One or more of us are on a path to eat better, live a healthier lifestyle (ok I know that can be a painstaking process living in the BBQ Capital ¬ we love our meat here in Texas)! Austin, however, is different . . . We embrace a balanced lifestyle here and it really is about the quality of life, be it in where we live, to the food we eat. With the focus being on healthy eating for this post, I ventured over to Casa de Luz (http://casadeluz.org/index.htm) for lunch the other day with some friends.
What is the definition of a macrobiotic diet? According to About.com: ¬Å“The macrobiotic diet is a low-fat, high fiber diet that is a predominantly vegetarian diet, emphasizing whole grains and vegetables. In addition, the macrobiotic diet is rich in phytoestrogens from soy products.¬Â Many of the dishes served at Casa de Liz are also gluten-free.
Walking down a path of lush green landscaping, your automatically put at ease by the setting, and this carries forth as you enter into Casa de Luz. Just to right as you walk in is the reception desk, with a man smiling, waiting to help you in your lunch selection (Full lunch runs $12.00 per person which considering the cuisine, I was very impressed ¬ I¬â„¢ve paid this for a less healthier lunch, but you can just order soup and a drink as well for around $6.00). Once you¬â„¢ve paid for your lunch, you stroll past the dessert case (yes they put it close to the front to tease you-I believe in eating dessert 1st) and then onto the soup & salad stations. The day I was at Casa de Luz, Ginger soup was the selection and a side salad (salad dressing was gluten-free and had an amazing taste). In addition to the soup & salad, you get an entrÃƒÂ©e which is composed of grains, legumes, greens and steamed vegetables. The day I went there was also this fabulous onion mushroom ragu atop the brown rice (I got the recipe and I’m super excited to make it here at home – It contains arrow-root so it will be my first time cooking with arrow-root, but the flavor it adds to the onions and mushrooms is to die for)! What comes to my surprise each time I eat at Casa de Luz are the flavors on the plate. The soup had such complex flavors, the salad dressing was garlic laced, and the main entrÃƒÂ©e where do I start? The greens had a pesto type sauce that just exploded with garlic and basil in every bite. Steamed carrots and squash retained a crispness and the grains & legumes entrÃƒÂ©e that accompanied were absolutely delish!
I have been incorporating more vegetarian and macrobiotic meals into my weekly meal plan, as I have been researching foods and their effects on the body. On one of my earlier visits a few weeks ago to Casa de Luz, I had spoken with one of the Nutritional Counselors inquiring which foods I should remove from my diet being a Celiac. He suggested I removed potato and tomato from my diet, as these two foods cause inflammation in the body. I have not had any potatoes in two weeks and have noticed a difference, as I am having less joint pain in my elbows. Tomato’s are going to be a tough one for me though (funny I would have thought it would have been tougher to give up potatoes but not so for me)!
As I add in more and more vegetarian/macrobiotic meals, I’m amazed that at 3:00 pm I dodn¬â„¢t crash and feel the need for something sweet (yes I skipped dessert that day as I was pressed for time). But what has stuck out in my mind is the delicious flavors of such cuisine. I had a misconception that it would be bland and that I wouldn¬â„¢t enjoy it at all ¬ to my amazement, I loved it and will go back to Casa de Luz as should you!
Here are a list of blogs I follow to help you on your macrobiotic and vegan journey:
–XGFX.org (This is a new site the Lazy Smurf’s Guide to Life recommended today & I am thrilled at looking at some of the recipes)!