Healthy Places to Take Your Valentine to Eat

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and statistics show us that 35 percent of us will be dining out to celebrate the day and 48 percent of us are going to get candy as a gift. The combination of these two has the potential of thwarting the best healthy eating plans as you eat the entire box of chocolates in one night for dessert after a high-calorie and fat meal at the romantic dining experience of your choice.

Below are local dining experiences that will allow you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with healthy eating in mind. Then you can splurge on a few pieces from the delicious box of chocolates! Remember when you are eating out, just because it is a healthy choice, the portion may still be large, so remember moderation.  (As the writer, I have no affiliation or preference for any particular restaurant in Kent).

  • Laziza is located in downtown Kent and has a variety of delicious Middle Eastern food.  Start with shrimp cocktail or hummus to share. If you want a healthy entrée, choose the grilled and vegetarian options, such as the: Blackened Salmon Salad, Hummus Wrap, Laziza Wrap, Kabsa Vegetarian or Ghallaya.
  • The Bistro on Main is also a popular choice in Kent. If you are dining here, watch the entrees that are fried, contain white sauce or lots of cheese, or are smothered with butter. A few good choices include: Pizza Margherite, Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon, and sides such as the asparagus or roasted forest mushrooms.
  • A long-standing restaurant in Kent, The Pufferbelly, also has some unique healthy options. Watch your portion sizes here.  A personal favorite of mine here is the Raspberry Chicken Salad or the Portabella stand without the provolone cheese. As a special treat, share an order of their sweet potato fries! They are delicious.
  • The Rusty Nail also has some delicious healthy options. The Fall Harvest Salad is hearty and has a nice combination of flavors–ask for dressing on the side. If you want to splurge on a steak, choose the petite filet and ask to trade the garlic mashed potatoes with chef vegetable of the day (there may be an upcharge). Order the light raspberry vinaigrette on the side for the salad and ask them not to bring the bread so it isn’t sitting on the table taunting you.
  • Kent is filled with a number of restaurant bars and pubs such as Ray’s Place, Mike’s Place, Rockne’s, Panini’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. Many think there is no chance of eating healthy in these restaurants, but with careful choices it is possible. Stick with broth based soups, grilled items and salads.  Some restaurants are beginning to star their healthy choices or give you calories to the healthier options, such as Panini’s Bar and Grill. Watch the portion sizes and hold the sauces, dressings and cheese or at least have them put on the side so you decide how much to add to your meal. Have the take-home box brought with your meal so you can immediately split the meal or be romantic and share an entrée!

Whatever the restaurant you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I hope you have a wonderful night. Remember it is OK to indulge every once in awhile, so make sure you enjoy your food and especially your company!

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