Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Fara Illich August 30, 2012

iceberg-lettuce-xoutFinding a health or diet or food allergy conscious lunch is a pain. There are only so many salads you can eat before the sight of iceberg lettuce leaves you feeling depressed and well, left out of all the fun. We’ve done the torturous legwork (not!) and turned up 11 options that will keep you on track without forcing you to eat like a rabbit or skip lunch out with the coworkers. Fair warning, many of these options contain sauces or cheese, so, you know, ask for them on the side?
Miso Soup and Edamame – Yasda Bento
The miso soup has a taste and texture that makes you feel better even if you’re not sick. Pair that with sea salt sprinkled edamame as your side and it’s a meal that will get your mind and immune system back on the fast track.
Buffalo Ranch Wrap and/or bowl of Chili – Hero Factory
Why would you cross the road?  Probably to get your hands on a chicken wrap with the perfect combination of spice and cream; and that’s what you’ll find in the Buffalo Ranch wrap.  But if you’re still up for a little more spice with twice the protein, the chili comes in as a crowd favorite as well.
Salad Bar – Chloe’s Corner
Instead of the diet plans where you pay to lose a pound how about you try the Chloe’s Corner Salad Bar where you pay for each pound you gain (of salad)? Pile on as much of this healthy smorgasbord as you’d like and pay only $6.95 per pound. Their large selection of fresh foods is sure to help check off each box on the food pyramid.
Crazy Salad – Crazy Jim’s
Ah, the beauty of a no-lettuce salad. With cubes of feta cheese, cucumber and tomato with cabbage and onion served with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar dressing, you almost don’t need to add the meat on top – but you’ll want to. Charbroiled chicken, calamari, gyro, shrimp or salmon round out this un-salad and make a great addition.
Salmon Caesar Salad – District American Kitchen and Wine Bar
The salmon option for this Caesar salad is substantial, leaving you feeling full on more than just lettuce and croutons. Maybe more importantly, however, the salad feels like a luxurious little treat and not something you’re forced to eat just because you’re watching your health.
heirloom saladHeirloom Tomato Salad – Blue Hound Kitchen
Big slices of dripping heirloom tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, crispy (read: fried) onions and a smattering of 1000 island dressing and arugula. Order it with the chicken – which is a lean breast cooked til crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside – and you have a healthy, filling and, frankly, delicious lunch on your hands.
The House Sandwich – Marston’s Cafe

Marston’s Cafe is a gem of a restaurant with several healthy, vegetarian and gluten-free options. So, while bread may not be on your healthy eating plan, the sherry-balsamic marinated tofu, wild mushroom, roasted poblano peppers, avocado and organic greens sandwich stuffing more than make up for the focaccia-driven carbs.

Greek Salad – My Big Fat Greek Restaurant

I had my doubts about yet another Greek salad, but My Big Fat Greek Restaurant is doing something really right here. Add gyro meat to the feta, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers and you’ll forget that there’s a bed of lettuce hiding under there.

Summer Rolls – Thai’d Up
Refreshing, light and the ideal vehicle for the memorable Thai’d Up Peanut Sauce. Let’s be honest, the carrots, clear noodles and shrimp are pretty healthy, but really you order this for the peanut sauce. All the peanut sauce.
Chicken Curry Sandwich – Fair Trade Cafe

It may be the most unhealthy thing on Fair Trade Cafe’s otherwise impeccably health-conscious menu, but this chicken curry sandwich hits all the right sweet, salty and curried notes. Enjoy it with carrots or apple sauce and a guilt-free caffeinated beverage of choice.
Sweet Potato Fries – Spoonz Cafe
Ok, so fries aren’t exactly healthy and you can’t really make a lunch of sweet potato fries alone (or so they tell me) but everyone needs a splurge and/or an afternoon snack. Unlike that vending machine binge, these keep you feeling full and are much better tasting than that 4-month-old candy bar/bag of chips /questionable package of “cookies.”