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After holiday excess, where do you like to go? And what do you order?

phoenikia Dec 28, 2010 07:07 AM

Just thought I'd start a running list of healthy options I turn to when I'm trying to get back on the wagon.

grilled meat/fish/calamari and an order of horta (cooked greens) or maroulosalata (romaine & dill salad without cheese) at a Greek resto on the Danforth or Pape such as Mezes, Kalyvia, Megas, (restaurants that still have horta on the menu).

Grilled fish with a side of rapini (or other greens/vegetables) at an Italian restaurant. Besides Buca and Grano, which have several salads, veg antipasto and veg contorni options, I haven't dined at too many Italian restaurants lately. What other Italian restaurants would you recommend if you wanted to stick to a secondi and some vegetables?

5 oz tenderloin and side of rapini or roasted cauliflower at Globe Earth. Has anyone tried the side of smoky bacon lentils at Globe Earth?

Salad plate at Patachou.

Various non-mayo-based salads or vegetable dishes at Whole Foods or Pusateri's. Which of their salads do you like? I like Pusateri's corn salad but found their gai lan way too salty. Should know better than ordering gai lan at Pusateri's. Haven't found a salad I love at Whole Foods yet.

Fattoush and tabbouleh, with some sort of grilled meat or labneh at Tabule or Jerusalem.

Lentil soup at various places around town (discussed in an earlier lentil soup thread if you do a search).

Borscht on Roncesvalles at Chopin or Cafe Polonez. Haven't tried the version at Amber on Bloor West yet, but will in 2011.

Sushi/Chirashi/Sashimi around town, or maybe some yakitori & hijiki.

Salads at Mocha Mocha or Fresh.

Sunflower Kitchen soups (esp. the Harira and Borscht)

Salad rolls/fresh spring rolls/goi cuon at various Vietnamese and Thai restaurants.

Green Mango Salad.

Singapore Slaw at Lee.

Won ton soup or Hot & Sour Soup (although most are fairly heavy on the salt). Does anyone know if any restaurants in TO are serving Wor Won Ton Soup (more like the version you can find in Alberta and California, with lots of veggies, shrimp, etc in addition to char siu & won tons)?

Besides Hosu, Mocha Mocha, Fresh and Whole Foods, which restaurants serve dishes made with brown rice?

Also, has anyone noticed quinoa on any menus around town lately?

Have you been wowed by any dishes you'd consider healthy?

What meals do you like to eat after the holidays?

2009 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8, CA

1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

1120 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W, CA

2035 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A2, CA

456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

Mocha Mocha
489 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P5, CA

420 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P3, CA

604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

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  1. m
    millygirl RE: phoenikia Dec 28, 2010 12:35 PM

    Wow, that's a pretty good list there phoenikia! And good for you for getting a jump start on this BUT.....

    I will have to come back after the holidays. I'm just not there yet :)

    Edited to add:

    'Regrettably', I'm just not there yet :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: millygirl
      phoenikia RE: millygirl Dec 29, 2010 10:55 AM

      The main reason I trying to jumpstart this list is that I'll be attending a big fat food-focused wedding on the 2nd, which will be a write-off. I'm attempting to start fresh a couple days early, to allow for my anticipated 2 steps back ;-)

      Look forward to reading your suggestions once the holidays are over, millygirl!

    2. s
      SweetSweetPotato RE: phoenikia Dec 29, 2010 05:12 AM

      Ditto on the chirashi and sashimi with wakame salad and edamame.

      If you like Sunflower Kitchen soups, you should try the soups to go from Urban Herbavore. Come to think of it, they have a lovely quinoa tomato soup and quinoa grain bowls that are tasty and satisfying. The tempeh is too salty for my tastes, but the tofu rocks. Just about anything from Urban Herbavore, actually, pleases my tastebuds and makes me feel virtuous. Same goes for Live.

      The seitan roast at Fressen, where they also offer quinoa.

      Another healthy standby for me is tom yum or gang som soup and som tum salad with a bit of sticky rice on the side.

      Mushroom soup at Dessert Trends and Ravisoups. All the soups from Ravisoups, really.

      Great idea for a thread!

      15 Replies
      1. re: SweetSweetPotato
        merlot143 RE: SweetSweetPotato Dec 29, 2010 06:32 AM

        I don't know if tom yum soup is healthy...have a feeling it isn't. In fact, I'd stay away from Thai food because it uses so much coconut milk.
        As for brown rice, the sushi restaurant at College and Yonge serves sushi with brown rice. It's not as tasty as regular sushi, but it is much better for you.
        Plus, Longo's has really good take-home food, better than Whole Foods IMO. And there are lots of healthy options.

        1. re: merlot143
          Yum2MyTum RE: merlot143 Dec 29, 2010 07:27 AM

          Tom yum is pretty healthy and as far as I know, doesn't use any coconut milk. Tom kha soup, however, does require coconut milk.

