Rooted: Eat More Plants – It’ll Add Healthy Foods to Your New Year – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News
The “foolproof” bowl is adorned with a creamy lime and cilantro vinaigrette at Medford’s Rooted: Eat More Plants. Photos of Sarah Lemon
The “pina colada” bowl base is mixed with coconut milk at Medford’s Rooted: Eat More Plants. Photos of Sarah Lemon
Medford’s Rooted: Eat More Plants “Summer Cider” salad incorporates roasted chickpeas. Photos of Sarah Lemon
Fresh juices, such as “Beetlejuice,” are sold in 12-ounce bottles at Rooted: Eat More Plants in Medford. Photos of Sarah Lemon
Candied jalapeños are a feature of Medford’s Rooted: Eat More Plants “foolproof” bowl. Photos of Sarah Lemon
If eating more plant-based foods is a New Year’s resolution, it’s worth hanging out with Rooted.
Subtitled “Eat More Plants,” the fast-casual South Medford concept has seen strong growth since its debut in September. An online platform for pick-up orders or delivery through DoorDash makes it even easier for customers to add healthy salads, wraps, paninis and cereal bowls to their daily diets.
Whole foods define Rooted’s menu, which bases recipes around black beans and chickpeas, brown rice and quinoa, nuts and seeds, and a veritable cornucopia of fresh produce. For meat alternatives, there are old-fashioned mushrooms and tofu, as well as trendier jackfruit. Free-range eggs are even available for breakfast burritos.
Plant-based processed meat alternatives are particularly absent, and have recently received some negative attention for containing ingredients that are not, strictly speaking, healthy. Gravitating towards staple foods, if not necessarily vegan, I found something to pique my interest at Rooted.
Nuts and Blueberries with Quinoa and Baby Kale ($12.99) stood out from other salads on the menu. But I wondered about the freshness of blueberries during the cold season. The roasted chickpeas that made up the “summer cider” salad ($12.99) made for a good serving of protein alongside the pumpkin seeds. Other salads include the “green glow,” so named for its baby spinach and pea shoots, and the “sweet and spicy,” boasting candied jalapeno with portobello mushrooms and pear.
Thirsty and craving a ginger dip, I picked the “Beetlejuice” ($8) from Rooted’s line of freshly squeezed organic drinks. If the time had been earlier, I would have opted for the “Citrus Sunrise”, made with grapefruit, blood orange and carrot juice. Each is packaged in a 12-ounce bottle, presented in a self-serve cooler.
Also spiced with ginger, a 2-ounce ($4) “flu shot” promotes well-being with its dose of garlic oil and oregano. An “immunity kick” boost pineapple juice with turmeric, cayenne pepper and black pepper.
My salad came out generously topped with chickpeas and half an avocado.
Upon first tasting the salad with no dressing, I found the seasoning of the legumes so satisfying that I almost didn’t want the apple cider dressing, especially once I tossed in some of the rich avocado . Cucumber wedges complemented the crunch of the romaine lettuce, which made up most of the mixed greens, although I did find a few spinach leaves in the bowl.
The beet juice, enhanced with carrot, celery and lemon was slightly sweet and not too earthy. More than I needed in one session, I took the rest to drive home with the resolve not to spill a drop of the intensely pigmented liquid along the way.
A return visit later in the week with my partner arrived early enough to sample ‘citrus sunrise’, as well as some of Rooted’s breakfast dishes. I assumed my partner would gravitate to a breakfast burrito, which has four types on Rooted’s menu. Priced from $9.99 to $11.49, all offer scrambled tofu, though two scrambled eggs can be replaced with an additional $2.
But my partner surprised me with his choice of the “pina colada” smoothie bowl, the only one of Rooted’s four made with coconut milk. Almond milk is the base of Rooted’s namesake bowl with acai, as well as “berry-cherry” and “peanut butter-banana” bowls. Adding 18 grams of plant-based protein powder adds $3 to the $7.99 price of smoothie bowls.
A bowl may be the chosen format for about half of Rooted’s articles. Burrito toppings for breakfast and lunch can lose the tortillas and instead sit in a dish. Conversely, any salad can be prepared in a wrap. For $2.99, add a side salad, fresh fruit, guacamole with fries, or hummus with veggies to all of the above.
Served with your choice of side, panini — $13.49 to $16.49 — bookend portobello mushrooms, chickpeas, pulled jackfruit and nut butters. The Provolone and Gouda cheeses are dairy-free, and the mayonnaise and pesto are vegan.
