Getting into a healthy, plant-based life style can be daunting with so many decadent plant-based dining out options and processed products coming daily. I’m not complaining! But it can be tough to stick to a whole food plant based diet with so many new options. Shortly after I went vegan in 2010, an amazing plant-based restaurant opened near my job called Baagan and I was in heaven! Fast forward to today, it’s now Zest Kitchen and in a bigger location to accommodate demand.
Zest Kitchen is the type of place I could eat at every day, if I could afford to eat out every day! The menu celebrates whole food plant based ingredients with many oil free, gluten free, and raw vegan options. And the atmosphere is a calming oasis with soothing colors, peaceful music, and art to break from a busy day.
There is plenty of space for social gatherings and guest speakers which appear frequently to inspire. There are also comfort food options such as vegan pancakes and breakfast burritos served all day featuring Just Egg. And you can buy Just Egg, Miyoko’s products, many varieties of kombucha, ready made menu items, and other fun vegan products.
You can also find a fun inspiration board where diners can post how eating healthy has changed them. And be very entertained reading some of them.
I have been many, many times and am always ready to try new menu options. And I love that they usually have my favorite kombucha flavor.
I’ve tried just about everything on the menu, but one of my favorite dishes is the simple Garden Veggie Wrap.
This wrap is blissfully light packed with veggies and can be paired with a spinach tortilla or lighter rice spring paper for the gluten-free option and you can choose your sauce. For such a light and fresh wrap, it’s also satisfying with kicky flavor and a blend of textures for a great package.
Zest is also known for great seasonal panini sandwiches like this lovely sauteed mushroom thyme panini.
I struggle with mushrooms sometimes. I know they’re great for you, but I can only take the texture and flavor to a point. Forget an entire portabella burger! But this sandwich is perfect balancing the flavor and texture with other fresh ingredients.
Another dish that challenges my complicated relationship with mushrooms is the Just Egg mushroom scramble with fresh greens with whole grain toast. And challenges the traditional potato hash by adding healthy beets for a very healthy, plant-based take on the traditional breakfast that you can order all day.
Along with healthy and vibrant menu options to suite all variations of a plant-based diet, Zest Kitchen strives to build the local plant-based community with regular guest speakers, participating in the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge, and hosting regular social events to further inspire diners making it a place I look forward to visiting regularly. Zest Kitchen proves whole food plant based dishes can be exciting and flavorful and does wonders for my motivation with regular visits.
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