A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

Tag Archives: raw food

Melinda’s Maca Balls

Chocolate treats that are good for you?  Count me in!  Melinda’s Maca Balls are an organic, vegan, raw, snack bursting with rich, chocolate flavor.  And there is one teaspoon of maca in each ball!


What is Maca and Why is it Good for Me?


Maca has been around for a long time.  Legend has it that Incan warriors used to ingest large amounts of maca for strength before heading into battle.



David Wolf, a vegan who is well known for his dedication to raw foods, superfoods, and longevity, summarizes some of maca’s benefits in the following YouTube Video.  (Mr. Wolf will be familiar to you, if you have seen the documentary “Hungry for Change.”)



Mr. Wolf notes that maca supports healthy hormones, is rich in fatty acids, and contains important trace minerals and amino acids.  Maca is also important, because it helps the body adapt to stress.

Maca’s other possible benefits include increased libido, decreased cholesterol, increased stamina, reduction in post-menopausal symptoms, regulation of hormones, and reduction in migraine headaches.  For additional information on these topics, click on:



Melinda’s Maca Balls:


Melinda’s Maca Balls are made from whole, organic ingredients and come in 3 flavors: (1) Chocolate Walnut, (2) Double Chocolate Chip, and (3) Chocolate Mint Chip.  Agave nectar, cacao, maca, coconut oil, cacao butter, vanilla bean, and Himalayan pink salt make up the base of each ball.

The Chocolate Walnut Maca Ball with its dense, chocolate center is coated with walnut pieces.  It is my favorite — in my opinion, chocolate and walnuts can and should be mixed together as often as possible!


Chocolate Walnut Maca Balls
Chocolate Walnut Maca Balls


Chocolate Walnut Maca Ball Container
Chocolate Walnut Maca Ball Container


The Double Chocolate Chip Maca Ball has the same dense, chocolate center but is covered with cacao pieces.  It’s chocolate on chocolate – perfect for those who are looking for their next sumptuous treat!


Double Chocolate Maca Balls
Double Chocolate Maca Balls


Double Chocolate Maca Ball Cut in Half
Double Chocolate Maca Ball Cut in Half


So far, I have not been able to find the Chocolate Mint Chip Maca Balls in a store.  However, if the other flavors are a barometer for the Chocolate Mint Chip flavor, I am in for a treat!


Melinda’s Maca Balls are a decadent maca delivery device.  I recommend enjoying them sooner rather than later!



More information on Melinda’s Maca Balls can be found at:



For a list of stores where Melinda’s Maca Balls can be purchased, check out:




Ranchos Cocina: Vegan Friendly

Ranchos Sign
Ranchos Sign


NORTH PARK AND OCEAN BEACH.  Long-time San Diego vegans know Ranchos.  Both locations feature a multitude of vegan options, including vegan pancakes, burritos, tortas, soups, salads, enchiladas, tacos, and desserts.  YUM!!

First, no Mexican restaurant would be complete without chips and salsa.   Here, we have a hand-crafted, mild salsa that disappears almost immediately.


Chips and Salsa from Ranchos
Chips and Salsa from Ranchos


Second, I love that Ranchos serves breakfast all day, because sometimes dinner is the perfect time for breakfast.  On my most recent visit, I ordered the Vegan Breakfast Burrito, a mix of tofu scramble, house made tempeh sausage, potatoes, and beans and wrapped in a tortilla.  The tempeh sausage is spicy, which compliments the light scramble and hearty potatoes and beans.  This is a well-rounded burrito, a personal favorite, and something that I would recommend to vegans and non-vegans alike.


Vegan Breakfast Burrito from Ranchos
Vegan Breakfast Burrito from Ranchos


Next up was the Grilled Tofu and Black Bean Torta.  Recently, I learned that a torta is really just a sandwich!  And this particular torta comes stacked with hearty tofu slices, black beans, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and onions.  The tangy guacamole is excellent.  Another great dish.


Grilled Tofu and Black Bean Torta from Ranchos
Grilled Tofu and Black Bean Torta from Ranchos


If you are craving a burrito, but aren’t in the mood for breakfast, the Chipotle Seitan Burrito is a great option.  You might be thinking, “What the heck is seitan?”  Seitan is made from wheat.  It has a firm texture, making it a popular meat substitute.  If you want to know more about seitan, click on the link below!


Back to the burrito in question.  The chipotle seitan in the burrito gives the burrito a smoky flavor.  The guacamole helps to temper the spice of the seitan, resulting in a tempting burrito.   I planned to eat only half, so imagine my surprise when when I looked down and saw a clean plate!


