The holiday season is in full swing! Thanksgiving has come and gone with the blink of an eye and the New Year will be here in a flash. During the holidays, it can be difficult to slow down and fully appreciate this special time of the year with friends and family.

Even as a chef I sometimes need a break from the holiday pressure and appreciate not having to cook every meal. It’s a great relief to know that I can conveniently “choose good” in the midst of indulgence during the next couple of weeks.

Urban Plates is committed to offering you real food that is nourishing, nutrient-rich and flavorful. Our food starts with high quality, carefully-sourced ingredients. I believe that by starting with the best ingredients we create great-tasting food with time-tested culinary techniques. In doing so, we eliminate the need for preservatives and unhealthy additives and maintain the naturally occurring nutrients that fuel our body and mind.

Fortunately, wherever I’m shopping this season I find myself close to an Urban Plates. This makes it easy to take a break from my holiday “to do” list. What a relief it is to escape the busy shops and parking lots to recharge in the comfortable and welcoming atmosphere of my local Urban Plates.

Hand-Made and Customizable Salads

Our entrée salads are a perfect option to satisfy your hunger and get a healthy well-rounded meal. Each salad is crafted to be a great source of nutrients with hot, hand-carved proteins, plenty of raw and unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fresh house made salad dressings. All of the oils used in our dressings are GMO-free and organic. Our spicy peanut dressing is a great example of our commitment to the highest food quality. We make this dressing by starting with hand sliced scallions, raw ginger and garlic. We lightly sauté them to heighten the flavors, add a touch of brown sugar and gently simmer to caramelize the sugars. We deglaze the pan with fresh orange juice and rice wine vinegar and then finish the dressing with peanut butter and some chili! Each salad has its own unique flavor profile with the perfect house made dressing to compliment all the ingredients.

Hearty Soups

If you don’t have time for a full meal our soups are a great way to warm your body and soul. Our popular vegan tomato basil soup is made with organic tomatoes, organic carrots, fennel, fresh raw basil, balsamic vinegar and is finished with coconut milk and nutritional yeast. Our tomato basil soup is a healthier alternative to the traditional cream based soups. It has all the flavor and creaminess of a traditional tomato soup, but we make ours with coconut milk and nutritional yeast instead of heavy cream and cheese. The coconut milk provides a great mouth feel, many nutrients and lauric acid, a medium- chain fatty acid that’s easily absorbed and used by the body for energy. The nutritional yeast gives the soup a nutty and cheesy flavor while providing protein and B-complex vitamins, great for helping the body convert food into energy.

Urban Plates Replenishers

To finish off your break, one of our Replenishers is the perfect complement to your meal. All our Replenishers are made with fresh whole ingredients to provide you with real flavors and plenty of nutrient benefits. We have a wide variety of options ranging from our popular fresh lemonade made with organic lemon juice and lightly sweetened with organic sugar to our seasonal green juice made with organic baby kale, celery, cucumber, seasonal fruits and no added sugar!

Urban Plates Gift Cards

Even though you might be on a shopping break, Urban Plates can easily help with your gift list with our gift cards. You can customize the gift amount on each card, making it easy to use as a stocking stuffer or a treat for your foodie friend or family member. Our gift cards are also a great contribution as a donation for individuals and families in need during the holiday season. You can “gift the taste” of Urban Plates whether you’re in the restaurant of online.

Entertaining at Home

Urban Plates is happy to help you spend more time with family and friends, enjoying their company and relaxing. Our Family Meals are available during the holiday season and are designed to feed four or more people. You can conveniently order these affordable meals for take-out or delivery. We are offering a choice of our Chimichurri Grass-Fed Steak, Habanero Mango BBQ Ribs, Grilled Free-Range Chicken, Turkey Meatloaf and Honey Mustard Salmon paired with two large seasonal sides of your choice and grilled rustic bread.

We source all of our proteins from trustworthy farmers and ranchers that never administer antibiotics or added growth hormones and practice sustainable farming methods. As a chef, I feel it is my duty to honor their hard work by preparing our proteins simply on our grill or in our ovens. Our sauces and marinades are all made in house with clean ingredients, designed to complement the protein and not mask the natural flavor profiles.

If you are entertaining a larger group (15 to 50 or more), our Chefs can take care of your needs with our convenient Catering Menu. We can create your whole meal or provide you with seasonal sides and desserts to pair with your main course. With so many options on our menu you can easily satisfy everyone’s requests and dietary needs.

Our sides are always made in small batches throughout the day and can be ordered easily for pick up or delivery. Some of my favorites for holiday meals are the macaroni and cheese, roasted brussels sprouts with turkey bacon, miso mushroom sweet potato sauté, chilled beet salad with goat cheese and superfood salad. Everyone in my family loves sides, but making all the favorites gets pretty time consuming. I know that Urban Plates sides are all delicious, healthy and made the way I would make them, so I feel good bringing them to share with everyone.

Probably one of the most holiday associated foods are desserts! It’s a time to celebrate and desserts always add that festive touch of joy and excitement to the end of a meal. We have pastry chefs in every Urban Plates location making all of our desserts from scratch with real ingredients. We don’t use any bases, flavorings or additives to make the pastries. Each component of our desserts is made in house. For example, our hummingbird cake layers are made with hand smashed bananas that we ripen until they have the perfect texture and sweetness. We fresh-chop the pineapple and raw walnuts and mix the cake batter by hand, not machines. The cake layers are filled with fresh chopped pineapple and our addictive cream cheese frosting.

All of our pastries are available during this holiday season, either as individual treats or dessert platters. Whole cakes and the mango tart are great for sharing and can be pre-ordered for your event.

All our locations will be open Christmas Eve from 11am – 8:30pm and closed on Christmas Day. We will also be open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day from 11am to 9:30pm. We look forward to seeing you and sharing our made-from-scratch food with your family and friends.

Warm Holiday Wishes,

Chef Jen