One of the top restaurant trends of 2009, and likely 2010, is high-calorie comfort food. Hey, if the recession means we're all going to be wearing barrels, what do a few extra pounds matter anymore?

Yet Nourish, a restaurant coming to Optima Camelview Village next March, hopes to let us have our cake and eat it, too.

The casual restaurant, located in the same building as Posh at Highland Avenue and Scottsdale Road, has a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free theme. But the food strives to be serious, not sprouts.

So that means "lite" mac-'n'-cheese, made with soy or almond milk, reduced-fat sour cream and tons of vegetables. There will be a chickpea and sweet-potato burger on a gluten-free baguette, an apricot-chipotle turkey meatloaf and crispy baked eggplant Parmesan.

The owner is Kirsten Carey, a Cave Creek resident who's also a real-estate investor and a designated Certified Speaking Professional. Besides running the restaurant, she also consults on personal meal plans.

As for that cake, it's there, too, in the form of chai cheesecake with gingerbread crust.

Details: Nourish, 7147 E. Rancho Vista Drive, Scottsdale, 623-414-2352,

Carey Sweet writes about dining news in the Northeast Valley. Reach her at

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