Veggie Girl: MAD Greens

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Sometimes all the veggie chile burritos, sesame tofu and lasagna in the world cannot entice me because all I really want is a nice, big healthy salad. Crisp spinach, fresh tomatoes, roasted beets and some fresh mozzarella and I'm happy -- satisfying my body's craving for something that might actually be good for me.


In winter, my salad craving is often over-ridden by my soup craving, but after the huge feast on Thanksgiving day, I want a little simple nourishment. My family's traditional vegetarian Thanksgiving includes all the regular sides -- garlic mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, corn bread stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie -- alongside vegetarian tamales. Sometimes we order up a couple dozen of the green chile and cheese ones from La Casita, or if my vegan mother-in-law is coming we'll make our own, filling the masa with calabacitas, mushrooms, chile, whatever. Yum! -- Aubrey Shoe


But once my body has pulled itself out of the food coma, salad starts sounding mighty nice, and my favorite place for salads these days is MAD Greens. I often walk to the DenverArt Museum location at 1200 Acoma for a Crazy Ivan -- baby greens, roasted beets, pumpkin seeds, croutons and goat cheese -- or an Edgar Allen Poe -- baby greens, apples, pears, walnuts and blue cheese crumbles. They are generous with the toppings and a small sized MAD designed salad, usually priced between $4.95 and $5.25, is always plenty for a meal. They have over 50 toppings that you can use to build a custome salad, including grilled Portobello mushrooms and tofu, and they also have over 20 dressings, although the recommended dressing for the pre-designed salads is usually excellent. One bit of advice -- either get the dressing on the side or ask for a light amount. I asked for light to medium on the salad above, and it was so drenched it was nearly inedible. Like I said, they are generous with everything over there.


MAD Greens at the DenverArt Museum is open from to on Friday. For more information, visit www.madgreens.com.


-- Aubrey Shoe

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