleanse surpassed my expectations.  To ditch the stress of finding food and cleaning dishes for three days – without the expected drop in energy or mood – was a liberating experience.  It allowed for some introspection and forced some relaxation.  For all these reasons, I recommend a Nekter cleanse.

Nekter has an informative FAQ page that may be able to help with additional questions: http://www.nekterjuicebar.com/c-8-faq.aspx


Lean and Green: Vegan Friendly

Lean and Green


LA JOLLA.  Lean and Green stays true to its name.  The restaurant, set back from the busy street, is an oasis for those seeking organic and vegan wraps, bowls, smoothies and juices.

Slight digression.  Being a soup loving vegan is not easy, right?  Often the following scenario plays out when I go to a new restaurant.  I flip to the soup section of the menu and see an option like tomato soup.  I smile, thankful that the restaurant has a vegan option.  But just to be safe, I ask the server whether the soup is vegan (it is surprising how often restaurants fail to list a soup’s ingredients!), only to learn that there is cream in the soup.

Lean and Green avoids such disappointment with its seasonal, vegan soups.  My most recent obsession is the Spicy Pumpkin Soup.  A combination of pumpkin, coconut milk, and curry, the soup weaves rich, smooth, and spicy flavors together.  A strong start to the meal.


 Spicy Pumpkin Soup


I love that Lean and Green dedicates a whole section of the menu to “Bowls.”  The bowls have a base of organic brown rice.  Next, there is a layer of vegetables, nuts, beans, and other delicious toppings.  An enticing sauce tops off the bowl.

My current favorite is the Miso Bowl made from brown rice, broccoli, carrots, fresh jalapenos, and topped with a sesame miso sauce.   The miso sauce is tangy and lightly coats the rice and fresh vegetables.  Perfect.  (Note: the bowl portions are not huge.  If you are super hungry, you might need more than just a bowl!)


Miso Bowl


Another great option is the Teriyaki Bowl – brown rice, broccoli, and pine nuts, topped with gluten free teriyaki sauce.  The pine nuts take this bowl to the next level.  They add crunch and a richer flavor.  (Veterans of the bulk foods aisle know that pine nuts are ridiculously expensive.  So I appreciate a restaurant willing to include them in a dish.  Crazy delicious.)


Vegan Teriyaki Bowl


Not feeling like a bowl?  Lean and Green makes a delicious Vegan Delight wrap.  Roasted eggplant or tofu is wrapped up with basil, roasted red bell peppers, baby spinach, sunflower seeds, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  A great meal on the run!


Vegan Delight Wrap


The menu would not be complete without a selection of juice and smoothies.  My favorite is the Crazy Jungle smoothie made from almond milk, spinach, cucumber, avocado, banana, and ice.  This bright green smoothie is sweet and creamy.  An easy way to get some vegetables without trying!


Crazy Jungle Vegan Smoothie


Upon entering Lean and Green, your eye is first drawn to the tree growing out of the middle of the floor.  The two walls are made completely of glass and ensure that plenty of light enters the restaurant.  Customers order at a register and are then able to sit at either indoor or outdoor tables.  It’s a great place to grab a quick bite or settle in with a book or laptop.


Lean and Green Interior   Lean and Green Interior


7825 Fay Ave

La Jolla, CA 92037


Nekter Juice Bar: 100% Vegan

Nekter Sign


LA JOLLA/UTC and ENCINITAS.   The vegan movement in San Diego is building momentum.  Menus are dedicating more space to vegan options, the farmers markets are flourishing, and bold establishments are opening with exclusively vegan fare.  On June 21, 2013, another key player opened its doors in San Diego.  Nekter Juice Bar has taken over a charming cottage in the heart of La Jolla, offering a full menu of vegan juices, smoothies, and snacks.

Steve and Alexis Schulze founded Nekter in 2010 and opened the first location in Costa Mesa.  Then, explosive growth.  Eleven locations sprouted from Orange County to Los Angeles.  Now, the San Diego grand opening.  Next, more cities in California, Arizona, and Texas.  Vegan wildfire!


On opening day, I tried “The Cure,” made from beet, broccoli, kale, parsley, celery, grapes, and apple.  The beets produce a vibrant pink color.  Even better, the beets, grapes, and apple sweeten up the hard-core healthy green goodness.


"The Cure" from Nekter



So obviously I’m hooked – a few days later, I’m back at Nekter.  (I don’t live anywhere near La Jolla, but this doesn’t seem to matter.)  This time around, I ordered the Tropical Cooler—a puree of spinach, kale, pineapple, banana, coconut water, and coconut butter.  Yes, coconut butter.  Is there anything more delicious?  And the combination of coconut and pineapple is well established magic, decidedly tropical.  I couldn’t even taste the spinach or kale, although the bold green color of the smoothie assured me that they were in there!


"Tropical Cooler" from Nekter



Nekter provides a selection of vegan bowls—most are acai based.  However, I decided to try the Pitaya Bowl made from a blend of pitaya, banana, pineapple, coconut butter, and coconut water and topped with hempseed granola, raw coconut flakes, and bananas.  For more information on pitaya, see my post on Lotus Café.  And if you are looking for a more comprehensive run down, click on the link below:


The bowl was big and delicious.  The bright, pink pitaya tasted sweet and smooth.  The hemp granola gave texture to the bowl, and the bananas sweeten things up even more.  Shredded coconut on top?  Yes, please.  (Are you getting the tropical vibe yet?)


