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need something filling but simultaneously healthy that i can chow on a regular basis(might be an oxymoron)

what and where do you hounds go for food like that? i'm talking no/low saturated/trans fats/cholesterol, bad stuff, but something more subsantial than salads and things of that ilk. i subsist on udon and soba but that only works half the time. how about fake meat/vegetarian chinese places? anything near downtown L.A. or chinatown that i can eat regularly to up my healthiness quotient? trying to save greasy ramen for weekends but failing too often ><

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  1. ooohh, udon and soba are super high carb...good in small amounts, but as subsistence, not very healthy at all.

    Try something with a lot of beans or lentils...mediterranian is good. Or just go to a raw, vegetarian or health food place.

    M cafe de chaya, literati II, jack Sprat's, Native Foods, Real Food daily all offer healthy alternatives, with way more than just salads.

    sashimi is also good in small quantities, if you watch to get pure sashimi and none of the fusion fried sauce covered sushi crap.

    For something a little more filling, I go to rahel Veggie ethiopian on Faifax.

    I hear that Homegirl Cafe in Boyle heights is good, they're planning to open one in Chinatown sometime.

    Gelson's has their own on-staff dietician, and she has designed several dishes you can get in the deli. Look for "Jessica's Favorites" in the deli-she has a special label on her prepped foods.

    Seriously, though, the way to up your healthiness quotient is to not eat out so much (I know, this IS chowhound, but it is the truth). Dining out is almost a promise of eating something high in oil, fat, sugar salt or a blend thereof.

    A good bowl of mixed greens and veggies topped with beans, lentils, fresh grilled fish or veggies and so on is not only a healthy dauly meal, but quite refreshing in thes hot days!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      Exactly, I completely agree. Even the food at places like M Cafe can be quite oily -- that's why it's so tasty. If every restaurant posted their calories, you'd never believe it. Every single burrito at Baja Fresh, for example, has over 1000 calories.

      1. re: Chowpatty

        BUT, the baja ensalada with mahi mahi at baja fresh is tasty, extremely filling and is something like 300 some-odd calories (check their website). That's the one thing I'd recommend. I add a lot of pico de gallo, which is very lo cal.

        additional info added after checking website:
        Now it seems that they don't offer the baja ensalada with mahi mahi, but they do have mahi mahi tacos, so maybe it's just a matter of asking. Anyway, when they did list the baja ensalada with mahi, it had roughly the same nutritional info as the chicken version.

        1. re: kiwi

          Just ask them for the Baja Ensalada with mahi-mahi, even tho' it's no longer on the menu. They'll make it anyway. I just had it two days ago at my local Baja Fresh.

    2. I'll second the Jack Sprat's rec. Air baked fries, good sandwiches & salads.

      If you can't resist going to your ramen joints anyway, how about a summery, veggie-rich hiyashi chuka instead of ramen?

      Dunno what part of town you live in, but in my local Little Saigon restaurants, there's all sorts of light, flavorful, nutritionally well balanced dishes. Heck, the whole cuisine suits your needs.

      1. Ceviche or seafood cocktail at your local mexican shop. Goes nice with the 80 degree nights as well.

        1. you can eat healthy anywhere - it's just what you choose to order and eat. avoid bread, wraps and fried sides - all are really high in calories.


          james beach: one piece of bread, tuna tar tar and ceviche and it was great and filling. btw, their tuna tartar is so good! just a lump of tuna that is kind of spicy and very sesame flavored. the ceviche was great as well. really fresh and refresing.

          patina - one piece of bread, yellowtail appetizer & scallop main. really healthy meal (i think).

          eduardo's (socal burrito joint): i ate the chicken burrito but without the tortilla (b/c of the calories) and extra salsa.

          taco king: 2 carne asada tacos w/extra hot sauce. so good!

          burger king: i always have a whopper no meat no cheese no mayo. so, you have tomato lettuce and onion with ketchup - it's great. sometimes i get onion rings to put on top.

          pete's cafe: blackened chicken salad - i only eat the chicken and not the salad or dressing. it's great.

          1. It seems to me that there is confusion in this thread. Are you just concerned with oils/fats and not so much calories and carbs? That seems to me what you are looking for. Cuisines light on saturated (animal) fat, and trans-fats. Would a steamed fish at a Cantonese place do it for you?

            1. What about Robeks? I find their smoothies and juices to be very filling, and they have some healthy sandwiches when you want something solid. I like the juice made with spinach, carrots and, I think, celery. Sounds funky, but it's tasty. Kind of a green V8.

              1. chipotle is a great healthy quick spot
                really fresh, good complex carbs and lean meats

                1. I tend to cling to egg white omelettes with inventive fillings, and ask them to do the omelette dry, subbing steamed veggies for potatoes. (the one thing I'll eat at Jerry's Deli actually, that or their veggie soup w/ chicken)

                  As suggested, sashimi is great. I also do rolls without rice, i.e. soy paper w/ tuna and cucumber, or shrimp, crab and spicy scallop in soy paper.

