Going Healthy at Snap Kitchen
Photo by Mai Pham Malaysian curry was like a curried version of ratatouille -- and it's not only tasty, but healthy.
True story: A girlfriend of mine lost 12 pounds doing the Snap Kitchen 21-day challenge. Now, I want to lose 12 pounds, too, but I have to be honest when I say that the thought of eating healthy, pre-packaged foods for any length of time does not appeal.
"I eat with my eyes first," I told concept executive chef Matthew Reinhart and nutritionist Andrea Hinsdale of Snap Kitchen during a recent tasting event held to unveil items from their new spring menu. Our tasting started with snack items, such as house-made smoked salmon served on paleo, gluten-free crackers and something called "devily eggs."
A riff on traditional deviled eggs, the yolks had been substituted with hummus, upping the nutritional factor and reducing the calorie count to just 100 per four halves. I knew that they had done something different to the eggs, but it wasn't until someone told me that it was hummus did I put two and two together. The "devily eggs" were exactly the kind of thing I would eat if I were to embark on a 21-day challenge, and it was a promising start.
Photo by Mai Pham Devily Eggs (filled with hummus instead of yolk) were a big hit at just 100 calories/four halves.
"We want to be a foodie haven that happens to be healthy," Daniel McGee, director of marking for Snap Kitchen, emphasized throughout the night.
"We're always innovating, redefining this category of food," Hinsdale explained. "We want people to know that they can have a portion-controlled, calorie-controlled food that should still be bright and fresh and flavorful. Restaurant-quality food that is carefully prepared and good for you. We want customers to not be able to make a bad decision."
Items like the cold-pressed juices make an excellent grab-and-go, and I quite enjoyed the two green juices on offer, an "Easy Greens" option, which mixed spinach, kale and cucumber with apple, lemon and lemongrass for a more palatable, sweeter taste, and a "Super Greens" option, made of romaine, parsley, cucumber, kale, lemon, spinach and celery. There were other options, like an "Antioxidant Blend" with beets, and "Far East Turmeric Blend" with pineapples and carrots, but I gravitated towards the green blends because they were the least sugary.
Photo by Mai Pham Snap Kitchen juices are cold-pressed and come in a variety of unique flavors. They can be combined as part of a liquid detox program as well.
I really had a hard time getting over how some of the food items looked or tasted, however. A kale caesar salad was very good, something I'd order again because the healthy bits --the fact that it was sodium conscious, carb conscious, gluten free and vegetarian -- didn't dent its flavor profile. A gluten-free, 190-calorie per slice provencal flatbread was also decent on the flavor front, with a tangy stewed tomato topping, but the "bread" component -- made primarily of cauliflower -- was spongy and somewhat soggy, reminding me of a frozen dish that had been microwaved.
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