It’s the start of another week, which means it’s also time for the latest edition of Eat Well, Grub Street’s guide to satisfying, virtuous food around town. This week brings us a healthful twist on a Thai takeout staple, a refreshing (vitamin-packed) soup from one of Brooklyn’s best neighborhood restaurants, and even some cheese doodles. Here’s where to find it all:
Monday, July 30: Papaya Pad Thai at Ngam
Thinly sliced papaya in place of real noodles sounds like some kind of awful low-carb copout, but at comfort-food Thai joint Ngam, it’s a revelation. All the classic richness of the dish is still there, plus the fresh crunch of green papaya — not to mention more potassium, vitamin C, and fiber than the classic rice noodles.
Tuesday, July 31: Wholesome Cheese Doodles
There’s nothing wrong with indulging a Tuesday afternoon craving for cheese puffs, as long as you avoid such dicey ingredients as partially hydrogenated oils, polysorbates, TBHQ, and sulfites. The solution: Seek out brands like LesserEvil. You get all the salty, snacky satisfaction without the weird chemicals. Pick up a bag of Cheddar Krinkle Sticks at Westerly Natural Market or Whole Foods.
Wednesday, August 1: Chopped Salad Among the Glamazons
At a place as packed with models (and wannabe models) as Abe & Arthur’s, you damn well should be able to get a great salad. The newest addition to the menu: a chopped concoction featuring apples, walnuts, blue cheese, bacon, pickled onions, and honey croutons.
Thursday, August 2: Cucumber Gazpacho in Park Slope
Crap, it’s August already. Before summer is out, take advantage of Rosewater’s balmy, plant-lined front patio. And while you’re there, order a cooling bowl of pimento-spiked cucumber gazpacho. You may think cucumbers are mostly water, but the truth is they pack an impressive nutritional punch, with a substantial dose of vitamins A and C, and — here’s some knowledge for trivia night — an essential mineral called molybdenum.
Friday, August 3: The Best Eggs
Hate to break it to you, but organic and so-called free-range eggs from the supermarket aren’t the best you can buy. Yolks and whites are at their nutritional-powerhouse best when they come from a chicken that’s actually been out in a pasture, snapping up high-protein grubs and such. It’s those eggs that have the best ratio of fats (hello, omega-3s) and highest levels of nutrients. Stock up for the weekend at a farmer’s market stand (any will do), and then consider impressing your brunch guests with this killer recipe. Oh, and eat the yolk, for goodness sake: It’s actually unlikely to raise your cholesterol, and a combo of protein, good fats, and essential vitamins and minerals mean it’s the healthiest part of the whole egg.