                  I know you said no salads, but at Sisley, I love the grilled veggie appetizer (no oil) that's charred in balsamic vinegar and the chicken chopped salad (no cheese dressing on the side) with grilled eggplant and hearts of palm added.

                  At Cal Chicken Cafe, a breast with a side of chopped tomatoes and a scoop of butternut squash witha little cinnamon stirred in. Love Koo Koo Roo's chicken w/ steamed veggies and/or veggie soup, no lavash.

                  Fritto Misto offers to sub veggies for the pasta in their pasta dishes, and a lot of places will do this upon request.

                  Vegetarian and raw foods are definitely not necessarily low cal or low fat, or any healthier, so don't be fooled.

                  Mao's Chinese Kitchen will do healthier no oil dishes, as will Uncle Chen's who offers the options of no oil, sugar, salt, and/or cornstarch.

                  Love ceviche, and love the cold platter with other seafood/shellfish at Delmonico's (that also does a wicked seared ahi or blackened shrimp). Their steamed spinach with garlic is also great.

                  1. stove-top popcorn. So easy to make.

                    1. they are only open for breakfast and lunch,
                      they are located in boyle heights,
                      some of the most delicious healthy food you will ever eat.

                      HOMEGIRL CAFE

                      Homegirl Cafe, 1818 E. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033, (323) 268 9353

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: westsidegal

                        what about persian kabob, meat or chicken...that seems healthy if you don't eat the tadig...i don't know why i'm responding...i still think spinich artichoke dip is healthy because it has 2 vegetables in it...

                      2. Pretend you're living in Japan, that you're 60+ years old, and eat like they do during the week. Come the weekend, you can revert to being of a more youthful age, and eat like a horse...

                        1. Depends on what your take on healthy is. Low fat/low cholesterol has been proven, time and again, to not really have health benefits - I suggest reading Nina Planck's "Real Food" if this subject interests you.

                          IMO the best way to eat healthy is to avoid all processed foods, and that includes fake meats. Eat real food instead. Chinatown is full of healthy stuff - most stir-fries are real meat and real vegetables. Go easy on the white rice and skip the deep-fried stuff, and you should have no trouble eating a healthy meal. Same goes for Mexican food - a couple tacos filled with grilled meat, some beans on the side, skip the rice.

                          Subsisting on udon and soba isn't healthy - both are concentrated sources of calories with little nutritional benefit, compared to what you could be eating.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: garvanza girl

                            those stir frys are often VERY high in fat.
                            sometimes the fat they use includes partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
                            just a heads up.

                          2. Well sounds like you are a noodle person so I suggest Vietnameses pho which can be had in any number of places in Chinatown. Using a ton of the bean sprouts and herbs, opting for the raw beef version versus brisket/tendon/etc, and leaving some of the noodles is a really really filling and inexpensive meal with the benefit of protein (broth & meat) and fresh veggies.

                            1. My standby is Japanese. Boiled edamame, sunomono (go light on the vinegar, which has some sugar), and a little sashimi make a filling and healthy lunch, with a good combination of protein and low fat. There are a lot of places in Little Tokyo where you can get those items for a reasonable price.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jwsel

                                Try items on pita bread - you get the full filling of bread with less of the calories and fat of regular bread, esp whole wheat bread. Add 3 fruits a day to your diet. Always eat a nutritious breakfast.

                              2. I'm all about sandwiches, occassionally accompanied by soup. Specifically, Panera Bread and Starbucks. I love the turkey/pesto/cranberry sandwich at Starbucks. I try to stick to whole grain bread, which is more filling. Grocery store delis also make great sandwiches.

                                I also second the Chipotle rec, but you have to be careful there. Their burritos are enormous, so choose your ingredients wisely and/or get the "burrito bol" (no tortilla, served in a bowl).

                                26 Beach and Jack Sprat's are both on the west side but have a great selections of things that can be healthy, and of course they are nicer sit-down places than the others I've mentioned.

                                Sushi is supposedly very healthy and filling too.

                                1. I pretty much stick to sushi, or sashimi plates with miso soup, rice, cabbage salad. Izayoi in Little Tokyo has some good lunch specials, as does Sushi Gen (but you'll have to wait forever).

                                  I also like kabob places...I'll usually get a chicken kabob, side of hummus and a salad. I skip the pita and just dip the chicken into the hummus. Satisfying and healthy.

                                  There's also a stand at the downtown Wednesday farmer's market - I can't remember their name - but these two women sell a fantastic and filling collard greens salad. I know, sounds weird, but they shred it up and make this great dressing that you toss with it. They also make a healthy beet spread for pita, and sell those in sandwiches. They even have a super thin, very healthy and delicious flax seed cookie. I stock up when I go there.

                                  Clare K.