Kale yeah! Salads are no longer the side piece. As consumers become more ingredient conscious, chefs and restaurateurs across the globe are being pushed to think beyond traditional proteins, and experiment with ethnic flavors and greens-based dishes to accommodate varying palates. Caesar salad, move over and make room for quinoa and farro bowls topped with spicy broccoli, roasted chickpeas and basil.

This month happens to be National Salad Month, and thankfully, here in Florida, we’ve got an abundance of fresh greens and vegetables to mix and match to whip up amazing creations. We’ll start with three places in town to get your salad fix.

Forks up. . . let’s eat our way to summer.

1. The Sanctum Cafe


Dish: Savage Salad – Organic greens, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, eggplant and corn – all roasted and tossed with bell peppers, sweet onions, carrot ribbons, celery, jicama, zucchini, peas and pepitas. Served with rosemary dressing.

Local Fare: Corn from Long & Scott Farms (Zellwood, Fla.), Deer Park Peaches (Saint Cloud, Fla.) and salad greens and microgreens from The Greenhouse (Apopka, Fla.).

Favorite Salad Ingredient: “Roasted cauliflower is one my favorite toppings!” – Chef-Owner Chelsea Savage

2. The COOP


The Skinny: The new salad bar costs $9.99 per person and includes an endless amount of offerings, such as locally-sourced greens and vegetables, proteins and house made dressings.

Local Fare: The COOP is trekking around the state and shopping with Alderman Farms (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and L&M Farms (Palatka, Fla.).

Favorite Salad Ingredients: “I like the grilled vegetables and the specialty salads that rotate daily at the end of the bar. One of my favorites is a Hoppin’ John Succotash that Whitney makes and a few more are grilled asparagus, roasted tomatoes and feta cheese.” – Chef-Owner John Rivers

3. Dixie Kharma
Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

Dish: Hail Kale Salad – Garlicky kale, blackened corn, pickled beets and watermelon rind and smoked tempeh

Local Fare: In this salad, Dixie Kharma’s uses Florida-grown corn and watermelon. When available, they toss in baby kale grown in their pallet garden located in front of Market on South.

Favorite Salad Ingredients: “We love to mix it up. Local ingredients are our first choice. Everything from peppery greens and herbs are a must. Pickled veggies, fruits and roots, heirloom beans and grains are also great.” – Dixie Kharma crew

Greens Guide  

Here’s a handful of local shops to visit to stock up on greens, grains and vegetables. This list is in no way inclusive of our local offerings in Central Florida, so comment with your local go-to store! 

What To Buy Right Now

Bell Pepper | Blueberry | Cabbage | Cantaloupe | Carrot | Celery | Cucumber | Eggplant Grapefruit | Guava | Mango | Mushroom | Orange | Papaya | Peaches | Radish | Sweet Corn | Tangerine | Tomato | Watermelon

Seasonal Recipe – Taverna Opa Orlando’s Watermelon Feta Salad Pizza
Taverna Opa Salad


  • 1 Watermelon slice
  • 1 Oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 5 Mint leaves
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Balsamic glaze


  • On a cutting board, slice the watermelon in half
  • Place the flat side down, and cut a one-inch thick slice, then cut into five slices
  • Plate on a round dish and add feta cheese, olives, mint leaves and drizzle with balsamic glaze

Snack on,

Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major!


Park Ave is hands down the highest visited spot in Winter Park. However, there are still many hidden treasures to be found around this hotspot.

One day, I decided to explore Winter Park to see what more it had to offer. After ending up on Pennsylvania Avenue, I checked out a few of the local shops; a few being Riffle Paper Company and Pure Blends Apothecary and Spa. After a short lived shopping spree, I ran through the rain and ended up at Fresh Cafe.

Before you continue reading, please note I had absolutely no intention of coming here. However, the combination of rain and post-shopping fatigue brought on some serious soup cravings.  Upon entering, an EXTREMELY friendly staff welcomed me into the dim lit restaurant – the main source of light being the melancholy sun through the wide window.


