As with the start of any year, people are committing to eating healthier and taking better care of themselves. Whether or not they stick to those goals is not for a dining column but here are some new items and deals that may help with dietary changes.

Going plant-based is a popular trend as many embrace a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Bakersfield is lucky to have a number of restaurants either focused on or at least catering generously to these customers. These include Better Bowls, The Hen's Roost, Guapo's Tacos, Nature’s Food Market and Juice Bar, Locale Farm to Table Eatery, Vida Vegan and its sister restaurants, Camino Real and Bakersfield Pizza Co. 

Better Bowls is celebrating "Veganuary," eating vegan in January, with daily offers through the month on its selection of vegan bowls and other dishes. On Mondays, get $2 off a purchase of two of the same bowls. Taco Tuesday offers $1 off the taco salad bowl. Customers on Wednesdays have a chance to win a $10 e-gift card. For Thirsty Thursday, enjoy 50 percent off a beverage with purchase of a regular bowl. Show your support for local businesses on Fridays by wearing a T-shirt from an area business and receive 10 percent off your order.

The offers are available for in-store purchases but can be claimed when calling in orders. Those ordering online can receive 10 percent off meal prep bundles with the code Fresh2021. Better Bowls is located at 1818 G St. For more information, visit or call 742-1228.

Rubio's Coastal Grill, known for its fish tacos and seafood specials, has something new for vegans this month. The chain has added plant-based Impossible Meat to its menu at all of its locations in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Seasoned with a proprietary blend of Mexican spices, Rubio's Impossible Meat is available as a replacement for chicken or steak in any of its entrees.

Additionally, Rubio's is highlighting the product in three new menu items: Impossible taco salad, with Impossible Meat, romaine lettuce, black beans, roasted corn, salsa fresca, tortilla strips, sliced Hass avocado and dairy-based signature pickled jalapeño ranch dressing; Impossible burrito especial, featuring the Impossible Meat, handmade guacamole, dairy-based chipotle white sauce, roasted chipotle salsa, citrus rice, black beans and salsa fresca wrapped in a warm flour tortilla and served with tortilla chips; and Impossible California bowl, combining the plant-based protein with citrus rice, handmade guacamole, black beans, romaine lettuce, salsa fresca and dairy-based chipotle white sauce with a choice of salsa verde or roasted chipotle salsa).

Diners can make any of those new items completely plant-based by omitting the ranch dressing on the salad (Rubio’s suggests customers substitute the lemon agave vinaigrette) or chipotle white sauce in the burrito or bowl.

Rubio's Coastal Grill is at 9200 Rosedale Highway, Suite 200. More information at

After the success of its Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwich in 2019, Dunkin' is back with a new plant-based menu item. Partnering with MorningStar Farms, the chain is now serving a Southwest veggie power breakfast sandwich, available for a limited time at participating Dunkin’ restaurants.

The sandwich features a MorningStar Farms black bean patty layered with an egg white omelet filled with spinach, bell peppers and onions, topped with aged white cheddar cheese, served on a multigrain thin.

"This sandwich is really exciting for MorningStar Farms because it delivers a veggie-centric option for Dunkin’ guests, giving them a great plant-based protein patty," said Dara Schuster, Kellogg Co.'s senior director of marketing for plant-based protein, said in a news release. "The sandwich has a kick of heat from the MorningStar Farms Black Bean Patty, offering a flavorful breakfast sandwich that packs 26 grams of protein and celebrates real recognizable ingredients. Flexitarian eating is on the rise and we're thrilled to deliver new menu items that can satisfy everyone."

Along with the Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwich, Dunkin’ also introduced vegan-friendly Planet Oat oat milk to its menu in U.S. locations, which can be substituted in any Dunkin' beverage; almond milk is also available in drinks. 

As an added incentive for DD Perks members, the purchase of the Southwest veggie power breakfast sandwich, Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwich or oat milk latte will give members twice the points now through Jan. 26.

Dunkin' has two Bakersfield locations: 1800 23rd St., Suite D; and 1211 Allen Road, Suite 300. For more on the chain, visit

Chipotle Mexican Grill is also offering a new plant-based option with its cilantro-lime cauliflower rice. Available for a limited time, the component is made with freshly grilled, riced cauliflower and finished with hand-chopped cilantro, lime and salt.

Tested in restaurants in Denver and across Wisconsin last year as part of Chipotle's stage-gate process, the new rice option is compliant with keto, Whole30, paleo, vegan and vegetarian diets.

It is now offered nationwide for an additional $2 for in-restaurant orders and through the Chipotle app, and third-party delivery partners. Through Monday, Chipotle is waiving the delivery fee on any U.S. Chipotle app and order of $10 or more that includes the cauliflower rice (service fee applies).

"Chipotle fans have been craving more plant-powered, better-for-you options that align with the latest health trends and emphasize the benefits of real food," Chris Brandt, Chipotle's chief marketing officer, said in a news release. "That's why we are thrilled to offer cauliflower rice nationally and help our fans achieve their diet or lifestyle goals."

To celebrate the launch of the rice, Chipotle introduced four new variations of its lifestyle bowls: Whole30 bowl (cauliflower rice, chicken, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, and guacamole); keto bowl (cauliflower rice, chicken, tomatillo-red salsa, cheese, and guacamole); vegetarian salad bowl (supergreens lettuce blend, cauliflower rice, black beans, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa and guacamole); and vegan bowl (cauliflower rice, black beans, sofritas, fresh tomato salsa, roasted chili-corn salsa and romaine lettuce).

For more on Chipotle, visit

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.