Health Foodie – Take 2

A few months ago, I put together a yummy list of healthy places to eat out in Austin.  Many of you had great recommendations to share and were excited to have the list for reference, so I thought I would continue the series and share a few more that I’ve discovered with you.

As we know, with Austin, the restaurant scene is constantly changing and great new places open monthly… If you want to keep up with what I’m hearing about or see what’s located near you from this list, check out my new Health Foodie Pinterest Map and follow the board for updates!

Map of Locally Sourced Ingredients @ Greenhouse Craft Food
Map of Locally Sourced Ingredients @ Greenhouse Craft Food

Here are a few places I’ve eating that I forgot to mention last time or have tried from my bucket list since then:

  • Jack Allen’s Kitchen – Locally sourced Texas cuisine; the homemade pimento cheese is awesome and I don’t think there’s anything on this menu I wouldn’t love
  • La Condesa – Locally sourced modern Mexican; I loved all the healthy options they have to offer on their menu and the atmosphere can’t be beat, but I must admit it’s quite pricey for what you get, so I didn’t think it quite lived up to all the hype.
  • Snap Kitchen – Currently obsessed with this place for easy, healthy lunches to bring to work – read my full review here.
  • Monument Cafe – Adorable roadside cafe right off Georgetown Square with fresh & locally sourced meat and produce, some of which is even from their own garden.  Try the seasonal vegetable specials so you can finish your meal with a slice of the most amazing chocolate pie you’ll ever eat.  Living healthfully means living balanced, right? 
  • El Monumento – A place you’d never think to find in Georgetown, this restaurant has a cool, modern feel to it and a beautiful terrace overlooking Blue Hole Lagoon. Awesome interior Mexican food with local ingredients and wild-caught seafood.  And the cocktails are great too!
  • Vino Vino – Evan and I had our first date here – it’s the perfect romantic spot for date night!  They have lots of local menu items, with some delicious raw cheese options and yummy salads. Oh, and the wine is pretty great too.
  • Texas French Bread – Love this place for breakfast.  They have free-range eggs and pretty much everything is homemade.
  • Greenhouse Craft Food – Another great place for breakfast with lots of locally sourced meat, eggs and produce.  It took us forever to decide what to get because the whole menu looked just awesome.  And for those of you with kids, it’s super family-friendly!

And now to add a few more to my ever-growing bucket list of more places to try in Austin:

  • Picnik Austin – Paleo, gluten-free coffee & more!
  • Epicerie – French cafe
  • Noble Pig Sandwiches – Unique breakfast & lunch sandwich creations
  • Eastside Pies – Pizza; they even get some produce from a community farm I volunteer at – Urban Roots – check it out!
  • Wholly Cow Burgers – The name says it all…
  • Swift’s Attic – Creative small plates and craft cocktails
  • Searsucker – New American cuisine with farm to table specialties
  • Qui – Recently named “the best new restaurant in America,” and it’s right here in Austin… why haven’t I been yet!?
  • Benji’s Cantina – Their Vital Farms chicken fajitas are apparently the best (but most expensive) in town
  • Chavez – Brand new at the Radisson on Town Lake.. it’s the newest to the Parkside/Olive & June family
  • Odd Duck –  Intensely local, seasonal fare
  • Josephine House – The cutest spot in Clarksville offering lunch, afternoon snacks and evening drinks
  • Cenote –  A truly local coffee shop
  • Arro – The focus of the kitchen is a wood-fired grill, incorporating local and organic products whenever possible. 
  • Dolce Neve – Authentic gelato made with milk from County Line Farms – the only truly local, organic, grass fed pastured dairy in Texas

I’d love to keep this list going… do you have anything else to add?  Suggest away!

Healthy, Fast: Snap Kitchen

One of the best things about being a wellness & food blogger is all the awesome people I get to meet who think and feel the way I do about health.  It is so encouraging and reaffirming to keep on my journey towards true health.  About a month ago, the CEO at Snap Kitchen stumbled upon my blog and was compelled by my story, so I was invited to meet the head chef, see their kitchen and have lunch with their Marketing Director and Chief Dietitian last week!  It was a great experience, getting to enjoy a yummy wild-caught Salmon salad loaded with local veggies & goat cheese, and hear about their philosophy and passion for nutrition.  I got to share how changing my diet changed my body, so drastically improving my health and about why I started this blog.  They are fellow “foodies” who share in a desire for great tasting, good-for-you food.

If you haven’t heard about Snap Kitchen, consider yourself told.  It’s a place where you can stop in and get fresh, pre-packaged meals that are totally healthy and portion controlled.  The ingredients are right on the label of each container, and there’s nothing on there that you have to question; it’s all real food.  As a gal who reads labels constantly, this is such a relief – it’s not full of “modified,” something-“ized,” or other chemically altered ingredients.  I saw their kitchen and there was nothing I wouldn’t have in my own.  There was no freezer and extremely few “pantry” items – mostly spices. Plus, most of their ingredients are organic and local, which makes me confident about the level of nutrition I’m getting and supporting the farms in my community. I had a delicious egg white breakfast bite earlier this week with huge leaves of spinach that were so garden fresh. Their menu is seasonal and based on the freshest ingredients they can get, so you’ll never get bored with all they have to offer.

The meals come packaged in BPA-free plastic containers that can be reused and are quick to warm up in the microwave.  For me, they are the perfect weekday lunch.  I can grab it on my way out the door each morning, rather than leaving it up to how much time I might have to go grab something nearby or sticking with my boring everyday salad.  This week, I enjoyed crispy chicken “breaded” with nuts over veggies, beef stroganoff with greens and butternut squash & turkey macaroni.  Having grown up on comfort food, I crave it constantly and love finding guilt-free versions of those meals that actually taste good.  I can’t wait to try their quinoa “mac & cheese” and vegetable lasagna.

This is what my husband picked when we visited... I wish I had quite his love for kale!
This is what my husband picked when we visited… I wish I had his love for kale!

As I’ve mentioned before, I am paying particular attention to avoiding inflammatory foods, and Snap Kitchen is perfect for that.  They don’t use canola/vegetable oil – only olive oil and grapeseed oil for their cooking (if only I could convince them to use coconut oil!), they use very little sugar, the soy is easy to spot in the few meals it’s in and with lots of paleo and vegan/vegetarian options, I can get the protein and veggies I need while avoiding grains and not sacrificing taste.

If you are a fan of My Fit Foods (or just looking for a better on-the-go option), I highly recommend you try Snap Kitchen.  You will appreciate the real ingredients in their foods, knowing that you are really getting the nutrition you need to be healthy.  Portion control isn’t everything, y’all.. this is all about getting well.  Plus, if I’m being honest (I don’t make any money from this blog, so I can say whatever I want, right?), the food simply tastes better.  

If you’re in Austin or Houston, you’ve got to check it out and let me know what you think!