Whether you've already dropped your New Year's resolutions or you're a late starter, it's still a good time to consider eating healthier. That could mean cutting calories, opting for more plant-based meals or choosing foods with natural health benefits.
Yard House, while new to Bakersfield is not new to savvy marketing, and it's rolled out a new lifestyle menu with options that are high-protein, nutrient-dense and/or plant-based.
Dishes includes appetizers such as hummus topped with lamb and pistachios, roasted beet salad and plant-based Gardein wings with five sauce options; and entrees like caprese chicken, za'atar-crusted Mediterranean salmon, pan-seared ahi and more.
Of course, since Yard House is also a happy hour spot, they know their customers may want to imbibe while still eating healthier. So they've offered a few pairings for guests to try.
Steak bowl with Old 43 or Liquid Compass IPA: The cocktail with full-bodied Woodford Reserve Bourbon and notes of citrus complements the earthiness of the dish's shiitake mushrooms and other vegetables. The beer's tropical fruit flavors also highlight the veggies — snap peas, bok choy and asparagus — in the dish.
Shrimp zoodle bowl with Yard House Honey Blonde or Veuve Clicquot: The light ale adds a touch of sweetness and pairs with the bowl's fresh basil, garlic and lemon. Meanwhile the champagne's strong fruit notes are a good match for the citrus and basil.
Avocado toast with Grand Patron Margarita or Noble Pursuit IPA: The cocktail's fresh citrus and peppery finish match the freshness of the avocado, arugula and baby tomatoes on the toast. The margarita-inspired IPA pairs well with the avocado with agave, lime and salt.
Beyond Burger with Yard House Cuvee: The beer, evoking both strong Belgian beers and bright Belgian wit, holds up to the peppery arugula, sweet red onion and earthy avocado on top of the plant-based burger.
Roasted halibut with Jean Luc Colombo Rosé: The dish's porcini miso broth is enhanced by the wine's hints of peach, rose petal, watermelon and tropical fruits.
For more on the menu, visit yardhouse.com/lifestyle-menu.
Get fresh at Olive Garden
The Italian chain also has some lighter options — if you can lay off the breadsticks — on its Tastes of the Mediterranean menu. Entrees include guest favorites such as shrimp scampi and zoodles primavera, along with herb-grilled salmon, salmon or chicken piccata, chicken giardino and chicken Margherita. All make good use of vegetables and healthier olive oil and clock in under 600 calories.
For more information, visit olivegarden.com.
Snack on these Snaps
If we're realistic, adjusting your diet (if you want it to stick) is a process. So while you might know that potato chips are a bad choice you may not immediately go for the carrot sticks. That's where Harvest Snaps comes in. Utilizing farm-picked green peas, black beans or red lentils as the first ingredient, the baked (never fried) crisps are crunchy and delicious.
I had the chance to sample the seasonal flavors, salted caramel and cinnamon brown sugar, which were a healthier option to many other holiday treats. The crisps features 30 percent to 60 percent less fat than regular potato chips, with only 130 to 140 calories per 22 crisps. The gluten-free treats also contain up to 5 grams of plant-based protein, 3 to 5 grams of fiber, plus calcium and potassium in every serving. They're also free of common allergens soy, nuts, wheat and eggs.
And if you're trying to beat the chip cravings, Harvest Snaps come in a variety of zesty flavors such as Southern style barbecue, tomato basil, mango chile lime, Caesar, wasabi ranch, white cheddar, habanero and black pepper.
Learn more at harvestsnaps.com.