| by Linda Viertel |
Healthy foods are readily available, reasonably priced and plentiful in our river towns. So, whether you cook and shop for whole foods, need value-added prepared fare, or want to fill your larder with wholesome drinks and snacks, take time to find nutritious provisions. The benefits are many: enhanced taste and menu variety, an increase in essential vitamins for added energy, and the knowledge that you are giving your body what it needs for improved good health and cleaner living
“Healthy clean food that is reasonably priced is in demand today, and this ‘fundamental’ way of eating has finally become a movement rather than a trend,” states Jeanne M. Rocco-Maglione, MS, RDN, who is Director of Nutrition and Wellness at the Natural Markets Food Group, owners of Mrs. Green’s Natural Market. “Diet foods (low calorie, low fat, low carbohydrate) do not necessarily mean clean foods; but clean foods, (minimally processed foods or foods in their most natural state) mean better physiological acceptance of the energy and nutrients from foods necessary to prevent disease. Also, simply enjoying the taste of food, and allowing yourself to indulge responsibly, makes for a perfect relationship between yourself and food, thus promoting positive mental health and overall wellness.”
And, Mrs. Green’s is the one-stop place to go for providing a full wellness regimen, offering everything from organic whole and prepared foods to pet, body and skin care items, vitamins, healthy drinks and snacks. Mrs. Green’s mission emphasizes that there are no artificial or synthetic preservatives in their products. Customers will find local, artisanal beers, along with Hudson Valley cream and yogurt drinks, free-range eggs, sustainably raised, antibiotic free meats and poultry, and the largest selection of grains and flours in the region.
All salads, wraps, and sandwiches are made with clean ingredients. Tomato and barbecue sauces, olives and relishes, salad dressings, soups and pastas contain no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or preservatives. Even the frozen prepared foods, including an Ethnic Gourmet Selection and gluten-free options, eschew preservatives.
A plethora of heirloom potatoes, tomatoes, and an array of fresh produce greet customers on the first floor, along with all-natural home-made soups, a tempting salad bar, sushi offerings, baked goods and much more.
Mrs. Green’s downstairs is the place for energizing juices, soft serve and fruit smoothies. The “Natural Living” section features cruelty-free body care products and certified organic health care items, a majority of which are made from green fair-trade ingredients. Joint, heart and bone health supplements abound. Omega oils and pro-biotic choices are plentiful. Plant-based super foods provide a vast array of health boosting properties, especially beneficial as a super potent blast for increased heart health. Liquid herbal extracts contain differing properties to improve specific health conditions.
And, let’s not forget children and pets who need good food, healthy snacks and natural skin care too; choose from a selection of products that promote child and pet wellness. Household cleaning products can be toxic, so if you want to make your home safer and more sustainable, purchase organic cleaners and recycled paper products.
As Rocco-Maglione states, “Our mission at Mrs. Green’s focuses on offering cutting edge healthy products in an environment that informs and engages customers. Associates are here to guide those customers in making educated choices about healthy clean foods available at Mrs. Green’s that both fit their budget and compliment their holistic needs.”
If You Go:
Mrs. Green’s Natural Market
Natural and Organic Grocery
45 N Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591
In Dobbs Ferry, visit Raw Juice, owner Sabri Darwish’s newest expansion from the corner of 168th and Broadway in Manhattan. After opening last month, he says, ”I wanted to start Raw Juice so I could give the community a fresh twist on healthy living. For 25 years, my family has known how important it is to help the community buy farm fresh produce. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to eat right.” Customers can “ Blend It,” choosing from a selection of 14 healthy power drinks made to order from fresh (never frozen) fruits, vegetables, flax and almond milk. Or, they can “Juice It,” from a selection of 6 smoothies made with your choice of almond or soy milk or Poland Springs Water. Adding your choice of supplements such as chia seeds, quinoa, oats or a variety of protein powders provide an extra dollop of vitamins and energy.
The menu’s “Chop It” section lets you choose your own greens, proteins, toppings and dressings; a substantial variety of choices will help create the salad you want. Hale and hearty soups are made fresh daily: ginger carrot with artichoke, or chicken noodle become meals in themselves, but try the pumpkin lentil – Darwish’s signature offering. Oatmeal is available with 3 toppings – comfort food on a cold day and packed with heart-healthy benefits.
