Dish & Drink KC: The vegetable edition

Two customers stand at the desert counter at Billie's Grocery

Two patrons observe a dessert display case inside Billie’s Grocery, a restaurant with plenty of vegetable-packed entrees and several desserts to choose from. // Photo by Anna Petrow

Another year come and gone, and most of us are saying good riddance. 2021 rivaled the mess of 2020, making a new year and a clean slate all the more welcome.

If you’re like me, sometimes you find it difficult to feel grounded when everything is so out of control. But I do find that one thing always helps: a nourishing meal full of vegetables. Yes, mom, I admit it—you were right this whole time. Vegetables are good for you, have plenty of vitamins, and add a bit of color to your life.

Options abound in the Kansas City metro for those who might have a New Year’s resolution revolving around eating more produce. Here are some highlights from three local spots. And yes, there’s more than salads.

Billie’s Grocery

This Midtown eatery has plenty of nutrient-rich items on the menu no matter the time of day. As a bonus, they have plenty of gluten-free desserts to sample after you’ve met your quota of greens.

Early risers and those with an afternoon wakeup call can both enjoy the breakfast and brunch menu, served from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Offerings include the Beet Hummus Avocado Toast served with wild greens and the “Green Shakshuka.” Those familiar with this tomatoey entrée complete with poached eggs will find this variation made with sweet peas, sugar snap peas, kale, onion, basil, dill, mint, garlic, green tahini, preserved lemons, and avocado, complete with a slice of sourdough bread.

My go-to on their brunch menu is the Billie’s Bowl, served hot and full of carbs, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables. The bowl features toasted sourdough with two creamed eggs, mushrooms, bacon, onion, garlic, kale, brown rice, quinoa, avocado, and sriracha sea salt.

If you’d rather go for lunch, they have plenty of protein and produce-packed bowls on the menu. Their Green Protein Bowl is made of pretty much every green thing on the planet including baby kale, hempseed, fennel, arugula, rosemary, zucchini, mint, basil, green onion, green tahini, and sweet sesame dressing. Pick a protein to up the satiety.

They also have a Sauteed Caesar, an interesting twist on perhaps the most agreeable salad out there. It’s prepared with baby kale, grilled romaine, preserved lemon, goji berry, raw cashew Caesar dressing, crispy chickpeas, and Brazil nut “parm.”

There are plenty of other veggie-packed sandwiches and bowls to be devoured, so put this place on your list if you’re looking to get those greens in.

Billie’s Grocery is located at 3216 Gillham Plaza, Suite 100, Kansas City, Missouri 64109. They’re open from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The Island Hopping Bowl, one of canihaveabite’s many offerings on their rotating menu. // Photo by Amelia Moher.

canihaveabite

Tucked away in the Crossroads you will find canihaveabite, an organic carryout-focused restaurant championing the health of humans and of the earth. The menu, which rotates weekly, has plenty of veggie-packed options for now and later. The dishes put a spotlight on local farmers, organic ingredients, and simple but flavorful real food.

They do have an “eat now” menu that can be enjoyed on the patio or at limited inside tables, but the meals are also available to go.

Options include the harvest bowl, a nutrient-dense dish designed for colder weather, featuring a mix of brown rice and herbed lentils and topped with sage roasted butternut squash, apple wedges, garlic broccoli, sauerkraut (all hail fermented foods), and a house-made mustard tahini sauce.

On the side of this bowl is a salad with leafy greens, sunflower sprouts, cucumbers, cherry roasted beets, hemp seeds, and a balsamic vinaigrette.

One of the best parts about their dine-in menu is indulging in a pack of energy bites after. Each recipe varies, but the sweets come in both cacao and mint matcha flavors. If you like chocolate, get the cacao ones. I dream about them.

The “eat at home menu” features vegan and omnivore entrees such as a vegan lasagna with seasonal ingredients likw roasted tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, and more, as well as a bratwurst and apple compote with mashed potatoes, carrots, sprouts, and green beans.

The eat-at-home dishes are made to be popped in the fridge or freezer and ready to heat when you need it. For those who are on the go but don’t want their resolution to putter out due to a busy lifestyle, this is the place for you.

canihaveabite is located at 1708 Oak St., Kansas City, MO, 64108. The eatery is open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 12-4 p.m. on Saturday It’s closed Sunday-Tuesday.

Unforked’s “Hail The Kale Salad” with house made dressing and ribbons of kale. // Photo by Shanley Cox

Unforked

With two locations, one in Crown Center and one in Overland Park, Unforked serves up plenty of better-for-you options—and not just salads.

The taco lineup is extensive, with 12 varieties on the menu. One of the more vegetable-heavy options is the Ma-La Bello with Sichuan blistered portobello mushrooms, baby arugula, sweet pickled red onions, kale pesto, and queso fresco.

They also have several quesadillas available including the veggie, with blistered onions and poblanos, queso fresco, and seasonal tomato pico.

Although they do a lot more than salads, their salads are also pretty nutritionally stacked. The “Hail The Kale” salad complete with house-made dressing features ribbons of kale tossed with parmesan cheese and lemon and olive oil dressing, all topped with toasted panko bread crumbs.

The Harvest Crunch Salad is another option, featuring green leaf lettuce, spiralized kohlrabi, shaved red cabbage, chopped dates, feta cheese crumbles, and tossed with a honey Dijon dressing.

There’s also plenty of sandwiches full of produce to choose from, including the Thai Dye burger with grilled mushrooms and Thai chili roasted brussels sprouts, and sweet potato wedges, fresh fruit, and cauliflower rice available on the side.

Juices and smoothies to wash it all down are also available, and they even have a hefty amount of shakes for those with a sweet tooth. You’ve got to balance out all those vegetables with some ice cream, right?

Unforked has two locations, one at 7337 West 119th Street, Overland Park, KS 66213, and the other at 2450 Grand Blvd. #113, Kansas City, MO 64108. The Grand location is open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 12-5 p.m. The Overland Park location is open Monday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Categories: Food & Drink