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The 7 Best Spots to Keep Your New Year's Resolution

...while still eating things that taste yummy

Kat Rembacki

Kat Rembacki

Storyteller at Core Detroit
Dance party crasher; wordsmith; downtowner;Disney geek; whipped cream junkie; die-hard Tigers fan. Join me on on my epic quest for the perfect turkey reuben.
Kat Rembacki

If you made a New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier this year, you’re not alone. It’s the most popular intention, with one in five Americans choosing healthy eating or weight loss as their annual pledge of choice. Why does that always seem like the hardest resolution to keep?

Because eating unhealthy is DELICIOUS.

Actually, eating healthy can be, too, if you pick the right menus. A resolution to eat healthier does not have to condemn you to a lonely meal, choking down raw kale in the office breakroom. Grab your friends and have a delicious, fun lunch break at one of these healthy Detroit spots.

Aunt Betty’s Cafe

When you can’t escape that soul food craving, head over to Grandmont Rosedale and stop into Aunt Betty’s Cafe. This homey spot breaks the gut-busting, smothered-in-gravy stereotypes of soul food and serves up comforting dishes that are kinder on our waistline.

The signature item you must try is a plate of barbecued turkey “ribs.” They’re not actually ribs at all, but they sure taste like it. They marinate bone-in cuts from all parts of the turkey. The pieces are grilled, then slathered with a wonderful house-made barbecue sauce. You can gobble up as many as you like without feeling guilty.

7 Greens

7 Greens makes it easy to choose something healthy because basically everything on their menu is fresh, tasty and gentle on your waistline.

If you’re looking for vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free options, this place is a gold mine.  7 Greens offers more than 50 different veggies, fruits, nuts, cheese, grains and other toppings. The roasted tofu is very good and there are lots of interesting veggies like the addictively good roasted brussel sprouts (this too should be a lettuce, we could it bowls and bowls of it).

Fashion your own custom salad or choose from one of their classic salads off the menu. Their January salad is a hearty bowl of spinach, quinoa, chicken, golden raisins, chickpeas and roasted curry cauliflower drizzled with a cucumber tahini sauce.

La Palma

Crushed lentil soup is the breakout star of the show at this squeaky clean Midtown eatery, a warm cup of love that tastes of cumin and saffron with a slight spice kick. The thick, hearty texture makes it the perfect accompaniment to a light, crisp fattoush salad with a zesty lemon dressing.

La Palma also offers plenty of grilled instead of fried meats and proteins. The yummy chicken kafta kabob is made with charbroiled chicken tossed with onions and parsley. Most entrees come with a side of rice and grilled veggies – lovely, charred hunks of bell pepper, yellow squash, carrots, mushrooms and tomatoes.

The portions here are generous, plenty to take home some healthy leftovers for dinner or lunch the next day.

Living Zen Cafe

Inside Hamtramck’s compound of calm is a vegan cafe that will nourish your body and your mind. One of the most beloved items on the menu is their kale and quinoa salad, which has it’s own following of devotees. There’s also a samadhi salad made with mixed greens with onion, carrot, dried cherries and walnuts tossed in a cashew dressing.

The dish we find impossible to pass up is Zen’s mermaid stew, partly because it’s so tasty and partly because the name “mermaid stew” is just so adorable. The piping hot bowl of yum is simmered with mung beans, French lentils, sunflower and sesame seeds, onion, garlic, lemon and a 12-spice curry that’s made in house. You kinda feel like a mermaid after eating this: graceful yet powerful.

Chickpea in the D

Protein-packed daily hummus makes an awesome afternoon snack, stamping out cravings and showing hunger who’s boss. And Chickpea in the D – a tiny walk-up window tucked onto John R just east of Woodward – keeps snacktime exciting with a rotating daily selection of hummus and snackers. Depending on the day the offerings might include an onion medley made with red onions and scallions, jalapeno, roasted tomato and basil, wasabi, cilantro and lemon, avocado, roasted portobello, pickle, or asparagus. Pair it with veggies, pretzels or pita.

Chickpea’s yummy sandwiches also make a great lunch on the go. We’re fans of the veggie and hummus sandwich, stuffed with carrots, roma tomato, romaine lettuce, cucumber, and hummus. They’ve got smoothies, too! We love the Sunny Day smoothie, which combines strawberry, banana, pineapple juice and yogurt, and makes us think of warmer weather.

Lunchtime Global

Oh, African Peanut soup. Sonnets and love songs should be written exalting your deliciousness. You have just the right amount of spice and warmth to heat up our bellies on a cold winter afternoon.

While it’s undoubtedly our favorite, the peanut soup is just one of many hearty, warm soups offered at Lunchtime Global. Soup is a great way to fill up without breaking your diet, and their rotating selection of savory chicken stews, wild mushrooms soups, and new and interesting flavors keeps us coming back for more. There are plenty of gluten-free and vegan options that are so tasty you’d never know they’re missing all the unhealthy stuff like cream, butter and meat (we’re looking at you, African Peanut!)

Pair a cup of soup with a salad for just $7.25 or make it a bowl for an extra 50-cents. The Copenhagen salad is an absolute delight, made with mixed greens, candied pecans, pears, dried cherries, gorgonzola, and a green goddess vinaigrette. The Thai Chicken salad has a devoted following of fans who love the romaine and mixed field greens tossed in a ginger vinaigrette with grilled chicken, carrots, cucumber, red peppers, fresh basil, celery and roma tomatoes.

Falafill

Falafill’s fast and fresh Lebanese concept is seriously delicious. Their build-your-own lunch options offer a ton of healthy choices and prevents lunchtime from ever getting boring. First, you’ll want to choose your protein. Falafill offers classic falafel as well as a seasonal falafel, chicken (marinated in yogurt, tomatoes, sumac and oregano), Sujuk Kufta (beef meatballs roasted in an Armenian spiced tomato sauce), and brisket braised in Middle Eastern herbs and spices. Then decide how you want it served: as a wrap, a bowl, or with a pita pocket.

The really tough decisions come when you get to the mezza bar. Think of it as a toppings bar. You can try out any combination of flavors you like. Choose from hummus, quinoa tabbouleh, baba ganoush, herb sumac relish, minted cabbage, Armenian salad, grilled vegetables, wild pickles, and more.

Then, there are the sauces. Tzatziki, the classic minted yogurt and cucumber sauce, is probably a familiar choice but there are a few options that may you may not have tasted before. Taratour is a tahini sauce with lemon juice and garlic. Zough is a spicy, smooth mix of cilantro, garlic and jalapenos.

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