          I like going for soon dobu and/or chirashi, preferably with brown rice if available (Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu, Ka Chi, Hosu... cheap standbys). Some of the salad bowls at Fresh (esp. the Macro greens, with dressing on the side) are decent.

          Ka Chi
          8 St Andrews St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

          1. re: Yum2MyTum
            phoenikia RE: Yum2MyTum Dec 29, 2010 11:07 AM

            Hi Yum2MyTum, thanks for mentioning some Korean restos serving brown rice!

            I agree that Tom Yum, is pretty healthy or at least fairly low calorie, although it can be high salt.

            While I realize coconut milk is high fat and high calorie, and should probably be used in moderation if someone is trying to drop some weight, I don't consider it unhealthy, especially since it has the ability to help get the digestive system moving after too much baked brie & shortbread! I just prescribed Tom Kha Soup to a friend's husband who was verstopft after spending Xmas with his new inlaws ;-)

            1. re: phoenikia
              Yum2MyTum RE: phoenikia Dec 30, 2010 06:44 AM

              Hi phoenikia -- unfortunately only Hosu has brown rice on offer (although I suggested to the server yesterday at Ka Chi that they could also consider using brown rice)

              The only two things I order at Hosu are the tofu stew and the Hwae Dup Bap, both with brown rice.

              I agree with your comments on coconut milk, phoenikia. Everything in moderation...

              Ka Chi
              8 St Andrews St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

              1. re: Yum2MyTum
                phoenikia RE: Yum2MyTum Dec 31, 2010 09:12 AM

                Hi Yum2MyTum ;-) Thanks for letting me know re: the brown rice.

                Will try the tofu stew & Hwae Dup Bap in the next month. I've only tried brown rice maki at Hosu so far. do you usually visit the Queen W or Yonge/Eg Hosu? Not sure if the food quality is roughly the same at both locations? I've only been to the Yonge/Eg location.

                1. re: phoenikia
                  Yum2MyTum RE: phoenikia Dec 31, 2010 10:33 AM

                  Happy new year phoenikia! I haven't been to the Yonge/Eg Hosu in ages so I can't make a comparison, unfortunately.

                  Honestly, re the Hwae Dup Bap, the fish isn't the best quality (i.e., pretty tasteless, but reasonably fresh). For what I'm paying, I won't complain. It's a bowl full of plenty of protein, whole grains, and made tasty with korean hot sauce and crunchy veggies. Plus you get the regular banchan side dishes. Better for you than your regular fast food, which is what I'd put it on par with.

                  1. re: Yum2MyTum
                    phoenikia RE: Yum2MyTum Dec 31, 2010 01:40 PM

                    Happy New Year to you, too, Yum2MyTum!

                    Thanks for your comments- I'll definitely try the Hwae Dup Bap at one of the Hosu Bistros or Ka Chi sometime soon! Don't worry, I've got my raw fish expectations in check with the pricepoint.

                    Ka Chi
                    8 St Andrews St, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

                2. re: Yum2MyTum
                  aser RE: Yum2MyTum Jan 1, 2011 11:16 AM

                  Not trying to hate on being healthy, but brown rice is not really used in Asian food. If an Asian restaurant offers brown rice as an option, I know not to go.

                  I generally side w/ soup base when I want to cleanse along w/ chinese veg of some sort (gai lan, shanghai bak choy, snowpea shoots), pho, wonton mein, udon, soondobu. Well not ramen since that is just as bad as a cheeseburger.

                  1. re: aser
                    phoenikia RE: aser Jan 4, 2011 09:33 PM

                    Thanks for your comments, aser. Ya, I realize brown rice isn't authentic. That being said, using brown rice in inauthentic Asian food is way to make brown rice a little more palatable, even if it's mostly going to appeal to health-conscious clientele that might not know better ;-)

                    Thanks for your other recs, too!

            2. re: merlot143
              phoenikia RE: merlot143 Dec 29, 2010 11:00 AM

              Thanks merlot143. I haven't tried take-home food from Longo's, or the sushi restaurant at Yonge & College.

            3. re: SweetSweetPotato
              1sweetpea RE: SweetSweetPotato Dec 29, 2010 07:25 AM

