Friday, July 30, 2010

Healthy Eats

...." Health y cuisine has made leaps and bounds in the flavor department , and given the myriad of healthy choices in the Capital there's no reason to stay away" Words by Kate Liana.


Remember : Heavy Cheese , cream-based sauces, oil-rich curries, and loads of fatty meat just aren't healthy. Look for lighter healthier options wherever you are. However , it's all about balance . Too many deprivation will hurl you headlong into a fish and chips bender, so allow yourself occasionally indulgences. Luckily after eating healthy for a period of times, your body start to like , and actually crave it. You will feel better as well, all of which will encourage you to continue the healthy options.


Vego’s, who stormed into town on a health-food mission and has fast become everyone’s favourite salad dealer. Bright and welcoming, this tiny eatery opposite Wat Lanka packs in crowds at lunch eager for their delicious salads and wraps. Clean, fresh veggies that are chemical-free, imported cheese and loads of topping and dressing choices keeps everyone coming back for more. Healthiest options are salads with lots of legumes (like seeds and nuts), and a low fat dressing like the vinaigrette. Tuna and salmon are full of omega oils – good for the brain – and are a great source of protein. Another hit has been their bagels, baked fresh every morning, and are rumored to be the best in town. However, at 600 calories a pop, go easy on them.

Vego, 3 Street 51.

Tel. 012 984 596.

Naturae is a welcome addition on Street 240. Both a restaurant and an organic food shop, it offers a wide range of organic tea, seeds, nuts, grains, dried pasta, baby food, baby shampoo, laundry soap, just to name a few. The in-house restaurant offers

asparagus veloute, saffron orzo with shrimp, homemade yoghurt with rose syrup, and many other chemical-free and natural delicacies. However, some of the more unique offerings are the vitamin and mineral supplements. Wheatgrass is not just

for your hippie aunt anymore. It offers tons of nutrients and gives a huge, natural energy boost. Spirulina is packed with protein, vitamins, and nutrients, and its funky green colour screams ‘healthy’. Antioxreds are potent antioxidants that are believed to provide a serious energy boost, and Livadetox’s mix of amino acids and herbal extract will clean you straight out. If you’re squeamish about downing this stuff raw, you can add a shot of the above to any smoothie or juice for US$1, which will neutralize the strong flavour.

Naturae, 83 Street 240.

Tel. 017 368 937.

Nestled high above Street 51 across from Wat Lanka is Nature and Sea, a little refuge of wholesome goodness. Its buckwheat crepes, salads and sandwiches are all made with fresh, chemical free veggies, and the shakes are a popular way to get some vitamins into your system. Avocado, carrot and beetroot juice (9,000 riel) is a tasty, sharp blend of veggies, the avocado smoothes out the flavour and provides a smooth texture. The strawberry and pomelo drink is sweet and tangy and the mango and passion fruit is a rich, tart mix of sweet and sour flavours (both 9,000 riel). Add milk (1,000 riel) or yoghurt (4,000 riel) for added calcium. Best of all, sit on the breezy terrace and look out over Wat Lanka and enjoy the relative peace and quiet.

Nature & Sea, Cnr. Streets 51

& 278, 2nd Floor. Tel. 012 953 810.

The Shop’s roasted red pepper soup is divine at US$3. They only use a tiny touch of cream, which ensures the soup stays this side of healthy. With a lovely crisp, sharp flavour from the peppers, it’s spicy without that ubiquitous chilli flavour. It’s even possible to thoroughly enjoy on a 40 degree day. The pumpkin and spinach soup is equally tasty, and will also not break your calorie bank.

The Shop, 39 Street 240. Tel. 092 955 963.

Wipe a tear from your eye as you eschew the grilled sausage in aioli and hit the feta and cashew salad at Pacharan (US$6.95). Luckily it’s delicious and filling, so your suffering will be short. The lentils in this dish add great flavour and essential nutrients. Cashews are high in protein, iron, magnesium, and zinc, and contain “good fat” essential for heart health and are cholesterol-free.

The plentiful feta cheese has a huge dose of calcium, great for building bone density, and much less fat and calories than other cheese, plus a wonderful sharp, salty flavour. It tastes so good you will forget that tempting crème brulee after all.

Pacharan, 389 Sisowath Quay.

Tel. 023 224 394.

Double-treat K’NYAY is both healthy and stylish enough for a first date. All veggies are organic and the chef tinkers constantly with the menu, creating new, delectable vegan dishes. Most exciting is the nutty, rich wild rice, a welcome respite from the white stuff. Pair with veggies or chicken for optimum flavour and healthiness, and enjoy the crunchy, firm texture. Start crafting your pitch for date number two.

K’NYAY, 25 Suramarit Boulevard,

(Street 268). Tel. 023225 225.

Everyone’s favourite Norwegian pub Velkommen makes a mean plate of veggies. US$2 gets you carrots, green peppers, turnips, string beans and potatoes, all steamed soft, then grilled for a smoky, rich flavour. Some fresh black pepper sharpens it up a bit, and makes eating your veggies a pleasure. For protein add the pan-fried fish with capers (US$5.50). Regulars swear it’s the best fish in town.

Velkommen, 23 Street 104.

Tel. 092 177 710.

If you’ve been good and healthy, reward yourself with the flatbread wrap at Del Gusto (US$4.85). The cumin flavoured yoghurt dressing is great and compliments the marinated lamb and chickpeas so well they blush. Wrapped in fresh, warm flatbread that’s baked on site every day, this one is a winner. Using locally grown, organic produce, Del Gusto is an avid supporter of the Slow Food movement, and has been committed to providing healthy, fresh eats to Phnom Penh since its inception. It has a collection of local farmers who all use organic methods, ensuring quality and preserving the goal of environmental friendliness. Unfortunately the staff too has embraced the “slow service” movement, so avoid if you’re in a hurry. Otherwise it’s worth the wait.

Del Gusto, 43 Street 95.

Tel. 023 211 396.

Credited : AsiaLIFE Phnom Penh ,Page 32-33 | 052010 ISSUE 41

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