There's a new health-focused restaurant backed by Oprah Winfrey opening in a city near you, and it's called True Food Kitchen. The media mogul recently announced that she will be investing her billions in the Arizona-based chain, which currently has 23 locations across the country and hopes to double that by 2021—including debuting one in New York City. The restaurant was co-founded by renowned physician Dr. Andrew Weil and restaurateur Sam Fox in 2008 and prides itself in serving up high-quality, organic ingredients and seasonal produce.
True Food Kitchen's menu rotates regularly by season to ensure you're getting the best foods at their peak freshness throughout the year. From their famed inside-out quinoa burger to the spaghetti squash casserole to the chia seed pudding, every dish is prepared with nutrition in mind. However, not all of their dishes make the grade on fat, sodium, and sugar.
To help you make good food choices, we ranked the up-and-coming chain's breakfasts, appetizers, mains, and desserts from best to worst. Note that the menu items below are dishes you can find year-round, so if you want to check out their seasonal offering, visit their website for the full list. And to stay up-to-date on the best choices from your favorite restaurants, as well as for a collection of essential nutrition tips, and supermarket shopping guides, subscribe to the new Eat This, Not That! magazine now! For a limited time, you can save 50 percent off the cover price—click here!
True Food Kitchen Breakfast Items ranked from best to worst
Smashed Avocado Toast
Trendy avocado toast gets upgraded with a sunny-side-up egg and black sesame topping. The savory breakfast also features smoked gouda and thyme and a solid dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that will keep you full past your a.m. meal.
Egg & Chicken Sausage Sandwich
Layers of crispy egg, chicken sausage, manchego, tomato, and smashed avocado are nestled into a seeded bun and served with your choice of sweet potato hash or kale salad. Pick this high-protein 'wich to stave off those pesky 2 p.m. munchies.
Organic eggs, roasted chile, and pickled jicama slaw are topped over a bed of organic corn tortillas for a protein-packed breakfast. Just don't forget to pair this pick with an extra glass of water, as these Mexican-style eggs are high in sodium.
We love that this scramble includes broccolini, onion, bell pepper, and sweet potato. It also includes two types of cheese: smoked gouda and Grana Padano, which surely contribute to the high sodium and fat content. In fact, consuming this entire breakfast will result in you eating 57 percent of your recommended daily intake of fat!
While the balanced combo of organic eggs, ancient grains, sweet potato, grilled portobello, avocado, and hemp seeds sounds like a great way to start your day, the Sunrise Bowl is just way too high in belly-bloating sodium. In fact, this b'fast boasts over half your daily recommended amount of the stuff (2,300 milligrams, according to the FDA)—all before making it to lunchtime.
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffin
It's no secret that munching on muffins for breakfast may contribute to your muffin top, but if you're hankering for something sweet, you're better off going for the blueberry muffin over the pancakes or the banana espresso nut muffin.
Banana Espresso Nut Muffin
This java-spiked banana muffin may tempt you, but try to steer clear as the pick contains over a full day's worth of sugar! If trying this beckoning flavor is a must, opt for splitting the muffin with a pal.
With nearly a days' worth of waistline-widening sugar (the FDA recommends you keep added sugar intake to a 50 gram per day limit) and an outrageous amount of sodium for what's notoriously a sweet treat, you'll be doing your body a favor by passing up on these flapjacks.
True Food Kitchen Sharing Plates ranked from best to worst
If you're looking for a light starter that will help stave off hunger while you wait for your entree, these edamame dumplings are a good choice at 10 grams of filling protein per serving. Made with truffle oil and a mix of Asian herbs, the dumplings are served in a bowl of dashi, a Japanese seaweed broth that's infused with dried kelp and bonito flakes.
True Food Kitchen takes your average guacamole to the next level by incorporating the king of leafy greens. Kale adds more waist-cinching fiber—a whopping 43 percent of your DV—not to mention a hefty dose of health-boosting antioxidants. You'll also be surprised to learn that this guac also includes pink grapefruit instead of lime for more tang and roasted poblano for a smoky flavor. However, you'll want to ration the pita chips as those tend to be high in sodium.
Greek salad as a snack? That's what this deliciously creamy hummus basically is. Topped with crumbled feta, chopped red onions, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, this starter delivers eight grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein. Just remember to keep portions in check since it's on the high end of the sodium spectrum.
Cauliflower is the breakout vegetable of the year, so it's not surprising that True Food Kitchen decided to make it the star of this appetizer. Tossed in a spicy and nutty harissa tahini and topped with Medjool dates, pistachios, and fresh dill and mint, this veggie side is brimming with crunch and flavor in every bite. But at 24 grams of sugar and more than a thousand milligrams of sodium, you want to make sure you share this dish with your date.
