Taste of the Carolinas: Healthy Helpings

by Janean Flowe
waffles and chicken available at Fiction Kitchen

Many people resolve to eat better each new year. There are plenty of restaurants in the Carolinas offering healthy menu options without sacrificing flavor. Here are a few worth checking out.

exterior photo of Fiction Kitchen restaurant

Fiction Kitchen | Raleigh, N.C.

New health resolutions might sometimes include cutting back on meat dishes or removing them from your plate altogether. This popular Raleigh restaurant offers vegetarian and vegan dishes created in a totally vegetarian kitchen. Get your comfort food fix with their crispy fried mock chicken and waffles or savor a NC peanut noodle bowl with scratch made hoisin, mushrooms, seasonal vegetables and more. Desserts on offer include a ganache truffle pie, peanut butter cheesecake and tres leches cake. 919-831-4177; TheFictionKitchen.com.

Plant | Asheville, N.C.

Plant began thrilling Asheville taste buds in 2011. The locally-sourced, chef-driven mindset is strong in this mountain town and Plant’s menu reflects that. The rotating menu is small, allowing each meal to be created fresh. It’s also all vegan, mostly gluten-free and about 90 percent organic. Start off with a plant-based cheese plate with fresh bread, then tuck into smoked Portobello served with cauliflower and fennel salad. Top it off with an ice cream flight or indulge in a piece of homemade carrot cake. 828-258-7500; PlantIsFood.com.

Salad Pizza entree from Kitchen Sync restaurant

Kitchen Sync | Greenville, S.C.

While the menu features some comfort foods and other sinfully delicious items, Kitchen Sync’s determination to contribute to a healthier planet warrants inclusion here. This spot happens to have the country’s highest Certified Green rating among independent restaurants — and one of only three U.S. restaurants to hold both the 4 Star and SustainaBuildTM ratings. Healthy picks: fried beets (perfectly crispy and sweet), zucchini hummus (grilled sweet potato flatbread with fresh vegetables) and the banh mi salad (rice noodles, Asian slaw, bean sprouts, basil with a sesame soy vinaigrette). 864-568-8115; KitchenSyncGreenville.com

Gathering Café | Charleston, S.C.

In-season, locally gathered produce, well-priced daily specials and flexible ordering are reasons to add this to your list. There’s something delicious for every palate on the menu. Freshly made bowls like panang curry, teriyaki and Greek can be topped with local fish, shrimp, steak, chicken or tofu. Go for a greens and grains option with your choice of a protein served with yummy sides like black eyed peas and greens, roasted sweet potatoes or smoked cheddar mac and cheese (made with gluten-free pasta). They also offer family style meals — a protein and three sides. 843-297-8380; GatheringWestAshley.com.

Where’s your favorite dining spot? Email us at GoWithGo@AAACarolinas.com or tag @AAAGoMagazine when you post your dish on Instagram! We might feature your favorite in a future column.

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