As the leaves begin to turn and temperatures start to drop, I keep thinking about a restaurant we enjoyed last fall. Thanks to a gift card from my daughter-in-law and son, we ate at the Harvest Seasonal Grill, a chain of nine farm-to-table restaurants located mostly in Pennsylvania.
As I have written before, when you are trying to eat healthy, restaurant menus can be loaded with fat and calorie traps. But this eatery offers loads of healthy choices. Among other selections, the restaurant features a variety of meals with calorie counts weighing in under 500 calories.
The menu changes every season. When we visited, it highlighted many fall flavors. Even before we made our selections, I enjoyed reading through the list of dishes, which included many flatbreads, appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches and entrees with a healthy emphasis. Many of the options even could be prepared gluten-free on request.
Although we are not vegan or vegetarian, it’s always interesting to see how restaurants develop vegan and vegetarian recipes that are similar to popular meat dishes. For example, they had cauliflower “wings,” a mushroom “cheesesteak,” and an impossible “burger.”
I wanted to try a little of everything, especially the vegetarian and vegan choices, but I have a particular weakness for seared scallops. And their scallops were served over winter squash risotto with a horseradish pumpkin seed pesto, pickled mustard seed and more. Who could resist that? Dan had coffee-rubbed filet mignon served over Brussels sprouts au gratin with a Cabernet reduction.
After dinner, we chose from an assortment of shot-glass-sized desserts. Mine had a brownie bite with salted chocolate mousse and he had a mini-banana pudding. The desserts were just the right size.
Next time we visit, we would like to try more flavors by choosing a variety of appetizers.
This visit made me wonder how many meatless versions I could make of meals we regularly eat. I recently saw a recipe for cauliflower buffalo “wings.” I’d also like to try our own version of “cheesesteak” with slices of portobello mushrooms, roasted Vidalia onions, roasted peppers and sharp provolone.
It’s fun to sample new dishes that are also healthy.