Here are several (mostly) plant-based dishes for when you're feeling like eating a little lighter.
There’s a soaring rise of vegan and vegetarian menu items at local markets and restaurants.
As people become more environmentally aware and conscious about what they consume, both vegan and vegetarian diets continue to grow into a more mainstream way of eating.
Below are several delicious mostly plant-based dishes to keep cool and fresh this summer.
Mezze Platter at Agustin Kitchen
100 S. Avenida del Convento
Agustin’s mezze platter is a smorgasbord of savory caramelized onion, broccoli falafel, a sharp beet pickled egg, baby cauliflower, cucumber, an assortment of olives, and thin house flatbread. The sheep’s milk feta (which you’ll obviously need to skip along with the egg, if you’re vegan) has a smooth texture and a clean, milky taste. Also included in the shareable plate is tzatziki, hummus and a red pepper and walnut dip called muhammara.
For more information, visit agustinkitchen.com.
Roasted Veggie Platter at Alibaba
2545 E. Speedway Blvd.
Rich green and gold embroidered tablecloths offer a pleasant ambience at this middle eastern restaurant. Once seated, you’re served warm pita with cucumber, onion, tomato, and fresh parsley.
Alibaba’s roasted veggie platter features Chinese eggplant covered in a nutty Tahini sauce that adds a sharp contrast to the sweet, almost caramelized eggplant. The tender cauliflower is elevated with a dollop or two of fresh hummus.
For more information, visit mediterraneantucson.com.
Seasonal Vegetables at Anello
222 E. Sixth St.
The seasonal vegetables are a staple at Anello and a Meatless Monday fave. While the veggie options change daily, they rotate between a few staples like grilled radishes, Delicata squash, and butter stewed carrots and turnips.
Get them with a pizza — the sourdough crust is exceptional.
For more information, visit anello.space/about.
Fried Broccoli at La Cocina
201 N. Court Ave.
The flash fried broccoli falls apart in your mouth. It’s tender inside and crispy outside. Drizzle the honey sriracha sauce all over the broccoli because the sweet, but balanced sauce adds to the rich, earthy taste of this cruciferous vegetable. The house queso is also a nice addition.
For more information, visit lacocinatucson.com.
Grilled Artichoke at North Italia
2995 E. Skyline Dr.
North’s vegetable appetizer features three artichoke halves – blanched and then grilled. The artichokes are drizzled with truffle oil, sprinkled with sea salt, and a touch of grana padano cheese finishes off the dish. Not too sure about artichokes? The pulp of the leaves is buttery and sweet, pairing perfectly with the aioli dipping sauce.
For more information, visit northitaliarestaurant.com.
Crispy Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts at The Tasteful Kitchen
722 N Stone Ave
The Crispy Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts appetizer at the Tasteful Kitchen is a Meatless Monday top pick. The Brussels are roasted and the potatoes are baked before they’re flash-fried together. This dish is served with fried onions and a creamy herb and horseradish aioli.
To secure yourself a spot at The Tasteful Kitchen, call to make a reservation (especially on a Friday or Saturday night).
For more information, visit thetastefulkitchen.com.
Charred & Grilled Asparagus at Tito & Pep
4122 East Speedway Blvd
The mole blanco stars in Tito & Pep’s Charred & Grilled Asparagus dish. White mole sauce is traditionally served with lighter dishes, such as fish. The mole has a mild, floral taste from a rich combination of ingredients, such as peeled and blanched almonds, habanero, onion, and garlic. The sauce brings out the smokiness of the asparagus, while additional toasted almonds adds texture. The vegetable plate is topped with a toasted masa crisp to bring the dish together.
For more information, visit titoandpep.com.
Vegetable Board at Union Public House
4340 N. Campbell Ave.
The Vegetable Board at Union features a smattering of veggies including roasted cauliflower, grilled fennel, savory red pepper, heirloom carrots, tomato, broccolini, potato, and onion. The lightly grilled broccolini is coated with a brush of butter, salt, and pepper, allowing the naturally sweet flavors to come through. The colorful plate is served with a creamy pepper aioli that complements the cauliflower and onion.
For more information, visit uniontucson.com.
Meatless Monday is a weekly feature that highlights one or more meat-free dishes in and around Tucson every Monday. Have a dish we should know about? Let us know in the comments.