I enjoy all food but if I was to say what my preference is, it would have to be seafood. If I become pregnant, I would not be a happy camper as I would have to give up many of the following foods; these are staples when I choose to dine out. As I sit here and reflect, I realize that when I eat out, I eat a fair amount of raw protein rich foods.
My role as a Registered Dietitian is to help motivate individuals to get back into the kitchen. I provide simple easy recipes which are nutrient dense; however, there are times when our whole appointment is spent talking about what to eat when dining out. Dining out is unavoidable as socializing is such a big part of our life. How do we make better options when dining out?
When we dine out, it’s very common to overindulge in carbohydrates. Often times, protein is an area where not much is provided nor is vegetables given in abundance.
It’s time to put the spotlight on seafood. Not only is seafood a great option for protein & iron but it can be a good source of coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant produced naturally in our body. We have the most amount of coenzyme Q10 in our bodies when we are 21; afterwards, our body naturally depletes itself of this important antioxidant as we age. It is important to remember seafood as part of our diet as this nutrient can act as a promoter of good skin health.
DID YOU KNOW? Common cholesterol medications (e.g. Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Pravachol, etc.) can deplete Coenzyme Q10 levels.
Omega-3 is such a buzzword these days. This type of fat is good for your heart, good for your brain and is good for your skin as well. Most individuals know salmon is a good source of omega-3; however, eat a variety of fatty fish to avoid getting a high level of mercury in your body. Other great sources of omega-3 fats include: tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, Arctic Char and salmon. The general rule of thumb is to have fatty fish at least twice per week.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Overall, I find the North American diet very low in omega-3 intake but higher in omega-6 and omega-9 intake. Omega-3 is the only healthy fat which has anti-inflammatory properties. Although Omega-6 and Omega-9 fats are healthy, you should really focus on increasing omega-3 fats. My personal recommendation/challenge for all my clients is to have a minimum of fatty fish intake at least three times/week. If you find that you are eating a lot of nuts/seeds/avocado/olive oil, you may need to increase your omega-3 intake even more to balance out the omega 3/6/9 ratio.
Here are some dining out options I often discuss with clients:
If an individual is open to eating raw options, I often suggest:
What is this? It’s sashimi on a bed of rice. I often only have 1/2 the portion of rice given to me.
How good does this lunch combination look? J-Town By the Sea at Highway 404/Steeles is such a gem! The presentation of food is so wonderful and the taste is always spot on!
If I’m in need of an amazing on-the-go option and I happen to be in the neighbourhood of Leslie/Sheppard, Taro’s Sushi is worth checking out. Taro’s Sushi is located in a very unassuming plaza but it’s one of the places in Toronto where you can get the freshest and best testing sashimi EVER!
If you’d like more of a sit down option, Sushi Moto at Yonge/ Sheppard has good vibe and offers a very delicious chirashi for you to enjoy.
When at a Japanese Restaurant, why not order a sashimi platter or boat for 2? Order a side of seaweed salad and some edamame beans. It’s delicious and filling!
In our current neighbourhood, my husband and I like to go to Shinobu and The Sushi Bar. We find the wait staff nicer at The Sushi Bar so we do have a slight preference for this location.
- Hae Dap Bap
Hae Dap Bap is a korean dish where it’s sashimi, rice and vegetables. What better combination could you ask for?
In our old neighbourhood, I would love ordering Hae Dap Bap from Ichiban Sushi on Spring Garden Ave. Because my husband used to live on top of the Metro near Yonge/Finch, I have gotten to know Sushi Bong very well. Most individuals go to Sushi Bong because it’s fresh and very budget friendly. I usually do order Hae Dap Bap from there as well. You can’t go wrong with a place that goes through such high volume!
How can anyone not like oysters? The taste of all the different kinds of oysters is SO good!!! I recently was working a tradeshow and the booth next to me just so happened to be an oyster sucking booth. Let me tell you- I was in complete heaven. I could eats oyster all day every day for the rest of my life.
Without fail, I will always have oysters as an appetizer if it is an option on the menu. There are too many restaurants to name here for good oysters as an appetizer. We are so spoiled in Toronto! 🙂
Do you see the look of excitement in my eyes? This is my ideal meal. What is not to love on that platter from oysters, crab, scallops, shrimp and mussels? This seafood tower is from La Banane but if it’s on the menu anywhere else, you can be sure that is what I plan to order. 🙂
What IS missing on the tower is lobster. There is nothing better than the taste of a freshly steamed lobster. I don’t need to dip any part into butter. I just enjoy the sweet natural taste of this lovely creature.
For those who don’t like to eat raw options, here are some other options:
- Baked/ steamed fish with an order of double vegetables
Pictured here is salmon and a double order of vegetables from Mashu Mashu. Another go to place for me is Tabule. I have a similar meal as it is a grilled salmon but I request double portion vegetables and forgo the carbohydrate option.
2. Seafood Pasta
If you must eat pasta, order the seafood option so you get coenzyme Q10 in addition to protein and iron. Pictured here is the small seafood pasta from Scaddabush. Yum to mussels, calamari and shrimp! 🙂
3. Grilled Octopus
How beautiful does this dish look? This dish is the grilled octopus from Kitchen 76 at Two Sisters Vineyard in Niagara On the Lake.