Customers with even stricter dietary needs or more specific tastes can mix and match nearly 60 ingredients to create their own burrito, wrap, salad or bowl, for $9.99 per pound. Those who like variety can get half a panini and a side dish of hummus and veggies, plus fresh seasonal fruit for $11.99.
The fruit spilled quite a bit on the rim of my partner’s smoothie bowl, which also contained shredded coconut and gluten-free granola. The sliced banana and blood orange overshadowed the flavor of the strawberries, which no doubt would shine brightly in the summer when the oranges waned.
Sweet and spicy, candied jalapenos were the star of my “foolproof” bowl ($11.99). With the substitution of scrambled tofu for jackfruit, the bowl mimicked the flavors of a breakfast burrito with black beans, guacamole, salsa and a creamy lime and cilantro dressing that adorned the rim of the bowl. plate in curls and swirls.
An egg lover that I am, I didn’t miss their texture, convincingly achieved by the fluffy scrambled tofu. The mild flavor of bean curd adapts to an even wider range of flavors than that of egg. Next time, I’d forgo the romaine lettuce for breakfast and build my own bowl with spinach, or skip the greens altogether and add cashew queso.
Located at 1325 Center Drive, Suite 108, Rooted: Eat More Plants is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. View the menu and order at rootedmedford.com. Or call 458-225-9861.
20% discounts promote “Wellness Wednesday” at the Medford Food Co-op cafe.
Ordering salads, smoothies and “elixirs of well-being” on Wednesdays brings an added incentive to The Cafe,
945 S. Riverside Ave. The co-op restaurant previously offered 10% off these items, now applied on Wednesdays to the store’s wellness and body care products.
Enhanced with locally made Herb Pharm tinctures, ‘elixirs of well-being’ include black elderberry grog, lavender lemonade, maca mocha, ‘golden milk’ and ‘anti-chill’ hot chocolate, regular price $3-$6 for 16 oz.
See menu at medfordfood.coop/cafe. The Café is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Dial 541-646-3686.
The three-course “local special” is back at Ashland’s Hearsay Restaurant, Lounge & Garden.
Available on Sunday and Monday evenings, the fixed price of $28 per person offers an appetizer, main course and dessert. The latest menu features soup of the day, Caesar and arugula salads, a fish burger and a 6-ounce sirloin steak, both served with fries, and pasta with shrimp and spinach pesto. The desserts are bread pudding with caramel sauce and homemade ice cream or sorbets.
Hearsay’s regular menu prices for entrees range from $16 for the beer-battered cod burger with fries to $38 for the beef tenderloin. The restaurant at 40 S. First St. below the Oregon Cabaret Theater serves New American cuisine and cocktails steeped in 1930s ambiance and music.
Adorned with colorful and abstract murals of a cosmopolitan clientele, the main dining room suggests both an opulent jazz club and a dark speakeasy. In warm weather, Hearsay’s lush walled garden is a hidden oasis above downtown Ashland.
Hours are 5-9pm Thursday-Monday. Hearsay’s Sunday brunch, which resumed last spring, is on hiatus during the restaurant’s staff shortage. Book at hearsayashland.com or call 541-625-0505.
Sunday brunch kicks off this weekend at a new facility in downtown Medford.
Tartine Brunch Club adjusted its hours of operation a month after it opened at 36 S. Central Ave. Initially doing business Tuesday through Saturday, Tartine announced it would extend brunch through Sunday and close Monday and Tuesday. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Serving whimsical cocktails and Mexican specialties alongside favorite French snacks, Claudia Morales and Carlos Torres opened Tartine after operating Medford’s Xilakil Latin Fusion for nearly three years. The couple’s new concept has been so popular that they have announced several early closings after they sold out of their mid-week menu.
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Sarah Lemon has savored the Rogue Valley dining scene for nearly two decades as one of the original contributors to Tempo’s restaurant column. His palate has helped judge some of the region’s food competitions and festivals. A former editor of A la Carte, the weekly food section of the Mail Tribune, she writes a bi-weekly column, The Whole Dish, as well as blogs and podcasts under the same name. Listen at mailtribune.com/podcasts and read more at mailtribune.com/lifestyle/the-whole-dish. Follow @the.whole.dish on Instagram, @thewholedish on Twitter or check out facebook.com/thewholedish.
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