Let's do lunch

by Kari Walker

So long, salad. Eating out and healthy is more than rabbit food.

No doubt one of your New Year's resolutions is to get healthier - a big part of accomplishing this goal is what you are putting in your mouth at meal time. On any given work day you might be faced with the dilemma of how to keep away from the sugary snacks in the break room or to resist a helping of boudin. Get off the fried, greasy, carb-loaded crazy train and discover some local healthy lunch time options that won't break your commitment to self-improvement this year.

Photo by Kari Walker

Rachael's meatloaf with Brussels sprouts and coconut sweet potatoes - a filling and comforting healthy lunch option.

Tucked back off of Republic Avenue lies family-owned and operated Rachael's Café, where at first glance you'll notice a menu full of gumbo and fried seafood, a dieter's worst nightmare, but talk to the staff and you'll learn the eatery has a health-conscious side to offer. Starting at only $10, Rachael's serves a healthy plate of one protein and two vegetables - the meatloaf with a side of Brussels sprouts and coconut sweet potatoes is IND Eats go-to dish. It's different than mama's but that's OK because it's filling, gluten-free and pretty darn tasty. So, why would a restaurant rich in Cajun food want to offer a lighter side?

"We added healthier menu items because we value nutrition and balance in our own lives. It only seemed fair to offer our customers more options when eating out," says co-owner Kellie Nambo. "It is our goal to prove that it is possible to eat good tasting food that is also good for your body." Most of Rachael's healthy plates are low-carb, gluten-free and heart healthy, but if you're eating with someone looking for a good seafood platter, the two of you can dine in harmony here.

Photos by Travis Gauthier/Zoom Photo Studio

Ready Fit Meals meets the needs of something quick without sacrificing quality of flavor. Each meal lists nutritional values to help keep diets in check.

We understand work days get busy and schedules don't always allow for a leisurely lunch away from the office. This is where Ready Fit Meals can fill the fine line between ordering a boring sub sandwich and getting gourmet straight to your cubical. Ready Fit Meals is a local concept of pre-prepared fresh, gourmet individual packaged meals designed for the person in search of something quick and healthy. Customers can order in advance for pick up or drop by the Oil Center or Ambassador Caffery location to see the variety of selections for themselves; while there, stock up for the week and never worry about the temptation of ordering out with co-workers and falling off the wagon. Every menu item lists nutritional value and ingredients - IND Eats likes the lemon garlic marinated chicken with roasted butternut squash, lemon sage sauce and roasted pepper quinoa, and it's only 244 calories and 22 grams of protein.

For a low-carb option, the roasted garlic and herb tenderloin with garlic spinach and roasted butternut squash is filling and full of flavor.

Looking for more inspiration to eat healthy while dining out? Follow IND Eats all month long and check out our Dish of the Week feature for delicious and good-for-you options at local restaurants.