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Get Healthy -- and Get it to Go

It's the Holy Grail of eating healthfully in our real-time, over-worked, non-stop world. Is there such thing as nutritious food that's grown locally, prepared healthfully and responsibly and grabs virtually no time from your busy schedule? The short answer is "yes," and Health in a Hurry Organic Cuisine to Go will have you adding, "Yes, please."

The vision of chef and owner Sue Cadwell, Fairfield-based Health in a Hurry is a take-out or eat-in establishment that serves organic, vegetarian and vegan food that, she says, is "ready to grab and go at a moment's notice."

Cadwell grew up in Fairfield and lives a quick, five-minute distance from the store, which she opened in 2004 after having graduated from Anne Marie Colhbin's "Natural Gourmet Cookery School" in New York City. In 2006 she joined forces with Sticks and Stones Farm in Newtown, which began growing organic vegetables for Health in a Hurry's kitchen. Their unique collaboration underscored her wider vision. She was able, she says, "To create a connection between the land, the food and the people who prepare it and eat it."

Health in a Hurry specializes in what Cadwell refers to as "health-supportive, gourmet cuisine," which is vegetarian and predominantly vegan. And her menus are seasonal, organic and "as local as possible." All her dishes are complex in both flavor and ingredients, and are offered fully cooked for her customers. And they can be expanded into salads or used as side dishes in order to make them go further.

"Rather than succumbing to high fat, high sodium, processed foods or the typical fast food burger, pasta or pizza fare," says Sue, "We fill a void with high quality, tasty, interesting foods that the average cook would not make."

And the average fast-food restaurant cannot claim to use no preservatives, additives, or other chemicals, as is the case with Cadwell's cuisine. "We make all of our dressings, marinades, and sauces from scratch, and our desserts are sweetened only with brown rice syrup, maple syrup, agave nectar, molasses and honey," she says. Additionally, 90 percent of the items on Health in a Hurry's menu are entirely vegan and gluten-free, including soups and desserts.

Sue also does catering and teaches cooking classes (at the store), and she's always happy to whip up special order items (such as cakes) for clients with particular food needs – or wants.

"We grow some of our own seasonal produce, source local produce, use the highest-quality ingredients in their whole form," says Cadwell, who adds, "I want to educate and spark healing in my own kitchen." The Holy Grail of eating healthfully does exist -- and it's takeout. What could be better?

Are you vegan? Or are you thinking of "leaning in" to veganism? Please share your thoughts and experiences with me here.

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