ILM Food & Drink Week 2014: Places To Get a Healthy Meal In Memphis
I’ll concede this: Memphis is not known for its healthy food. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t options for those of us looking for things a bit more lean and green. Here are just a few of the many, many places where you can find healthy options that are still delicious.
Oh salad, my salad. Photo via @alliemounce on Instagram.
Cheffie’s in High Point gets on this list because of its dedication to the ultimate “healthy” meal option: salad. The build-your-own-salad option is a great way to add proteins and veggies to your greens. The portion is big enough that you’ll be satisfied even if you “just” get a salad. Just go easy on the dressing and bacon bits.
If you’re downtown or in midtown and need to grab something quick and healthy for lunch, you have a few options. One of them is City Market, the deli and grocery at the corner of Union Avenue and Main Street. City Market has recently opened a salad bar and juice/smoothie bar. The bars are only open during lunchtime hours, but pre-made salads and wraps are available all the time. Their newest location is in Cooper Young, in the former “Midtown Market” location; they have all of the same great Indian food, and deli sandwiches, salads, and smoothies made to order.
Ultimate Foods Turkey Chili. Photo via Ultimate Foods on Facebook.
Ultimate Foods has pre-portioned meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Their meals tend to have a lean protein and veggies with lots of seasonings and most are gluten-free, too. You can check out their stores in East Memphis, Olive Branch, and Cordova, order a meal plan, order meals a la carte, or even have them delivered.
Seasons 52 in East Memphis (just east of Poplar and 240) is not a locally-owned restaurant, but it’s worth mentioning if your healthy eating goals include counting calories: everything on their menu is 475 calories or less.
It’s your standard American/eclectic menu, but with a focus on high-quality ingredients. The menu changes frequently because Seasons 52 uses seasonal ingredients. The atmosphere and service are upscale, and the prices are pretty upscale, too.
If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, try Cosmic Coconut, a 100 percent vegan juice bar in East Memphis. They’ve got fresh squeezed juices (try the super refreshing Cuke Skywalker), smoothies, coffee, tea and small snacks (like fruit bowls, vegan chocolate and guacamole).
6. Skewer (5101 Sanderlin Center) (Closed)
If you’re going in the low-carb, high-protein direction for your healthy eating plan (which is the direction I tend to go in) then the yakitori menu section at Skewer in East Memphis will make you happy. You order grilled protein and veggie skewers by the skewer ($3-$5 each) so you can also control your portions.
I loved the chicken and the beef, and a few veggie skewers rounded out the meal. The only problem is having to resist the dumpling or the ramen while you’re there, but there’s enough flavor in the skewers that I left very satisfied.
Every week, Bedrock Eats and Sweets sources their food from local farmer’s markets and prepares pre-made healthy meals (like this pork enchilada omelette) as well as bulk items like smoked chicken salad, pulled pork, and zucchini “spaghetti”. They also specialize in gluten-free baked goods. I tried the gluten-free espresso brownie and it blew my mind. Their gluten-free protein waffle is a winner, too.
You can dine-in, pre-order (you’ll need to watch the video here to find out how it works), or see what’s available in the grab ‘n’ go cooler.
Lettuce Eat’s concept is as clever as its name – it’s a “salad bar” on steroids. First, your lettuce (whatever kind you choose) is freshly chopped to order. Next, you pick from a huge selection of veggies – everything from edamame to kalamata olives to beets – and then add protein, cheese, and pick from one of ten homemade dressings. “Crunchies” (croutons, sunflower seeds, etc.) are optional. The fast casual restaurant is in the shopping center near Kirby and Poplar and you can dine in or pick up to-go meal.
Like I said, there are tons more places where you can have a healthy meal in Memphis. What are your favorites?