Cooler autumn days call for the return of two trends: the dreaded (or loved) pumpkin spice takeover, and the addition of comforting soups to the diet. On my quest to find health-centered restaurants in Vegas, I stumbled upon a nutritious version of my childhood favorite, tomato soup, and grilled cheese. This common chilly weather dish is available at any of the four Greens and Proteins restaurants within the Valley. Restaurant locations vary with two within the vicinity of McCarran airport, and the others towards Western side of town. Their expansive menu includes breakfast options, juices, smoothies, appetizers, soups and salads, raw dishes (vegetarian and gluten-free), pizza, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, tacos, and their newest addition of Greens and Caffeine™, a healthy take on the popular Frappuccino.
Due to the expanse of their menu, I cannot describe every ingredient that plays a role in the nutritious quality of their food. Though, through my own observations, I found that many menu options include vegan replacements for meat and cheese and other more nutritious substitutes for ingredients notorious for being processed. Health benefits of menu options such as vegan replacements can offer diners a meal with less saturated and trans fats, known for being harmful to health and increasing the risk of heart disease. Nutrient-dense side options including jicama and sweet potato fries are available to add to any dish. Replacing those typical potato fries with other root vegetables such as jicama (rich in fiber and vitamin C) or sweet potato (high in fiber, calcium and vitamin A) can allow one to increase the number of nutrients they will consume from their meal. This is favorable to diners seeking to eat more nutritiously and allows consumers to incorporate more nourishing aspects into their meals.
Most restaurant and fast food soups have loads of added sodium, intended to enhance flavor, that turns what could be a nutritious dish, into one that provides merely empty calories. Sodium is important to keep at a lesser value in one’s diet as overindulgence can cause hypertension, kidney disease, and strokes. Aiming to order something with less sodium, the menu choice I opted for was the tomato bisque with lavash grilled cheese. Flavorful and comforting, this dish reminded me of stay at home rainy days as a child.
The tomato essence was prominent; incorporation of basil and tomato chunks created a tasteful balance between the heavier texture of the soup and the strong tomato flavor. The side serving of lavash grilled cheese provided a crunchy and savory contrast to the meal, crisped to perfection with cheese that oozed from the edges.
Wait time at this establishment is comparable to that of fast service restaurants, with food being served to diners swiftly. Staff members acted attentively, coming across as genuinely friendly and well informed on the health benefits of their food. As a health-conscious diner who loves delicious food, I recommend Greens and Proteins to anyone looking to grab a satisfying dish that fits into a healthy diet.