If You Go:
21 Cedar Street, Dobbs Ferry
(914) 231-5897/ Free WIFI, Free Delivery
Mix on Main opened four months ago and is already a healthy influence in Dobbs Ferry. Owner Vince Campbell grew up in Westchester, and ran and built restaurants for years, before he renovated this restaurant space himself. His chef – a head dietician for a rehabilitation home – makes everything from scratch, with vegetarian soup offerings (protein can be added) changing weekly. Wraps and paninis are plentiful, everything from the “Elvis Lives (sliced banana, peanut butter and honey) to vegan offerings, or “the Cowboy” (grilled chicken, romaine fresh mozzarella, corn green onion, tomato, dried cranberries, and yogurt ranch dressing.) At Mix on Main, customers can create their own salads, and add a variety of protein choices from tofu to shrimp, grilled salmon to steak. Vegetarian burgers are popular, as are Campbell’s protein bowls, made with your choice of brown rice or quinoa and topped with any number of protein choices and sauces. Eight differing smoothies can be complemented with chocolate, vanilla or strawberry flavorings, or whey protein. Juices and smoothies are made from 100% organic fruit, and vegetables at Mix on Main contain no GMO’s. Try building your own juice from two or four vegetables, fruits and herbs and see how creative you can be!
If You Go:
Mix On Main Health Bar
63 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry
(914)479-5555 Fax: (914) 479-5556
Take Out & Delivery/Catering Available
Middle Eastern cooking is one of the healthiest cuisines in the world, based as it is on fresh vegetables, marinated grilled meats, grains, yogurt sauces, dried fruits and nuts. So, if there isn’t time to prepare lunch or dinner, stop by Irvington Delight and pick up a tabbouleh salad, some tasty freekah soup, baba ghanouj, kibbeh or stuffed grape leaves.
Fattoush, a salad made with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, parsley, lettuce, fried pita pieces and topped with sumac (a fragrant crimson Mediterranean spice) will be made to order. But, Arabic salad is ready to go- a hearty mélange of onions, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and fresh herbs. Hummus, that well-known puree of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon, salt and garlic, is always available. Owner/chefs Amal and Nebeel Rabadi make everything fresh daily, including their fragrant yogurt sauces, so putting together your own Middle Eastern feast without the muss and fuss of cooking so many enjoyable dishes is a thoughtful way to treat your family and friends to a healthy ethnic lunch or dinner.
If You Go:
2 South Broadway, Irvington
Red Barn Bakery offers a delectable assortment of creations baked with the freshest of local and organic ingredients. Owner, baker Randell Dodge makes traditional (wheat flour) artisan pies, tarts, cookies, muffins and biscotti, as well as a variety of vegan and gluten-free items, baked with raw, not refined, sugar.
One visit to her charming bakery for a cup of luxuriant coffee and a biscotti, muffin (your choice of rich olive oil, lemon poppy seed, or donut), scone, piece of carrot cake or signature breakfast cookie, and you will want to return again and again. Fruit galettes, tortes, creamy organic marble cheesecake or flourless chocolate cake, are all exquisite take-home desserts.
Dodge’s cold weather comfort food includes “mac and cheese,” made with cheese from the Hudson Valley. Her veggie pot-pies, topped with home-made puff pastry, can be prepared gluten-free. Take home one of her popular vegetarian soups made daily, prepared with stock made from scratch
In-house prepared granola can be purchased sweetened or unsweetened; serve it over yogurt, warmed like porridge or with milk. Dodge’s “brain food,” fat rich for healthier brain activity, mixes pumpkin seeds, oats, raisins, coconut and so much more.
If You Go:
Red Barn Bakery
4 S. Astor St, Irvington
If you care about what is good for the earth, organic foods reduce soil erosion, use less energy for growing, and treat animals humanely. Foods raised without antibiotics, artificial additives or the overuse of pesticides in mineral-deficient soils give consumers an added boost of natural vitamins and nutrients which our bodies need for increased energy, healthy bones and joints. Taking the time to shop carefully, fill your kitchen larder, and then cook with whole, nutrient-rich foods, will help you feel more energized, possibly lose extra weight and realize your body’s full potential. Plus, I guarantee you will taste the difference! Mrs. Green’s motto could be everyone’s watchword for whole-body wellness:
GOOD food. GOOD for you. GOOD for the Earth.