Culinary indulgence with zero guilt

Oct 7, 2015 by Cholla Charli

Chicken breast cooked moist and perfect in a mushroom sauce, tender grilled shrimp in garlic, and succulent fillet of fish with tomato, peppers and onion on light, fluffy rice. If that sounds like decadence, you’re right; but it’s also very healthy.

Those are just a few of the mouth-watering entrees you’ll find at The Healthy Kitchen, which opened May 30, 2014 at the intersection of Sinaloa and Leon de la Barra in Puerto Peñasco.

Owner and Chef Alfonso Velazquez has created a new restaurant concept for those who want to eat healthier while enjoying amazing cuisine in a casual setting.

“The idea was to make something good and very healthy,” Alfonso explained. While he cuts out unhealthy fats and carbohydrates, he is a master with spices, creating a burst of complex flavors in every bite. In preparation for opening the Healthy Kitchen, he thoroughly researched nutrition and healthy cooking techniques. The result is a broad selection of delicious dishes that won’t weigh you down.

The menu includes chicken, fish, shrimp and some beef dishes prepared from scratch using fresh local ingredients. Your entree will be accompanied by green salad or soup of the day, fresh steamed vegetables, rice or potato. Portions are appropriate and the prices are modest. Alfonso uses coconut or olive oil on the grill; and is happy to cater to individual dietary restrictions, preparing gluten- lactose- or salt-free dishes on request.

Many restaurants have policies prohibiting substitutions or special requests. Alfonso said, “We make special food for special people every day.” His favorite thing to cook is shrimp because there are so many ways to enhance the natural flavor with spices such as garlic, chilies and wine to name a few.

Healthy Kitchen serves lunch and dinner and can seat around 12 people in the dining room. However, nearly 70 percent of the business is delivering healthy meals to people at their work place or to their homes, and catering.

Alfonso caters events, parties, weddings, meetings and regularly caters breakfast for up to 70 preschoolers at the local Montessori school and other schools. He once catered breakfast for 5,000 people, but the event doesn’t have to be on a grand scale. He said, “For as few as four people, we will make a party.”

Having worked for major restaurant chains in Arizona and California after completing his college degree in business administration, Alfonso’s goal now is to have a chain of Health Kitchen restaurants throughout Mexico and perhaps, in the United States.

For now, the Health Kitchen in Peñasco is open every day at noon, closing at 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and at 7 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, at the intersection of Sinaloa and Leon de la Barra. Look for the bright green store front. Credit cards are not yet accepted, so bring pesos or dollars and if you’d like beer or wine with your dinner, you are welcome to bring that too. There is no corkage fee.

Invite some friends who think healthy means bland, and watch The Healthy Kitchen become their new favorite restaurant.

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