Greens & Grains

Fast Food, Slow Savor


     You may have noticed a new vendor at The Marketplace: Greens & Grains opened its doors in summer and has been dishing up quality salads, sides and main courses since then. Jackie Riley, 48, former operations manager at Feel Good Bakery, had wanted to offer healthful, ready-made food for some time and seized the opportunity when the space became available.
     “There’s a need for fresh, seasonal, organic prepared foods and salads,” she says. “We make everything that we serve here.”
     That means fresh, all-organic ingredients, locally sourced and seasonally prepared — no cans. That means heirloom beans and tomatoes, slow-cooked. That means vegan or vegetarian dishes come from a vegetarian stock, not a meat-base. And that means a free-range, organically-raised roasted chicken, and a side dish or two — a healthy meal for a family of four for less than $25.
     The food is diverse, multicultural, and delicious — and already prepared, for a healthier take on takeout.
     Grains & Greens makes custom-crafted salad to your liking (if you don’t want carrots, you don’t have to have carrots). It also offers up grain-based salads like farro with walnuts and feta, or red quinoa with kale and ginger. The braised chard with lemon, raisins and pine nuts or the roasted golden beets with horseradish and pickled stems of chard are equally tasty. A $9 box with three salads/sides is a smart way to avoid greasy fast food on the fly.
     Riley, who trained as a pastry chef and worked in haute cuisine in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., before landing in Alameda, found that her tastes and needs changed over time.
     “I found myself needing to eat this way as I’ve matured.” With a preschool-age son, she wants her family to eat well, too. “It seems to be the right fit,” she says of her venture. And since food is her passion, cooking and serving it well “creates an impact on the community.”   

Greens & Grains, Alameda Marketplace, 1650 Park St., 510-239-4059,

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