Thrive: I've Got Sunshine

Good food is like sunshine for the soul. It's an important ingredient to surviving Seattle's dreary Februaries, although I can't really say that today since I woke up to such a brilliant blue sky. But even if the weather isn't dreary (today), our winter food tends to be. While summer eating may be full of fresh, locally grown, and simply served fruits and vegetables, the winter quarter of the year often seems more naturally laden with . . . doughnuts. This week, Thrive in Ravenna set me back on track, supplying some sunshine (real food, with real nutrition!) to my languishing, winterized diet.

As I may have mentioned, I am not a vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination. Nor am I especially into the "raw food" movement. The one exception to this, outside of fresh juices and smoothies (and normally raw things, like salad), is zucchini pasta. Zucchini pasta is the one and only prepared raw-food dish I ever crave.

What, you ask, is zucchini pasta? Simple! It is zucchini that has been cut to look like spaghetti and dressed with a tomato sauce of some sort. One of the least complex, most brilliant dishes you could imagine. And so far in Seattle, Thrive makes it the best.

One "small size" helping comes as a chilled, heaping bowl of spiralized zucchini noodles, pomodoro sauce, pine nuts, almond-milk ricotta, and a dusting of nutritional yeast. Sound odd? Don't snub it 'til you've tried it!

Thrive is completely gluten-free, vegetarian, and extremely friendly toward those with other allergies as well. Aside from serving raw food in the cafe, they also teach classes, have a raw-food "immersion program," and offer pricey getaway "cleanse and detox" programs at their Sedro Woolley Wellness Center. While I can't see shelling out the cash to go spend 11 days drinking juice, I definitely recommend the zucchini pasta.

Try it: 1026 N.E. 65th St., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

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