I sat down at a small wooden table and took in the surroundings. Beautiful wood tables. Posh designs. Calming atmosphere. The ambiance is indescribable and that’s a good thing because it’s one of the best places in Winter Park to go on a date. Fresh is known for its ethics. They are globally inspired yet locally sourced. Meaning, they use locally sourced organic ingredients.

The server tried his hardest to get my full attention but my eyes kept scanning the restaurant. Every detail. All the plants. He got really close to me until it was obvious that I couldn’t ignore him for much longer and asked me what I’d like to drink. My typical response is “Water,” and I said just that.

The waiter smiled and said “We have different infused waters,” pointing to various containers behind the counter. My eyes were instantly fixated on herbs floating in giant containers of water. I can’t remember all of the combinations, but I ended up choosing Rosemary instead of my second choice, Lavender.

My mood instantly changed for the better after taking a sip of the Rosemary infused water; it was fresh, earthy, and breathtaking. Every sip felt like a new breath of fresh air. A new server approached me and asked me how the water was.

I smiled and said “Yes..please” assuming he was inquiring if I wanted more. By this point, my mind was gone. I wasn’t listening to anyone. I felt like I was in a whole new world. It sounds cheesy but it’s true. The combination of the ambiance with the rosemary water was extremely euphoric.

Infused Rosemary Water 

After getting my own bottle of Rosemary water, I looked over the menu and asked the server what he recommended. He pointed out the Tikka Masala Chickpea Soup, which sounded absolutely amazing since I’m from India and have felt homesick lately. The soup was very interesting – almost like a cross between curry and a creamy bisque. The texture was smooth and slightly thick. I asked the server how it was made. He said “We slow cook the chickpeas with the spices, puree it, and it continues to slow cook for hours.” The soup had notes of cardamom, cumin, tomato, coconut, and garlic. Overall, I’d give it an eight out of ten stars. The soup is delicious but it could use more spice. Maybe roasted red peppers or habanero?

Tikka Chickpea Soup

For my entree, I tried the Mrs. Saigon Salad, which had julienne Cabbage, Daikon, Cucumbers, Carrots, Scallions, Peanuts, Cilantro, mint, basil sesame-ginger dressing on a bed of black rice. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the combination but I wasn’t disappointed with it either. The cold rice felt undercooked and the sauce was zesty its best but ended up being boring. The vegetables were fresh and crisp but the ginger dressing took away the original flavor.

Mrs. Saigon Salad

For dessert, I opted for the Bananas and Chocolate Bread Pudding, which was served with homemade whipped cream. Bread Pudding is not one of my favorite desserts. However, the combination of deep chocolate and creamy banana works well together. The dish is served warm and pairs beautifully with the cooly creaminess of the whipped cream. At first, I found the texture to be awkward until I felt a crunch. There were walnuts! Yum! The combination of rich flavors, creaminess, and crunchy texture set the bar for future bread puddings. Overall, I give the bread pudding a nine out of ten. My only issue with it was the flavor. A hint of cinnamon or peppermint would take the dish to a whole new level!

Bananas and Chocolate Bread Pudding 

Fresh Cafe is an amazing restaurant. The customer service is superb and the cuisine is absolutely delicious. If I had to give it a rating, I’d give it a nine out of ten.

Fresh Café on Urbanspoon

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For the entire month of October, Evo Terra, a digital marketing man from Tempe, Arizona ate only beer and sausages — and lost weight and dropped his cholesterol by 30 percent.

Inspired by Oktoberfest, Evo Terra started his first “brew diet” two years ago, consisting of craft beer and sausages, and lost 14 pounds.


Terra developed the weight-loss diet under the medical supervision of his doctor and friend Terry Simpson. Terra’s diet restricts his caloric intake to about 1,500 calories a day, which amounts to about two sausages (of standard bratwurst size) and five beers each day.

Terra explains to Fox News (see video below) that a man of his size burns about 2,100 calories daily, so the deficit of about 600 calories means his body “sheds away the fat.”

He tells Fox News that his catchphrase for the diet is “low-grade hunger, low-grade buzz.”

