“Healthy” and “dining out” are typically two phrases not fondly looked upon in the same sentence—however, thanks to a partnership between Go Healthy Houston (GHH) and Houston Restaurant Weeks (HRW), diners can now eat healthily almost effortlessly even when indulging in a multi-course meal. So before HRW wraps up on September 7 (you have less than two weeks to have a multi-course meal at a reasonable price!), take your wallet for a spin without breaking the caloric bank for these 10 meals:
Sorrento: If starting out your day in a carb coma with a haze of food regret isn't your thing, head to Sorrento for brunch: a light Tuscan bean soup (with a decadent osso bucco broth base) or Mediterranean salad are great starter options; a caprese frittata for your entree provides a good dose of protein from both eggs and fresh mozzarella folded around fresh tomatoes and basil. Mixed fresh berries or sorbet provide a perfect, refreshing end to the meal.
Tokyohana: Even though Tokyohana offers a four-course brunch menu, you can still keep things on the lighter side by starting with their light and crunchy iceberg-based salad or protein-rich chili garlic edamame. A second course of a fresh salmon, asparagus and avocado roll is a flavorful precursor to a third course of hibachi shrimp, chicken or beef with vegetables and steamed rice, perfectly finished with a fresh fruit bowl.
51Fifteen Restaurant & Lounge: For a first course, the grilled peach salad provides pops of flavor and crucial doses of protein and fat by way of walnuts and goat cheese over a bed of arugula and peaches. A subsequent course of pan-seared red fish with tomato risotto and zucchini is a great choice to keep your meal flavorful, yet balanced.
Alexander the Great: Lunch can be both flavorful and nutrient-packed at Alexander the Great if you start with the Greek salad in the house dressing followed by either a broiled tilapia filet with grilled fresh vegetables and rice pilaf or a grilled chicken breast with asparagus and oven-roasted lemon potatoes.
Canopy: A refreshing house salad with cucumber, carrot, red onion, tomatoes in a Dijon vinaigrette is just enough to whet your appetite for a more exotic combination of vegetables and protein: the Asian shrimp salad with edamame, avocado, candied lemon and more in a ginger sesame vinaigrette. Followed by a summer fruit assortment, this is one undeniably waistline-friendly menu.
Hearsay Gastro Lounge: Cling onto delicious summer produce with a first course of fresh avocado caprese salad with arugula and fresh mozzarella followed by a second course of pesto-dressed pappardelle topped with an assortment of fresh vegetables and chicken.
Charivari: At Charivari, the starter house salad comes with a protein-packed bonus: a Maryland crab cake. A miso-maple glazed filet of black cod with grilled vegetables and grains followed by fresh fruit for dessert makes for a very sensible yet delicious meal.
Damian’s Cucina Italiana: The dinner menu at Damian’s Cucina Italiana almost makes healthy Italian dining seem easy—start with either the insalata mista with green olives, celery and cucumber in an Italian vinaigrette or the Caesar salad. For the second course, the eggplant parmigiana provides a good combination of protein, fat and carbs with the baked-in mozzarella cheese and gluten-free spaghetti in tomato sauce. Other solid options include the flounder, sautéed over grilled vegetables, or the grilled 6-ounce filet mignon served with roasted potatoes and green beans. Fresh fruit is the virtuous choice for dessert, though an argument could be made for the lemon panna cotta since it is served with a mixed berry coulis.
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Ruggles Black: You almost can’t go wrong with any of the choices on Ruggles Black’s dinner menu. Start with the paleo snapper or tuna taco, choose your green of choice for the generously-topped salad course—kale, mixed greens, or kale and arugula—then end with the paleo tandoori zataar chicken for a protein-packed meal with plenty of vegetables.
Sud Italia: Sample some of the freshest and indulgent ingredients that this new Italian joint has to offer while still keeping it healthy: sliced tomato doesn’t get any better than layered with uber-creamy burrata and fresh herbs in the burrata con pomodoro first course. Rigatoni alla norma—pasta tossed with eggplant and ricotta salata in a tomato stew sauce—sneaks in a few servings of vegetables before your choice of a healthy finale: roasted chicken breast with eggplant caponata and potatoes, trout stuffed with potatoes and breadcrumbs over a bed of vegetables, or an herby seafood stew with a tomato broth base.