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Issue Date: May 2009

Silver Spoons: Meaty Veggies

Forget Starbucks — in Cleveland, there might as well be a steakhouse on every corner. But for the meat-and-potato fanatics who think vegetarian food can’t possibly be filling, we found dishes at two top vegetarian-focused restaurants capable of stuffing even the most diehard carnivore.

Faithful vegetarians flock to VegiTerranean, Akron’s Italian-fusion, 100 percent vegan restaurant, to swoon over a meatless version of veal scallopini. Chef Scot Jones serves Gardein scallopini picatta with a white wine caper sauce and soy butter. It’s the most requested dish on the menu and also packs the restaurant’s heaviest dose of protein.

“This vegan dish is more easily digestible than chicken or beef, has more protein than skinless chicken breast and sirloin steak and more than twice the protein of an egg and tofu,” Jones says. The filling element comes from Gardein, a blend of nutrient-rich ingredients including soy, wheat, peas, beets and carrots, slow-cooked to have the authentic taste and texture of lean meat.

At Taza in Woodmere, Aladdin’s big sister restaurant, the menu is loaded with lentils, beans and fresh vegetables. But the mujadara, a nutrient-packed, vegetarian specialty of lentils and rice topped with Lebanese Salata, is what hungry eaters order, says owner Sally Chamoun. “It’s the lentils, with 22 grams of fiber, that make you feel full and satisfied,” she adds. Lentils provide loads of fiber and protein. Rice gives the right amount of carbohydrates and energy, and the Lebanese Salata adds a nice mix of fresh veggies and vitamins. VegiTerranean, 21 Furnace St., Suite 402, Akron, (330) 374-5550; Taza, 28601 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 920, Woodmere, (216) 464-4000

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