Chipotle Seitan Burrito from Ranchos
Chipotle Seitan Burrito from Ranchos


Even though I don’t drink dairy, I still enjoy creamy beverages.  So I was excited when I saw that Ranchos had a vegan Horchata drink made from soymilk, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla.  This drink can definitely pass as a dessert.  It tastes like a sumptuous, vanilla, cinnamon milkshake.


Vegan Horchata from Ranchos
Vegan Horchata from Ranchos


Things to know about Ranchos.  Although there is some overlap, Ranchos North Park and Ranchos Ocean beach have DIFFERENT menus.  My blog post is based my most recent trip to the North Park location.  However, both locations offer numerous vegan options!

Ranchos Ocean Beach is also known for their salad bar.  Aside from having the usual fresh produce and veggies, the salad bar also boasts a wide variety of raw, vegan options and salad dressings.  (For an explanation on raw food, see my post on Go Raw L.I.F.E. Center: www.thefussyfork.com/go-raw-life-center)

Both locations have a relaxed and inviting interior with wooden tables and chairs.  But, again, the following photo depicts the North Park location.  Both also have a few tables outside for outdoor dining.  This option is particularly popular with dog owners!


Interior of Ranchos
Interior Ranchos


North Park

3910 30th Street

San Diego 92104



Ocean Beach

1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

San Diego, CA 92107





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:


Evolution Fast Food: 100% Vegan



BANKERS HILL.  Fast food that is good for you?  An oxymoron no longer, thanks to Evolution.   Located in Banker’s Hill at the corner of Quince Street and 5th Avenue, Evolution provides an entirely vegan menu with a vast selection of burgers, sandwiches, wraps, soups, smoothies, juices, baked goods, and ice cream.  I cannot cover them all.  This is a blog, not a book.  But I will highlight some of my favorites . . .

I love burgers.  Always have.  In fact, when I recently reconnected with an old friend, his immediate reaction to my vegan path was: “But your favorite food used to be cheeseburgers!”  Indeed.  So thank goodness for Evolution, where there is no “wrong choice” on the burger menu.  There are six ways to dress the burger – but I usually go for the Southwest Burger, packed with guacamole, jalapeno, lettuce, tomato, onion, and salsa.

Then, you choose from two types of vegan patties.  For those who miss the “feel” of a meat patty, I recommend the “Gardein” patty, made from soy, wheat, quinoa, amaranth, and kamut.  Otherwise, the home made black bean patty is worth the extra dollar.  Also, if you are feeling ambitious, add an order of the sweet potato fries, served hot, crisp, and salty.


Evolution Vegan Burger and Fries


Putting the guilty pleasures aside for a moment, Evolution also has a “Raw Specialties” section with hyper nutritious options.   If you are interested in learning more about raw food – and the potential health benefits – click on the following link!


Evolution’s Raw Burger (I told you I love burgers!) is my favorite raw option in San Diego.  This “burger” is a ground nut and seed patty, topped with raw hummus, sprouts, and red onion, wrapped in a cabbage leaf.  After I eat it, I feel light and full at the same time.  And happy.


Evolution Raw Burger


What about desserts, you ask?  Don’t worry, Evolution dedicates an entire cold case to vegan brownies, cookies, crumbles, and more. On my most recent trip to Evolution, I tried the Raw Lime Tart, which is made from walnuts, coconut, agave, avocado, sea salt, lime juice, vanilla extract, and coconut oil.  The tart had a sticky and sweet crust, and the lime layer was sweet and tart.  Again, happy.


Evolution Vegan Lime Tart


Then there are the juices and the shakes!  (This is the danger of Evolution.  If you are disciplined, you can manage lunch for under ten dollars.  Otherwise, hand them your credit card and look away.)  My new favorite shake is the Mystic Monk.  You choose soy or almond milk, which is blended with chocolate powder, banana, and tahini.  Yes, tahini.  Which made me both curious and skeptical.  But I should have had faith in Evolution’s smoothie scientists, because the Mystic Monk surpasses the classic chocolate milk shake.  The chocolate is strong, but the tahini curbs the sweet before it becomes too sweet.  Bottom line, it is delicious, and I will be having another one soon!


Evolution Vegan Mystic Monk Shake


Although it is hard to imagine becoming bored with Evolution’s menu, they offer daily specials and a variety of pre-made “take away” options that are not listed on the menu.


Evolution Special's BoardEvolution "Take Away" Shelves


In the true spirit of fast food, Evolution provides a drive thru window for those customers who are short on time


Evolution Drive Thru Window


If you do have time to stay and eat, I would suggest taking advantage of Evolution’s outdoor patio.  It is a great spot to enjoy the food, the people, and the day.  It’s also a great spot to bring your dog!


Evolution Outdoor Patio


2965 5th Ave

San Diego, CA 92103