THERE are a number of local restaurants that state or imply they serve foods that are "healthy" and "lowfat." But in reality, you'll find relatively few menu items that meet the federal guidelines for these nutritional claims. Consequently, even after decades of consumer activism and revised federal legislation, it's still "buyer beware" when you eat out.
Throughout the year, our column will feature local restaurants that offer one or more menu items that meet the federal guidelines. We will provide you with the recipes and nutritional analyses for some of these foods.
Gourmet Express, with locations at Kahala Mall and Ala Moana Center, offers an Original Wrap that meets the federal guidelines for lowfat. The Original Wrap is a large flour tortilla wrapped around a generous serving of brown rice and eight crunchy vegetables, topped with a delicious nonfat Garden Herb Yogurt Sauce. You can get the tortilla plain or flavored with tomato or spinach.
A salad item that contains lower fat is the Roasted Vegetable Salad. It contains a combination of eggplant, zucchini, green and red bell peppers, sweet onion, potato, mushroom, carrot, and garlic. The dressing is made from balsamic vinegar and rosemary, with a splash of olive oil. As a take-home item, the Roasted Vegetable Salad goes well with oven-roasted or barbecued chicken breast.
Lisa Bos, owner of Gourmet of Express, shares her recipe for the Original Wrap and Garden Herb Yogurt Sauce. Both are quick and easy to prepare. But if you're really pressed for time, you can make a "wiki-wiki" wrap by using a bag of pre-chopped mixed vegetables.
The Garden Herb Yogurt Sauce also goes great on top of baked potatoes, steamed vegetables, chicken breast or fish. Nonfat yogurts vary greatly in taste and acidity. We prefer the flavor of Mountain High or Alta Dena brands.
ORIGINAL WRAP3 tablespoons Garden Herb Yogurt Sauce (see recipe below)
1 large flour tortilla (plain, spinach, or tomato)
1/4 cup cooked white rice
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
1/8 cup grated carrots
1 tablespoon julienned beets
2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped daikon
1/4 cup chopped ripe tomato
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
Heat heavy skillet until drops of water dance. Place tortilla on skillet for 10 to 15 seconds. Flip with a spatula and heat other side of tortilla.
Place tortilla on plate and starting 2-inches from bottom center, fill with rice, vegetables, and Garden Herb Yogurt Sauce. Fold bottom of tortilla up followed by one side and then the other side.
Approximate nutritional information per wrap: 490-510 calories, 3.5-6.5 g total fat, 1-2 g saturated fat, less than 5 mg cholesterol, 670 mg sodium.*
GARDEN HERB YOGURT SAUCE1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/3 teaspoon fresh garlic clove
1 teaspoon lemon juice
dash red cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate overnight.
Approximate nutritional information per 2 tablespoons: 15 calories, no fat, less than 5 mg cholesterol, 70 mg sodium.*
Barbara Burke is a Hawaii-Pacific University instructor who has been teaching
and writing about food and nutrition since 1975.
Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S., is a food and nutrition consultant
and owner of Exploring New Concepts, a nutritional consulting firm.
She is also responsible for the nutritional analyses
indicated by an asterisk in this section.