By Leena Hassan
It seems like yesterday when the only option for a healthy office lunch in Pakistan was to pack a home-made grilled sandwich or order a chicken tikka from Red Apple. However, times have changed and restaurateurs are taking note of evolving eating habits by offering exciting diet-friendly options at competitive prices.
Read on as Women’s Own takes you through our favorite healthy eats.
For the Carbs Addict:
- Eatfit’s Asian Brown Rice Salad (Karachi):
Eatfit is one of several outlets doing away with the preconceived notion that a healthy lifestyle equates to eating bland, tasteless food. We can’t get enough of this oriental salad made up of brown rice, chicken, peanuts, baby spinach and a tangy soy honey dressing served on the side. Best of all: it consists of only 254 calories!
- FITSO’s Whole Wheat Spaghetti Bolognese (Karachi):
This version of our favorite comfort food is a slam dunk. Comprising just 354 calories, it loses none of the original’s flavor.
- Eatfit’s Potato Salad (Karachi):
Who doesn’t have a weak spot for potatoes? Without a hint of mayonnaise, but still filled with flavor, this healthy potato salad is a revelation.
For the Vegetarian
- Necos’ Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (Karachi):
The smoothest, creamiest hummus we have had in Pakistan. The fact that it’s made using all-natural products certainly doesn’t hurt!
- Andaaz’s Baingan Ka Bhurta (Lahore/Islamabad)
Grilled aubergines add a unique flavor to this signature dish from Pondicherry.
- Pantry by The Polo Lounge’s Halloumi Cheese and Lentil Salad (Lahore)
A favorite with vegetarians, this refreshing salad gets an extra zing with oven-dried tomatoes and red-wine vinaigrette dressing.
For Those Trying to go Easy on the Carbs
- Coso Nostra’s Chicken Caesar Salad (Lahore)
Quite simply the best Caesar salad in the country.
- Mocca’s Chicken Tahini Platter (Islamabad)
Rich in protein, Mocca’s luscious Tahini sauce is made with sesame seeds and blended with fat-free Greek yogurt.
- Evergreen’s Grilled Steak Salad (Karachi)
Another healthy eating brand that has taken Karachi by storm, Evergreen’s salad contains slow-cooked beef tenderloin and a sesame-soy-honey dressing that really appeals to our taste buds.
For the Desert Lovers
- FITBE Deserts (Karachi)
The brainchild of Marium Bilwani Katchi, who creates gluten-and sugar-free deserts, FITBE let’s you have your cake and eat it too. We’re obsessed with the Choco Buff Brownie and the Champ Chomp Cookie, which contain less than 80 calories per piece.
- Okra’s Flourless Chocolate Cake (Karachi)
Incredibly rich, yet surprisingly light, Okra’s flourless chocolate cake is the perfect treat for those whose lives (and diets) are unfairly constrained. It’s dense, creamy texture and intense flavor make our mouths water.
- Burger O ‘Clock’s Nutella Burger (Karachi)
This decadent ‘sweet burger’ may not be the most nutritious option on our list as a healthy layer of creamy Nutella is sandwiched between a stack of glazed donuts and fresh fruits. The kiwis and pineapples, however, will help you reach your five-a-day fruit goal.