Fabulous foreign food doesn't have to be fattening
Many of us already know how to navigate the menus at fast-food, family style, Mexican, and Italian restaurants but what about more exotic cuisines like Thai, French, and Indian?
Follow the tips below for healthy meals in these delicious ethnic restaurants.
This cuisine is growing in popularity, in part because of its reliance on vegetables and focus on healthy foods.
The foods and spices are aromatic, Asian, and easy to enjoy. Spicy dishes can be modified to suit your tastes while retaining flavors that are not familiar in most home kitchens.
Brown rice has found its way onto hip Thai restaurant menus across the country and is a great way to add more fiber to your meal.
|Sauces: lemon grass, lime, curry, sweet and sour, basil, chili, fish sauce||Dishes made with coconut or coconut milk|
|Stir-fried, sautéed, and braised dishes||Sauces with peanuts|
|Thai salads||Fried foods, including fried spring rolls|
|Basil rolls||"Mee-krob" -- crispy noodles|
|Any dish with lots of vegetables|
|Bean thread noodles|
|Seafood, tofu, poultry, lean meats|
|"Satays" -- skewered meat|
Indian curries resemble Thai food, and can be ordered to your desired degree of spiciness. Enjoy a serving of raita, a cucumber-and-yogurt side dish designed to balance the spiciness of Indian food.
Chutneys are blends of dried fruits and spices (with a texture similar to preserves) that often accessorize curries.
|Basmati rice||"Ghee" -- clarified butter|
|Legumes (chickpeas and lentils)||"Molee" -- coconut milk or cream|
|Vegetable dishes||Any kind of fried foods|
|Yogurt-based sauces||High-fat beef and lamb dishes|
|Lean meats, poultry, and seafood||Creamy curry sauce|
|Mulligatawny or lentil soup||"Korma" -- cream sauce|
|"Papad" -- baked lentil wafer||(Limit portions of coconut and nuts)|
|Tikki, tandoori, or kebab preparations|
A recent bestseller claims that "French Women Don't Get Fat," so you might assume theirs is a low-calorie cuisine. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The portions may be smaller, but French foods tend to be high in fat and calories.
Simple is the best approach in French restaurants, as it is the sauces that are usually loaded with fats and calories.
|Broth-based soups||Cream soups|
|Plain vegetables||Cream or cheese sauces: au gratin, hollandaise, béarnaise, béchamel|
|Vegetable salads with light vinegar-based dressing||Caesar salads or any with creamy dressings|
|Wine or mustard sauces without cream||Anything fried or seasoned with breadcrumbs|
|Roasted or grilled lean meats, poultry, and fish||Pate, fatty meats, duck, and sausages|