              My healthy (or at least "healthier") go-to choices include sushi/sashimi, hwe dup bap at Korean places that serve raw fish (it's sashimi atop salad ingredients, sided with a bowl of steamed rice and a sweet hot gochu jang sauce), oysters and a green side salad at Starfish, Rodneys, the Miller, Ceili Cottage or Terra (have never been to Oyster Boy), grilled whole fish with olive oil at any Italian or Greek restaurant, with either a salad or a side of green vegetables, carefully chosen items at Le Commensal, mussels and a salad at any restaurant that offers decent mussels and salads, and green papaya or mango salad with shrimp at a Thai resto is low-fat, though not low in sodium or sugars. This isn't low in carbs, per se, but fish, seafood or veggie congee is filling, without a lot of grease. Any place that will grill, steam, poach or foil-wrap fish, chicken or any meat will also be happy to sub a salad or double veg in place of rice/potatoes/starches. I'm not a great lover of tofu and mock meats, because to make them taste good usually requires a lot of frying, salting and sugary sauces. I'd rather get my veg proteins from nuts and seeds and legumes (not soy, though). South Indian restaurants are good for sambar, idli or rice and katchumbar salads. At a deli, I'd choose lox and a whole grain bagel with veggies (onions, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, capers, on the side (but hold the cream cheese). If they make cabbage borscht, that's a good choice, along with a small roast turkey sandwich on rye (or anything with some fiber). Middle Eastern restaurants are fine for salads (no fried pitas), lentil soups, hummus (ask for veggie crudites instead of pita for dipping).

              Any restaurant offering bouillabaisse, fish soup, vegan vegetable purees or bean soups that don't have much pork product in them are ideal. Chinese restaurants are tricky. You must exercise extreme self control and have co-diners willing to go healthy with you, so you can have some variety. I'd splash out and order a whole fish, steamed with ginger and scallions, a side of pea leaf or chinese broccoli (gai laan), steamed rice and either a clear meat broth or a vegetable soup. Do not ogle other tables' dishes!!!

              Last comment: stay away from Subway or other fast food "healthy" options from McDonald's, Wendy's, etc. They will gradually destroy your will to eat healthy, while delivering ample doses of odd chemically named ingredients, sodium and sugars.

              Oyster Boy
              872 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1G3, CA

              Ceili Cottage
              1301 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

              1. re: 1sweetpea
                phoenikia RE: 1sweetpea Dec 29, 2010 11:02 AM

                1sweetpea, thanks for all your suggestions! And for the coping strategies!

                Do you have a favourite Korean resto for hwe dup bap, either near Bloor &Christie or near Yonge & Steeles?

                I noticed some Chowhounds recommend the hwe dup bap at Seoul House and Yuki's (both near Yorkdale), but would like to have some other recs for other parts of town!

                Edit: earlier thread on hwe dup bap

                1. re: phoenikia
                  1sweetpea RE: phoenikia Dec 30, 2010 12:22 PM

                  Phoenikia, I haven't yet ventured up to the two or three Korean restos that have been highly recommended by another Chowhounder (Yonge, north of Steeles, I believe). I'm not sure if any serve hwe dup bap. I quite like the one at Samjung (I think that's the name). It's on Leslie, just north of York Mills in a strip plaza with a CIBC. Il Bun Ji does a pretty good job (Bloor, near Christie). I like Seoul House's as well. It has a serious sesame oil kick that really elevates the flavours. I understand Omi does its own version (Carlton and Parliament) that might be worth trying. The tiny Ichiban sushi place on Wellington near Church does a cheap and serviceable version, but it's nothing to scream about. I'm surprised to hear positive things about Yuki near Yorkdale. The one time I ate there I found the sushi bland and low quality, the miso soup definitely came from a packet and the service was kind of gruff. Virtually everyone there was ordering huge bento boxes/boats full of tempura, California rolls and teriyaki. That's not my thing. I have a feeling it's the best thing they serve, though, as the server was really pushing it on me when I was ordering.

                  While on the topic of Korean food, I suspect that the cold noodle dish with raw skate wing is low-fat, though somewhat caloric, simply due to the noodle content. I also think the doenjang chigaes, saengsun chigaes and maewoontangs, all soups/stews made with fish, seafood and vegetables, are acceptable as low-fat and nutritious options, as long as you turn a blind eye to the sodium contents of each. I used to routinely order the spicy soups extra spicy and loved them, but found I couldn't take my rings off or do up my jeans quite as easily after the meal.

                  I can't believe I failed to mention Vietnamese in my earlier post. Pho would be okay if you stick to rare beef and choose a place that doesn't serve super oily broth. I'm big on the cha ca la vong at Hanoi 3 Seasons because it is dry fried fish. The dish is lean, not too big and full of flavour.

                  I also missed Greek, which has some wonderful salads and horta. There's nothing like grilled octopus or squid, with some greens, and a horiatiki salad. I avoid dips and pita or bread if I'm watching my weight, but that goes without saying. Chicken souvlaki would be fine too, if you go easy on the side starches.

                  With so many restaurants in Toronto, it's not tough to eat well AND eat healthily. I live in Windsor right now and it's a lot tougher to do it here.

