Evan Kitchen’s healthy vegan menu

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Chef Evan Elsberry of Evan’s Kitchen says he’s a competitive kind of guy. That’s why, in 2012, he threw his toque blanche into the ring for the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge but kept the popular vegan items on the menu even after the month-long event was over. Four years later, the East Sacramento eatery (855 57th Street) maintains a substantial vegan menu with breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Elsberry said he originally was drawn to learning “a whole new concept of cooking,” but after being diagnosed as pre-diabetic a year ago, eats mostly vegan now, leaving behind that diagnosis, indigestion, chest pain, 40-some pounds and the need for blood pressure medication. “It’s a better quality of life. I recommend it.” His current favorite items on his vegan menu are the Rice Crispy French Toast, Island Black Bean Burger and oyster mushroom risotto. What’ll be next from the kitchen? Maybe garlicky mashed cauliflower. Stay tuned.