Eating Out and Staying Slim: How to Eat Healthy at Delaware Restaurants
Yummy restaurant foods can kill any hopes of donning those bikinis. But there are ways to dine out without beefing up.
(page 2 of 4)
The Right Stuff
It stands to reason that if you select a restaurant where healthy options are plentiful, you won’t be as tempted to pine for jalapeño poppers. Thai dishes, for instance, often include a liberal helping of vegetables. “Stir-fry is fantastic for you,” maintains Norrawit “Wit” Milburn, executive chef at Ubon, a Thai restaurant on the Wilmington Riverfront. “Our salads are good for you, too.”
But even cuisines touted for health benefits have pitfalls. Those watching their weight should nix curries with coconut milk, which can have 35 calories in just a tablespoon. Ubon sparingly uses sugar and salty soy and fish sauce, staples of Thai cuisine. But that’s not always the case at Asian restaurants, which pile it on for flavor. “You have to be careful of how a dish has been ‘Americanized’ to appeal to our palate,” Hanson says.
On the surface, sushi seems like a low-cal choice. But Americanized rolls are land mines. They often include ingredients such as spicy mayo, avocado and cream cheese. “Consider simple, traditional rolls with one fish or vegetarian rolls,” says Rob Wood, who with his wife, Susan, owns the Cultured Pearl Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Rehoboth Beach. “You can also request that the chef use less rice per roll. Eating straight sashimi (fish only) is the healthiest route.”
Americanized Italian dishes, such as cheesy eggplant Parmesan, are diet no-nos. But you can say yes to rustic Italian. Consider Taverna’s grilled shrimp with grilled vegetable orzo and chili oil. (A tip: spicy foods boost your metabolism.)
The restaurant also serves baked sea bass with mushrooms, green beans and tomatoes in a light seafood broth, and grilled ahi tuna with sautéed escarole and cannellini beans.