When deciding on a quick, healthy lunch spot in St. Augustine, Diane’s Natural Market Café isn’t always the first place to come to mind. But it should be. The café offers a plethora of sandwiches, salads, soups, smoothies, and heart-healthy organic juices. Today’s lunch – Tabouli Salad and Hummus Wrap with avocado. I’ve sampled traditional Lebanese Tabouli (or Tabbouleh as it’s often spelled), but Diane’s version is unique and created with quinoa rather than bulgur (wheat groats), which makes it more macronutrient dense with a higher protein content.
Diane’s Tabouli Salad consists of organic white quinoa tossed in garlic, olive oil, lemon, parsley, salt, and pepper then folded together with organic diced tomatoes and red onion and layered on top of an Ezekiel sprouted whole grain wrap spread with house-made hummus. Crisp lettuce and perfectly-ripened avocados add a perfect dose of texture and flavor.
According to Ashley, the café manager, the most popular vegetarian menu items are the Garden Sandwich with Goddess Dressing and the Veggie Burger served with either cheddar or vegan cheese on an Ezekiel bun. House-made soups like Barley Mushroom or the Green Goddess complement the sandwiches perfectly.
The café menu offers eight different fresh-squeezed juices packed with fruits and veggies, and smoothies are also a hit with favorites like the Acai and the Peanut Butter Cup. Their options for healthy, delicious eating are vast.
Long-time residents, Jen and Alan Stevenson, owners of Diane’s, bought the business more than a decade ago, hoping to continue and grow St. Augustine’s healthy-eating trend. The couple is very involved in our community with local charities and Jen acts as PTO president and Alan sits on the S.T.E.A.M. board, both at Sebastian Middle School. Jen says, “Supporting our customers and our community is incredibly important to us as small business owners.”
Diane’s Natural Market is located at 841 S Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Unit #6. Visit them online at www.dianesnaturalmarket.com. Photography by Tammy Harrow.