Meatless Monday
Healthy Eats in Austin

It's been quite the change, moving back to the city after six years on a farm. My vocation keeps me hopping, and somewhat erratically--in fits and starts, often with schedule scattered, and on more days than I care to admit, insufficient preparation for insistent hunger.

What I mean is.....

I eat out. A lot

I work for Austin Eats Food Tours. I work with the Texas Farmers Markets. I am a personal chef. I write about, report of, and photograph food. I blog about food. I tweet, I post, I Instagram that stuff every day. Y'all. My days can be some pretty high-calorie affairs. I'm a lucky girl.

Until it catches up with me, and I need to get back to culinary basics as penance for my wild-dining ways. Fortuitously, Austin boasts an embarrassment of healthy-eating riches, and I'm on a quest to discover the best. The healthy, plant-based, pescatarian, ovo-lacto, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, tasty, satisfying, economical.

In an ongoing series, I'll be sharing my favorite healthy eats in Austin, I'd love to hear your favorites, too! Please leave a comment and help me in my search for the best. 

I recently visited the Danish modern funky Eastside coffee shop and cafe, Counter Culture, the emerged-from-the-ashes Hyde Park healthy eats anchor, Mother's Cafe and Garden, and the tranquil oasis of zen-like calm, community, and culinary care, Casa de Luz. My favorite meals included ...

PAC MAN + Garbanzo Mock Tuna 

Counter Culture Cafe

2337 East Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX  78702

Tues-Fri: 11 AM-10 PM                
Sat & Sun: Brunch 11 AM-3 PM    Reg Menu: 3-10 PM

This vibrant kale, carrot & chia seed salad, with a creamy garlic dressing and the addition of garbanzo mock tuna salad, is gluten-free, economical (the side salad plus scoop only set this vegan-seeker back a mere six bucks), fiber-rich, and satisfying. For a dinner entree, opt for the full size, with scoop, for $10.00.

Counter Culture is a great place to hunker down over a steaming cup of dark joe with your favorite thrift-store pilled and worn-soft sweater and an engrossing novel. Maybe a beret, you beatnik, you.

Szechuan Stir Fry 

Mother's Cafe & Garden

4215 Duval Street 
Austin, TX 78751

Mon-Fri 11:15 AM-10 PM
Sat-Sun 10 AM-10 PM
Sat-Sun Brunch 10 AM-3 PM

Fresh vegetables stir-fried in canola oil with tofu, green onions and mushrooms. Finished with a sauce of fresh ginger, garlic, toasted sesame oil and Szechuan spices and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Served over organic brown rice with black beans. $10.50

Mother's is laudable in catering to special dietary needs, and this dish was satisfactorily adjusted to meet the requirements of a detox diet, with the omission of brown rice and black beans, however when served as described, the full entree is enough for one, and a take-home parcel for the next day's lunch, (or perhaps a midnight snack. No judging.)

Mother's Cafe is just a goldmine for people-watching. Get a two-top to the left of the door, and sit back and enjoy everyone under the sun.  Discreetly, of course, Hedda Hopper.

Mixed Vegetable Taco with Guacamole and Salad of Garden Greens with Fresh Basil, Walnut, & Pecan Dressing.
Casa de Luz

1701 Toomey Road 
Austin, TX 78704

Breakfast: 7:00 to 10:00 AM
Lunch Menu: 11:00 to 2:30 PM
Dinner Menu: 5:30 to 8:30 PM

Casa de Luz offers a set menu of macrobiotic, vegan, organic and gluten-free meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner in it's zen-like 'campus', an oasis amid the encroaching development boom of Barton Springs Road.

Prix Fixe Meals which vary by day (check the website for daily offerings) are $9.00 for Breakfast, and $12.00 for lunch and dinner. A favorite meal of this diner is served weekly on Thursday, and with some variations, might feature Vegetable and Yellow Split Pea Soup, Salad of Garden Greens with Basil, Walnut & Pecan Dressing, Mixed Vegetable Taco with Guacamole on homemade corn tortilla, Black Beans with Sun Cheese, Blanched Greens with Lemon, Rice Pilaf (or other grains), and Pickled Vegetables. Includes Beverage.

Though a family-style dining room accommodates gatherings of all types and sizes, I love to dine alone at the southwest shore's urban ahhhh of a dining retreat. Don't go in a hurry. Breathe. Take it all in. Indulge in gratitude for a peaceful and well-prepared meal.

These meals, and more, are featured in Full and Content's guide, Eight Tasty Vegetarian Meals to Enjoy in Austin.  Check out more of what my friends find to be their beloved nutritious meatless meals in the city. And if you're vegan, don't miss Lazy Smurf's Austin Vegan Guide.

Whether in Austin, or points beyond, I'd love to hear about your favorite healthy meals and restaurants. Please share your best-kept delicious dining out secrets!


  1. Such beautiful vibrant food! My favorite health meals are FOR SURE the salads at juiceland I don't know how they do it but the clean and soba bowl, the rancheros, the double rainbow salad, and whatever else they have on special are always so decadent seeming for a healthy salad.

    And if you haven't tried it, go to the Steeping Room stat! They have this Buddha bowl with a grain of the day, vegetables, tofu, beans and a yummy sauce. It's one of the most filling healthy vegan dishes in town imo.

    1. I've had that Buddha bowl some years back but it's time to get back there! I didn't even know Juiceland HAD salads and I"m so excited to hear of them. I usually zoom in and out for juices at the Hyde Park and Barton Springs locations, and now I'll slow down and check out their solids selections, too.

      I edited the post to include your Austin Vegan Guide link. So many fantastic options for readers, and ME to try! Great work!

    2. aww, thanks! The salads are in the to-go case but they make them every day. I really don't understand why they are so good. I don't even like salad.

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