Roots & Freens: Gourmet, Organic Food Delivered To Your Doorstep

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Photos by Carla Torres
At Roots & Freens, organic all the way is the motto. Chef and copartner Carlos Torres has a resumé that spans a decade in the kitchens of top toques Douglas Rodriguez, Michelle Bernstein, and Michael Mina.

Now he's bringing healthful and gourmet cuisine and cold-pressed juices right to your door, at least until he opens his storefront at the Lab in Wynwood in two months.

See also: Taperia Raca Opens Friday: Giorgio Rapicavoli Tells Us What to Expect

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Choices Café on the Upper Eastside: Try the Vegan Collard Wrap

Categories: Health Food

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Codik
Get your green on.
It looks too good to be healthful. The "mental lentil" collard wrap ($16) at Choices Café is crammed with black beans, lentils, onion, pico de gallo, bell pepper, avocado, plantain, and vegan cheese. Collard greens replace the wheat tortilla. The wrap is vibrant, its colorful filling stacked like sand art in a bottle.

See also: Ginnybakes, Superfood, Pale-o-la, Good Future, and Bad Ass: Top Five Miami-Made Packaged Snacks

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Konata's Restaurant Serves Inexpensive, Delicious Vegan Food

Categories: Health Food

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Jonathan Peltz
With tasty fare made from handpicked, fresh ingredients, the chef-owned Konata's in North Miami has been sating locals for more than four years. Mr. Konata makes his Jamaican heritage apparent with the décor and cuisine. It is a spare but quirky shack filled with colorful photos of Rastafarian leaders such as Marcus Garvey and Haile Selassie, as well as the Jamaican flag. There is also a framed letter from Gov. Rick Scott expressing praise for Mr. Konata's service to the community. Konata has clearly made this seeming hole-in-the-wall a labor of love.

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Your Produce Is Full of Pesticides, and Washing Won't Help (Updated)

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Zachary Fagenson
It's no secret that fruits and vegetables are the health Holy Grail. As author and professor Michael Pollan so succinctly said: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." But it's not quite as simple as chowing down on anything you find in the produce aisle, because lots of it is covered in poison.

In tests done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), pesticide residue has been found on 67 percent of food samples. Did we mention that's after they've been washed and/or peeled? Gross.

That's the bad news. The good news is, some fruits and veggies are cleaner than others. The EWG offers an annual list of recommendations that includes the "Dirty Dozen" and the "Clean Fifteen." The list categorizes which conventional produce is safest to eat and which to avoid. Check out what the EWG had to say after the jump.

See also: Florida Citrus Grower That Killed Millions of Bees With Pesticide Gets $1,500 Fine

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Screw Monsanto, Grow Your Own Veggies on the Patio With Earthbox

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Courtesy of Earthbox
Hard as we try, it's tough to avoid Big Ag. Even if we stick to whole foods (the actual eats, not the store), most of the produce aisle is GMO-ridden. And living in this densely populated paradise, it's unlikely most of us have access to garden plots.

Enter Earthbox, the most genius invention for anyone looking to eat clean. This handy-dandy DIY garden box is designed to let you grow your own stuff anytime, anywhere. And it's basically foolproof.

See also: Enough With the Pork, Miami: Here's a Case for Vegetables

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Rip Esselstyn in the Gables Tomorrow: "If You're a Real Man with Big Cojones, You're Going to Eat a Plant-Strong Diet"

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Wikipedia
For anyone who thinks veganism is for pansies, Rip Esselstyn is the manly man you need to meet.

This former professional athlete and Austin firefighter got his fire station hooked on plant-based eats several years back in order to help a fellow ladderman's health. Known as the Engine 2 Diet (after their firehouse), his plan has revolutionized eating for lots of folks who might have otherwise overlooked an herbivorous lifestyle.

More recently he's penned another book, My Beef With Meat, and you have a chance to meet the dude behind the food at Whole Foods Coral Gables tomorrow, February 18.

See also: Top Five Vegan Cheeses

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Mariana Cortez of Bunnie Cakes Talks Cupcake Wars, Vegan Baking, and Valentine's Day

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Courtesy Bunnie Cakes
Vegan treats at Bunnie Cakes
Mariana Cortez started baking vegan sweets back in 2009 as a way to fulfill her son's dietary restrictions. At the time, she never imagined she'd be the first person to open a vegan bakery in Miami.

Now, Bunnie Cakes is celebrating its one year anniversary -- just a few days shy of Valentine's Day. What better way to say "I love you" than with mini vegan cupcakes topped with edible hearts?

This Sunday, Cortez is offering prizes, mini cakes, and other wonderful activities. We recently spoke to Cortez, who was featured on Food Network's Cupcake Wars, about her appearance on the show, her bakery, and what guests can expect at her anniversary celebration.

See also: Bunnie Cakes: Gluten-Free, Vegan Love Cakes by Family Gal Mariana Cortez

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The Honey Tree: Amazing Vegan Comfort Food on the Upper Eastside

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Alexandra Rincon
The Honey Tree's comforting vegan fare.
If you happen to drive by the Honey Tree around lunch time on a weekday, you might ask yourself why a ton of people -- including men and women in business attire -- are coming in and out of a health food store. Well, here's your answer: Despite the humble sign, the Honey Tree serves one of the most delicious vegan (minus the occasional use of feta cheese) lunches in town.

Though it's nearly 20 years old, the Honey Tree is your typical blink-and-you-miss-it spot, and we would hate for vegans, vegetarians, and yes -- even meat lovers -- to be kept in the dark about this Upper Eastside gem.

See also: Miami Iron Side: A Lovely, Vegan Lunch of Pizza and Cupcakes

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Whole Foods South Beach Hosts Free Raw Food and Juicing Classes

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Courtesy of Jordan Wolfe
At this point in the month, you've probably broken nine out of ten of your new year's resolutions. But if you're still clinging halfheartedly to that detox/weight-loss/clean-eating "commitment," don't give up and gorge on pastelitos just yet.

At Whole Foods South Beach, healthy-eating specialist Jordan Wolfe hosts a series of detox-centric classes designed to keep you in line during 2014. Still ahead in January's schedule: juicing/smoothies, raw soups and salads, and a raw foods rundown. We spoke with Wolfe about what he's planning and scored a few recipes to get you going.

See also: Florida Man Proposes to Girlfriend at Whole Foods Coral Gables

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Mi Vida Cafe: Tofu Sandwiches, Beet Tartare, and Veggie Heaven

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Photos by Carina Ost
Tofu-licious
If you think your resolution to eat healthfully in 2014 means snacking on bland food at home, think again. Mi Vida Café adds some serious flavor to vegan food and serves it in a charming café.

The restaurant welcomes you with a cute courtyard and tables leading the way to an inviting and colorful interior. Signs recommend the obvious but often-ignored option of positive vibrations over cell-phone vibrations. You just get to sit, relax, and delve into the extensive healthful menu.

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