Vegan Eats at Café Cusco

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On a recent solo getaway weekend, I enjoyed lunch at a new to me restaurant.

I stayed on historic C Street in Springfield, Missouri. This six block area is home to cute boutique shops, art galleries, an incredibly unique hotel and restaurants featuring foods from around the world. It was a weekend full of new experiences that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Because of my plant based lifestyle, I carefully consider where to eat while traveling. Thankfully, this Peruvian inspired restaurant offers a wide selection of vegan options.

Check out the vegan eats at Café Cusco, in Springfield, Missouri.

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco title meme 2

A Dream Becomes Reality

Joseph Gidman, owner of Café Cusco, had a dream. On the restaurant website, he shares that he fell in love with Peru after hiking trails to Machu Picchu with his best friend.

Sitting in a café in Cusco, the friend asked Joe, “What will you do in 10 years?”

Joe immediately answered “I am going to open a restaurant and call it Café Cusco.”

He made that dream a reality, opening his restaurant with his mother in an 1883 building at 234 East Commercial Street in Springfield. Two brothers, a doctor and a pharmacist, built the building for use when C Street was the headquarters for the Frisco Railroad. The building was abandoned for years and in need of restoration when Joe bought it.

Artist Erik Kinkade oversaw the renovation and Café Cusco opened July 2013.

The Peruvian inspired restaurant offers healthy dining options including meals for vegetarians, vegans and those with gluten sensitivities.

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco outdoor seating
Vegan Eats at Café Cusco – outdoor seating area

Vegan Eats at Café Cusco

Reservations must be made at least two hours in advance, to dine in this attractive café. It’s a popular, busy restaurant with limited seating. Reservations may be made online by clicking HERE or calling 417-868-8088.

I made my reservation online the day before my visit. It was so easy to do. On the online form, I stated that I was vegan.

When I arrived for lunch, my table was ready and a vegan menu awaited my perusal. Café Curoso offers a variety of vegan starters, soups & salads, sandwiches, entrées and desserts.

EVERYTHING looked good to me! Dining at this restaurant was part of an Adventure Challenge for me, along with one of my birthday activities. My Adventure Challenge (purchase the solo edition HERE) instructed me to eat at a new to me restaurant, ask the server for recommendations and then go with that meal.

My attentive server recommended the Vegan Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry…which is the exact menu item I wanted. And for a starter, she recommended the Fried Guacamole, served with mango sauce and pico de gallo and white corn chips.

Both were delicious and very filling! The server suggested I add a few drops of their house hot sauce to the stir fry. It provided the perfect amount of spiciness.

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco fried guacamole
Vegan Eats at Café Cusco – fried guacamole with mango sauce
Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco sweet potato noodle stir fry
Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry

Table for One

I so enjoyed my solo lunch at Café Cusco. Years ago, I shied away from eating alone in public places. I didn’t want to appear lonely or unlikable or pitiful for eating by myself.

You know what? I’m way past caring what anyone else thinks about what I do!

The truth is, I enjoy solitude and going on adventures on my own. I savored this lunch for one. The restaurant is beautiful, with dark wooden booths lining one wall and a few tables and chairs filling in other areas. The ambience is cozy and inviting.

I fully occupied my small booth, perfectly sized for one or two people. And by that I mean, I fully occupied my space, my sense of who I am and what I love to do. If anyone spared me a glance at all, they surely recognized a woman who loves life and enjoys herself, no matter what she is doing.

I’ll return to Café Cusco soon, to try another of their tantalizing vegan dishes. I highly recommend the café to anyone in or passing through the Springfield, Missouri area.

Have you ever tried Peruvian food? And do you hesitate to eat alone in restaurants…or do you go for it?

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco Springfield MO
Café Cusco, 234 East Commercial Street, Springfield MO


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Red Apple Recipes

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Today, December 1, is National Eat a Red Apple Day!

This day encourages us to enjoy an apple…and not just any apple but a red skinned one.


Apples play a crucial role in fighting inflammation of all kinds. They calm the systems of the body by reducing viral and bacterial loads that cause inflammation. In addition, the phytochemicals in apples feed the neurons of the brain and increase electrical activity. That makes them brain food!

Red skinned apples are especially beneficial. The pigments that create that rosy color have anti-obesity properties and strengthen the digestive system. They are the best colon cleanser. Pectin from a red apple rids the intestinal tract of bacteria, viruses, yeast and mold. It also helps to eliminate debris that clogs pockets in the intestines.

And this powerhouse fruit helps to pull heavy metals from the body and detoxifies the brain of MSG. Apples hydrate the body at a cellular level, providing trace minerals and salts and electrolytes, making them ideal to consume after exercise or a stressful day.

To help you get your “apple a day”, try these healthy red apple recipes.

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Red Apple Recipes

Click on the underlined titles below for these delicious red apple recipes.

Healthy Fried Apples

This recipe is a great way to use up apples that are a bit past their prime.

Fragrant with cinnamon, this easy recipe does not contain refined sugar or butter. It’s vegan and gluten free. And it makes an excellent side dish, stand alone meal or simple dessert.

Red Apple Recipes fried
Red Apple Recipes – healthy fried apples

Raw Applesauce

Another way to use an overabundance of apples is with this super simple recipe.

Raw applesauce comes together in minutes, and it’s so good. I purposefully leave my applesauce slightly chunky, however you can make it smooth as well. I add my applesauce to fruit or veggie bowls. You can use it in the next recipe too!

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce cake is extremely easy to create, using a few basic pantry items. The recipe adapts well to adding extras such as nuts, raisins and grated apples and tastes great with or without icing.

This cake is vegan, of course, and also gluten free. And as a bonus…it smells amazing as it bakes! Try serving it with fresh berries.

Red Apple Recipes cake
Red Apple Recipes – applesauce cake

Apple Porridge

This yummy recipe uses raw apples as well. Apple porridge makes a great breakfast alternative to cereal. Use a food processor to finely chop apples, leaving the skin on, and then top with walnuts, raisins or shredded coconut.

Beyond enjoying apple porridge for breakfast, try a bowl with afternoon tea or as a simple dessert.

Apple Crisp

Packed with red skinned apples, this vegan and gluten free crisp is easy to make. It’s perfect for a chilly winter evening. Enjoy with a cup of hot herbal tea to experience bliss!

Apple Crisp comes together in minutes and the result is a hot, fragrant, good-for-you dessert. For the best health benefits, leave the peeling on the apples.

Red Apple Recipes crisp
Red Apple Recipes – apple crisp

Rustic Apple Galette

Galette is the French word for a flat, round cake or pastry, usually open faced with fruit piled in the middle. This rustic dish is a healthy version that can be enjoyed without guilt or the ill effects sugar and gluten cause.

This beautiful dessert is perfect for fall and makes a wonderful treat to serve guests.

Favorite Ways to Enjoy Red Apples

The easiest way to benefit from red apples is to simply cut one up and eat it, plain or with a spoonful of sugar free organic nut butter. However, when the mood for something fancier strikes, the possibilities are endless.

I hope you found a new way to bring more red skinned apples into your diet. Their health benefits truly do help keep the doctor away.

What are you favorite recipes for red apples?

Red Apple Recipes galette
Rustic apple galette

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