SIMPLY BEING

Tag: organic (page 1 of 2)

Flower Child

I started hearing about Flower Child from friends and acquaintances. My first thought was, it’s such a pretty name. “Flower Child” harkens back to the days of hippie freedom, organic living, love for Mother Earth, and so on. It is a fitting name for this restaurant, I think, because the food has a youthful flair to it. It is piquant and playful, full of flavor and texture contrasts… Definitely more hip than hippy, I think.

I sent a note to the restaurant asking if I could come in for a chef’s tasting. I got a prompt response: an invitation to lunch.

It was a cool spring morning in March when I showed up at Flower Child, Sandy Springs. I instantly fell in love with the high, airy interiors, tall industrial lamp fixtures, houseplants and knickknacks decorating the windows, casual seating, cheerful waitstaff. I introduced myself to the girl at the counter. She went and spoke with the manager Mark who came over right away and welcomed me.

I skimmed through the menu and ordered a mango-pineapple fresh juice (no sugar added), a small plate of Grilled Asparagus, and the Glow Bowl. I am not one for consuming liquids with meals (save warm herbal tea, sometimes) but I was unable to resist this fresh juice combination of two of my favorite fruits, yum. The juice was tangy and delicious. What it lacked for in sugary sweetness, it made up with freshness and flavor. I loved the juice but I was sorely disappointed to see that the glass was made from thin plastic (Grade 1, non-recyclable). I wish they’d used a glass tumbler instead. It would have been simple, elegant, eco-friendly, and sustainable.

The food arrived quick. The asparagus spears were crunchy and delicious, grill marks included. It was served with farro, barley and red quinoa, flavored with ginger miso. The dish had a gentle heat, and I enjoyed the combination of crisp asparagus and chewy ancient grains. In contrast, the Glow Bowl was a delicious Pad Thai-style preparation of sweet potato noodles in coconut milk, sunflower butter, bok choy, zucchini, onion, and shiitake mushrooms, spiced with jalapeños. It was comforting and delicious, and I marveled at the light texture of the sweet potato noodles. Worth replicating at home, I think!

I alternated between one dish and the other, taking a good long time to chew thoroughly and savor the flavors.

Mark came over to ask if I was enjoying the food. I could only nod, mouth full, happy smile on face. He mentioned that they served a vegan, gluten-free chocolate pudding made from coconut cream, cocoa powder and dark chocolate, flavored with vanilla paste, served with shaved coconut and sprouted almonds. How could I say no to that? The pudding was smooth and creamy, lightly sweetened, and absolutely delicious. I was sorely tempted to eat it all but I decided to be a good spouse who shared freely with her partner. I ate a little, and saved the rest to take home to my husband. (He loved it, although he wished it was less sweet). Alas, this pudding also came in a plastic, non-recyclable container, sigh.

I loved visiting Flower Child and eating there. I found the food light and playful, delicious, and full of flavor. I adored the cheerful, sun-lit space, large windows, and the wood-marble seating. I’d love to see if/how their menu changes seasonally, and if they will incorporate local ingredients and recipes into their menu.

Wondering when I can make another trip!

Flower Child
6400 Bluestone Rd #170
Sandy Springs GA 30328

470-481-7850
www.iamaflowerchild.com

Purely Blissful Goodies to Give Away!

A snack bar that combines dates, agave, apple pieces, cinnamon, almonds, flax meal and a host of other goodies has to be deliciously healthy, wouldn’t you agree? How about one that adds organic peanut butter, sunflower seeds and sea salt to the mix? Yummy. These little bites can serve as an afternoon snack, a tiny treat between meals, a tasty pick-me-up at 3pm, a welcome addition to your kid’s snack box for school… so many scrumptious possibilities.

The nice folks at Pure Bliss Organics have a bag each of Organic Appleachia Apple-Walnut Bites and Organic PB & J Bites to give away to the readers of this blog. All you need to do is comment on this post telling me which one you would like to get and why. Pure Bliss will ship the sweet goodies only within the continental United States; apologies to those of you that reside overseas.

Appleachia

Appleachia

PB & J Bites

PB & J Bites

In addition, readers of this blog can purchase Pure Bliss products at 20% discounted prices. Simply use the coupon code ‘richveg’ while checking out. Each purchase you make will bring a little cha-ching to this blog… Thanks!

Organic Appleachia Apple and Walnut Bites

Organic Appleachia Apple and Walnut Bites

UPDATE: Winners selected… thanks for playing, everyone! Ram and Dixya, I will get in touch with you for your respective mailing addresses. 

