As we say hello to 2013, many of us are also welcoming New Year’s resolutions of health and happiness. We asked four area restaurants which menu items they recommended to satisfy your health goals and your taste buds at the same time. Here is what they offered:
Bibb lettuce salad
$9.50 with no meat or tofu
$11.75 with meat or tofu
When Station 400 opened its doors four years ago, owner and chef Eric Bein wanted to add a salad that was unique, yet classic. That is how the Bibb lettuce salad came to be created. He fell back on a classic, roasted beet-and-goat-cheese combination.
“It really has grown in popularity, “ Bein said. “The beets throw people off at first, but when they try it, they are won over.”
The ingredients include crisp Bibb lettuce, roasted beets, shaved fennel, orange, goat cheese, toasted almonds and a citrus vinaigrette. Guests can choose to add grilled chicken breast, seared tofu or poached sockeye salmon, from Alaska. Even without the meat, the high-fiber beets fill people up, making this a satisfactory meal.
• Combat cancer: Several studies suggest a diet rich in carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, which is found in beets, fights cancer.
• Head off heart disease: Beets contain folate, a heart healthy nutrient that lowers levels of homocysteine in your blood. Homocysteine, a by-product of protein metabolism, can damage your arteries, leading to heart attack and stroke.
• Beats high blood pressure: Beets are high in potassium, which helps keep blood pressure down.
• Helps lose weight: Foods high in fiber control appetites by keeping people full longer. One cup of beet slices has almost as much fiber as a cup of cooked oatmeal but contains only 75 calories. •
• Keeps bones strong: These red roots are rich in three nutrients — potassium, magnesium and beta-carotene — all of which keep bones strong.
(Facts from Eat & Heal by the editors of FC&A Medical Publishing)
400 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota
Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily
The raw lasagna
The raw lasagna at Simon’s is not your typical Italian lasagna. Zucchini is used instead of noodles to layer the lasagna. The cheese is not dairy cheese, but rather a blend of soaked cashews, garlic, onion, parsley and lemon juice. Surprisingly, this blend has a cheesy texture. Tyler Kirby, owner Simon Kirby’s son, and one of the chefs at the restaurant, makes a marinara sauce with sundried tomatoes, dates, onions and bit of garlic. They soak mushrooms in an amino multi-protein liquid to give the dish more nutrients.
“When you are eating, you are either fighting or feeding disease,” Kirby explains. The zucchini, “cheese,” marinara sauce, bruised spinach and mushrooms are all layered together with herbs and spices. None of the ingredients is baked at more than 100 Fahrenheit, which means all the nutrients are preserved. Kirby sprinkles a finishing touch of coconut over the top for a meal filled with vitamins and essential nutrients. The dish is served with a side of kale-tabouli salad.
• Helps with weight loss: Zucchini has dietary fiber, which prevents constipation, aids in digestion, maintains low blood pressure, and curbs over eating.
• Lowers cholesterol: The dietary fiber in zucchini helps lower cholesterol. The high levels of vitamin A and C prevent cholesterol from oxidizing in the body’s blood vessels, thus hampering the onset of atherosclerosis.
• Anti-Inflammatory: The copper and vitamins A and C found in zucchini deter the development of inflammatory disorders such as asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
• High in manganese: Manganese, a mineral and nutrient found in zucchini, helps the body produce energy and builds bones and joints.
• Prostate health: The phytonutrients in zucchini aid in reducing symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy, a condition that leads to complications in urination and sexual function in men.
(Facts from http://www.healthdiaries.com & Eat & Heal by the editors of FC&A Medical Publishing)
5900 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday
The scent of garlic and tomatoes floats through the restaurant, as Chef Raymond Arpke makes a healthy zucchini fettuccini. He uses a mandolin to slice the zucchini into thin, pasta-like slivers. His simmered tomato sauce includes garlic, fresh basil, onion and olive oil. He sautés the zucchini in garlic oil, which pumps up the dish’s flavor.
Arpke came up with this recipe for his daughter, who developed Type 1 diabetes as an adult. He wanted to make a healthy, yet tasty, alternative to pasta for her. The zucchini fettuccini at Eupehmia Haye can be ordered as an appetizer or a meal. It is topped with an award-winning Wisconsin Parmesan cheese, and the appetizer portion is only 152 calories.
• Conquer cancer: Lycopene is only found in a handful of plants. It gives tomatoes their red color and also lowers the risk of developing stomach, lung, breast, colon, mouth or throat cancer.
• Heals hearts: Lycopene breaks down cholesterols, keeping blood flowing free through arteries. Folate cleans up homocysteine, an amino acid that is linked with cholesterol.
• Beats bacteria: Nutrients in tomatoes encourage your body to produce white blood cells that attack bacteria and viruses. The antioxidants protect these white blood cells from free radicals.
(Facts from Eat & Heal by the editors of FC&A Medical Publishing)
5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key
Hours: 6 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and Sunday. 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday
The walu sashimi is a thinly sliced Hawaiian escolar fish flown in from Hawaii and served on a Himalayan pink sea salt stone at The Cottage, on Siesta Key. The fish melts in your mouth, and the saltiness the pink sand-stone gives off makes it a delectable treat. Chef Larry Eppler has been cooking since he was a teenager but only recently discovered the stone at a health store in Venice. The fish is beautifully presented on the pink stone as micro-greens, black seaweed, wasabi, seaweed salad, ponzu sauce and ginger adorn the plate.
“I wanted to create an unforgettable experience for customers,” Eppler said. “That is why I have been in this industry for 30 years.”
Humans began to mine this 250 million-year-old stone from the Himalayas once they discovered its health benefits. The stone is filled with minerals and nutrients essential to people’s health. It stays chilled for up to 45 minutes while customers rub the sashimi on the stone. It gives the fish a different salty taste while the house-made ponzu sauce gives the fish a sesame kick.
Himalayan pink sea salt
• Water works: Regulates water content throughout the body.
• Brain cell booster: Promotes a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly the brain cells.
• Tummy health: Absorbs food particles through the intestinal tract.
• Breathing room: Promotes sinus health.
• No sugar high: Promotes blood sugar health.
• Youth restored: Reduces signs of aging.
• Calcium builder: Helps with bone strength.
• Potassium provider: Prevents muscle cramps.
(Information provided by Chef Larry Eppler)
153 Avenida Messina, Siesta Key
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.