Healthy dose of wholesome food
A NEW generation of health food purveyors is sprouting up, from restaurant-quality salad bars to the latest in superfoods.
100AM, #01-03 100 Tras Street
Open 8am to 8pm daily
Pizza chain Skinny Pizza is best known for its super thin crust which won't leave diners feeling stuffed, unlike the conventional bready crusts. Now, it wants to get diners to eat even healthier with its new brand, Skinny Salads.
For now, there is only one outlet at 100AM at Tanjong Pagar, but there are definitely plans to open more.
Skinny Salads worked with celebrity chef Phillip Davenport of TV show Toque 12 fame for its initial launch of eight salads. "Phillip is one of a series of chefs across the globe we will be working with to create exciting new dishes at Skinny Salads... We want to get different influences from different chefs of different cities to keep things unexpected and fresh," says its spokesman.
Chef Davenport has drawn inspiration from around the world for his salads. Options on the menu include fermented cabbage and yuzu, which comes with snow peas, enoki mushrooms and mung bean sprouts with a spicy yuzu dressing; cabbage and nouc cham, which has red and white cabbage with a Vietnamese dressing; and kale and quinoa, which comes with kale, watercress and beetroot quinoa.
Skinny Salads prides itself on offering restaurant-standard salads using quality ingredients. For example, there will be no boring, limp salad greens on the menu. Instead, some of the greens that are available are kale, watercress and baby spinach. "And we do not use canned items either," says the spokesman. "Instead we cook our own chickpeas, sweetcorn, roasted chicken, and use fresh, seared tuna."
Each salad comes with its own dressing that is made from scratch.
Those who prefer a hot meal can opt for the wraps. Options include roasted pumpkin and goat cheese, slow-cooked lamb shoulder, and coconut and turmeric chicken.
Salads start from $9, while wraps are priced from $8.50.
So you've done your hour at the gym, and are looking to fill your tummy. Chances are, you're hard put to find some healthy grub. Enter FitThree, which will deliver meals to your gym.
The name FitThree is a mix of Fit and Three. "Fit is easy to understand as we are delivering healthy meals," says Vincent Felicite, one of its three founders. "Three was chosen because there are three macronutrients that people usually look for when they start eating healthy: protein, carbohydrates and fat."
Clients select a three- or five-day plan, with each meal priced at $12.90, inclusive of delivery. Meals are cooked and then chilled very quickly to between zero and 5 deg C. The chilled meals are delivered on Monday and Thursday mornings to the gyms, where they are kept in fridges. Clients pick the meals up and have to keep them refrigerated. Each meal can keep for up to three days.
"When they want to eat a meal, they simply need to heat it up. This reduces the inconvenience of having to be at home or in the office to wait for delivery," says Mr Felicite. A list of ingredients and heating instructions are included on each pack.
FitThree works with freelance chefs to come up with healthy recipes. On the menu, you can find, for example, a chicken basquaise, lamb kebabs or chicken tikka masala. "While chicken tikka masala may not sound healthy, we work with a dietitian to ensure that the meals we serve are healthy," says Mr Felicite.
FitThree currently delivers its meals to Elevate gym at North Canal Road, UFit gym at Amoy Street, and Breathe Pilates studios at Novena and one-north. Clients don't have to be a member of those gyms to pick up their meals.
There are plans to deliver to more gyms, as well as to add more meal options to the menu. "In time, we will introduce a low-carb option with higher fibre content, vegetarian meals and paleo diet meals," says Mr Felicite.
China Square Central, #01-02, 18 Cross Street
Open Mon to Fri, 10.30am to 6pm
A salad, minus the excessive dressing, is a healthy option, but often leaves diners feeling peckish after an hour or so.
Edward Chia, founder of Do.Si.Rak, believes that eating healthy is all about balance. "You'll still need some carbohydrates, vegetables and proteins," he says. Do.Si.Rak, which means lunch box in Korean, is all that.
Each meal at Do.Si.Rak is much like eating bibimbap, but in a container shaped like a pint of ice cream. Instead of stirring all the ingredients together, diners shake the container to get the food properly mixed. "I want to add an element of fun in healthy eating," says Mr Chia, who is half-Korean, and whose family owns a Korean restaurant in Novena. "The shape of the container makes it easy to hold, and convenient to bring around as well."
A meal, which starts from $7.90, comes with a serving of white rice topped with five types of vegetables, such as cabbage, mushrooms and carrots, and either chicken or kimchi tofu. It costs $8.90 to have beef instead of chicken or tofu, and $9.90 for salmon.
Mr Chia worked with a nutritionist to ensure that the meals are all below 500 calories. Those who want a healthier option can choose to have whole-grain rice or Korean buckwheat noodles for $1 more. Extra meat toppings cost from $2. Naturally, the more toppings you add, the higher the calorie count.
To retain nutrients, the vegetables are either served raw or lightly blanched. "Our meats are all sous vide," adds Mr Chia. Marinades are made from recipes that have been passed down from his Korean grandparents, and all sauces are made in-house too.
Each Do.Si.Rak meal is meant to be eaten slightly cold, and can keep for three hours. For those who want to keep their meals for longer, all toppings and ingredients can be vacuum packed separately. The more popular options are the beef bulgogi, salmon and spicy chicken.
Do.Si.Rak has proven popular with the office crowd, who like it as it is healthy and "yet still lasts them till dinner", says Mr Chia.
THE BUSINESS TIMES