Eat Right, Feel Bright
Merry Christmas to you and yours, Ono readers! I hope that Santa has been good to all of you, and that rather than ending up with coal in your stockings this morning, you’ve a tummy full of good food instead.
By the time you read this, I trust you’ve indulged in glorious glazed ham and savory roasts, fought over the last gingerbread cookie and gulped down marshmallow-crowned hot cocoa. You may even be ready to start tackling those New Year’s resolutions — I’m not a psychic, but I can guess they involve eating healthier in 2017.
If that rings a bell, I may be able to lend some assistance. In anticipation of massive holiday-food withdrawals, I’ve already scoped out dining options that make it easy to eat right in the new year ahead, without sacrificing any flavor whatsoever. Here they are:
MAKE A MEAL PLAN
If you’re the type of diner who needs structure and organization to set forth a healthy dining plan, GRYLT recently debuted a Built By GRYLT chef-crafted meal service that makes the process simpler than ever.
In line with the local business’ goal of offering fresh, healthy fare in a fast-food setting, the meal-prep program allows diners to customize well-balanced and delicious meals on an ongoing basis. Customers may choose from a wide range of proteins, starches and vegetables, and GRYLT even offers roadside pickup for added convenience.
Corporate chef Jose Arias showed Ono, You Know what Built By GRYLT is all about earlier this week while putting the finishing touches on a meal-prep option comprising grilled preservative-free tofu, roasted Brussels sprouts with shallots and balsamic glaze, and curry sprouted rice (plates range from about $7.75 to $18).
Regardless of what you choose to include in your meal plan, rest assured the company puts quality first. “We’re always experimenting with healthy alternative grains … For example, sprouted rice has the extra nutrient boost to it because of the way that it’s sprouted — the process gives it a more nutritious content,” says Arias, adding that “we’re also experimenting with local veggies that are in season.
“We can help people with their New Year’s resolutions (to eat well). We can definitely make it easier by preparing all the meals with the nutrition that customers need, and the flavor that they want,” he continues.
GRYLT plans to add more choices to its meal service in the new year (email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit builtbygrylt.com to learn more/sign up).
But if you’re just looking for a healthy meal on the go, stop by one of GRYLT’s three Oahu locations for healthy plates, sandwiches, wraps and salads.
New to the menu is a delightful Waldorf Salad ($10.03). It gets sweet touches from grapes and apple slices that have been grilled with salt and pepper until they start to caramelize. The sweetness is balanced with blue cheese, toasted walnuts and peppery baby arugula in the Waipoli baby ro-maine salad base. It also features tart pops of slightly pickled cranberries and creamy apple cider vinaigrette. Enjoy the salad on its own or with the addition of the protein of your choice (for an extra fee).
Ala Moana Center, Makai Market Food Court,
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Ste. 1160 B, Honolulu
(additional locations in Kahala Mall and Kailua)
COMMIT TO FRESH FOOD
There’s something about eating at Bills Hawaii that reminds me of a cold glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade on a hot summer’s day. The menu is bright, refreshing and full of zest, to say the least.
As Bills Hawaii’s website will tell you, that sunshine effect comes from Aussie restaurateur Bill Granger’s cooking style, which is known to “reflect the spirit we like to think of as ‘Australian’ — sunny, easy-going and generous.”
Now, watching what you eat in general doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself now and again. You simply haven’t had pancakes until you’ve gone for a weekend brunch at Bills and had Ricotta Hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter. But the restaurant also is a great spot for health-conscious dining because that sunny fare I just mentioned translates to lots of fresh ingredients, local veggies and wholesome recipes. After all, a nutritious diet isn’t only about chomping away a big salad. It also involves being conscious of the ingredients you put in your body — so if you love your steak, you can feel good about ordering an organic, grass-fed New York cut from Bills’ dinner menu.
“Our overall goal is to keep things as fresh and honest as we possibly can,” explains Bills Hawaii executive chef Lucas Woodden. “We make everything in house, except our bread, and for that we have a bakery that has those same goals in mind.”
Something like Cauliflower Fritters and Tofu Yellow Curry ($18) is another great choice because it’s rich, filling and satisfying while still being full of healthy and nourishing ingredients.
To make it, Woodden creates a spice-filled Thai-influenced curry that is lightened up with fresh pickled cucumber, ginger and cilantro. The umami factor comes into play with cauliflower fritters that are curry-spiced, battered and fried until golden brown. The palate is further treated with sour notes from the apple chutney, and the delicate flavor of tofu smooths it all out.
Though this dish is not strictly vegetarian — there is fish sauce in the curry — Bills does offer a range of vegetarian options, such as Pan-fried Tomato and Zucchini Orecchiette pasta with basil and ricotta.
280 Beachwalk Ave., Waikiki
(next to Hard Rock Cafe)