Bounty from T.J.Maxx

T.J.Maxx is one of my favorite shopping joints. I have walked out of the store multiple times, clutching an assortment of tops, kitchen implements, leggings, handbags… not all at the same time! There is always an element of surprise when it comes to T.J.Maxx – you never know what you might find. I found a lovely pair of nude pumps marked at $39.99 on my last visit. If I find the pair again, I will pick it up, for sure! Neat little blouses, belts, glass containers, dinnerware, cute dresses… the list goes on. Nevertheless, I never thought I’d ever pick up food/snacks/eatables from T.J.Maxx. Until this week.

Snacks from TJ Maxx

My loot this time?

Kind Cinnamon Oat Clusters with Flax Seeds – $3.99
Yummy Earth Organic Lemon Drops – $1.99
Go Naturally Organic Hard Candies (Ginger) – $1.99
Oskri Sesame Date Syrup Bars – $3.99
Oskri Cashew Cranberry Protein Bar – $5.99 (I checked the ingredient list. Unlike other protein bars, this one only contains rice syrup, cashews, rice syrup, cranberries, rice crisps.)

Oskri Bars

Haven’t sampled the Kind Cinnamon Oat Clusters yet. The organic lemon drops are delectable. Tangy and perky, they are the perfect little size for an after-dinner sweet treat. P has been tucking in the ginger candies and he loves them! I bit into a piece of the Oskri sesame date syrup bar this morning – yummy! Date syrup has a mild sweetness, a flavor I prefer to the blinding sweetness of sugar syrup. Waiting to sample the Cashew Cranberry version soon!

Needless to say, I was a happy camper this week, as I walked out of T.J.Maxx. Next time, I will keep an extra-attentive eye out for such inexpensive, healthy goodies in the store. Interestingly, all these are placed along the checkout aisles… so don’t be in a hurry to check out!

Pure Bliss Organics, Marietta

I am always looking out for tasty-healthy snack options. My fondness for Larabar has been well documented on this site. For a long time, I wondered if I would find another product like Larabar. As tasty, as healthy, as reasonably priced and as easily available… a tall order, I know! In addition, I am also known to be extremely picky when it comes to the ingredient list. As tasty and cheap a product may be, a long list of unfamiliar ingredients generally leaves me uncomfortable, and I find myself putting the product back on the shelf.

One day, I chanced on an Acai Coconut bar at a local Robeks outlet. Can’t recall the exact price but it didn’t make me wince. Plus it was made by a local company! I picked it up. Tasty, tasty! I have an issue with many energy bars in that they tend to be dry, almost cardboard-y in texture. Not this one. It was definitely not as soft/moist as Larabar but not dry/dense either.

Pure Bliss Organics, Marietta

Pure Bliss Organics is a Marietta-based company that sells gourmet nuts, energy bars, granola, etc. I sent a note through the website asking if I could sample the products and write about them on the blog. Soon after, I heard back from Jon, one of the owners, asking if I wanted to come check out the company’s facility. I jumped at the offer. And so it turned out that one warm Tuesday morning, I found myself at Pure Bliss Organics. I couldn’t have been more surprised at the location; it was mere minutes from my home! Literally in my backyard, you can say!

Jon and Antonio, the owners, welcomed me warmly and showed me around. The tiny office provides abundant evidence of the company’s philosophy on life, happiness and food. A sweet space with a cute little altar, incense and pictures… I couldn’t have felt more at home if I had tried!

Antonio (L), Lakshmi, Jon (R)

As Jon showed me around the bakery and store room, he mentioned that all Pure Bliss products are certified organic. A few of them are vegan while some are wheat-free. Not all ingredients are sourced locally. For instance, Jon mentioned that there are not many organic blueberry vendors in Georgia, and so, the blueberries come from Michigan. I saw two huge ovens, each capable of roasting up to 40 trays of nuts and seeds. Many of the products are made by hand. I saw one of the employees mixing blended banana with dry ingredients for making Banana Gorilla granola. Jon also showed me the packing and cutting machines acquired recently by the company. Pure Bliss Organics products are stocked at Whole Foods and Sevananda, among other locations.

Making Banana Gorilla Granola

I left the office clutching a generous bag of complimentary samples… Mmm.

Samples Galore!

P and I went through the samples pretty quick. The energy bar bites are a great idea… excellent for sharing! Each little bite packs a nice punch, perfect for the 3 p.m. snack craving. The Mocha Java Bites have sharp notes of espresso that jive beautifully with the crispness of brown rice crisps and the soft chewiness of dates. The Appleachia is a great combination of apples, walnuts, brown rice crisps, flaxmeal and a host of other delicious ingredients. Some of the gourmet nuts have a lingering heat, courtesy cayenne and chilli. Good in small bites!

Pure Bliss Organics is a company grounded in its philosophy of creating foods that nourish the mind, body and soul. Now that is a mindset I can totally get behind… 🙂