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Restaurant Happenings - July 2005

The Peace Tree Café
20 S. Main St.
Moab UT 84532

www.peacetreecafe.com

The Peace Tree Café:
Cool Drinks and Healthy Foods

by Ann Stewart


Karen Whipple, owner

When you walk by the Peace Tree Café you will hear the whine of blenders, note the cool, flower covered arbor, and be tempted to stop. You will be glad you did. This café is very popular with bike riders, tourists, and locals because of its interesting menu of smoothies and healthy foods.

Karen and Doug Whipple, long time residents of Monticello, started the Peace Tree seven years ago, in June of 1998. Karen was nearly finished raising five children, and wanted to find a new outlet for her energy. She named the café after an old Indian legend she had read to her kids. The Native Americans in the east, talked of a Peace Tree where there was tranquility and health.

Though she’d had no restaurant training, Karen knew about good, healthy foods. She wanted the Peace Tree to provide a variety of offerings. At first they had a few standard smoothies and three or four sandwiches. But in seven years the menu has evolved into a spectacular array of choices.

The menu of smoothies catches your eye as soon as you walk into the small café. Fourteen selections, plus the specials, are available. A few of the many possibilities are Tango Mango, Watermelon Burst, Snappy Peach, and even Soy Joy and Chai Tea smoothies. For the experimental, the Desert Nectar Smoothie may appeal. It is made with apple, ginger, soy milk, honey, strawberries, banana, cinnamon and Pure Synergy, a “superfood” made right here in Moab. This year’s new smoothie is Berry Nirvana, named during a contest. It is made with loganberry juice, non-fat frozen yogurt, blackberries, raspberries, and banana.

For the more organically inclined, fresh juices from beets, celery, and carrots (the Peace Tree uses over 250 pounds of raw carrots a week!) are available. Fresh organic wheatgrass makes a healthy juice for those in the know.

The Peace Tree Café opens at 8:00 am. You can get some interesting breakfast wraps such as the Roma Egg Wrap made of seasoned scrambled eggs, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach in a sun-dried tomato tortilla. The Peace Tree also serves espresso and regular coffee using Craven’s Organic and Fairtrade Coffee. Other breakfast possibilities from vegetarian to traditional bagels are available.

The lunch menu offers another potpourri of possibilities. Again, wraps head the menu. Some contain Karen’s special (and secret) hummus recipe and her barbequed tofu. One of the most popular is the Thai Wrap. (See sidebar). A tempting Croissant Sandwich is made with smoked salmon, caper and red pepper, cream cheese, tomato, red onion and lettuce. Fresh salads are also popular, one of which is made with quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) which is a hardy grain that contains the highest amount of protein. The Peace Tree closes at 6:30 pm, but you can order anything as a take out for an evening picnic.

Karen is quick to give her employees credit for inventing many of the unusual smoothies and wraps. They also help name the creations. She hires 12 to 15 people to cover her shifts, and many, such as Margie Moreau, have been with Karen as long as five years.

The success of the Peace Tree has been very gratifying to Karen, who has watched it grow. In June of 2004, she opened another Peace Tree Café in Monticello, where she is pleased to see many Moab customers who stop by when traveling south. The Monticello Peace Tree Café offers the same healthy menu as the Moab Peace Tree.

Further information is available at www.peacetreecafe.com

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

The Peace Tree Café

Thai Chicken Wrap

Ingredients:
Whole Wheat tortilla
1 grilled chicken breast – cut into thin strips
rice noodles
sliced tomatoes
sliced cucumbers
peanuts
chow mein noodles
oriental dressing
romaine lettuce

Directions:
Heat the tortilla, place the chicken strips on tortilla with a handful of noodles, 3 slices of tomato, 3 slices of cucumber, 1 T. peanuts, and 1 T. chow mein noodles. Pour dressing on top, place lettuce on top. Roll tortilla lilke a burrito. Slice in half. Serve with chips.

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