Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Luna's Living Kitchen Gluten Free, Vegan and Amazing!

So many friends had been raving about Luna's Living Kitchen and posting mouth-watering photos on Instagram and Facebook lately so I've been anxious to try it. It's a two and a half hour drive from us so we used a trek to IKEA as an excuse for a visit a few days ago. We are not vegan but we do eat many vegan and vegetarian meals weekly so we looked forward to checking Luna's out.

The restaurant exterior is warm and inviting. There are large planter boxes outside and most of them were full of greens. The tall ceilings, huge windows, spare decor and art make for a cozy yet bright interior. Every single employee greeted us with a smile from the moment we walked in. We sat at the juice bar because all the tables were full.

Jonathon was our gracious server and was happy to tell me which items were gluten free. There was a much better than usual selection to choose from. We ordered an organic juice for each of us. Chris chose the Volcano, a citrus blend with a touch of maple syrup and cayenne. I have an aversion to the smell of maple syrup but when I tasted it I fell in love. I ordered the Zinger which was beet, apple, orange, lemon and ginger. The ginger actually gave it more heat than Chris' Volcano. The sweet and hot combination was delicious. Luna's juices are available at our local Whole Foods, too. Pricey, but a healthy splurge.

One of our friend Josh's recommendation was the Rawco Taco Salad so I was glad it was gluten free. That was my order. How gorgeous is that salad?

Underneath the cilantro and sprouts was a large scoop of crumbled walnuts and almonds. The nuts gave it a crunchy, satisfying feel without feeling heavy. The cashew sour cream and hot sauce combination was a perfect touch - so flavorful! The hot sauce had quite a kick without being too much heat. Cool slices of avocado and crispy veggie/flax crackers made a perfect meal.

It's the kind of salad I could eat every day of the week if only someone would deliver it!

Chris ordered the Living Burrito. It was a collard leaf wrapped around sunflower seed refried beans, cauliflower rice, veggies and the same cashew sour cream and pico de gallo that were on my salad. He inhaled it shortly after I took this photo. 

He loves all things cauliflower so he especially enjoyed the cauliflower rice. Chris loved the combination of flavors and textures and found it to be a hearty lunch (he likes big food!) and also commented that he didn't feel weighed down by this large meal.

I'm going to have to get on Pinterest soon and look up some cauliflower rice and cashew sour cream recipes.

This meal makes me want to up my game when it comes to our vegetarian and vegan meals and make them more creative. Summer is a great time to take advantage of wonderful produce.

Josh had also recommended the Lemon Berry Cheesecake and we shared a beautiful slice while Chris had a coffee. 

Hands down the best cheesecake I've ever tasted and again totally vegan. Just the right amount of crunchy nut crust, plain and fruit flavored layers and perfect to share.

We both loved every part of our meal and our experience at Luna's Living Kitchen. While it is quite a drive I know we'll be back - maybe not as often as I'd like - but I can't wait.

This post has been shared on Gluten Free Wednesdays - thanks Shirley!


5 comments:

gfe--gluten free easily said...

You always do the very best reviews, Kathryn! I've found raw, vegan restaurants that can do gluten free to be simply amazing, too. That real food just shines!

Sharing ... xoxo,
Shirley

chacha said...

Shirley you are so kind, so sweet and always an encouragement to me. You are absolutely right - real food done right is outstanding.

Thank you for sharing...xoxo

R Brandsberg said...

That place is right up my alley! I look forward to trying it on my drive back across the country one day…soon…I hope… :(
haha! :)
I make vegan cheesecake like that all the time. I will email you the recipe. Easy and yummy!
xoxo

chacha said...

Laura, i absolutely thought of you while we were there! It makes the IKEA trk a lot more fun!! Oh, please do email your recipe to me, I would love it. xoxo

R Brandsberg said...

Yes! Here is the one I make with a few sub's

http://simplynaturalhealth.com/recipeblog/2012/04/24/gluten-free-and-dairy-free-cheesecake-recipe/

I use less lemon juice, and 1 T Nutritional Yeast, and less honey. Usually use frzn blueberries.

Play with it- it is always a WINNER!
xoxo
p.s 1 good thing here- IKEA is 17 min away. :0