Seasons 52: Diet-Friendly Fine Dining

Seasons 52

Grilled Alaska Wild Copper River Salmon with summer corn risotto, sugar snap peas, and toybox tomatoes

Imagine enjoying an Oak-grilled rack of lamb with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and a summer vegetable ratatouille, all for the same amount of calories as a medium Strawberry Surf Rider Smoothie from Jamba Juice. At Seasons 52, that’s precisely what you’ll get.

Nestled into a corner at Houston’s vibrant City Centre, this new restaurant redefines healthy dining. The seasonally influenced menu inspires the restaurant’s name. Entrees change about four times a year, and vegetable sides change weekly. However, the most impressive part of the menu is that every item is 475 calories or less.

Seasons 52

Honey & Herb Roasted Chicken, spring vegetables, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, roasted chicken jus

If you’re picturing cardboard diet food and rubbery tofu, think again. Instead, the healthy balance at Seasons 52 is achieved by shunning the embarrassingly large portions that have come to be standard and letting fresh, seasonal vegetables do the talking. These meals are hearty, satisfying, and downright delicious.

The whole roasted Branzino, a European seabass, is standout summer special. This beautifully presented dish has a delicate texture and a sinfully savory flavor. Another memorable dish was the honey & herb roasted chicken. Chefs could have taken the easy way out by serving a dry slab of boneless, skinless chicken breast atop an uninspired salad. Instead, this chicken is moist, rich, and downright flavorful, and served with a tantalizing array of seasonal vegetables. Additionally, while the trend of desserts in shot glasses feels exhausted at other establishments, at Seasons 52, it somehow feels special, and fits right in to the perfectly-portioned atmosphere.

Seasons 52

 

Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon, cremini mushrooms, steamed leaf spinach, mashed potatoes, red wine sauce

Seasons 52 has over 30 locations across the country including Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, Atlanta, Georgia, and Phoenix, Arizona. It first arrived in Houston at Westheimer, and it’s popularity spurred this second location at the City Centre shortly after.

While the classy, dimly lit interior lacks in personality (there is not a chalkboard, Edison lightbulb, or tattooed waiter to be found), the understated elegance is the perfect setting for a fine dining establishment. Unlike Ruggle’s on the Green, another popular City Centre eatery that emphasizes seasonality, the atmosphere at Seasons 52 is much more upscale and carries a noticeably higher price point.

That being said, you get what you pay for. And at Seasons 52, that means delicious, quality meals that leave you feeling nourished, rather than nauseous.

– Kelly

Diet Friendly Airport Food

For many people, the summer months are an ideal time to jet off on a vacation. I am the type to arrive at the airport over 2 hours before my flight, which means that not only do I have a lot of time to kill, but also that I need to eat a meal or heavy snack before I board the plane. Luckily, in most major airports it IS possible to eat healthy while traveling. See below for some of my go-to airport foods from recent travels.

Bush Intercontinental Airport (Terminal E):

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^^ IAH has a great variety of eateries and healthy selections, but above is quite a gem. I found an eatery in terminal E selling made-to-order tossed salads, with the option of organic lettuce! Salads are always a healthy choice, but stale grab and go salads aren’t always super tempting. With the made-to-order option, not only was I able to choose my favorite toppings, but I was also in control over how much dressing and other toppings were used. This salad (organic greens + chicken + mandarin oranges + onion + teeny tiny bit of feta + tiny bit of balsamic) was my pre-flight lunch.

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^^ In flight snack: Kashi bar + water bottle (from one of the magazine shops)

Logan Airport (Terminal A):

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^^ Pre flight power lunch: Small Wendy’s Chili & water bottle. The small chili has only 180 calories, with a whopping 4g fiber and 13g protein. As much as fast food creeps me out, this chili is a rather lean option. Plus, I’m always cold at airports, so warm meals are a welcome bonus.

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^^ In flight snack: Fruit cup, water bottle, and Luna bar. Admittedly, the Luna Bar is something I packed from home. If you have a favorite bar or non-liquid snack, I recommend you do the same! There is no guarantee that the airport will have what you’re craving. The fruit cup was from Lucky’s to go (I picked around the cantaloupe and mostly just ate the strawberries and pineapple), and the water bottle was left over from lunch.

Other options:

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^^ Nuts and dried fruit are healthy to snack on, and are usually pretty easy to find at the airport. Just remember that packages of this size often contain multiple servings. So feel free to share with your travel buddies, or seal it and keep it in your purse throughout your travels.

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^^ Most airports tend to have a pretty good selection of bars, including Kind bars, Clif bars, and Kashi bars, just to name a few. These bars make a good on the go snack, just make sure to check the nutritional label before you purchase. If you are like me and have a specific preference (love Luna!), pack your own from home.

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^^ Legal Seafoods in terminal A has a great selection of salads, fruit salads, and even shrimp cocktail. Healthy and delicious!

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^^ Fresh, whole fruits are usually available in at least one location in most airport terminals. It’s not exactly farmers’ market quality, but it is still a healthy option to power you through your travels.

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^^ Don’t forget to stay hydrated! Bringing an empty, reusable water bottle from home is the most eco-friendly option, but luckily, water bottles are abundant at most airports. My on flight pick when the drink cart rolls by? Hot tea!

What are your favorite airport snacks and meals? How do you stay healthy during traveling?

– Kelly