Ny Post I March 17, 2020 I Lambeth Hochwald
How to order healthy yet delicious takeout during coronavirus lockdown
Not ready to dive into your stash of beans just yet? Don’t fret, takeout is as good an option as ever.
As cities hunker down to combat the coronavirus, restaurants are closed. But many are still open for takeout and delivery — and ordering in just might help your favorite spot stay afloat during these trying times.
There are some new best-practices for ordering takeout as cities brace for quarantine. Call the restaurant directly to order (which saves them on fees that are often charged by delivery apps), and while you’re at it, ask for contact-free delivery: The delivery person can leave your order in a lobby or at the front door to minimize contact as we all practice social distancing.
Once you’ve got your grub-getting plan underway, it’s not a bad idea to seek out options that’ll help keep you energized and satisfied during this potentially long stretch at home, experts say.
“When things in the world feel out of control, find comfort and security in controlling what you can control,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, an NYC-based dietitian and creator of the F-Factor Diet. “This includes your mindset, the way you treat others and what foods you put into your body.”
While foods can’t cure you of the coronavirus, there are certain veggies and herbs with extra immune-boosting bona fides that pop up in plenty of takeout dishes, such as curries or fajitas. Kale, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, garlic, ginger and oregano may have antiviral properties, according to Zuckerbrot. And many veggies, including red bell peppers, cauliflower and tomatoes, contain Vitamin C.
Starters: Hot and sour, wonton or egg drop soup. “These broths are low in calories and filled with spices,” she says.
Mains: Whether you love chicken and broccoli or lo mein, request everything you order to be made with less oil or ask for sauce on the side. “Wok cooking with minimal oil is one of the healthiest food preparations there is,” she says. And, by requesting less oil, you’ll save 135 calories and 15 grams of fat for every tablespoon of oil.
Starters: A Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumber, onion, feta or a grilled protein appetizer such as grilled octopus or calamari.
Mains: Kabobs (chicken, beef or lamb) are great protein-packed picks. “Pair these with horta (boiled leafy greens) and gigantes (large lima beans) in tomato sauce.”
Starters: Back away from the nachos! Black bean or tortilla soups are “flavorful, less than 200 calories a cup, and the beans will fill you up.”
Mains: Look for combinations of lean proteins and vegetables. “Grilled chicken, shrimp or lean beef fajitas with peppers and onions on a whole wheat tortilla are an ideal choice,” she says. And yes, you can keep your guac — in moderation. “Avocados boast a wealth of healthy fats, but they are still fats nonetheless, and they can quickly become a high-calorie food if consumed in excess,” she says. A “healthy serving size” is anywhere from 2 tablespoons to 1/4 a cup.
Starters: Tom Yum soup with chicken, shrimp or tofu, green papaya salad or summer rolls (vegetables and a lean protein in rice paper).
Mains: Basil chicken is a great bet and, if you’re craving pad thai, ask for extra vegetables, such as broccoli or peppers. “This minimizes the ratio of pasta to veggies,” Zuckerbrot says.
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