In reference to Terra’s weight loss, Simpson explains that “most of it was body fat.” Simpson monitors Terra’s progress and says he would “shut down” the diet if anything proved harmful.

Terra admits to Men’s Health that the diet lacks the nutrients necessary for long-term health. He takes multivitamins to supplement his unusual diet.

Tasty Chomps: What was your daily diet like (how many sausages and beers typically?)

Evo Terra: My daily diet was, on a typical day, two average size sausages (think a normal bratwurst) and 5-6 craft beers, spread out over the day. Breakfast of a beer at 10:00 a.m., lunch of a beer and a sausage at noon, mid-day snack beer at 3:00, dinner beer and another sausage about 6:00, and then nightcap around 8:00.

TC: What was your daily exercise routine like?
ET: I don’t go to the gym or run, if that’s what you mean. I do ride a bike to and from work, but it’s a folding bike by Strida, and by no means a road bike for exercise. It’s how I get around, and I didn’t ride it any more or any less on the diet. So really, no change in my exercise routine.

Dr. Terry Simpson -
Dr. Terry Simpson –

TC: What did you hope to demonstrate through this diet?

Dr: Terry Simpson: This is not a diet that is for the masses – this is an experiment where we showed (although we didn’t know what we were going to show)

(a) Calorie is still a calorie
(b) Vegans and Paleo are wrong
(c) Science is still best – by doing an experiment and seeing the result
(d) Statistics from large population studies are full of errors and when cleaned up science beats statistics

There is a lot we don’t know about nutrition – and this was one of a few experiments we did under very controlled conditions with a willing subject who underwent a lot of examinations and blood work.
See for some more results and information about the diet

TC: What do you say to those who say that eating “processed meats raised the risk higher, to about a 20 percent increased risk of death from diseases including cancer and heart disease.”?

Dr: Terry Simpson: The issues with processed meats was done based on a large population study using statistics. The issue with the study is this: it relied on people filling out a food form on a yearly basis making a guess– in our experiment we knew exactly what he ate, to the gram, as well as the effect. You cannot make broad statements when you have faulty input. Second, when you look at the Relative Risk in those studies that 20 per cent is small, you have to change from a RR of 1.3 to 1.5 – which is still not a significant risk (RR of smoking and lung cancer is 20, RR that we consider worthwhile is 3)

TC: How did the blood work results turn out?
Dr: Terry Simpson: Cholesterol, C-reactive protein, lipids, triglycerides all decreased. Fat mass decreased. No change in liver profile. Every year he did the diet he maintained some of his weight loss- that is, he gained some weight back but by no means did he gain all of it back – thus, every year he was in better shape than the year before he started the diet.

TC: Did you feel any side effects from eating sausage and beer every day (a la Super Size Me documentary?)

ET: The only ill effects noted were a low-grade hunger and a low-grade buzz all day long. I never, ever, get behind the wheel for the entire month. Not because I’m intoxicated all the time, but because it’s irresponsible and a risk I simply won’t take. And other than a general crankiness that really hit by day six, my mood was fine, too. I’m still happily married, and I didn’t get fired.

TC: How much have you lost so far through this diet and did you gain the weight back after wards?

ET: I lost 14 lbs the first time I did it, 18 lbs the second, and am down about 12 as of this morning. I’d like to see 175 by Friday morning! And as Terry said, I put some weight back on over the 11 months because I don’t keep the diet going. I try and keep my portions under control, but I’m usually back to eating too much in a matter of months. Maybe I’ll do better this time?


TC: What were your favorite sausages and beers during the month?

ET: Terry kicked things off for me with reindeer sausage. I’d have to say that was the standout of the month.
As for beers, that’s hard to say. I focused on drinking as many “unique” beers — a beer I’d never had before — during the diet. I managed to rack up over 100. There were certainly some I didn’t like and a few I raved about. The book (which should be out any time now) details all the beers I had, with the occasional tasting note when it made sense in the context of the day.

They will be releasing The Beer Diet (A Brew Story) book soon –

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