No Meat, No Problem

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 12:37

If you think giving up meat to become either vegan or vegetarian will destroy your chances of eating out —think again.

Lunch at Eagle River Ale House. I’ll have to admit I was a bit skeptical. So I asked about vegetarian before we even went in. The hostess didn’t promise much, but thought they could do veggie burgers. So we take the plunge and look at the menu. There’s quite a list of seven vegetarian pizzas — while none are vegan, one could order any without the cheese.

It is definitely a bar atmosphere. I’m not sure I’d want to bring kids, but some do.

Our waitress also explains that any burger can be ordered as a veggie burger, but there are no whole grain buns. Whole grain bread for sandwiches? None. They may have been out, because I do notice wheat bread on the breakfast menu. Pasta dishes can be done without the chicken.

There are starters: Nachos supreme (just ask them to leave out the chorizo) and Red Pepper Hummus — for vegan just drop the feta. The special is tomato soup with a salad.

There is also a veggie calzone and — surprise, surprise — a crust with whole grain! I’m excited! We order it with a $5 side salad.

While waiting, I ask for the website and a breakfast menu. Breakfast is served daily, including weekends. The menu is nothing if not honest: Carnivore Benedict, Heart Attack, Alehouse Bomb, along with a legally-required disclaimer at the bottom: “Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, shellfish or eggs may increase your risk of food born illness.” OK duly warned! At the top there’s Heart Healthy Benedict.

The calzone crust is a bit of a disappointment. Apparently “with whole grain” means a white crust with literal whole grains sprinkled on the top. But the filling is delicious — crunchy veggies with just a hint of cheese.

Plenty of healthy options are at this restaurant — and room for improvement? Whole grains of course!


Try making this healthy bread at home:

One Loaf Whole Grain Bread

1 1/8 cup really warm water

¼ cup gluten flour

3/4 cup white flour

2 cups wholewheat flour

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

3 T. honey

½ t. salt

1½ t. dry yeast


Follow the instructions for your bread maker, or for making bread by hand. Knead it a little longer than for white bread. Options: add a tablespoon of your favorite dried herb, cinnamon, or ½ cup sunflower seeds.

I buy hard wheat and grind my own flour for the freshest, whole grain taste. If you don’t have a mill or a Vitamix you can purchase yours. Be sure it’s hard wheat (soft is for cakes and cookies and the like). Even using hard wheat, which is high gluten, I still add gluten flour.

Delise Renideo who has held several vegan classes in Eagle River is now doing online videos on vegan, no added fat food preparation. Check out this website:


Ruth deGraaff lives in Eagle River.

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