June 9, 2016

Yeah we know all about “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”, and all that. But being conscious of your health doesn’t mean munching on carrots and veggies the entire day — that’s the old way of thinking, the rabbit food diet, which is fine for people whose willpower and discipline triumph over any desire for enjoyment… Okay, we kid. If you’re a person who wants to enjoy your food, while at the same time, be pleased about what goes into your body, you’re at the right place. We break down some of the tastiest, most yummy food we know that, oh, just happens to be good for you too. Here goes:

1. A Salad — but one with unusual ingredients that are good for you

Broccoli & Avocado Salad with Quinoa & Feta — at OverEasy Orchard

Yes, this kinda goes against what we just said, but hey, that’s if you’re thinking of plain rockets, sans dressing. As for us, we suggest having all those greens in a bowl, but with a couple of other fun stuff too. The one at OverEasy Orchard‘s a great example — the Broccoli & Avocado Salad with Quinoa & Feta looks like a good dose of healthy greens, and you know broccoli’s good for you because your mom said so. Or, because scientists have found out that the vegetable is a good source of dietary fibre, a powerful antioxidant, while boosting your immunity and all that. The power vegetable’s tossed alongside a bunch of crunchy or tender stuff for some nice texture, including feta cheese, pistachio nuts, golden yellow raisins, and quinoa. And if you haven’t already heard of quinoa, well, there are a couple of reasons why the gluten-free grain is so popular nowadays: it contains all nine essential amino acids (all the protein you need!), and has twice as much fibre as most other grains.

Apple & Walnut Kale Salad — at Sprout

Then, there’s Sprout, and this very delectable Apple & Walnut Kale Salad, with a bed of baby kale and baby cos with green apples, celery, red onion, cherry tomatoes, walnuts and shaved smoked cheddar tossed in a cider vinaigrette. We don’t have to tell you how awesome that would taste, just know that kale is hailed as one of the greatest veggies ever, at this moment, because the low-calorie, high-fibre, antioxidant-rich green comes packed with more iron than beef, and is a good source of Vitamin K. Oh, by the way, we know these establishments are known for their other “less healthy” food (burgers and beef/salmon bowls respectively), but the next time your friends are tucking into a loaded mac & cheese dish at the restaurant, don’t even fret about your options; you won’t have to settle for anything less than a well-rounded meal that tastes just as good.

OverEasy Orchard — Liat Towers, #01-01 ; overeasy.com.sg
Sprout — 41 Duxton Road ; eatatsprout.com

2. Açaí Bowls

Açaí bowl — at Tanjong Beach Club

It’s the type of thing you’ve probably seen on Instagram, but before you start rolling your eyes, know that an acai bowl is one of the most delicious ways to get your healthy fix. Think of it like a smoothie — we swear it tastes as good as a well-blended berries/even chocolate milkshake — that’s topped with ingredients such as bananas, berries, granola or honey. The health food has its origins in Brazil, mainly because the açaí (ah-sah-ee) berry is found in Central and South America, considered a superberry, is high in antioxidants, rich in nutrients, contains Omega-3 and other good healthy acids, and is high in fibre while low in calories.

Açaí bowl — at Project Açaí

We’ve narrowed it down two places that do them well — first, Project Açaí, that serves pretty açaí bowls and smoothies at their Holland Village and Ngee Ann City outlets, or, Tanjong Beach Club, where their açaí bowls comes with a blended base of organic açaí berries, banana, apricot, blueberries, mango, a sweet Inca berry confit, toasted coconut and crunchy hazelnut granola. Imagine chilling by the beach over the weekend, and tucking in to this smooth, rich and cooling açaí bowl amidst the unbearable heat.

Project Açaí — Ngee Ann City, #B2-32A ; project-acai.com
Tanjong Beach Club — 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa ; tanjongbeachclub.com

3. Crepes and Wraps!

Smoked Salmon Galette — at The Daily Roundup

Enough said. Who doesn’t like crepes — it should really rank up there with waffles and pancakes, and crepes manage to be one of the most versatile carbs around, since you can go from sweet dessert crepes loaded with chocolate and berries, to savoury crepes topped with anything you desire. What we personally like best though is a round of smoked salmon, capers and cream cheese. Classic. For this, we’re headed straight for The Daily Roundup, a cafe that specialises in crepes and galettes (the savoury version). Their Smoked Salmon Galette is made with 100% organic buckwheat flour flown in from Brittany, France, and they manage to recreate the authentic, slightly charred but delightful smoky taste on your tongue too. It’s also topped with Scottish smoked salmon, served with a crumbled hardboiled egg, homemade crème fraîche with cream cheese and capers. If you feel like going for some meat, but not something as hearty as beef or pork, fish is an excellent option, especially salmon since it’s a rich source of healthy fat that helps maintain your brain functions (though maybe not necessarily make you smarter), while, naturally, a lot of good proteins and minerals can be found in this lightweight dish.

Asian Wrap — at Saint Pierre Market

If you’re looking for hearty wraps in town, head to Saint Pierre Market, Chef Emmanuel Stroobant’s new concept that offers freshly-made wraps, sandwiches and soups, which you can easily pack to go. We’re putting this here because wraps are kind of a distant cousin to crepes, and like crepes, they’re complete meals wrapped in a flour-like skin. Other than their salads, we’ve got our hearts set on this Asian Wrap, a freshly-baked French cereal baguette, with organic kale, poached organic sakura chicken, tofu, roasted nori, toasted pumpkin seeds, toasted sunflower seeds and Japanese sesame spread.

The Daily Roundup — 1 Keong Saik Road, #01-02 ; thedailyroundup.com.sg
Saint Pierre Market — Ngee Ann City, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, #02-11 ; saintpierremarket.com

4. Pizzas?!

Pistachio Pesto Pizza — at Extra Virgin Pizza

Oh, we know what you’re thinking, how can anything loaded with this much carbs and meats and sauces be good for your body? We beg to differ. Extra Virgin Pizza does a spectacular Pistachio Pesto Pizza, and since it’s part of Italian cuisine, you already know it’s good. It’s kinda a simple combination of flavours, nothing too fancy here, as the pizza’s made with a pistachio pesto base, topped with baby arugula and mozzarella, and finished with a lemon vinaigrette, but the best thing about this is its simplicity and delicate balance of flavours. Known as a “summer sauce”, pesto is also packed with nutrition in the form of ingredients such as basil, olive oil and garlic that goes into the paste, meaning that it’s rich in antioxidants (from the basil) so your body’s rid of free radicals, or heart-healthy monosaturated fats (from the olive oil) that helps to lower blood cholesterol and stabilise your blood sugar levels. Basically, you gain some sort of superpower from a healthy version of what used to be a “junk food” staple.

Extra Virgin Pizza — Asia Square, #01-04 ; extravirginpizza.com