Monday, January 11, 2016

Fave Five: Restaurant dishes that won’t ruin #NewYearNewYou

It’s the middle of January, and you’ve been so good! Working out consistently, eating healthy, drinking enough water, getting plenty of sleep. Nice work (I’m a little jealous, tbh)! 

And you’re pretty proud of yourself for not having gone out to eat once in the last 11 days. Sure, you’ve been dying to try Ford Fry’s latest eatery in Inman Park, and the new sushi joint in West Midtown has been calling your name, but it’s a new year, and your willpower is strong. 

OK, two things: 1) you are stronger than me, my friend. I’m a big foodie and have already caved in to my craving for trying new restaurants, but 2) the good news is that eating out doesn’t have to destroy your health.

Check out five Atlanta restaurants that make it easy to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. 

Bellina Alimentari: Insalata di bietola
Don’t let the Italian name fool you — this Ponce City Market cafe is not all pasta and bread. It also offers plenty of healthy veggies to choose from, including a roasted beet salad with escarole hearts and ricotta, served with red wine vinegar dressing. If you overindulge by getting a meat and cheese plate as well (and I wouldn’t blame you), just stroll by the various PCM shops afterwards to walk it off. 

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern: Mother Nature Salad
The name alone sounds healthy! This veggie-packed dish boasts quinoa as its base, which has lots of fiber to keep you full longer, and is loaded with good-for-you avocado, garbanzo beans, pickled onions, edamame, cucumbers and tomatoes. It’s topped with cranberries, pecans and basil vinaigrette. Gimme! 

Smokebelly BBQ: Chilled faro with green beans 
This side dish also has diced cucumbers, smoked almonds and mint yogurt dressing. Opt for this instead of mac ’n’ cheese and no need to feel guilty about indulging in tasty barbecue. This plate is part of the “skinny fixins” menu, which also offers piquillo pepper hummus with carrots and vegan jalapeño cornbread cakes.   

Southern Gentleman: Roasted kabocha squash
Mmmm, squash is one of my favorite things to eat, and if it’s roasted and savory, even better. And the roasted kabocha squash at this Buckhead gastropub is served over petite arugula with Georgia pecans and onion vinaigrette. Drooling… 

FLIP Burger Boutique: Tuna lettuce wraps
Actually, you can get any burger as lettuce wrap instead of on a bun to save on carbs and calories, but the raw tuna tartare is my favorite. It’s mixed with Asian pear, pine nuts, compressed veggies, mango sphere, avocado puree, wasabi mayo and soy dressing. And Flip has plenty of veggie sides you can opt for instead of fries.