For many of us, the start of a new year signals an annual rejuvenation of our health consciousness. Following a six-week (or longer) stretch of celebratory dinners, wine-soaked holiday lunches and general overindulgence, we instinctively reach for the reset button as soon as the New Year’s Eve hangover dissipates—vowing to cut the carbs, speed up the treadmill and let the bar cart go un-replenished as a means of penance for the December bacchanalia.
But then along comes Twelfth Night and the never-ending parade of king cakes that follows. The prospect of a Saints playoff run (or a disappointing end to a promising Saints season) often necessitates consumption of numerous adult beverages before, during and after each game. And in the blink of an eye, it’s time for Krewe du Vieux to roll through the Marigny and French Quarter, which means Fat Tuesday is around the corner. The next thing you know, you have “lost” your gym membership card, the button on your suit jacket is in danger of popping off, and your constant hangover has earned you platinum status at the rehydration therapy clinic. I’ve seen it a hundred times.
Lucky for you, the first step to righting the ship can be a delicious one with a stop at The Daily Beet. Owner Dylan Maisel was literally born and bred for nutritional outreach—his parents ran vegetarian restaurants in New York and Vermont. He blazed his on trail in New Orleans starting with JuiceNOLA in St. Roch Market, serving cold-pressed juices and simple salads as one of the original vendors in the reincarnated food hall. Two years later, Maisel expanded his vegetarian concept to the South Market District with the opening of The Daily Beet. Thankfully, he brought along the signature summer kale salad, a mélange of shredded lacing kale, pecorino, parmesan cheese and crunchy sunflower seeds tossed in a tart lemon vinaigrette balanced with the sweetness of currants.
Maisel incorporates heartier, non-traditional ingredients to “beef up” the salad offerings. Ancient grains like quinoa and wild rice form the base, along with seasonal greens, for bowls such as the aptly named Rainbow, a kaleidoscope of shredded carrots, beets, bell pepper, chickpeas, toasted almonds and more in a ginger-garlic dressing. An assortment of toasted nuts is utilized for extra protein power, from the toasted pepitas in the Southwest bowl to the bright green pistachios in the Wellness bowl with goat cheese and grapes dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette.
Thick slices of Bellegarde country loaf are the foundation of the toasts, including the now ubiquitous avocado toast topped with cherry tomatoes, chili flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. Homemade apple butter, whipped lemon ginger ricotta and a sprinkling of toasted almonds does double duty as a light breakfast or a near guilt-free dessert.
All things in moderation, including moderation.
1000 Girod St., 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, (504) 605-4413, thedailybeetnola.com