Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Melissa d’Arabian Unveils Her New “Greens & Grains” Lunch Menu at Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill

Melissa d'Arabian
Melissa d’Arabian, who created the new “Greens & Grains” menu at Bluewater Boathouse, said, “The genesis of it was that I felt that there was a bit of a hole in the Coronado lunch scene. The Greens & Grains menu is a healthy and flexible way to get in a lot of nutrients in a meal that’s going to make you feel good about what you’re eating. Plant-based foods and sustainable seafood are two really big trends, and people want to eat in a way that feels good. I wanted these menu items to fuel people, giving them lots of energy so they don’t feel hungry an hour later.”

Local Celebrity Chef Partnering with Bluewater Grill

Coronado’s very own Food Network celebrity chef and nationally syndicated columnist, Melissa d’Arabian, may be known for being the 2009 winner of The Next Food Network Star as well as the star of Ten Dollar Dinners, but when it comes to going out for lunch here in the Crown City, she’s one of us! Whether it’s a work luncheon, an afternoon date with her husband, or a long-overdue opportunity to catch up with her girlfriends, when Melissa dines out for lunch, she’s not just looking for a meal that will satisfy; she’s looking for one that will nourish her, giving the busy mother of four enough energy to power through the rest of her day.

Feeling that many of Coronado’s local eateries felt stale when it came to healthy lunch menu items, Melissa wanted to revamp the lunch scene. After all, salads can get rather boring sometimes, don’t you agree? And when you’re trying to eat healthy food while those you’re dining with are filling their tummies with burgers, fries, and other tasty-but-not-so-healthy options, the same, old, tiresome salads, often more expensive than what you’d like to pay for a mid-day meal, can feel unfulfilling.

That’s when Melissa, who’s also hosted The Picky Eaters Project, Smart Carts: Winning the Supermarket, and the Cooking Channel’s Drop 5 lbs. with Good Housekeeping, decided to partner with the Bluewater Family of Seafood Restaurants. Known for serving the freshest, sustainably-caught/farm-harvested seafood, Bluewater Boathouse was excited to have Melissa on board as she crafted a brand new menu line called Greens & Grains, which features healthy and raw ingredients combined with Bluewater’s pristine quality seafood.

Coronado’s Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill is located at 1701 Strand Way. “The partnership with Bluewater made sense because they care about where their food is sourced and they care about the quality of the food that’s being served,” Melissa shared.

“Melissa d’Arabian’s Greens & Grains” Menu

Bluewater Grill released the following statement in regards to its new menu:

“Known as ‘Melissa d’Arabian’s Grains & Greens Menu,’ the new all-day menu features a series of moderately priced protein dishes made with Bluewater’s fire-grilled shrimp and salmon mixed with fresh lettuces, brown rice, black beans, roasted and julienned vegetables, spices and original cilantro lime and Thai sauces and dressings. There is also a vegan option featuring quinoa, lentils, kale, avocado and kimchee topped with a miso lemon garlic dressing.”

Melissa d'Arabian Greens & Grains menu

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Grains & Greens: $14

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Grains & Greens
Cilantro Lime Shrimp Grains & Greens
  • Fire grilled shrimp atop spring mix and Lacinato kale, mixed with brown rice, roasted corn, black beans, grape tomato, corn tortilla strips, pepitas, green onion, avocado, lime, cilantro, jack cheese, and cilantro lime dressing. (The cilantro lime dressing is made with lime, orange, extra virgin olive oil, ginger, cumin, garlic and cilantro.)

Magic Thai Salmon Grains & Greens: $14

Magic Thai Salmon Grains & Greens
Magic Thai Salmon Grains & Greens
  • Magic Thai sauce marinated and fire grilled salmon atop baby spinach with brown rice, julienned zucchini and carrot, red cabbage, red pepper, lime, sesame seeds and gluten-free peanut dressing. (The Magic Thai sauce features lemon, lime, orange, basil, parsley, mint, cilantro, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil, red pepper, gluten-free soy and peanuts.)

(Vegan) Miso Lemon Superfood Grains & Greens: $12

Miso Lemon Superfood Grains & Greens
Miso Lemon Superfood Grains & Greens
  • Organic quinoa atop shredded raw Brussels sprouts and Lacinato kale with fresh avocado, hemp hearts, sweet potato, cauliflower, lentils, grape tomato, English cucumber, green onion, blanched almonds, and miso lemon cashew dressing with nutritional yeast.

“Charlotte’s Cupcakes” by Charlotte d’Arabian: $5

Dessert by Melissa d’Arabian’s daughter Charlotte, who competed on the third season of the Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship. (See Additional Information at the conclusion of article for information regarding using the Coronado Schools Foundation Coronado Locals Card to receive a complementary order of cupcakes!)

  • Chocolate mini cupcakes with chocolate orange date frosting prepared free of processed sugars.

Strawberry Basil Sparkling Water: $3.50

Strawberry Basil Sparkling Water
Strawberry Basil Sparkling Water


Along with my friend Stephanie, who absolutely loves going out for lunch, we had the sincere pleasure of personally sitting down with chef-extraordinaire/fellow mom Melissa as we got to sample the new menu items!

Melissa d'Arabian
Melissa d’Arabian joined us for lunch.

As someone who’s spent the second half of 2017 focusing on making healthier choices, I was really excited to try the new Greens & Grains menu items, thoughtfully crafted by Melissa, and eager to try Charlotte’s new dessert. Would everything taste as good as I imagined it would? The entrees were colorful and beautifully plated, but would my taste buds agree with my eyes, which lit up as soon as the dishes were presented.

It would be a major understatement for me to say that I absolutely LOVED all three dishes! They were incredible! As Stephanie, who’s always been health conscious, and I looked at the ingredients listed on the menu, we were extremely impressed. The Cilantro Lime Shrimp Grains & Greens, including the cilantro lime dressing, features 19 ingredients! The Magic Thai Salmon Grains & Greens, including the Magic Thai Sauce, features 24 ingredients, and the Miso Lemon Superfood Grains & Greens blends over 14 flavors together.

Coree, Stephanie
As we said “Cheers” with our refreshing, non-alcoholic Strawberry Basil Sparkling Waters, Stephanie (right) commented, “This new menu is amazing! I want to eat here every day! This is totally my kind of food!”

If you stop to think about it, trying to make any one of these entrees at home would cost significantly more than the $12-14 price range offered by Bluewater Boathouse! Stephanie and I both appreciated how affordable the Greens & Grains menu items were, and laughed as we discussed how we could never even think about replicating these dishes at home! Where does one even find hemp hearts or nutritional yeast? I have no idea! (I don’t even know what hemp hearts are or what they look like, do you?) Typically, when I order something healthy from a menu, I feel annoyed, knowing I’m being charged three times the amount for what I could easily make at home, but this definitely was not the case with Melissa’s Greens & Grains fare. “I wanted to keep the price point of these menu items under $15. I don’t want to spend $30 on lunch. For me, I want to get out the door for under $20,” Melissa said as she discussed the affordability of the Greens & Grains menu.

The Greens & Grains menu items were unique, vibrant, and flavorful, and as Stephanie and I enjoyed every delicious bite, neither of us felt any lingering guilt often associated with dining out. Having worked out earlier that morning, as I ate lunch I didn’t have the usual burdensome feeling I normally get when I eat out, knowing that my workout had been for naught. What a novel concept that lunch can be healthy AND taste good!

Bluewater Boathouse view
“While the Greens & Grains menu items are foods I would prepare for you if you came to my house for lunch, I don’t have these amazing views,” Melissa said as she took in the waterfront scenery at Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill.

In the past, Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill has never been one of the lunch spots Stephanie and I regularly frequented, but with the new Greens & Grains menu, that will all change! “I can’t wait to come back,” Stephanie remarked. “In the past, when we have guests in town, I never know where to bring them for lunch. They can get a burger wherever it is that they live, and I’ve always felt like lunch in Coronado is like lunch anywhere else, nothing special. Now I can’t wait to take visitors here! They’re going to be blown away by how good everything tastes, and the incredible views will only enhance their experience,” she added.

Stephanie was all about the cilantro lime dressing and peanut dressing, noting how both sauces complemented all three dishes rather than just the specific dishes with which they were originally paired. “I could seriously eat both dressings all by themselves,” Stephanie said as she added another spoonful of the cilantro lime dressing to her emptied plate. We both agreed that whatever it is that’s in Melissa’s herbaceous “Magic Thai” sauce truly is magical. Melissa shared, “I really wanted tasty, interesting dressings. None of the dressings are afterthoughts, and they’re all labor intensive with very deliberate flavors that honor the dishes. My goal is that people will want to return because they’re even craving the dressings again.”

Bluewater Boathouse view

Already talking about the next time we return to Bluewater Boathouse, Stephanie and I discussed how it would be fun to share the entrees (provided that Stephanie would agree to sharing the dressings too) because it’s simply too hard to pick just one of the Greens & Grains menu items. We noted how we could also consider adding fire grilled shrimp or fire grilled salmon to the Miso Lemon Superfood Grains & Greens if we wanted a lean protein added to it. When asked which of the Greens & Grains menu items was her personal favorite, Melissa, just like Stephanie and me, had a hard time choosing!

Personally, I feel like there’s now someplace I can go for a healthy lunch where I won’t feel like I’m spending a small fortune. The water-front ambiance was perfect, the fresh ingredients were mouthwatering, and, when all was said and done, I was left feeling energized as opposed to feeling sluggish in need of an afternoon nap. In contrast to when I’ve gone out and ordered a salad for lunch, the Greens & Grains dishes didn’t leave me feeling hungry again an hour later, which was another welcome bonus. No matter how you slice and dice it, the Greens & Grains menu is a winner! Thank you, Melissa, and thank you, Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill, for partnering with Melissa to bring healthy gourmet meals to Coronado!

Coree Cornelius and Melissa d'Arabian
As she thoughtfully crafted her Greens & Grains menu, Melissa thought about what her own Coronado friends would want to find on menus when going out for lunch: healthy, delicious, and affordable were her goals. Of the new menu she created, she said, “There really is something for everyone.”

And, the icing on the (cup)cake was the dessert that Melissa’s sweet, ten year-old daughter Charlotte created. While it wouldn’t seem that dessert would fit into the Greens & Grains menu concept, Charlotte’s concoction was the perfect way to end our lunch. I liked how there were three mini-cupcakes, making it easy to have a small bite of dessert without overindulging and also making it effortless to split dessert among friends. Even though the cupcakes are in fact a dessert, because they’re made without any processed sugars, they were the quintessential treat. Perhaps the menu should be renamed “Greens, Grains, & Guilt-Free!”

After trying the Greens & Grains menu with Stephanie, I returned with my daughter Addison, who gave Charlotte’s cupcakes two thumbs up. As a mom, it was nice letting my daughter have dessert when I knew it didn’t contain any processed sugars.

Additional Information Pertaining to CSF Locals Card:

Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill
1701 Strand Way – 435.0155
With the purchase of one of the Greens & Grains lunch menu items, CSF cardholders will receive a complementary order of Charlotte’s Cupcakes.


Coree Cornelius
Coree Cornelius
Resident, Educator, Military Spouse, and Mother."I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list." - Susan Sontag.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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