Tender Greens makes it so easy to eat healthy when dining out.
The menu prompts you to pick a protein: steak, salt and pepper chicken, barbecue salmon or seared tuna.
Then you pick one of six “greens,” ranging from butter lettuce with tarragon dressing to kale with a roasted garlic vinaigrette.
And, finally, you pick a side: either brown rice, seasonal veggies or mashed potatoes.
You just can’t get into much trouble here. No deep-fried cheese sticks to tempt even the most disciplined diner.
The menu also has a solid choice of main-dish salads.
I like the Happy Vegan, which includes a long list of things that will make you proud of yourself (and make up for that ice cream you ate last night), such as farro with cranberry and almonds and quinoa with beets and cucumbers and a helping of green hummus.
Or you can keep it really simple and choose the California Bowl (brown rice, seasonal salsa, slaw, cotija and lime crema) with the protein of your choice.
Both the Tender Greens at Spectrum Center and University Center have ample, airy patio seating for lunch and dinner. Open air and a leafy treat is what a healthy Irvine summer is all about.