Livin’ Lean


Looking for lighter fare at local restaurants? Look no further

It’s January, and if 2020 had the impact on your waistline that it did on lots of others’, you may be ready to climb on the resolutions bandwagon with the rest of us. But that doesn’t mean suffering through bagged salad and carrot sticks at home. Lots of local restaurants offer an enticing range of delicious salads, small plates and entrees that also happen to be good healthful choices as well. So dig in—and watch the numbers slide down the scale! 


Salads and sushi are flavorful and healthy choices at Anaba Japanese Cuisine. Consider seafood ceviche marinated with tomato, cucumber, green onions and avocado and served with a spicy cocktail sauce. And their sushi and nigiri/sashimi include a wide range of ingredients, from avocado to wagyu. Hold the rice? That’s an option too!  

Farragut: 9405 S. Northshore Dr., 865-531-3263
Downtown: 131 S. Gay St., 865-474-1187
Maryville: 1837 W. Broadway Ave., 865-233-5545


There’s no need to miss out on the steaks—or even the wine—when you’re at Flemings for a special evening. The filet mignon is a lean choice along with a house or caesar salad or shrimp cocktail. Just shut the menu firmly before you get to desserts! 

Turkey Creek: 11287 Parkside Dr., 865-675-9463


So many choices on Seasons’ intriguing menu: Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna or Diver Sea Scallop,  a Fall Harvest Beet Salad or Springer Mountain Chicken with local mushrooms. Feeling especially virtuous? The Grilled Vegetable Platter with marinated zucchini and yellow squash, portobello mushrooms, broccolini, seared artichokes with cheddar cheese grits, flat bread toasts and hummus will fill you up, not out!  

Turkey Creek: 11605 Parkside Dr., 865-392-1121

Tako Taco

Located adjacent to the Mill and Mine, Tako Taco blends the flavors and ingredients of cultures and locales near and far. Consider Ancho Roasted Chicken Tacos, Roasted Veggie Tacos, or a Vegan McRib Torta made with seitan, hoisin BBQ Rojo sauce, house pickles and onions. Even dessert won’t get you in trouble: it’s Melon Gazpacho Sorbet. Yum!  

Downtown: 235 W. Depot Ave., 865-545-4625

Bistro at the Bijou

Drop in Bistro at the Bijou for some rustic and delicious dishes. Healthy options include a Shaved Brussells Sprouts Salad tossed with greens, bacon, red onion, pumpkin seeds and parmesan in vinaigrette, Hoppin’ John with rice, black-eyed peas, collard greens and sweet and spicy chow chow, and a selection of protein plates with soup or salad. 

Downtown: 807 S Gay St., 865-544-0537

Knox Mason

Knox Mason’s menu is populated with fine Southern goodies, but don’t despair! You can enjoy dinner and not dread the next weigh-in! Try a Local Roasted Winter Squash Salad with goat cheese, arugula, toasted pecans and a pickled peach vinaigrette. Or how about ‘Kilt’ Green Salad with Blake’s Toast, Circle V Farm egg,  kale, frisee and Benton’s Bacon vinaigrette? Yes, please! 

Downtown: 507 S. Gay St., 865-770-5988


You don’t need to search to find lean and healthy options on Sunspot’s menu Try a Kale and Quinoa Salad with arugula, butternut squash, goat cheese, radish and a roasted almond vinaigrette. Or Citrus Marinated Shrimp with cucumbers, pickled red onions, radish, cilantro, avocado puree, the house hot sauce and grilled flat bread. Other options among the entrees: Tofu Grain Bowl or Grilled Mahi Mahi with harissa, vegetable root hash, kale and a miso vinaigrette. 

Near UT: 2200 Cumberland Ave., 865-637-4663

Plaid Apron

Hungry for some hearty farm-to-table fare at lunch? Head to The Plaid Apron in the heart of Sequoyah Hills, and consider dishes like their Farmers Plate, with pan-roasted seasonal vegetables, balsamic reduction, fresh herbs and choice of added protein, or Winter Stew, with squash, kale, fire roasted tomato, white beans, garlic, onion, and vinegar, with a slice of homemade sourdough bread. 

Sequoyah Hills: 1210 Kenesaw Ave., 865-247-4640


Kaizen strives to emulate the atmosphere of small Japanese-style pubs, or izakaya, while offering a range of Asian cuisines. Consider Mapo Doufu, a Sichuan tofu dish with toasted chili oil, fermented black beans, broad bean paste, and fresh herbs over steamed rice, or Balinese Shrimp Curry, with potato starch and veggies in a spicy, tamarind-based Indonesian inspired curry, steamed rice, & Sambal chili paste.  

Old City: 127 S Central St., 865-409-4444


Straight from the sea to your table is Chesapeake’s motto. Consider a Steamed Seafood Fest with Maine lobster, mussels, Maryland spiced shrimp, clams and oysters, Seared Ahi Tuna over Asian slaw with wasabi paste and soy ginger sauce or the Maryland Seafood Salad with burl crab, shrimp, scallops, fresh greens and avocado ranch dressing. 

Downtown: 600 Union Ave., 865-673-3433

West Knoxville: 9630 Parkside Dr., 865-851-9088

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