Once upon a time in Columbus, food establishments devoted to healthy eating proudly served products filled with nutrients but lacking in something equally crucial: good flavor. Fortunately today healthy but pleasureless chewing options must compete with munchies which will please your palate as much as your doctor. Here are a few.

Once upon a time in Columbus, food establishments devoted to healthy eating proudly served products filled with nutrients but lacking in something equally crucial: good flavor. Fortunately today healthy but pleasureless chewing options must compete with munchies which will please your palate as much as your doctor. Here are a few.

Pattycake, pattycake baker's vegan

Do flax seeds and tofu sound like tempting ingredients in a decadent treat? No? Well Pattycake Vegan Bakery is proof that you can't judge a cookie by its cover. See, this do-gooder vegan sweet shop uses those healthy things to create its moist, chewy, hearty and aptly titled Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Heaven. While Pattycake is maximally committed to minimally refined animal-free products and ever tinier carbon footprints, it also zeroes in on restyled, big, comforting bakery favorites. Some other current winners: Skinny Mints (a slim "Girl Scouty" cookie with a brownie-like taste, snappy crunch, "buttery" richness and a minty coolness), and the raw-food Cashew Date Cardamom truffle - a refreshing, moist and marvelously multi-textured little aromatic bomb.

Just a spoonful of curry helps the vegetables go down

The Northstar Cafe's Korma Bowl is what happens when a lusty Indian-food buffet collides with a Berkeley, California ethos - and I defy veggie naysayers to resist it. Sprinkled with cilantro, a bright bouquet of expertly steamed, super-healthy vegetables (like purple cabbage, pristine green broccoli, snow-white cauliflower and sweet wide carrot slices) blooms above a mound of nutty, perfectly cooked brown rice. Gracing the whole shebang is a wonderfully luscious, yet subtly spicy "tomato cashew curry sauce" that could make newspaper taste good. You can get it either with tofu or (my preference) tender, supple chunks of house "rotisseried" free-range chicken.

When the moon hits your eye like a healthy pizza pie that's amore

Yes, Virginia, there is a healthy pizza. Because when you don't overload a greasy, nutrient-free crust with a bunch of fatty meats and gloppy cheese, you can have your delicious pizza pie and eat healthfully too.

The last letter in healthy tomato tarts is Z Pizza. Z uses certified organic wheat to make the best whole wheat crust I think I've ever bitten into; plus Z's skim mozzarella doesn't disappoint and neither does its tangy, organic no-nonsense tomato sauce - which actually tastes like tomatoes. But Z's slices wouldn't make my cut if they didn't taste great - which they do. Here's some recommendations on Z's all-over-the-map styles: the Moroccan (with roasted eggplant and caramelized onions); the Provence (artichokes, capers and basil) and the peanut-sauced Thai (with spicy chicken and chilis).

Fly like a vegan

If you've never thought of tofu as something that could be juicy, or macaroni and cheese as something that won't weigh you and your arteries down, then you haven't been to Dragonfly Neo-V recently. Currently on its winter menu is Neo-V Mac & Cheese. In that one, a twist of earthy braised greens that don't need a piggy for full flavor lie above vinegary dices of an aromatic pear chutney that rest on a hefty slab of crackly, cornmeal-crusted tofu that almost eats like a quiche. This assembly finds its final resolution atop penne doused in a creamy rich sauce which deftly mimics real dairy. The dish gracefully manages to unify tart with sweet, crisp with giving, rich with bitter and country with city.