Thursday, September 15, 2011

Restaurants Galore!

This summer has been brutal. With a drought and unbearable heat, finding activities to do has been difficult. To deal with temperatures, I find that I have been eating out a lot- just to get myself out of my air-conditioned home to another air-conditioned place. Luckily, the month of August is Restaurant Week in Houston. Various restaurants around town participate in this city-wide event that includes a 3 course prix-frix meal with a portion of the proceeds ($5 from each meal served) benefitting the Houston Food Bank.

As a former Food Bank instructor, I think this is a great cause to help the hunger crisis in Houston. According to the website, by dining only once at a participating restaurant during this event supports 15 meals for a child or adult in the Houston area. What a great cause, and a great way to experience new foods!

My husband and I have enthusiastically participated this year, dining at various restaurants. While all of our choices may not be healthy, it has helped me taste new foods at fantastic restaurants. If you ever are in the Houston area, visit a couple of our new favorites:

1. Strip House. Contrary to its name, this restaurant offers great ambiance, service, and of course, food. The benefit of high-end steak houses is that cows are grass fed- a new important component to my family's diet. While I am unable to taste the difference between organic and non-organic, I am worried about the health risks that corn-fed cows may cause. After a recent conference, I was enlightened by the fact that corn-fed cows no longer solely count as a source of protein, but also as a source of carbohydrate. Therefore, I need to balance my carbohydrate at meal time when consuming corn fed meats. On the other hand, grass fed meat provides a source of vitamins and minerals and reduces the possibility of food poisoning. 

2. Mockingbird Bistro
This restaurant is  known more for being a wine bar, but the food was excellent. Seafood was the food of choice for myself as I chose huge scallops as my main course. While scallops are high in cholesterol, they are low in fat and calories, thus allowing a good alternative to the extensive amount of steak we have consumed. The other bonus to this place is that they claim to use the freshest ingredients- therefore the menu changes frequently to allow customers to eat ingredients that are in season. Choosing and consuming ingredients in season is a good rule of thumb to follow at home. Typically, I choose vegetables and fruit that are in season to save myself money while still being able to enjoy the flavor.

If you visit any restaurants, please let me know. I am always up for trying something new!

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