Partnered with Rich Roll: JOi Cafe and Karma Bakery

Local to our area are two new vegan establishments (JOi Cafe and Karma Bakery) that are partnered with Rich Roll. If you’re not familiar with Rich or his story, he is a vegan “badass” athlete that Nick and I admire. His story is amazing, as he once was an overweight, overworked attorney who ate the typical American standard diet and was a classic couch potato type of guy. His diet consisted of fast food and mostly meat — all the unhealthy animal products that takes a huge toll on your health. That was more than eight years ago when he was 40. And after turning 40, his health burdened him and he knew he had to change his diet and lifestyle. Now as a world-renowned ultra-endurance athlete, he is a two-time top finisher at the Ultraman World Championship and the first of two people to complete EPIC5, a 703-mile endurance adventure that took place on five Hawaiian Islands where he completed five ironman triathlons in less than 7 days. This plant strong athlete and author lives in the area and hosts his own podcast. And after learning about JOi Cafe and Karma Bakery, we decided to try out the establishments.

Rich Roll before he was vegan on the left, and on the right, his transformed health and fitness -- a triathlete fueled only by plant foods.

Rich Roll before he was vegan on the left, and on the right, his transformed health and fitness — a triathlete fueled only by plant foods.

Karma Bakery is 100% vegan, organic and gluten free. I’ve tried a pumpkin and banana bread from Karma Bakery at the Calabasas Farmers Market and both kind were yummy. Recently, I tried other baked goods of Karma’s from JOi Cafe but haven’t actually visited Karma’s storefront close by. All the treats I tasted were so scrumptious, I couldn’t help but eat them all in one night. Karma is definitely a once-in-awhile treat. What I love about them, besides being organic and vegan, is that everything consist of whole ingredients. Tasty treats, I recommend giving Karma a splurge if you come across one of their amazing goodness.

Chocolate candy cane sandwich cookie, 2 chai spiced oatmeal sandwich cookies, and a mini chocolate cupcake with a fruity frosting.

Chocolate candy cane sandwich cookie, 2 chai spiced oatmeal sandwich cookies, and a mini chocolate cupcake with a fruity frosting.

We tried out JOi Cafe for dinner one night. The cafe is just less than two miles away from our home and is all organic and plant-based as well. It’s nestled in one of those shopping plazas, and when we visited, we had an appetite. Nick ordered the Shiva Bowl, and I ordered the JOi Enchiladas, which is a popular dish.

Shiva Bowl: grilled eggplant, traditional Indian spices, curried garbanzo beans, brown rice and quinoa mix with spinach over lentils with mint chutney and grilled naan bread.

Shiva Bowl: grilled eggplant, traditional Indian spices, curried garbanzo beans, brown rice and quinoa mix with spinach over lentils with mint chutney and grilled naan bread.

JOi Enchiladas: sweet potatoes, fresh peppers, spinach, corn, black beans, coconut, cinnamon and cilantro topped with a homemade enchilada and avocado sauce.

JOi Enchiladas: sweet potatoes, fresh peppers, spinach, corn, black beans, coconut, cinnamon and cilantro topped with a homemade enchilada and avocado sauce.

We both enjoyed our food, but Nick seemed to like my dish more than his. My enchilada was how I like it when dining out. I prefer no oil and no salt, but that isn’t possible when eating out, though the dish was low oil and low salt enough. Nick’s dish was on the small side, not fulfilling his hunger, and the naan bread was too oily; however, he enjoyed the flavors of the bowl, and it was low oil and salt as well. Overall, it wasn’t bad; we’ll probably return once again to try their breakfast.

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