Food Court Finds

February 7, 2011

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Photo: Courtesy of Federico Stevanin

Face it - we’ve all been walking through the mall when we stumble upon the food court. The sweet aroma of pizza, Chinese food, and cinnamon buns is almost intoxicating. But how on earth are you supposed to fit into the skinny jeans you just bought if you’re filling your body with such high-fat, calorie-dense foods? Nicole DeCoursy recently published an article that outlined the 10 healthiest foods you can find at the mall food court. The foods are as follows:


  • Asian Grilled Salmon on Brown Rice from P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
    • The brown rice is high in fiber and the salmon provides omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Moroccan Chicken Salad from California Pizza Kitchen
    • The colorful salad provides a wide variety of antioxidants in addition to protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats.
  • Chicken on Flatbread with Hummus Artisan Snack Plate from Starbucks
    • This quick, on-the-go snack is colorful, high in protein, and low in calories.
  • Roasted Eggplant, Spinach, and Feta Multigrain Pizza from UNO Chicago Grill
    • This entire pizza (which actually serves three) is colorful and full of whole-wheat flour.
  • Mayan Chicken Harvest Rice Bowl with Brown Rice from Au Bon Pain
    • The brown rice is high in fiber and the chicken provides lean protein.
  • Broccoli Beef with White Rice from Panda Express
    • Though Panda Express does not offer a white rice alternative such as brown rice, this dish is low in sodium for most Chinese dishes and had a large portion of broccoli.
  • 6-Inch Veggie Delite with Swiss from Subway
    • This sandwich is satisfying and low in calories. Don’t feel bad adding cheese or light mayonnaise to balance off the array of vegetables.
  • Asian Sesame Chicken Salad from Panera Bread
    • This salad is high in protein due to the chicken, almonds, and sesame seeds. The downside to the salad is that there are no other vegetables other than lettuce and the reduced-sugar dressing contains high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Snack Size Fruit and Walnut Salad from McDonald’s
    • Reach for the snack size fruit and walnut salad when you’re hungry, but not quite hungry enough for a whole meal. The yogurt is low in fat and sweet to the taste.
  • Soft Serve Chocolate Frozen Yogurt from TCBY
    • Craving something sweet? This chocolate frozen yogurt is rich in calcium, low in calories, and contains healthy bacteria to help with digestion.

It is important to remember that many of these foods contain more than one serving. Be sure to ask each restaurant if you can look at their nutritional facts to see exactly what you’re getting. The Asian Grilled Salmon on Brown Rice from P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, for instance, is enough for two, and the pizza from UNOs is enough for three. Don’t hesitate to share your meal with your shopping buddy to save on calories and on cash!

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