Thursday, January 6, 2011

But, What Am I Supposed to Eat When We Go Out!?

This is another post dedicated to my mom. As I mentioned before, she has recently joined me on my Paleo journey...Jen's Mom's Gone Paleo! I know, you're probably wondering..."What took her so long!?" too. But, on a positive note, she's done it and I'm excited! So, back to the issue at hand. While she and Mark usually eat at home, they like to go out on the weekends...their food of choice...Mexican or Thai. Perfect! But, the Thai restaurant was closed, so they ate Mexican and both visits, they ordered salad...sad. 
There are so many options for the Paleo-eater, options that I'd like to share with you. Scott and I eat out semi-regularly and we have a few places that we really enjoy and we rarely, if ever, order salad. Not that there's anything wrong with salad, there are just so many more exciting options out there. So, here we go:
Burger Joints or Places That Serve Burgers
Burger Patty (I'm finding a lot more places are serving buffalo or other "exotic" meats, so get "wild" with your burger!)
Onion (I don't care for raw onion, but order it if you like)
Add Egg...if they've got it!
Extra Lettuce Leaves (order romaine or iceberg if you want to wrap your burger)
-No Bun
-No Cheese
-No Ketchup (or Catsup)
-No Mayo or Other Sauces

Sashimi (raw fish)
We order a roll that consists of the following:
   -Seaweed Wrapper (Nori)*
   -Spicy Tuna (inside)
   -Cucumber (inside)
   -Jalapeno (inside)
   -Spicy Salmon (on top)
   -Avocado (on top)
   -Sambal (on top)
   -Tobiko (on top)

Some sushi restaurants also offer grilled fish and/or a tasty raw beef dish that you cook on a rock. 
Appetizer: Tuna tartare with thinly sliced cucumbers, instead of fried wontons.
Sauce: Since soy sauce is off limits, create a mixture of sesame oil, wasabi or sriracha, and fresh lemon or lime. 
*Rolls can be made without rice or soy just have to ask. You can also request that your sushi be rolled in cucumber or daikon (see below: not my favorite, but some people like it), just expect to pay a little more.
Mexican (or Tex-Mex, as we have down here in Texas)
Fajitas (the meat is the most flavorful part of any taco or really won't miss the wrapper)
Extra Side of Shredded Lettuce (to make your own little salad of sorts) 
Lettuce Leaves (to use in place of the tortillas)
Order a side of Sliced Cucumbers (like we did with the tuna tartare...see above) for dipping in your guacamole and salsa. 
You pretty much can't go wrong with Thai Curry (a mixture of curry paste, coconut milk, and sometimes fish sauce), but know that Panang has peanuts. Here's what I order:
Red/Green/Yellow Curry w/Chicken
No Potatoes (usually in the Yellow)
Extra Vegetables or Side of Steamed Veggies
No Rice

No Sauce*
We went to Cowboy Chicken the other day and ordered Chicken (just remove the skin) and two Sides; we ordered:
-Yam (it's half of a baked yam...that's it)
-Butternut Squash (steamed and pureed)
-Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion Salad w/Oil and Vinegar
*Always ask about sauces (the major place that you'll find hidden sugars and additives) and never be afraid to ask if you can order something without it (the "Sauteed Veggies" are doused in a soy dressing...the menu doesn't mention that).
Meat (grilled or seared, without sauce) and Veggies (ask for them steamed or grilled sans sauce)
Egg Scrambles, Omelets, or Frittatas (some places add pancake batter to their omelets...I's true)
And, yes...Salads. Add some Grilled Meat, omit the cheese and croutons, and order Olive Oil and Vinegar or Lemon on the side. 
We've also had good luck at Mongolian Stir-Fry places, like Ghengis Grill; just be sure to leave off the sauces (or use a mix of lime, sesame oil, hot sauce, and seasoning) and ask for an extra bowl for shredded cabbage...I give this to the stir fry guy and have him add it to my mix (or, you can leave it raw for a little extra crunch). 
Fast Food
I'll leave you with this post from MDA (just remember to eliminate the dairy). 
Never be afraid to ask, "What's in ___?". And, remember...
Meat+Veggies-Sauce = Good Eats


Juli said...

AWESOME post!! People always get so worked up about eating out, but if you plan ahead and think it out, you can always figure out something! You rock! Great pictures

Cspin said...

Great, great post! Keep up the good work.

jencereghino said...

Thank you! It helps having my mom and dad to inspire me, right now. They are doing really well, but they are going through the same initial struggles (i.e. not really eating enough, not knowing what to eat, and and just that initial adjustment to not filling up on grains) that I went through, when I first made the switch.

Thank you for your comments...I love hearing, when something is useful. :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome post and a great reminder that we can stay PALEO even when eating out. It's no reason to cheat! Mexican cuisine is my favorite.. hold the refried beans, please.


Barbara said...

GREAT post and much needed!

Trixie said...

My favorite meal out is form my local Tex-Mex place. I order chicken stew and serve it over cauliflower rice, then top it with guacamole and grass fed sour cream:)

Nikki said...

Great post! I'm trying to do a 30 day challenge starting next week. My weakness is sushi rice (which I know is full of sugar too) and tortialla chips!

This post made me hungry so I think I'll print it out and keep it in my purse.

jencereghino said...

I think that this is an area that a lot of people struggle, but I've found that many places want your business and are happy to make simple modifications.

I always ask for no sauce (if I'm not sure what's in it) and will ask for extra cilantro, some sesame oil, lemon, or seasoning to help with the flavor if I think it's needed.

I'm a Mexican food and Tex-Mex fan, as well. I missed the beans, at first, but started to add extra guacamole (once I finally discovered that FAT is GOOD!) for the added flavor and texture. You can also ask for a little extra cumin on the side to increase the earthiness of your guac (something that beans add to the mix). Sometimes I miss the sour cream, but I think that a squeeze of lime can add that tanginess that I like from the sour cream.

As far as sushi goes...try that roll we have created at our sushi place, Nikki! You can also see in the pictures that we've had a sort of lollipop made with raw fish, wrapped in daikon (I like it better with cucumber), and then stabbed with a toothpick to keep it together. YUM! And, good luck with your "30-Day Challenge"! What are the guidelines for your challenge?

That's a great idea, Trixie! I've never actually had chicken stew out...I'll have to see what our local place has to offer.

Arsineh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arsineh said...

Great post! And so awesome that your mom is doing paleo with you! I have been trying to get my parent to do it for a year ... and so far, the only change they have made is taking fish oil!

jencereghino said...

Arsineh~ Be patient...I started in September '09, took 16 months! But, they're now totally 'on board'! They're trying all sorts of wild game, have cleared out the grains, and have stocked up their "home gym". I've asked them to start posting and sending me pictures of what they're eating, hoping that they can share with others.

Hopefully your parents will see the positive results that you're experiencing and be too intrigue to not try it out. :)

Heather said...

Thanks for the info.... helpful post. And as usual, awesome photos!

Myya said...

i traveled around Thailand and took a cooking class while there and in all the currys they added sugar; and in all there sauses have added sugar. Just a heads up to ask at your local places if they add sugar to theirs.

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