Edina's Hottest Vegetarian Dishes
The conversation about reducing one’s carbon footprint has gotten many eaters rethinking their food choices. If you’re one of them, you might be inclined to choose restaurants that follow eco-friendly practices such as sourcing local ingredients, composting and reducing waste. You might cut down on your consumption of meat, whether it’s a single meatless meal or a lifetime pledge to vegetarianism. No matter how far you are willing to take your ideals at the dinner table, there are plenty of dishes to ensure that flavor won’t be one of the sacrifices you need to make.
The kosher-certified, mostly vegetarian Seven Stars Coffee House (it serves fish but no meat) has cornered the market on anything-but-routine vegetarian choices, and the green cheddar sandwich is a most compelling first pick. The sandwich has morphed over time from a green gouda to a green brie to its current state, in which sliced Granny Smith apples, cheddar cheese and honey mustard are pressed and melted together on a Panini that’s made in-house, and served with a light, creamy coleslaw ($7.25). The Portobello Panini with Swiss cheese on focaccia and a seasonal asparagus with brie on focaccia are other satisfying favorites. Vegans quickly zero in on the rosemary olive oil bagel—it’s brushed with olive oil in lieu of the egg wash and the rosemary is grown in a pot right inside the shop. (Does it get any more local than that?) Seven Stars is a green facility that composts, uses biodegradable materials and sources local products like Cedar Crest ice cream and Sugar River cheeses, both from Wisconsin, and coffee roasted by Roastery 7, a carbon neutral facility in Brooklyn Park. 7015 Amundson Ave.; 952.345.3380; hours: 6:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Sat.–Sun.
Thai Green Vegetable Curry
The Thai Green Vegetable Curry at Big Bowl will put a fire in your belly, with tofu and a variety of vegetables that vary seasonally but might include red onion, green beans, pea pods, bell peppers and bok choy ($10.95). It’s the spiciest dish on the menu, according to general manager Pam Wubben, as well as the only vegan item. More timid palates ought to go with the Lucky 8 Vegetables & Tofu, a dish of lightly cooked vegetables and crispy tofu tossed with sesame soy dressing ($12.95). Big Bowl is also committed to eco-friendly practices, such as serving triple filtered drinking water over bottled, buying from local farmers’ markets, serving sustainable seafood and using recycled materials. Galleria, 3510 W. 70th St.; 952.928.7888; hours: 11:15 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11:30–9 p.m. Sun.
Heirloom Tomato Salad
If it’s heirloom tomato season, it’s time for a visit to Good Earth, where the heirloom tomatoes are procured from Gysland Farms in Jordan, Minn. The heirloom tomato salad has a loyal following when it shows up on the menu each July or August ($13.95). The plate sings with a Mediterranean flair, starting with three nicely cut slices of heirloom tomato and couscous from Indian Harvest in Bemidji, Minn., that’s been tossed with fresh spinach, Calamata olives, feta cheese, sun-dried tomato, fresh herbs, lemon vinaigrette and has split baby garbanzon beans and Quinoa. Add to that a homemade Northern bean hummus and pita that comes from the company’s own Parasole bakery. Tomato lovers will also be head over heels about the heirloom tomato pizza, topped with the same heirloom tomatoes, sundried tomato pesto, fresh mozzarella and spinach or arugula on a Parasole bakery crust ($12.95). The restaurant follows a number of eco-friendly practices, including the promotion of its filtered tap water over bottled, recycling and sourcing various local ingredients. It serves organic fair-trade coffee and offers a selection of sustainable organic wines. Galleria, 3510 W. 70th St.; 952.925.1001; hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.
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