PItaya Bowl


Nekter simplifies everything for the customer.  Three separate menus for juices, smoothies, and bowls are posted on the wall for easy reading.  There is also a refrigerated section where you can pick up snacks, pre-bottled juices, and even cocktail mixers!


Interior Nekter


Nekter also dedicates space to its first ever Nekter Cleanse Bar.  A cleanse specialist will be available to answer questions.  And in July, I’m going to tackle one of Nekter’s cleanses.   I will document my experience on The Fussy Fork, so be sure to check back soon!


Cleanse Bar


Nekter’s indoor and outdoor patio seating areas create a fun, casual atmosphere.  It’s the perfect place to sip on a juice after a workout, escape from the office for a restorative smoothie, or sit with a book and a snack.  As an added bonus, Nekter provides free WiFi!


Nekter Patio


834 Kline St

La Jolla, CA 92037


Seasons 52: Vegan Friendly

Seasons 52 Sign


LA JOLLA/UTC.  I usually avoid eating at malls (see the True Food Kitchen post!).  However, Seasons 52 is well worth a trip to the mall.  The restaurant strives to prepare fresh and delicious dishes, all with less than 475 calories.  The restaurant offers a seasonal menu—the Spring Menu is currently being offered.

First up was the Double Hummus (edamame and roasted red pepper) and Crisp Sea Salt Lavosh.  I had never tried edamame hummus and immediately dug in when it arrived.  The lavosh was soft and warm and provided the perfect delivery device for the mild tasting edamame hummus.  Equally pleasing was the roasted red pepper hummus, which was smooth and creamy with a slightly smoky flavor.


Double Hummus


For my entrée, I tried the Vegetarian Tasting.  I loved all of the 4 vegan components that made up the plate.  (1) Quinoa and Citrus Salad: the quinoa was firm and the citrus flavor mixed in provided for a refreshing taste.  (2) Soft Taco: the taco was filled with black beans, roasted peppers, pico de gallo, and guacamole.  The guacamole was smooth, the black beans well seasoned, and the roasted peppers and pico de gallo added additional spice.  (3) Cedar-Roasted Tofu: the tofu was firm and served warm with mango chutney on top.  (4) Vegetables: fresh grilled asparagus, red peppers, and snow peas, and golden beets.  All of the vegetables were fresh and tender.  I particularly enjoyed the sweetness of the golden beets.


Vegetarian Tasting


Dark wood tables and comfortable chairs with soft lighting create an inviting atmosphere.  It is a restaurant in which customers can settle in for hours to share food and conversation.

Also, for those diners who are want to know more about the nutritional information of the food at Seasons 52, it can be found at:



Seasons 52 Interior   Seasons 52 Interior


4505 La Jolla Village Dr C1

San Diego, CA 92122


Lotus World Foods: 100% Vegan

Lotus World Foods Sign


LA JOLLA.  Does anyone remember how cold it was last weekend?  Gray sky, wind chill, and San Diegans bundled in layers.  On Sunday morning, my boyfriend and I were coming off of a 48 hour juice cleanse (I will be adding a post about my cleanse experience later this week), and we were H-U-N-G-R-Y!!

We wanted something substantial, but healthy.  We wanted something delicious, but did not want to burn the benefits of the cleanse.  So we went to an old favorite – Lotus World Foods, a unique gem of the La Jolla Farmer’s Market.

Sarah Nee is the woman behind the creative parfaits, salads, and soups at the Lotus booth.  Sarah talks passionately about preparing foods that makes can help people achieve better health.  In fact, her personal story involves the dramatic reversal of serious ailments through the enjoyment of food that is raw, nut free, gluten free, and vegan.


Sarah Nee at La Jolla Farmers Market


On Sunday, we started with a vegan parfait.  A bottom layer of raw, sprouted quinoa with blueberries and strawberries.  The top layer, strawberry chia seed.  (Superfoods, like chia seeds, are central to Sarah Nee’s creations.)  Further, the parfait was smooth and creamy, with vibrant flavor from the fruit.


Raw Quinoa and Strawberry Chia


Sarah understands that people love sweets.  To that end, she has created a delicious chia pudding with a raw chocolate topping.  The chocolate is sublime.  It is not the overwhelming “sugar sweet” found in candy bars, but a complex chocolate that reveals its flavor as you slowly savor it.


chia pudding with raw chocolate


The salads are special.  These are not the salads that commonly sit next to an entree as an after-thought.  Rather, they stand center stage as the products of careful thought, experimentation, and focus.  The salad pictured below features arugula and sprouts, topped with a homemade ginger dressing.  This description, however, does not do it justice.  The component ingredients are all fresh and crisp but the real treat is the way in which all of these greens combine with the homemade ginger dressing.   The result is a salad that I can’t stop eating.


Ginger Salad


Sarah likes to experiment with food and frequently updates her offerings.  One dish I can’t wait to try is the Raw Cactus Tostada.  The cactus acts in place of a tortilla and cradles the seaweed salad, sprouts, and squash blossom filling.


raw cactus tostada


I would also recommend that if you are ever at Lotus World Foods’ booth and there is soup available, buy it.  Sarah’s coconut soup is literally the best soup I have ever had in my life.   

Sarah can be found every Sunday at the La Jolla Farmer’s Market from 9am – 1pm, and the Lotus World Foods’ Facebook page can be found at:


If you are interested in learning more about raw food—and the potential health benefits—click on the following link: