We wrote a similar blog last year and, because of the great feedback we received, we decided to write a new one!!
Here’s the thing… if you’re a social person, it’s impossible avoiding eating out at restaurants. Going out to eat is something that we all love to do! When you do decide to treat yourself to a meal out on the town, make sure to make healthy choices. Plus, we believe in supporting local businesses (of course), so we decided to ask some more of our favorite local restaurant owners and their chefs about healthy options on their current menus!
Social On State is a Tapas Restaurant and Bar. Their food is always fresh and every meal we’ve had has been excellent!
Taj Tandoor on Main Street in Binghamton is fresh and delicious!!
Chicken Tikka Boti- Picture shown above, made in the traditional clay oven. Low fat, high protein entrée.
Baigaan Bartha- grilled eggplant with onions, tomatoes, and spices.
Chicken Seekh Kabob- ground chicken with various spices.
Vegetable Jalfrezi- Fresh mixed vegetables cooked with tomatoes and herbs.
Chicken Kadai (spiced chicken with onions and bell peppers.
Tandoori Fish- roasted salmon marinated in yogurt and spices)
General menu tips from the owner, Mohammed Ansari:
“Tandoori items are made in a traditional clay oven called a tandoor. Because of the method of cooking, the dishes tend to be lean. Look for tandoori chicken or shrimp for a low-calorie, low-fat entree. Often times the tandoori items section is referred to as the “weight watchers” section. Below are three simple tips to follow when ordering from an Indian restaurant.
1. Choose dishes made with lentils or chickpeas.
Any dish labeled as Daal, such as Daal Tadka, is made with lentils, sautéed garlic, and is low in fat. Look for dishes labeled Chana Masala. These lentil and chickpea based dishes are high in fiber and protein, which will help you feel fuller.
2. Order lean meats.
When choosing meat based dishes, opt for grilled or kabob meats. Meats that are cooked Tandoori style are typically lean and marinated with yogurt and fresh spices. You can also try Tandoori fish and other seafood dishes.
3. Fill your plate with vegetables.
Vegetables are low in calories and fat and high in fiber and nutrients. Opt for dishes made with fresh vegetables, like Aloo Gobhi and Bhendi Masala, for a delicious, colorful meal that will help you feel fuller, longer.
Our chefs at Taj Tandoor, practice an authentic style of Indian cooking which includes low butter, low salt, highly nutritious meals compared to that of other Indian restaurants. Most restaurants tend to go for a “more rich” dish by incorporating high levels of cream and butter to try and “enhance” the taste, this is something we tend to avoid. The use of authentic Indian spices such as Turmeric, Cardamom, and Cumin also have immense health benefits. Servers at Indian restaurants are familiar with Indian cuisine, so they’re available to answer questions for you. If you don’t know what a word means, ask before ordering. Stay happy, stay healthy, eat Indian!”
The Loft at 99 has several healthy options on their menu. In fact, KW Fitness has partnered with Fresh Meal Solutions, prepared at The Loft at 99! For more information about Fresh Meal Solutions, click here.
Here are a few healthy choices, recommended by Executive Chef, Michael Bunker:
Directly from owner and nutritionist, Elliot Fiks:
“You know being in the food business, one thing is clear nowadays. And that is, everyone’s definition of what’s healthy is different. But whatever you’re definition, when you come to the Whole in the Wall, you can find healthy food. There are a few reasons for that:
Number one is, we start with high quality food. Much of it is organic, locally raised whenever feasible, and virtually always unprocessed and free of additives, preservatives, or chemicals. And we prepare these items from scratch, the old fashioned way, not from a mix. We bake our own whole wheat rolls with organic flour, local honey, and highly unrefined sea salt. Our apple pie is made with our own homemade crust, and real apples, not from a can. Most of our seafood is wild caught, and our burgers are made with local, grass fed, organically raised beef.
Number two is, we cater to special diets. Our menu is coded for vegan and gluten free, and we take that very seriously. Ask my staff. I drive them crazy making sure cross contamination is avoided. A lot of people promise that. When you have a kitchen run by a nutritional consultant (me), you can count on it. If you want vegetarian, there’s a huge selection. If you want paleo, many entrees already are, or can be easily adapted for a small upcharge. If you want low carb, we’ve got it. Many items are made to order. So for example, if you want you’re stir fried veggies low salt, we can go light on the soy sauce, or leave it out entirely.
Number three is, taste matters! I’m a firm believer that for food to be truly healthy, its got to be enjoyed, meaning its got to taste good. If for no other reason than you’re not going to eat the foods you think are healthy for long unless you enjoy them. Having been in business for 35 years, we’ve developed some signature foods that are pretty darn flavorful: Baba ganouj, a middle eastern spread that my good friend Tom Ellis (of Lebanese descent), says is better than his grandmother’s! A seafood platter that one customer told me was better than any he had in Maine. And a mexican platter that a regular, Michael (of Mexican descent), says reminds him of home.. And that’s our story, and we’re stickin’ to it!”
The Grapevine Cafe just opened a few weeks ago in Johnson City and they offer lunch, dinner, loose tea, NY State Wine, Craft and Domestic beer, protein shakes, smoothies, and more! Some of their healthy menu options include:
Quinoa Kale Veggie Burger- topped with lettuce, roasted red pepper, and dijon mustard aioli
Kale Power Bowl- Organic quinoa, assorted fresh veggies, kale, arugula and chickpeas blend, tossed in tahini dressing. Can add marinated tofu spiedies!
Poppy feta salad- Feta, agave glazed walnuts, craisins, sliced apple, spring mix served with poppy seed dressing
They also serve paninis, tapas items, and different soups!
General “eating out” tips:
Drink water!!- Often times, people will fill up on sugary, calorie-loaded sodas, teas, alcohol, etc. By drinking plenty of water, not only will you save yourself some money, but you’ll fill up quicker and won’t be as likely to overeat.
Skip the bread!- You’d be surprised how much simply skipping the bread, breadsticks, garlic knots, etc. will help you keep weight off.
Salad dressing on the side!- Instead of pouring the entire cup of dressing onto your salad, dip your fork in the dressing and then load your fork with your salad. You can cut down the amount of dressing you consume by more than half!!
Eat SLOWLY!- This rule of thumb helps whether you’re eating at home or out in a restaurant. Take your time, enjoy your meal, and you may even have some leftovers.
Click here to check out the blog that we wrote last year (note: some menu items may have changed).
So get out there, support these awesome local establishments, and choose healthy!! Bon appétit 🙂
Mandy Webb, KW Fitness