Healthy eating is here to stay. For many, healthy eating is a year-round pursuit. Whether you want to cut calories, fat, sugar or carbs, you have no shortage of tempting choices. Plymouth restaurants and food shops know how to showcase healthy and delicious foods that will have you coming back for more.
Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill
Healthy options have a special place on the menu at the Sunshine Factory. The colorful veggie-studded shrimp skewers appeal to dieters and non-dieters alike. Everything is made from scratch, including the fresh pineapple salsa – a zippy infusion of cilantro, tomatoes and onions. An abundance of flavors skimps on calories. “The fat grams are very low—only three—and it’s just a great, colorful, very tasty dish,” says April Hanson, general manager-partner. “Nothing is deep fried. It is also served with a choice of fresh fruit, dinner salad with no croutons to keep it healthy, or cottage cheese with tomato. It’s a great value for a great meal.” $11.95, lunch and $13.50, dinner.
HOT TURKEY HOAGIE
Davanni’s Pizza and Hot Hoagies
As the top-seller of a lineup of 18 hoagies, the hot turkey must be something special. Fortunately, it’s one of the lower calorie options, and with a few changes you can make it more so. Opt for more fiber from a whole grain bun, and go mayo-free to lower the fat and calories. The turkey brims with flavor and needs no adornment. “You know it is healthy. You can taste it is superior turkey,” says marketing director Tim Huberty. Lettuce, tomato and onion make good condiments. Go all out with your veggies with a garden side salad for $2.89. Packing two servings of vegetables, the side salad is “probably the best value on the menu,” says Huberty. Whole hoagie $7.09, half $4.25.
ROASTED VEGTABLE SOUP
Healthy and wholesome roasted vegetable soup makes a good pick any day, and it’s even better on a chilly fall day. Loads of good-for-you veggies and starchy garbanzo beans simmer into a soothing blend. What better way to put onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and peppers in the same bowl? The housemade dish cooks into a harmonious blend that needs no profusion of spice that could mask the flavors. The hot roasted vegetable soup is also a nice complement to a cold salad. Cup $3.50, bowl $6.
The panir tikka is a standout among the dozens of vegetarian options at the India Palace. Ice cube-sized chunks of homemade cheese are the foundation of the Northern Indian dish. A tenderizing spicy marinade and searing on the tandoor (clay oven) grill transform the cheese into a substantive protein both in taste and texture. A side of delicately seasoned yellow lentils offers more healthy protein plus a boost of fiber – a bit of basmati rice forms a complete protein. The vegetarian dish is a popular alternative to similarly prepared meat-based dishes. The panir tikka is a complete meal with high regard in the vegetarian community, says manager Nidish Sharma. $16.95.
FARROUT BROCCOLI KALE SALAD
Lunds & Byerlys
The farrout broccoli kale salad proves eating whole grains is anything but dull. Health and happiness meld into one with the Nourish-inspired toss of veggies, fruits and farro. Bright bite-sized bits of broccoli and kale contrast with the red sundried tomatoes and orange dried apricots. Chewy farro kernels and creamy shreds of Parmesan cheese bring everything together. The seasoning is subtly sublime: minced garlic and shallots enliven a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey and lemon juice. With 180 calories in 2/3 cup, this salad is diet-friendly. Better still, it is hefty enough for a meal on its own. Turn the farrout broccoli kale salad into a complete protein with a side of hummus and whole wheat pita bread. For a nutritious lunch, Nourish director Bea James suggests rolling the salad into de-veined chard leaves. $7.99 pound.
TASTE OF TUSCANY PIZZA
Solos Pizza Café
Healthful eating comes easily with the taste of Tuscany from the “Pizza Under 500 Calories” menu. Yes, pizza can be good for you with the right modifications. Solos knows how to transform an indulgent food into something better – all at no sacrifice to taste. The improvement starts from the crust and carries through to the toppings. Whole grain dough bakes into a grainy airy consistency that is so delicious, customers request it for regular pizzas, too. Toppings come next: fresh spinach, olive oil, tomato, onion, garlic and grilled chicken. Skim milk mozzarella supplies rich cheesy flavor with less fat. “Be good to your body without being cruel to your taste buds,” says owner Brian Banick. A slimmed down pizza contains a mere 450 calories. Stringent sourcing assures clean ingredients without preservatives and artificial flavors whenever possible. 7-inch $7.25, 10-inch $8.95.
POLLO CON MOLE VERDE (CHICKEN WITH GREEN MOLE)
La Cocina de Ana
“Not all moles are created equal,” says Anna Rayas, owner of La Cocina de Ana. “There’s a huge variety of moles.” Ingredients vary from region to region in Mexico. While chocolate is often associated with mole, it is not part of the verde (green) version. Ground pumpkin seeds and almonds meld into a savory green tinged sauce. Roasted poblano and jalapeno peppers provide Mexican-style heat. Shredded chicken breast adds texture and protein. To finish the dish, slather a soft tortilla with the pollo con mole verde, and heat in a skillet or heat the mole and serve with warmed tortillas on the side. Pollo con mole verde has “very subtle flavor, not crazy flavors to it, so you won’t need to add anything like chunky salsa,” says Rays. Small $12.99, medium $22.99, large $31.99, party size $66.99.
THAI LETTUCE WRAPS
Sakana Japanese BBQ, Sushi & Asian Bistro
Head to Sakana for some healthy yet tempting Thai lettuce wraps. Forget about bread; veggies hold together a lettuce wrap. With organic lettuce and fresh ingredients, you know you’re in for fine fusion fare. The wraps make an ideal shareable appetizer. Their self-serve table style sparks conversation. The fun part comes when you assemble and roll the wraps yourself. Wok-seared diced chicken or shrimp, zucchini, onions and Thai basil make a hot filling for plate-sized frilly lettuce leaves. Dip your stuffed wraps into a bowl of housemade hoisin sauce. Order a round of wraps for your table and you’ll know why these are such a popular appetizer. $9.95, $11.95 for shrimp.