by Ryan Renner
on Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 at 8:26am.
In the snow days of winter, sometimes the last thing you want to do is cook a nutritious meal for yourself and/or your family. Luckily for us all, the Omaha area boasts an incredible amount of locally-owned eateries and locally-owned franchises that can satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Read on for some solid healthy dishes that still taste good to go, and support your favorite restaurants when they need it most.
Longtime West O favorite Railcar Modern American Kitchen has a number of great healthy dishes that lend themselves to “to go” success. Chef and owner Jared Clarke suggests his Seattle BBQ Salmon. This meal consists of North Road Certified Sustainable Faroe island salmon, with a soy and pomegranate molasses glaze, yukon mashed potato, and broccolini stir fry. Another option in the appetizer realm is the restaurant’s Cast Iron Brussels Sprouts, with roasted chicken stock, hazelnuts, bacon, parmesan cheese and molasses.
Courtesy of Railcar Modern American Kitchen
Known for being a healthy grub pioneer in Omaha, there are now three locations of Greenbelly, the original on 114th street, an Elkhorn outpost, and the newest iteration in the Aksarben area. Founder Michael Schall shared that one of his favorite dishes is the Chicken Bruschetta Lettuce Wraps. With tons of veggie and protein power, these wraps are an excellent take out option and provide a boost of healthy goodness any time of day.
Courtesy of Greenbelly
Comfort food famous Block 16 is a culinary heavyweight in the Omaha scene. Their iconic downtown location is perhaps best known for the famous Croque Garcon burger, but the team encourages a slightly lighter option, the Bacon and Brie. It is a favorite, quick, simple and easy to eat sandwich that’s less calorie dense than their burger or epic daily specials. Enjoy thick-cut bacon, Brie, a regional fruit spread, and peppery arugula served on herbed Le Quartier bread. Pair it with healthy options like grilled chicken or salmon salad, with mixed greens, pickled red onion, local veggies, and house vinaigrette.
Courtesy of Block 16
Locally-focused caterer Heirloom Fine Foods offers a rotating meal prep menu each week. One of their mainstay items is Crudité with Sweet Potato Hummus, which can be purchased for either 1-2 people, 10-12 people, or just the spread itself in two different size options. According to chef and founder Shelley Elson-Roza, “our sweet potato hummus is technically a sweet potato spread because it doesn’t contain chickpeas, but we call it hummus because it tastes so similar.” This addictive yet nutritious pick is a client favorite and is perfect for a to go dish. Slow roasted sweet potatoes with a secret house mix of spices combine for a highly nutritious item. These locally sourced sweet potatoes actually promote gut health, are good for your vision, and may enhance brain function and the immune system. Other excellent dishes from the meal prep menu include a variety of winter soups, a dazzling winter citrus yogurt bowl, and a number of impressive salads.
Courtesy of The Mullers for Heirloom Fine Foods
Another dish ideal for a nutritious takeout option comes from Omaha’s newest hotel, the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel, which has a number of delicious onsite restaurants. A perfect option for to go dining that hits a healthy note is the Nicoise Salad at the Orleans Room. A classic French take, this scrumptious salad is comprised of olive oil, poached tuna, heirloom tomato, haricot vert (green beans), yukon golds, nicoise olives, fresh greens, a soft boiled egg and finely diced herbs.
Courtesy of Jesse Deuring for Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel
Omaha’s own Blue Sushi Sake Grill has an awesome healthy lunch special that is perfect for takeout. Their Lunch Special is a budget friendly way to enjoy high quality sushi and is currently available Monday-Saturday from open-2pm, both dine-in and to-go. One healthy combination is shown in the photo below, a simple Cali Roll (crab mix, avocado, cucumber) and an order of protein-packed Sake Sashimi (salmon). This lunch deal also comes with miso soup or a salad for an even more well-rounded meal. For extra convenience, Blue has three Omaha locations, at Legacy, Eagle Run, and downtown.
Courtesy of Flagship Restaurant Group
For a fruit-forward healthy bite, consider a trip to Vitality Bowls, which is a locally-owned franchise with locations in Aksarben and Legacy areas. Owner Katie De Santis, loves the Vitality Bowl, their signature Acai Bowl. Its base consists of organic acai, bananas, strawberries, flax seed and a specialty VB Blend, which has five plant-based powders that give a nutritional boost! It’s topped with organic granola, bananas, strawberries, organic goji berries and honey. Acai is a superfood that is known to be high in antioxidants, aids in weight loss, regulates blood sugar, and promotes a healthy heart. DeSantis also shared that the Dragon Bowl (pictured below) is another customer favorite at Vitality Bowls that offers health benefits. Its base is a combination of pitaya, bananas, pineapple, raspberries, an immunity boost powder, mango juice and coconut milk. This pretty bowl is topped with strawberries, kiwi, almonds, goji berries, bee pollen and honey. Pitaya, also known as Dragon Fruit, is high in Vitamin B and C as well as magnesium. This bowl is light and refreshing and helps support lasting energy with the vitamins it provides.
Courtesy of Vitality Bowls
Downtown slow food fast staple Kitchen Table offers tons of health-forward options. One vegetarian and gluten free winner is their new Madras Style Veggie Curry with Fried Rice and Toasted Lentils. It can be purchased warmed up and ready to go, or can be frozen and prepared from your freezer to your table in 15 mins. Lentils are an ideal meat substitute, as they are high in protein and low in fat. (FYI, Madras is the former name of Chennai, India, if you’d like to know more about this delicious curry!)
Courtesy of Kitchen Table
A relatively new kid on the healthy block, Lola’s in Dundee has a couple of winning takeout favorites. First is their Grilled Halloumi Salad featuring organic quinoa, radish, chickpeas, parsley, and red onion in a homemade lemon dressing. A lovely pairing with this salad is the sandwich next to it, a roasted butternut squash concoction with burrata cheese and salsa verde. Try either one or both of these dishes to go from their central Omaha location.