Ok, so New Year’s Resolutions are tough. Otherwise we wouldn’t keep making the same resolutions year after year, right? The good news for all of us is that chefs and the best of the food world are making it easy to eat out and eat right.
We are featuring many of our favorites on today’s COOKGIRL Home Page in our “Get Healthy” series, but wanted to save it for posterity by blogging about where to eat in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.
Akasha Richmond’s eponymous AKASHA restaurant has always been a go-to healthy spot. Take it one step further and visit for Meatless Mondays and support her amazing business during DINELA Restaurant Week Sunday January 18th - Sunday January 31st for her delicious three-course dinner menu. COOKGIRL’s picks: Albacore Crudo with winter citrus, avocado, serrano pepper, black lava salt, olive oil followed by Citrus Braised & Crispy Duck Leg with umbrian lentils and market greens, finished off with Lemon Budino (sicilian lemon pudding) with lavender shortbread.
One of our favorites is the food columnist for The Washington Post, Ellie Krieger. Her most recent cookbook is “You Have It Made: Delicious, Healthy, Do-Ahead Meals.” We also love that she embraces our current obsession with cauliflower and has a recipe for a “luxuriously creamy puree” that is to-die-for.
1 medium head (2 pounds) cauliflower, cored and cut into 11/2-inch florets (7 cups)
1/3 cup low-fat milk (1 percent), plus more as needed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus 4 teaspoons for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until the cauliflower is just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor along with 1/3 cup of the milk, the butter, the 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the nutmeg; puree until very smooth. Add extra milk a tablespoon at a time, as needed. Immediately add 1/4 cup of the cheese and pulse just until the cheese has melted and is incorporated. Don’t allow the puree to cool so that the cheese will melt.
Transfer the puree to a serving bowl. Taste, and season with more salt, as needed. Garnish with the remaining 4 teaspoons of cheese, plus sprinklings of parsley and pepper. Serve warm.
Nutrition | Per serving: 120 calories, 7 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 240 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar
Donna Lee, the owner and source of amazingly healthy, delicious inspiration for Brown Bag Seafood Company Co located at 340 East Randolph gives you the option to Eat Out or Hang Out. It’s so good and people swear by it. In fact, they are opening a second location in River North in a new building on the corner of Wells and Hubbard.
The super cool duo behind Dimes, Sabrina De Sousa and Alissa Wagner, have a cult following in New York. From VOGUE to The New York Times, from The Coveteur to Cherry Bombe, they are the cool girls that you want to be friends with - - and be invited for dinner. Not only is their menu exactly what you want, on any given day, in whatever food mood you’re in, you get to shop in the Dimes Market afterward. It's described by VOGUE as the “latest addition to the Dimes Dynasty.” Who doesn’t want Anna Wintour declaring their business as a dynasty and a “hub for health.” Come on!
Although there seems to be a dispute about what exactly goes IN a Detox Salad at Blue Barn Gourmet on Polk Street in San Francisco, the bottom line is that you will feel great after eating it. And then crave it the next day. Here are some of the key ingredients in case you can’t make it to the city by the Bay: chicory, kale, carrot, celery, apple, dried cranberries, super seed mix, acai-lemon “Master Cleanse” vinaigrette.
Acai-Lemon Vinaigrette - a Beautiful Purple Dressing inspired by the one served at Blue Barn Gourmet
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons acai*
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger (or more to taste)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
*acai is a very interesting berry from South America that is freeze-dried and comes in a purple powder
Leith Hill’s adorable Ellary’s Greens located at 33 Carmine Street was named in memory of her grandmother and great-grandmother. Her philosophy is that you should know exactly where your food is coming from, preferably from farmers who care deeply (as farmers do) about how they grow their ingredients. No added oils, no added sugar, this food is the real thing. As Leith says, “feel connected to your food and understand that you cannot trust processed foods to nourish your body.” The best news is that you can have your cake and eat it, too. Try the Hummingbird Cake, a southern-style cake that is a pineapple-banana spice cake with cream cheese frosting.
Marissa Conrad’s hilarious food writing in The Chicago Tribune keeps us laughing — and keeps us from being hungry. Her most recent piece on Real Good Juice Co in Chicago is the perfect example, with the lead “Hello! I’m Marissa Conrad. You may remember me from such stories as “I Double-Fisted the Au Coeval and Small Coeval Burgers.” She’s skeptical about healthy juice drinks that tout “cholorphyll” as an ingredient. But she’s sold, as we are, on the crazy named goodness at Real Good Juice Co. Here are some great ones: Juice-tin Bieber, Juice Springsteen, Juicille Ball, Whitney Juice-ton. Stop? We can’t. Juice Lee, Juicy Liu, Juice-Pac Shakur, Juice Bigelow. But her favorite? Punky Juice-ster, which she described as a “Shamrock Shake on Xanax.”
“Keeps You Youthful with the Boundless Energy of a Wise-Cracking, Freckle-Faced Twelve Year Old” according to Real Good Juice Co
INGREDIENTS: Matcha, Almonds, Chia, Chlorophyll, Mint
As part of Slow Food Miami and located in The Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach, Essensia’s menu is as you would imagine a super healthy restaurant on the beach: fresh ingredients, nothing extra or unnecessary. But Miami is a unique place - it’s sunny and gorgeous all the time and the people are just as sunny and gorgeous. It reminds us of Amy Schumer’s hilarious stand-up about visiting South Beach where she watches other women walking by and asks someone at the hotel “What are they?” When told they are “women,” she asks “Then what are we?” and is told “I don’t know.” So, if you’re feeling like THAT, Essensia is even better with their spa menu and their on-property Chef’s Organic Garden where they grow tomatoes, lemon balm, Cuban oregano, edible flowers and garden greens. Julie Mitchell is the chef de cuisine and she hails from California and together with Executive Chef Rogers III and Pastry Chef Samantha Frei, they are serving up the farm-to-table, local, healthy menu you’re craving.
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