7 Green and Grain
February 5th, 2013 by donuts4dinner

When we’re not enjoying gut-busting tasting menus, I keep my figure girlish with a low-carb diet, while my boyfriend eats low-calorie to remain a bronzed glamorboy. And since we don’t cook, much of our evenings together are spent laboring over what to order for dinner. I want burgers on English muffins; he wants sushi. I want steak; he wants salad. I want comfort food; he wants adventure. It’s not fun. But luckily, his adventure-seeking led him one evening to find on our favourite delivery app, Seamless, a brand new restaurant called 7 Green and Grain.

I’ll admit that I basically had to be forced to order from the place. It seemed too light, too healthy, not at all comforting. In the end, it was exactly light enough, so delicious I forgot how healthy it was, and as comforting as a bowl of pasta. It’s not pretty, but it’s delicious.

You start with one of their “Be the Chef” meals, a create-your-own-entree sort of thing where you select from proteins like cage-free chipotle chicken, char-grilled chile lime shrimp, turkey meatballs, and General Tso’s tofu. Next, you choose a base grain like couscous, wild rice, or quinoa. Then, you add what they call a “tasty texture”–stuff like roasted corn and edamame, hot pepper and onion relish, or dried fruit and nut chutney. You also get a side vegetable like steamed kale, golden beets, or caramelized cauliflower, and then you top it off with a dressing like ginger soy, yogurt mint, or miso peanut.

7 Grain and Green NYC

Here, I had the turkey meatballs with quinoa, hot pepper and onion relish, caramelized cauliflower, and the yogurt mint garlic dressing. It doesn’t look like much when it arrives, but once you stir it all together, it becomes this saucy, spicy, vegetal, meaty mix that’s interesting but comforting, hearty but not so dense that you’ll need a nap when you finish it. I have quite the appetite, but this always satisfies me and actually leaves me feeling good about what I’ve eaten.

My boyfriend and I agree that the turkey meatballs are the thing to get. They’re really well-seasoned–when you cut them open, onions and herbs stare back–and I like the way you can crumble them into the grain (or healthy low-carb seed, in the case of quinoa) and make sure every bite has meat in it. We also agree that the hot peppers and onions are the #1 Tasty Texture, because they’re finely chopped, mix in easily, and ensure that the grain won’t be bland. When you mix the spicy peppers with the cool mint yogurt dressing, it’s a delight.

7 Grain and Green NYC

Our second or third time ordering, my boyfriend decided to branch out and got the chicken with quinoa and kale. The chicken is flavorful without being too spicy and isn’t dried out at all. For me, the kale is pretty boring and needs salt, but he seems to be able to forgive that because it’s so healthy.

7 Grain and Green NYC

The vegetable bean chili is great when dumped all over the grain like a sauce, but it doesn’t cut it as a stand-alone dish. It’s almost entirely beans, and doesn’t have any of the deep, rich, developed flavor you expect from chili. They should probably call it a bean soup so you expect the brightness and thinness of the broth.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarBlank Star

The cons:

• Steamed vegetables are pretty awful when you know sauteed vegetables exist.
• The dinner portion is $13 to $17, which is waaaaay too expensive for what mostly amounts to grain or seeds. The lunch portion is much more reasonable at $9 but is also smaller.

The pros:

• The number of choices in each category is bound to please nearly every palate.
• It’s healthy.
• It’s complex and delicious.

7 Green and Grain
875 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10022 (map)

6 Responses  
  • Mrs. Bachelor Girl writes:
    February 5th, 20131:37 pmat

    Those meatballs do look delicious, but you know how much I love a meatball, ANY meatball.

  • Serial writes:
    March 4th, 20131:26 pmat

    That’s basically how I approach 80% of our dinners. What protein do we have in the fridge, what veggies, add a grain (or low-carb tofu shirataki noodles for me) and some sort of flavor agent.

    What I’m getting from this post is that I could be selling these bowls of health. Noted.

    • donuts4dinner writes:
      March 5th, 20139:50 amat

      My co-workers and I always order from this one wrap place (that’s prominently featured on episodes of “Jersey Shore” sadly/awesomely), and the prices are insaaaaane, and I always think about how I’d be rich if I just made the same thing at home and sold them to everyone at half the price. So yes, I support you, Lunch Lady.

      You should blog some shirataki recipes, because Tracey has never had any luck making those things taste good, and I’ve never even tried, knowing that she’s the chef of the two of us.

      • Serial writes:
        March 5th, 20139:57 amat

        You just have to dry them really well and salt them well. They’ll never have a good al-dente texture, or much flavor. I wonder if Tracey’s tried the Hungry Girl fake-fettuccine Alfredo recipe? That’s what I started with, then I load a bunch of other crap on top of it or next to it.

        • donuts4dinner writes:
          March 5th, 201311:05 amat

          She said she hasn’t tried that one specifically but has tried an Alfredo recipe and liked it but just got tired of the texture quickly because she really loves crunchy things. I asked if she’d ever considered baking the noodles first, and she hasn’t, but she did like sauteing them. Seems like there’s some hope for them if we get desperate for noodles, but I just cheat any time I feel like something carby. Success!

  • Serial writes:
    March 5th, 201311:16 amat

    They won’t ever get crunchy. That’s their big failure. For crunch, I eat them with fried tofu. (I KNOW)

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