Healthy, transparent food chain opens location in River North

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There is a trend, especially among millennials, toward eating food that is not only healthier, but also more transparent. Knowing the source of your food, as well as cooking with nuts, grains and dried fruits is becoming more commonplace.

The kitchen is constantly busy at True Food Kitchen, which recently planted its first Midwest location in River North.

"True Food Kitchen is a restaurant that is based on Dr. Andrew Weil's anti-inflammatory diet but then it is also mixed in with sustainability, cutting edge chef creativity you know. We are a really food-forward chef-oriented concept," said Chef Michael Sullivan.

The menu is full of nuts, grains and vegetables by the bushel.

"Into fall we are just roasting a ton of vegetables we are using them in different salads or entrees," said Sullivan.

Shitake mushrooms are wok-tossed with tofu, getting a teriyaki glaze and then combined with crunchy jicama, Thai basil and cashews for a unique lettuce wrap.

Spicy panang curry rivals any Thai restaurant: soft potatoes, crisp long beans and bok choy, plus carrots and aromatic Thai basil all swimming in a coconut shrimp broth.

The beet bruschetta is another colorful option: candy-stripe beets with a sprinkling of pomegranate molasses and dried pomegranate seeds, plus a vegan cheese.

"We make an almond ricotta, it's a vegan ricotta cheese. We let the almonds soak overnight, then we take some extra virgin olive oil and some salt and puree that up so it looks like a nice ricotta," he said.

Ancient grains are all over the menu, including a bowl, with miso-glazed sweet potatoes, turmeric and charred onions, as well as snow peas, grilled Portobello mushrooms and avocado.

"They're great for your diet so, whether it be high end protein or the anti-inflammatory part of it. It is a big part of what we do some seasons it's a little bit more. We defiantly incorporate a lot of that whether it be farro, or freekeh or quinoa into the menu," said Sullivan.

True food kitchen comes to Chicago at a very interesting time you've got restaurants like Bad Hunter in the West Loop and Left Coast Food and Juice in Lakeview all pushing very vegetable forward menus, proving that eating healthy can also be delicious.

In this week's extra course, Steve Dolinsky talks about a unique and delicious dessert made with dairy-free ice cream.

True Food Kitchen
1 W. Erie Street
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