Sushi is frequently touted by the health-conscious as a healthy option for dining out, but some of your favorite dishes from the local sushi restaurant may be loaded with fat and empty calories. Follow a few tips to get the most out of your sushi dining experience next time you eat out.
1. Go Sashimi
Simply put, sashimi is sushi without the rice. A cup of rice has about 200 calories, so opting for a dose of healthy omega-3s without the added calories from rice is a good idea. You can usually order any piece of sushi as a sashimi instead and have the flavor of the fish without the rice. Add a small bit of wasabi for an added kick and try a whole new way to sushi.
2. Choose Your Rice Wisely
If you really want your rice and feel like sushi just isn’t the same without it, ask for brown rice instead of the white rice traditionally served at sushi restaurants. While it may be a break from the norm, brown rice is a whole grain so it is healthier for you than white rice. Brown rice is also healthier for the planet than white rice because it goes through a simpler processing method, and using less energy and fewer synthetic nutrients makes things easier on the environment.
3. Avoid Tempura like the Plague
It’s no secret that fried food is bad for your health. The added fat and calories from oil can turn just about any dish into a diet no-no. Tempura foods are coated in batter and fried in vegetable oil, making tempura sushi no exception to the rule. Desserts like ice cream and cheesecake can be tempura too, so avoid anything on the menu which has tempura listed in the dish name or description to stay away from a large amount of empty calories while you are dining out.
4. Stick to the Bottom of the Food Chain
The lower your dish is on the food chain, the healthier it may be for you. Mercury levels in sea food never leave a fish’s body after it is ingested, so the more mercury a fish consumes the more mercury will be in that fish’s body when you eat it at your local sushi restaurant. Larger fish like swordfish that are at the top of the food chain eat smaller fish that already have mercury in their systems, and all of these meals add up in the predator’s body. If you stick to sushi dishes a little lower on the totem pole like salmon, you can reduce the amount of mercury you are ingesting. To really lower your mercury count, opt for vegetarian dishes like seaweed salad.
Knowing which foods to avoid and which to fill up on can mean the difference between a healthy meal and an unhealthy one at any restaurant. These suggestions are just a start to healthy dining; learn all of the dining tricks for your favorite restaurants to stay at your best while enjoying a meal out.
Buying wine by the case is a fantastic way to save money, and by mixing and matching varieties, you’ll easily satisfy everyone’s taste. Branch out from reds and whites, and order some rosés, sparkling wines and Champagne (or Prosecco). For a fun yet affordable change, try a sparkling Shiraz. All of these wines can easily turn into a fun punch, cocktail or spritzer, or are delicious on their own.
Another bonus to keeping a mixed case of wine on hand is the food pairing possibilities. No matter what you’re serving, you’ll have a wine to match. Champagne and Prosecco can help you out from beginning to end, as they pair perfectly with cheese and other appetizers, and also desserts, both chocolate and fruit-based. Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon tend to be some of the more versatile wines when it comes to matching them with main courses and sides.
One of the easiest ways to guarantee you’ll host a successful party is to make sure you’ve got plenty of food and drink. Make things easy on yourself, and just keep a couple of cases of wine on hand. If you don’t have the room (or don’t want the temptation!), you can order online and choose your shipping date. It’ll come right to your door, just in time for your party.
Avoid running around all night, and let your guests serve themselves. Sometimes it’s awkward to ask for another drink anyway, so have a table set up on the side with a wine opener, glasses, the wine and napkins. Keep your white and sparkling wines in a cooler under the table and make sure your guests know they can help themselves. Put the table in a spot that’s easy to get to, and preferably not near your white carpeting! Don’t forget the non-drinkers or light-weights - be sure to keep water, juice and soda available.
For a fun twist, if you have the time, print off descriptions of the wine from any online wine shop or resource. Place the cards in front of the wine, and ask your guests to rate the wines and pick a favourite. For smaller gatherings, you may even consider sending everyone home with a bottle as a party favour! Given how much you can save when buying by the case, this is a more affordable idea than ever before.
Happy shopping (and drinking)!