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Scarsdale Residents Bring Good, Clean Eats to Downtown

Scarsdale LeeDarleenThere's a new health food joint in town and two Scarsdale residents are taking charge in the kitchen!

When Organic Pharmer of Rye Ridge opened a second location on Garth Road earlier this year, it gave Chefs Lee and Darleen Gross the chance to work a whole lot closer to home.

While Organic Pharmer's gluten, dairy, soy, corn and egg-free menu items are intended for grab-and-go meals, its soups, salads, snacks, wraps, breakfast options and juice cleanses are also available for delivery in and around Westchester (some restrictions apply, check the website for details.) Better yet, the Organic Pharmer team now offers catering services for small and large parties—with as little as 48 hours notice, an impeccably prepared, fresh whole food meal can be at your door for guests to enjoy!

Excited about the prospect of lighter, flavorful fare in our own backyard, we sat down with the husband-and-wife chef team to learn more about the food they're making and the steps the whole Organic Pharmer team is taking to make Scarsdale that much healthier (and tastier!)KaleCauliflowerCaesar

Q: After culinary school you trained at the Kushi Institute, a macrobiotic education center. Can you explain to our readers what macrobiotic eating is all about?

LG: Macrobiotics, in a nutshell, is a method of changing the world through food. In order to change society, you need to change thought processes, which come from the body, which is fueled by food...Basically, macrobiotics makes you see that you are what you eat, which translates to basic dietary techniques—the principle that you should eat a mostly plant-based diet with lots of whole, natural foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, much like the food we offer at Organic Pharmer.

Q: Organic Pharmer counts Dr. Susan Blum, founder of the Blum Center for Health, as part of its team. How closely do you collaborate with her on menu planning?

LG: Darleen and I work hand-in-hand with Dr. Blum. Our menu is seasonal and changes frequently. As chefs, we generate ideas for new dishes, then coordinate with Susan to make sure that the nutritional profile is in line with the macro nutrient and calorie counts she recommends.

Q: What's your must-have dish at the store?

DG: The Kale and Cauliflower salad is one of the most popular items on our menu. It gets great crunch from our croutons and roasted cauliflower, and lots of creamy, 'cheesy' goodness thanks to aged cashew cheese and an almond flaxseed 'pharmesan' based dressing. So tasty and only 250 calories!

Q: In addition to meals and snacks, Organic Pharmer offers a variety of cleanses. What advice do you give to cleansers trying to select a program?

DG: We have so many customers who cleanse regularly, and will come and do any one of our juice cleanses once a month. But for new cleansers, especially if you're trying to get healthy after over-indulging through the holidays, I'd highly recommend one of our juice and food cleanses. A cleanse that involves food is a bit more familiar to people that are new to cleansing, so they feel less deprived. Especially when it's cold outside, it's nice to have a cleanse option that doesn't just leave you sipping ice cold drinks all day!

Q: Speaking of the holidays, what special offerings do you have for this time of year?

DG: From now through the end of the year, Casserole2we're making a sweet potato casserole that's a great alternative to those calorie-heavy sweet potatoes with marshmallows. With a pecan pumpkin-seed streusel topping, it makes a perfect sweet and savory side dish. We're also making gluten free croutons from our sprouted "sorghum sandwich bread." When you pick them up at the store, we even give you the recipe for a wild rice and sorghum stuffing that uses the croutons as a base!

Q: Before we let you go, we have to ask: how does it feel to be living and working in Scarsdale?

LG: I actually grew up around here, so it's great to be near family. The schools are wonderful and we're really enjoying the close-knit community. It's also kind of neat to be back on Garth road by the 7-11 where I used to hang out—it's like old times! But, in all seriousness, it's just nice to feel like we're helping bring vibrancy, fun and new life to Scarsdale's downtown.

Organic Pharmer Scarsdale is located at 28 Garth Road, open Monday-Friday, 7am - 6pm,Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 8am - 5pm. For more information call 914-574-5590 or visit http://www.organicpharmer.com.
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