So there’s this little food place in Austin called Casa de Luz (I hesitate to label it a “restaurant”…). All of the food is macrobiotic, organic, vegan, all natural. There are big communal tables and lots of natural light. At lunch, you serve yourself from the salad bar… greens already dressed with a delicous dressing, and your choice of crudites. Some days there are tiny bowls of seaweed salads. You serve yourself a bowl of soup… some days borscht with pecan sauce, some days butternut squash soup with toasted pumpkin seeds.
The main dish is brought to you, already plated. You get no choice in the matter (I love that). There’s always a whole grain… quinoa or brown rice, maybe. There’s always a serving of beans… black beans, red beans, navy beans. There are always steamed greens with a lovely sauce… mixed greens with walnut miso sauce or tahini almond sauce. There is always a pickle… maybe kim chi or a daikon ginger pickle. There are always steamed mixed vegetables… butternut squash with carrots and celery, or maybe carrots, broccoli and leeks.
You can have seconds if you want. You can also buy a dessert, though I never do. I’m always too full from all that whole-food goodness.
The conversation around you is always interesting… someone is always talking about vegan recipes or farmer’s markets or antioxidants. People are wearing yoga clothes. Some people kinda stink.
It’s not a place I visit often, but sometimes, when I’ve had a lot of restaurant meals, I crave the simple veggies and grains.
I’ve decided to bring those veggies and grains home every now and then… it’s much cheaper, and we can eat it in the comfort of our own little home (Justin is not very fond of Casa de Luz’s atmosphere… too granola for him).
Pictured above is my first attempt at a Casa de Luz-style meal at home, with modifications, of course, as we are not vegan and don’t have all day to cook. I cooked canned red beans in a bit of oil and garlic and added chopped tomato. I topped it with crumbled ricotta salata. I steamed purple kale and drizzled it with a miso dressing. Justin boiled up some corn on the cob, and we popped some brown rice in the rice cooker (have I told you how much I LOVE my new rice cooker? Best $20 I ever spent.). Voila! Welcome to my casa de luz. 🙂