We know how it is. How do we eat less and eat healthy, when it’s tough to find the time to prepare meals, and most restaurants serve large portions? Before you play the blame game on restaurants and cafes that serve meals that push the limits of your calorie counter, turn to someone you trust to show the way. Allow the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to be your dining authority with its Healthier Dining Programme.
The fact is, according to the National Nutrition Survey 2010, 60 per cent of Singapore residents dine out at least four times a week, and yet only a small percentage of all eateries offer healthier options. The good news? The HPB recognised this critical need, so they partnered with a number of F&B outlets to serve options that make use of healthier ingredients, smaller portions and lower calorie counts.
Char-grill Bar’s Seafood Spaghetti
Choosing popular establishments so that you don't have to travel far such as Char-grill Bar, which you can find at a number of food courts and hawker centres. A perennial Western option, it offers three spaghetti dishes, each about 500 calories, a perfect meal. They switched their tomato base sauce to Knorr Pronto Tomato Sauce, a product also endorsed by the HPB. All three pasta dishes use this sauce, whether they feature ham and mushroom, chicken or seafood. Not surprisingly, the seafood spaghetti earns extra healthy points for its generous use of fresh mussels, prawn and fish!
Char-grill Bar |Address: 5 Marina Parade Centre, #01-05 and various locations | Tel: 9424 4425 | Daily 10.30am to 1.30am
Dian Xiao Er’s Sautéed Crab Meat with Sponge Gourd & Homemade Tofu
For its part, Dian Xiao Er has always drawn families together for their delicious meals. And today, all three generations—grandparents, parents and children—can benefit from Dian Xiao Er’s new and extensive healthy choices. In fact, their menu lists the calorie count of all their dishes and even has a chart for recommended calorie intakes according to age and gender.
You can start your meal with sautéed crab meat with sponge gourd and silky tofu, with the latter made fresh in-house daily. The fried beehoon will rival your favourite hawker—not only do they use plump squid and prawns, they use rice bran oil instead of regular cooking oil. Flavours are also heightened with the use of fish sauce and chilli padi. Another winner is the Hong Kong-style steamed silver cod fish topped with fried shallots and ginger, and cooked with the healthy rice bran oil and a drizzle of peanut oil for fragrance, leaving a great taste on your palate.
Dian Xiao Er’s Stir Fried Seafood Bee Hoon with Fish Sauce
Dian Xiao Er’s standout dish, however, has got to be its herbal roast duck meat. At just about 500 calories per portion, it's a sizable portion served alongside Thai fragrant rice and a sauce of your choice. Choose from three different sauces (ten wonders, angelica or wild ginseng). The duck, which has been marinated in herbs and spices for hours is then roasted at a temperature to keep them from drying out. What results on your plate is succulent meat infused with herbs synonymous with traditional Chinese medicine, covered by crispy, evenly roasted skin.
Dian Xiao Er’s Herbal Roast Duck Meat Rice
Note: Herbal sauce is typically served together with duck, special requests have to be made for it to be served separately.
Dian Xiao Er|Address: 23 Serangoon Central #02-09/10 Nex and various location | Tel: 6634 4828 | Mon - Fri 11.30am - 3pm, 5.30pm - 10pm; Weekend and PH 11.30am - 10pm
Loving Hut’s Nyonya Laksa Lemak
Loving Hut, a vegan restaurant serves wholesome and healthier food, without compromising on taste. Here are a few reasons why people are flocking to their restaurant: the rich and aromatic gravy in their popular laksa has only a surprising 40 per cent coconut milk for a lower calorie count. The mayonnaise in the well-received Tuna Zen Sandwich is replaced with a low-fat version - healthier yet retaining its creaminess, with fresh, crisp vegetables topping the tuna nestling in ciabatta made with unrefined flour. If you enjoy the crumbly texture of breaded fish, you will be pleased to know that the vegan fillet is covered in almond crumb, and served with mashed potato, lightly buttered vegetables and tartar sauce on the side. If you want to find out how yummy and healthy vegan food can be, Loving Hut will be your natural choice!
Loving Hut’s Almond Crumb Fillet
Loving Hut| Address: 229 Joo Chiat Road #01-01 | Tel: 6348 6318 | Mon - Fri 8am - 11am, 11am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 9pm; Weekend and PH 8am - 9.30pm
Eat light and win big! HPB’s loyalty card programme, ‘Healthy Go Lucky’ rewards diners who choose healthier meal options. Pick up a card from participating Healthy Dining partner outlets and get a stamp on the card for each healthy choice dish purchase. After enjoying only five dishes, you can drop it off at any participating outlet and get a chance to win $300,000 worth of prizes. For more information, go to www.healthygolucky.sg