If it's January, that means we're talking healthy eating. It's one of the oldest rituals in dining, along with overdoing it through the holidays and vowing on January 1 to definitely exercise more and drink less.
These national chains have thoughtfully leapt in with press releases about their new options for the New Year, including bowls, Keto bowls, acai bowls, juices, and non-dairy drinks. And cilantro lime cauliflower rice, which is apparently trending up.
Here's a roundup of new ostensibly-healthy stuff:
Chipotle Mexican Grill has debuted Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice, a plant-based option made with riced cauliflower, cilantro, lime, and salt, and prepared fresh every day. Compliant with Keto, Whole30, Paleo, Vegan, and Vegetarian diets, the new rice is a twist on Chipotle’s classic white rice that uses the same ingredients and similar culinary techniques. But it's cauliflower instead of rice.
Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice was one of the three most requested menu items from customers, and the recipe was tested in Denver and Wisconsin Chipotle locations. They found that nearly a third of orders came from new guests and less-frequent customers.
It will cost an extra $2 and will be available in-restaurant and through the Chipotle app, Chipotle.com, and third-party delivery partners. Through January 11, Chipotle is waiving the Delivery Fee on any U.S. Chipotle app and Chipotle.com order of $10 or more that includes Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice.
Chipotle has also introduced four new variations of its Lifestyle Bowls:
- Whole30 Bowl: Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice, chicken, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, and guac
- Keto Bowl: Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice, chicken, tomatillo-red salsa, cheese, and guac
- Vegetarian Salad Bowl: Supergreens lettuce blend, Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice, black beans, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, and guac
- Vegan Bowl: Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice, black beans, sofritas, tomato salsa, roasted chili-corn salsa, and romaine lettuce
El Pollo Loco has brought back Pollo Fit Bowls with a delicious new twist: cilantro lime cauliflower rice.
Wait, what? Yes, more cauliflower rice. This appears to be a thing.
The new bowls are also made with double the usual quantity of chicken, plus organic super greens and cilantro lime cauliflower rice. The new lineup includes:
- Double Protein Avocado Pollo Fit Bowl: Double portion of citrus marinated fire-grilled chopped chicken breast, organic super greens, lettuce blend with red cabbage, cilantro lime cauliflower rice, avocados, Tapatío seasoning, pico de gallo salsa, and queso fresco.
- Double Protein Fajita Pollo Fit Bowl: Double portion of citrus marinated fire-grilled chopped chicken breast, organic super greens, lettuce blend with red cabbage, seasoned black beans, fajita vegetables, avocados, Tapatío seasoning, and queso fresco. This bowl has a ridiculous 52 grams of protein.
- Double Protein Mexican Caesar Pollo Fit Bowl: Double portion of citrus marinated fire-grilled chopped chicken breast, organic super greens, lettuce blend with red cabbage, radishes, cotija cheese, avocados, Tapatío seasoning, and a lemon wedge.
El Pollo Loco is also giving its dressings a makeover including removing the high-fructose corn syrup from its most popular dressing, the Keto Certified Creamy Cilantro Dressing. The Citrus Vinaigrette will be replaced with a new Mexican Vinaigrette, which is Keto Certified and free of high-fructose corn syrup.
First Watch, the breakfast-lunch concept has new dishes featuring unique and premium ingredients never before seen on its menu. From an açai bowl packed with antioxidants to a crabby take on its Avocado Toast, plus a seasonally inspired juice featuring anxiety-reducing ingredients that change color.
The new menu items are as follows:
- Triple Berry Açai Bowl – Organic Sambazon Açai with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and housemade granola. Served with whole grain toast topped with almond butter and Maldon Sea Salt.
- Crab & Avocado Toast – Blue crab and avocado on whole grain artisan toast with house-pickled red onions, EVOO, herbs, and Maldon sea salt. Served with two basted eggs.
- Huevos Rancheros Tostadas – Two corn tostadas topped with avocado, two sunny side eggs, chorizo, salsa verde, chive crema, Cotija, and cilantro. Served with black beans and Pico de Gallo.
- Purple Haze (Fresh Juice Offering) – Lemon, cane sugar, butterfly pea flower tea, and lavender.
Carrabba's Italian Grill has courses under 500 calories, including land and sea options.
- Chicken Marsala with mushrooms and Lombardo Marsala wine sauce; 450 calories
- Mahi Wulfe with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil lemon butter sauce; 380 calories
- Tuscan Grilled Pork Chop with signature grill baste, olive oil, and herbs; 390 calories
- Sparkling Tuscan Lemonade with Absolut Citron Vodka, II Tramonto Limoncello, basil syrup, and lemon juice; 180 calories
Pressed Juicery is offering its Pressed juice fasts — designed to recharge and refresh by replenishing key nutrients and eliminating toxins while giving your digestive system a break — at a discount.
- Half-Day juice fasts include 4 juices and 1 shot, followed by a 500-calorie plant-based dinner, for $20
- Full-Day juice cleanses include 6 juices, with one juice consumed every 2 hours, for $29
This saves you up to 20 percent is is available through February 1.
They also have a new limited-edition fanny pack, made from recycled plastic bottles with an insulated inner compartment that holds two juices if you need to take your juices to-go; it's $2 with any $29+ purchase, while supplies last.
Starbucks has a new winter menu that includes dairy-free drinks, as follows:
- Honey Almondmilk Cold Brew: Slow-steeped Starbucks Cold Brew and honey topped with almondmilk for a creamy finish
- Honey Almondmilk Flat White: Flat white pairs almondmilk and Starbucks Blonde espresso with honey
The Flat White is a permanent addition to the menu.
The bizarre thing is that they go to all this trouble of doing non-dairy choices and yet add honey, which is an animal product and therefore not vegan. Starbucks has never quite gotten the vegan thing. But hey, baby steps.
They also have a new Kale and Portabella Mushroom Sous Vide Egg Bite that will become a permanent menu item, with chopped kale, portabella mushrooms, Monterey Jack cheese, and eggs, cooked using the sous vide technique resulting in a velvety texture. It has less than 250 calories and 15 grams of protein, all this obsession with protein, people you really do not need that much protein.
Dunkin' has a new plant-based option, to meet the trend of Americans adding plant-based options to their diet by creating more ways to make plant-based food and beverages part of their day. Following the success of last year’s Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich launch, Dunkin' is adding another plant-based protein patty to its menu, teaming up with MorningStar Farms to launch the new Southwest Veggie Power Breakfast Sandwich, available for a limited time at participating Dunkin’ restaurants nationwide.
The Southwest Veggie Power Breakfast Sandwich features a MorningStar Farms Black Bean Patty layered with an egg white omelet with spinach, bell peppers, and onions, topped with cheddar cheese, served on a multigrain thin. It has 410 calories and 26 grams of protein.