Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lunch at Whole Foods

One of my favorite places to go for lunch on Saturday is Whole Foods in Alexandria (1700 Duke Street). First of all, I could spend hours wandering the aisles at Whole Foods, looking at all of the beautiful items. There is so much for the celiac to eat at Whole Foods and they even make their own line of gluten free foods which can be found in the freezer section. The apple and pumpkin pies actually taste like real pie!

While I could write all day about the incredible gluten free products, the part of Whole Foods that I love the most is their prepared food section. Oftentimes when friends suggest a lunch date, I choose Whole Foods. The store even has a large area to sit at the store or you can take it to go. Today I went with my friends Meredith and Ellie and we each had yummy and very different meals.

I love the salad bar at Whole Foods for many reasons. Their ingredients are always fresh and everything actually looks good...not like it's been sitting there all day! Also, they list every ingredient in every item on the salad bar.

A word of warning though: Celiacs should always be careful about any kind of buffet/salad bar because of the potential for cross contamination. One of the things I check out first is where the items are located in the salad bar. For example, if there's chicken next to a cold cous cous salad, I will avoid that chicken as well because of its close proximity to the cous cous as it's likely people have dropped cous cous into the chicken. While sometimes I'm disappointed that there are things I can't have, there are so many options that I always have plenty of healthy and yummy items in my salad.

Today in my salad I had a variety of goodness on top of my greens. I had the usual carrots, corn, and grilled chicken, but I also topped my salad with snap peas, a quinoa & chickpea salad, grilled veggies and a cold red bean and rice salad. I also purchased the new Mary's Gone Crakers 'Twigs and Sticks' that I substituted for croutons so as to add a little saltiness to the salad. I usually go with the balsalmic vinagarette dressing, but as I said before all of the ingredients are listed for every item, included salad dressings, so there are many options! Enjoy!

Whole Foods
1700 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

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