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Desert Companion

The Dish: Light Year Ahead

Is a healthier diet on your list of resolutions? You won’t sacrifice an ounce of flavor with light dishes like these 

Tuna SandwichHappy new year! If you suspect we’re using this month’s dining feature to nudge you to improve your diet in 2015 — yes, we’re totally going there. However, we promise these five light, calorically responsible dishes don’t sacrifice an ounce in the flavor department. Heck, you just might go back for seconds — and in this case, it’s totally fine.

 

The Power Lunch

Walnut “tuna” sandwich at Juice NV

The walnut “tuna” sandwich at Juice NV doesn’t look or taste like tuna, and that’s fine. In fact, this hearty sandwich should embrace what it is: spinach, walnut paté and spicy cashew cheese on sprouted grain bread. This surprisingly flavorful sandwich doesn’t have the weird earthy undertones or stereotypically “healthy” flavor you might expect of a vegan take on a lunchtime classic, with its satisfying filling and spices reminiscent of falafel. What a catch.

9500 S. Eastern Ave. #110,
702-463-1689, juicenv.com

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QuinoaThe Decadent

Quinoa crunch bowl at LYFE Kitchen

If the quinoa crunch bowl was a Facebook relationship status, it’d be complicated — but in the best kind of way. The colors, textures and flavors will keep you marveling at the complexity of this dish. Fresh, crisp, seasonal vegetables — radishes, broccoli, quinoa, avocado and arugula — are served with edamame hummus, chipotle vinaigrette and fireman’s hot sauce. It has a citrusy brightness, accented by peppery arugula, and the hummus propels the bowl beyond glorified salad status. Bonus: You can get this complicated goodness in a wrap, too.

140 S. Green Valley Parkway #142, 702-558-0131, lyfekitchen.com

 

CleanserThe Cleanser

Daily Detox at Krayvings

Don’t let this drink’s shade of bright pink throw you off. You’ll expect a blast of berries but, in fact, this concoction of orange, apple, lemon, ginger, parsley and beet comes on strong in a mouth-puckering tartness that quickly resolves into a light, fruity, well-balanced drink. Little surprise this is one of Krayvings’ top sellers.

11770 W. Charleston Blvd. #150, 702-945-0520, krayvings.com

 

Key lime pieThe Guilty Pleasure

Key lime cheesecake at Juice NV

For something that has neither lime nor cheese in it, the vegan key lime cheesecake at Juice NV is an impressive impostor. It’s creamy and firm — like real cheesecake! — and the filling (cashews, maple syrup, avocado, lime juice, coconut butter) actually delivers that trademark tart, pleasant shock of key lime. The crust (almonds, Brazil nuts and dates) may stick to your teeth, but think of it as a pleasant souvenir from a guilt-free dessert.

9500 S. Eastern Ave. #110, 702-463-1689, juicenv.com

 

NachosThe Switch-Up Surprise

Vegan nachos at Simply Pure

This ridiculously fresh variation of the bar food staple is made with corn chips, vegan protein “beef,” vegan cheddar cheese (or upgrade to cashew nacho cheese), fresh pico de gallo and sliced avocado. Served cold and crisp, Simply Pure’s nachos are well-seasoned but not too spicy, and the salsa tastes like it’s made moments before being served. You might just forget that these are vegan nachos — perhaps the true mark of a successful healthy dish.

In the Downtown Container Park, 707 Fremont St., #2310,
702-810-5641, simplypurelv.com

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