Eating the ‘Veggie’ Way in Grand Forks

By Jenni Gleason

There is good news for vegetarian diners, as recent studies show that a diet of plant based food can actually lower blood pressure.

Vegetarian plates these days offer many different options and, what’s more, there are a wealth of gourmet restaurants and variety of menus to choose from in the Grand Forks area and across North Dakota, meaning that veggies can enjoy a whole range of dishes prepared and cooked locally.

News for Vegetarians

Grand Forks Herald published a story from Reuters about the new study, which shows that cutting out meat and eating plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruit and also dairy, can have a positive effect on your health. The research was carried out by the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan. Vegetarians were found to have a lower blood pressure than meat eaters. The ideal diet involves low fat and high fiber content, which can be found in vegetarian meals, making them perfect for staying fit and healthy. Researchers emphasized that it is the plant-based foods that are low in sodium and high in potassium, which lowers the blood pressure.

Typically, ‘individuals who adhere to vegetarian diets are likely to use fewer processed foods’, stated the article, making their diets naturally healthy. As we become more aware of dining on fresh, locally prepared food, our knowledge of how bad processed food can be for us is growing, and we are taking care of what goes onto our plate.

Nutrition

Food from plants is healthy for us, but how do we make sure we are getting enough nutrition from it? The vitamins and minerals may be difficult to absorb. In order to avoid deficiencies from a vegetarian diet, Kwikmed.org advise diners should make sure they pick from a range of different foods ‘which are naturally rich in micronutrients’ so that their bodies are getting enough goodness to stay healthy. Wholegrains, nuts, seeds, pulses, fruits and vegetables are a great way of ensuring you will absorb enough nutrients, and vegetarian plates served in gourmet restaurants offer a variety of goodness to address just this. Protein, surprisingly, is present in many more foods than we realise; not just in meat, so most of us consume enough without realizing it. Pulses and wholegrains are particularly good sources of protein. The key is to include a variety of foods and the right levels that your body needs to consume, perhaps focusing on iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12.

Vegetarian Restaurants in Grand Forks

Whatever you want to eat, from lunchtime snacks to evening gourmet meals, Grand Forks has a wealth of vegetarian eateries to satisfy your hunger pangs.

Amazing Grains Food Coop serves up a terrific menu of soup and homemade bread; it has a hotbar and a deli too and is a popular choice for locals and visitors to the area. Located in the heart of Grand Forks, the food is preservative free, without any other additives, so you know you are getting a healthy bite to eat. Many of the foods here are organic, and the bakery also offers organic meat and chocolate.

At Dakota Harvest Bakers you can sit down to a sandwich or choose from a variety of soups, including vegan options, as well as a healthy salad. The menus here are changed frequently.

On Washington Street, why not stop for a bite to eat at the Pita Pit. Here they serve very fresh made to order pita sandwiches, with the Garden, Falafel and Hummus options being popular among diners. You can choose the vegetables and sauces you would like to go with your lunch, and vegetables include hot peppers, green and black olives, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, lettuce, mushrooms and pickles. Pita Pit prides itself on providing quick meals that are tasty but also healthy, ‘an exciting alternative to fast food restaurants’, which is why it uses a soft pita bread as a base and gives you a choice of some delicious fillings, including cheeses.

The Blue Moose Bar and Grill, on 507 2nd Street, East Grand Forks, is a popular venue for both meat lovers and vegetarians. Choose from pub cheese snacks or spinach con queso, made with creamy pepper jack cheese and spinach and served with tortilla chips. There are stuffed jalapenos to taste, onion rings and an olive and cheese platter for two to share, sautéed zucchini and squash and basil garlic artichoke hearts for vegetarians to enjoy at this great restaurant.

Grand Forks has a wide variety of restaurants, offering something for everyone, and the vegetarian eateries, with their range of mouth-watering dishes, are proving very popular.

2 thoughts on “Eating the ‘Veggie’ Way in Grand Forks

  1. Being vegetarian in Grand Forks is definitely more challenging than being in a bigger city with more dining choices. My favorite here is Amazing Grains, mainly because they have a wider choice, and their soups are almost always vegetarian or vegan. Blue moose is good, but rather limited in choices for vegetarians, as in Shing-Ya. I am surprised that the Toasted Frog and Rhombus guys were not on the list, as they have some outstanding veggie food- more so than the Blue Moose. I would say my biggest complaint is that people think being vegetarian means eating bland food like cheese pasta or salad, and in reality, hot and spicy vegetarian food is hard to come by. Which is why it’s a good thing I love to cook! :)

  2. My vegetarian rotation when I’m in Grand Forks is usually Qdoba, Pita Pit and Ruby Tuesday. I wish Amazing Grain had later hours. I’m never off work soon enough to go there.

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