                  Hanoi 3 Seasons
                  588 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Y3, CA

                  243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                  Il Bun Ji Restaurant
                  668 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1L2, CA

                  Seoul House
                  180 Steeles W, Thornhill, ON L4J1A1, CA

                  Yorkdale Cafe
                  1 Yorkdale, Toronto, ON M9M1B9, CA

                  Ichiban Restaurant
                  668 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1L2, CA

                  1. re: 1sweetpea
                    phoenikia RE: 1sweetpea Dec 31, 2010 09:18 AM

                    Thanks for your further comments & suggestions, 1sweetpea. I actually hadn't heard anything about Yuki until I threw "hwe dup bap" into a search. Would think that Seoul House is a safer bet since it's frequently recommended. Good to hear that Il Bun Ji does a good job (it already was on my list for some other Korean dishes). Haven't tried Samjung, thanks for the rec.

                    I like Vietnamese food, but I always end up bloated afterwards, whether I go with pho, bun or anything else. Guessing it's the nuoc cham and/or fish sauce!

                    Still haven't gotten around to trying Hanoi 3 Seasons.

                    Hope you discover more healthy & tasty food in Windsor in the New Year!

                    Hanoi 3 Seasons
                    588 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Y3, CA

                    Il Bun Ji Restaurant
                    668 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1L2, CA

              2. re: SweetSweetPotato
                phoenikia RE: SweetSweetPotato Dec 29, 2010 10:58 AM

                Thanks for the suggestions, SweetSweetPotato. I haven't tried anything from Urban Herbavore. Look forward to giving their soups and some other dishes a try.

                Have also never gotten around to eating at Fressen or Ravisoups. Thanks for reminding me about both places! I've been meaning to try Ravisoups for years now.

                Is there a particular dish you'd recommend at Live? What I ate on my last visit (a combo plate) tasted virtuous, but I haven't been back. Not sure what they do best.

                478 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V2B2, CA

                322 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

              3. CocoaChanel RE: phoenikia Dec 29, 2010 06:04 AM

                I tend to hole up at home with my treadmill :)

                If I have to go out, I look for oysters/seafood (Starfish, Rodney's by Bay) or sushi. Anything on the lighter side. I don't want to see another cheese puff or mini quiche till next Christmas

                1 Reply
                1. re: CocoaChanel
                  phoenikia RE: CocoaChanel Dec 29, 2010 11:03 AM

                  re: cheese puffs & mini quiche...
                  Me, neither!

                2. p
                  piccola RE: phoenikia Dec 30, 2010 07:47 AM

                  Live Food Bar makes this amazing kale salad that I crave on a regular basis.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: piccola
                    phoenikia RE: piccola Dec 31, 2010 09:20 AM

                    Thanks Piccola! Will have to give it a try, sometime soon. Love a good Kale salad. Or a good Kale soup!

                    Besides the Caldo Verde served at a few Portuguese restos around town, has anyone found any other tasty kale soups lately?

                  2. k
                    KitchenVoodoo RE: phoenikia Jan 2, 2011 12:42 AM

                    Seviche! Anyone know where to get the best? Very fresh fish, coriander, fresh hot pepper , drenched in fresh lime juice ? Great way to unclog!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: KitchenVoodoo
                      phoenikia RE: KitchenVoodoo Jan 4, 2011 09:28 PM

                      Great idea. Milagro offers several ceviches, but I haven't ordered any lately!

                    2. k
                      KitchenVoodoo RE: phoenikia Jan 2, 2011 12:50 AM

                      Go to "Fresh" and tuck into their amazingly huge fresh veggie juices, and their wonderful "bowls" - brown rice is tha base, and you can choose anything you want on top. It's my "go to " place when I feel the need to purge. But bring ear plugs - all locations are hideously loud - vile music blaring.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: KitchenVoodoo
                        phoenikia RE: KitchenVoodoo Jan 4, 2011 09:28 PM

                        Thanks for the idea, KitchenVoodoo.

                      2. meatnveg RE: phoenikia Jan 17, 2011 01:41 PM

                        On the food-court side of things (if you are ever in a fix), I have found 'Teriyaki Experience' to be good low-cal place.

                        I generally order the Chicken & Shrimp, ask for no rice or noodles and cooked in water. Also double the meat. With this you get a heap (absolutley massive mound) of cooked veggies (bean sprouts, celery, peppers, cabbage etc)
                        You can add the sauces on your own if you want.

                        1. p
                          phoenikia RE: phoenikia Jan 17, 2011 05:38 PM

                          Ended up at 5 Doors North tonight, and was surprised to see how generous their vegetable sides were. We ordered a side of brussels sprouts with double-smoked bacon, and I think we each ate at least a cup of brussel sprouts. Not low calorie, or low sodium, but at least they were high in fibre & beta-carotene. Also shared a crabcake, the diver scallop with arugula pesto and radish salad, and small gnocchi a la gorgonzola (the most sinful part of our somewhat healthy meal). Will be back for a more restrained meal sometime soon ;-)

                          Five Doors North
                          2088 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A3, CA

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