Healthy Dine Finds
Today I’m excited to kick off a new column that will focus on practical choices we all can make should we want to eat healthier. This isn’t about diets or exercise, seeking out organic ingredients, or going vegan or vegetarian. No, this is about the decisions we all make every day at the restaurants we visit in the metro every week. Each article will touch on two Kansas City area restaurants with a focus on some of the healthier options on their menus. Choose them or not. I’m not here to preach or judge, simply to convey some solid, practical information that can help change your eating habits for the better!
I start with O’Dowd’s Gastropub, which has just been relaunched on the Country Club Plaza. O’Dowd’s isn’t the first place you’d think of for healthy eating choices, and that’s exactly my point. There are, it turns out, plenty of options for those looking to cut calories and fat as pointed out by Managing Partner Chris Bradley, a healthy eater himself. “You’re not going to get a healthy cheeseburger, but you can get a hamburger without a bun. We have a lot of gluten free options too, so you can do that,” Bradley shared. Bradley points to menu options like the tenderloin or pork chop, which you can get with their sauces on the side with some steamed veggies. Avoid the mashed potatoes and you’ve significantly reduced both calories and fat. “You’re going to have some calories with your protein, but they’re generally good calories,” Bradley stated.
Salads are always good calls and there are plenty at O’Dowd’s. “Stay away from cream dressings and maybe add some smoked salmon to your salad, and you’re definitely eating healthy, or at least healthier,” Bradley said. My dining picks included the roasted beet salad with the dressing on the side. There was plenty of flavor from the beets and the little bit of goat cheese I consumed, so I was pleased with my starter. Finishing with the pan-seared trout served with steamed rather than confit brussel sprouts and no Yukon gold mashed potatoes, I left O’Dowd’s feeling good about my choices and completed sated after a lovely and delicious meal.
Stop two brought me to Kulture Kurry located on College Boulevard in Overland Park. Kulture Kurry is owned by Roushan Kuman. Its theme is Northern Indian cuisine, but there are familiar dishes one would find in any Indian restaurant. Kuman’s goal is to elevate the cuisine and the ambiance to the level of a fine dining restaurant, and I’d say he’s succeeding at both.
Kulture Kurry’s menu is meat heavy with three goat preparations and several lamb dishes along with a host of the always popular chicken preparations. Since I don’t see goat very often, I had to try all three, and they were all delicious. As for healthier choices, Kuman suggested several of the meat-based items along with the restaurant’s large selection of vegetarian dishes.
Of the vegetarian choices, the Pindi Chole, chickpeas cooked with ginger, onion, and tomatoes is probably the healthiest of the bunch while still loaded with flavor and texture.
In the Starter section, the Chili Chicken is a good choice if you want spice but are trying to eat a little lighter.
As for entrees, meat lovers will revel in the Kansas Krackle, an assortment of meats served over rice on a sizzling platter with a spicy sauce, mint, and coriander. Go easy on the rice, and this dish is high on protein but low on fat. Even lighter is the Salmon in Tamarind Sauce. While not the lowest calorie fish, salmon has many healthy attributes, and the sauce, already on the lighter side, can be served on the fish on or on the side.