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Monday, 05 February 2024 11:33

Healthy Yet Heavenly: Tasty Salads & Wraps

Written by  Josh Veal
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Bliss & Vinegar. Bliss & Vinegar. Courtesy Photo

When you’re looking to fuel your day without loading up on carbs and fried food, salads and wraps are the way to go.

While West Michigan isn’t LA or even Portland, there are still some great options for getting your greens and veggies around town. If you’re craving a healthy lunch or dinner, you can find tasty, nutritious, yet fulfilling meals at select spots in the area.

Here are a few of our suggestions for getting your salad (or wrap) fix:

Field & Fire Café
820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
fieldandfire.com

Field & Fire began as a wood-fired oven bakery and has since grown into a café and bagel-ry as well. The café on Monroe is popular for not just its baked goods, coffee and espresso drinks, but its delicious, healthy food, such as the Resolution Bowl—organic quinoa and kale, topped with grilled tempeh, pickled onion, tomato, pistachios, avocado and verde sauce. Or go for the Buddha Bowl, with radicchio, spinach, carrot, red pepper, poppyseed, avocado, quinoa & chickpea salad, all topped with a sriracha tahini sauce. 

Bliss & Vinegar
888 Forest Hill Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
blissandvinegar.net

At Bliss & Vinegar, it’s all about health, and you’re fully in charge. Create your own salad, quinoa bowl or wrap from five different greens, nearly 20 veggies, multiple cheeses and proteins, plus 18 vinegar dressings. Or, trust their tried and true creations that regulars keep coming back for, like the Tokyo Spa Salad, with spring mix, tofu, red pepper, carrots, broccoli, garbanzos, sliced almonds and red wine vinaigrette.

Gaia Café
1553 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
gaiahousecafe.com

This legendary vegetarian/vegan restaurant rose from the grave just a few years ago, bringing back favorite dishes like the Mean Green Burrito. While they have multiple nutritious options, my personal favorite is the Veggie Stash, a heaping pile of steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and red cabbage, prepared with garlic, ginger and tamari, served on your choice of brown rice and/or potatoes, all topped with cheese, scallions and sour cream. I’m no doctor but I’m pretty sure the dish has healing properties—at the very least, it’s delicious and full of nutrients.

Mudpenny
570 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
496 Ada Dr. SE, Ada
mudpenny.com

Mudpenny began as a coffee cart called Grace Coffee before rebranding and moving into their first storefront location downtown. Now with an additional location in Ada, the café and eatery has many fans of its aesthetically pleasing, fresh, healthy and tasty food and drinks. One option is the Mash Up, with avocado, maple sweet potato mash, bell pepper, tomato, spinach and goat cheese on naan. Or try the Arugula Salad, with avocado, butterball potato, dried cranberry, toasted cashes, maple vinaigrette and shaved parmesan.

Uncle Cheetah’s
850 Forest Hill Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
1133 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
unclecheetahs.com

While Uncle Cheetah’s is mainly known as a soup shop, with both locations serving up a dozen different soups every day (many of which are quite healthy), they also have fantastic salads, which can be made into wraps. The Forest Hills location has four salads to choose from, including one of my favorite Caesars in town, as well as the Corn On A Stick But A Salad, featuring local greens, charred corn relish, cherry tomatoes, queso fresco, cilantro, espice, garlic aioli and jalapeno vinaigrette. 

Two Beards Deli
38 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
twobeardsdeli.com

With nearly 100 sandwiches on the menu, all named after a different famous bearded person (real and fictional), you might think that’s all Two Beards has to offer, but they’ve gone ahead and put together a stellar salad menu as well. If your focus is on the veggies, try out The Joaquin Phoenix, with vegan curry tofu salad, broccoli, cherry tomato, green onion, red cabbage and carrot on spring mix, with orange ginger vinaigrette.

O’Briens Deli & Burgers
1200 E. Paris Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
obriensdeli.com

O’Briens doesn’t do anything halfway. Their menu is massive, with notoriously tasty burgers and fries, but they also offer 16 different wraps and 11 salads. They have unique wrap options like the Jalapeno Reuben Bacon Wrap, or if you’re looking to get your green fix, try the Sauteed Veggie Wrap, with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, mushrooms, peppers, avocado, feta cheese and balsamic dressing in a spinach tortilla.

Low Carb Grill
1180 Washington Ave., Holland
lowcarbgrill.com

Gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, Low Carb Grill is all about delivering big flavor without the bad stuff. Each dish has full nutrition facts available, including the net carbs. Try the Moroccan Chicken Cauli-rice Bowl, a Mediterranean dish of chicken breast marinated in Greek yogurt and seasonings, loaded with peppers, onions, in-house riced cauliflower, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, cilantro and tzatziki sauce. 

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