Farmer's Market Crudites
Don't be fooled by the rainbow of vegetables in this bountiful bowl of crudite! While watermelon radishes, cauliflower florets, purple carrot sticks, and broccoli rabe deliver a plethora of nutrients, their anti-inflammatory efforts are reversed by the sky-high sodium content in the tzatziki and black olive dips. So if you order this starter, use the dressings sparingly.
The Margherita pizza is the only permanent pie among the seasonal slices and is meant for sharing between two people. True Foods Kitchen stays true to the Italian way of preparing Margherita pizza by using DiNapoli plum tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and Genovese basil. While we won't argue that this option is mighty tasty, we ranked it the worst side dish because it has a calorie count worth two meals!
True Food Kitchen Entrees ranked from best to worst
Organic Tuscan Kale Salad
If you aren't a kale lover, this flavorful salad will make you one. A lemony-garlic dressing softens hearty shreds of Tuscan kale, while crispy breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of Grana Padana cheese lend a sweet and nutty crunch. If you'd like to add some protein to your dish, you can choose from grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, steak, or tofu.
Mediterranean Chicken Pita
At 40 grams, this entree has the highest amount of protein out of any other main on the menu. Grilled flatbread serves as the crunchy vessel for harissa tahini-dressed chicken breasts, Romaine lettuce, peppery arugula, creamy feta, grapes, pickles, and red onions. If you think that's a mouthful, that's because it is!
Inside Out Quinoa Burger
The namesake of this main is the perfect description of what to expect in this dish. Hearty quinoa patties serve as the "bun" while tomato, butter lettuce, cucumber, red onion, avocado, and feta are sandwiched in between. The bold flavors of hummus and tzatziki tie all the ingredients together.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Gluten-free folks will absolutely fall in love with this healthier take on the Italian dish. Layers of spaghetti squash are topped with juicy DiNapoli plum tomatoes, caramelized onions, zucchini and fresh mozzarella. Even though you're getting a substantial amount of fiber in this dish, we still consider it an indulgence because of its high saturated fat and sodium counts.
Ancient Grains Bowl
This vegan grain bowl is loaded with charred onions, crunchy snow peas, and meaty portobello while miso-glazed sweet potato, creamy avocado, and hemp seeds balance the dish's bold and aromatic flavors. Although this meal fulfills nearly half your daily recommended value of slimming fiber, it's relatively high in carbs and sodium, a lethargy-inducing combo that may discourage you from returning to the office.
Ribbons of lasagna noodles are stratified with creamy lemon ricotta, mushrooms, spinach, fennel chicken sausage, and flavorful herbs in this Italian-inspired bolognese. And this layered dish only sounds indulgent. True Food Kitchen's version boasts nearly 500 fewer calories than Olive Garden's Lasagna Classico dinner!
Grilled Chicken Salad
With 740 calories in this leafy green medley, you're better off ordering the more indulgent-sounding lasagna bolognese or the quinoa burger—both options with an ironically lower carb count than this salad. Not to mention, three sources of sugar including Medjool dates, dried cranberry, and apples all lend the greens a whopping 33 grams of sugar. While these succulent culprits are healthy on their own, you're better off spiking your salad with just one rather than all three to cut down on both calories and sugar.
Poke bowls have swept mainstream menus across America in recent years, so we're not surprised the Hawaiian staple made its way onto True Food Kitchen's list. While the bowl is endowed with plenty of protein and healthy fats coming from wild-caught albacore, avocado, and quinoa rice, we're not too keen on the super high sodium count.
Cashew Pad Thai Bowl
Take-out is notoriously high in blood-pressure-raising sodium, and this Thai dish is no exception. It has over a full day's worth of the belly-ballooning stuff, let alone 23 grams of sugar mostly coming from the bath of tamarind shrimp sauce the dish is doused in. (At least you'll get an excellent amount of digestion-slowing fiber.) To slim down this meal and slash both sodium and sugar contents, opt for ordering the nutty pad thai bowl without the ponzu sauce.
True Food Kitchen Desserts ranked from best to worst
Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds boast a healthy dose of omega-3s, polyunsaturated fats that have been linked to staving off heart disease and protecting brain health. For an added dose of fat-fighting fats, this hearty chia pudding is topped with MCT-rich toasted coconut in addition to fiber-packed banana slices for natural sweetness.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Although this cocoa cake is flourless, the omission of gluten doesn't make the treat any less guilt-free. The fluffy souffle is topped with creamy vanilla ice cream, which helps hike up the sugar count to a disastrous 46 grams! If you're hankering for something sweet post dinner, grab an extra fork and split this with a friend.