We can’t stop eating! To take away our eggnog-and-tamale-overdose guilt, we’ve put together a list of spots serving up healthy dishes that are actually delicious.
Since the opening of its first eatery at the Highlands Shopping Center in Del Mar in 2011, Urban Plates has won over patrons with its commitment to organic and sustainably sourced ingredients to provide delicious scratch-made meals at an affordable price. It features a wide variety of menu options such as honey-mustard oven-baked salmon served with sesame kelp noodles and herb-grilled chicken with broccolini. For indulgence without the guilt, order the tofu vegetable curry—slow-cooked with a green curry-coconut sauce, organic carrots, daikon, zucchini, red bell peppers, organic apple and ginger, then served with mashed potatoes or white and brown rice. 26661 Aliso Creek Rd., Ste. B, Aliso Viejo, (949) 424-6160; also at 3413 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, (714) 462-9885; 3972 Barranca Pkwy., Irvine, (949) 387-2600; and 13380 Jamboree Rd., Irvine, (714) 332-6272; www.urbanplates.com.
From luxe lonchera to brick-and-mortar (recently expanding to Long Beach), Seabirds continues to dish out delicious seasonal-vegan fare. This is a restaurant that has managed to appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike with dishes such as its beloved beer-battered avocado tacos, creamy butternut enchiladas stuffed with black beans and maitake mushrooms in a roasted pasilla pepper sauce. If you’ve never been, we recommend starting with the purple taquitos—three crunchy taquitos filled with purple potatoes and topped with chipotle sour cream, fermented curtido and tangy almond feta. 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 549-2584; 975 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 317-5545; www.seabirdskitchen.com.
Blue Bowl Superfoods
Start with a base of açaí, pitaya or steel-cut oats, then work your way through vitamin-rich garnishes such as chia seeds, cacao nibs and goji berries. Top it off with some creamy almond butter, fresh fruit and agave. Try a different combination every time that’s tasty, full of antioxidants and healthy AF. 417 S. Main St., Orange, (714) 876-5309; www.mybluebowl.com.
Get healthy meals that are organic, local, whole30 and paleo delivered to your doorstep. If you’re hesitant about these buzzwords or scared you might be ordering a month’s worth of cardboard-tasting food, know that its food is chef-driven, changes weekly and is tasty. A week’s menu can include anything from Mediterranean lamb skewers with baba ghanoush, market vegetables and house tzatziki to wild coho salmon served with Brussels caesar salad. 201 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana, (949) 610-0869; modelmeals.com.
Green Tomato Grill
Focused on delivering affordable, seasonal dishes, Green Tomato Grill has created a menu centered on fresh ingredients and lots of vegetables. Enjoy plates such as grilled soyrizo sweet potato hash, barbecue pulled pork melt using Creekstone Farms pork and the Thai tofu wrap (crispy tofu tossed with carrots, bell peppers, edamame and mixed greens in a coconut-peanut sauce). Stay tuned for the grand opening of its third restaurant next spring! 796 N. Brea Blvd., Brea, (714) 987-3766; 1419 N. Tustin St., Orange, (714) 532-1220; www.greentomatogrill.com.