When mother-daughter duo Cassie and Marlene Tolman were preparing to open the Pomegranate Café in Ahwatukee, daughter Cassie was following a raw foods diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. “If you’re being strict about it, you get hungry,” she says. With that in mind, she devised a wrap sandwich for the restaurant using sturdy collard greens in place of a tortilla to stave off the hunger.
The Rainbow Wrap ($12) is typically stuffed with a bounty of raw organic vegetables – shredded purple cabbage and carrots, sliced crisp rainbow peppers, ripe tomatoes and chunks of avocado. Sometimes Cassie throws in jalapeños and other seasonal produce. “I want color and crunch, texture and freshness,” she says.
To give the wrap another layer of flavor, she adds a dollop of almond “cheese,” a concoction of blended almonds, cashews, lemon juice, garlic, amino acids and water. The wrap is served with sunflower ranch dip, Pomegranate’s healthy version of ranch dressing, made from blended cashews, miso, lemon juice, herbs and a touch of agave – a tangy combination that nicely complements the raw vegetables. Along for the ride: flax crackers made in house from golden flax seeds that have been soaked, ground and mixed with finely chopped vegetables, herbs, seasonings and sea salt and then dehydrated overnight.
Customers these days are looking for more “conscious food” that makes them feel good on a physical as well as spiritual level, and raw food falls into that category, Cassie says. By eating more consciously, “you’re doing something that’s right for the earth and for your body.”
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