Dining Out – It Doesn’t Automatically Mean You’ll Be Eating Empty Calories

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Sometimes it seems like there’s a never-ending parade of newspaper and TV reports on the dangers of eating out.  Many of these reports focus on fast food restaurants and the huge number of calories in just one of their hamburgers.  By the time you add in a soft drink and some French fries, all of a sudden the calories have piled up to more than you should consume for the entire day.  And many of them are nutritionally empty calories, not wholesome sources of the energy your body needs.

Fortunately, not all Chicago restaurants serve foods that are nutritionally empty but packed with calories like fast food burgers and fries.  Many of the city’s restaurants serve tasty but nutritious dishes, and a lot of them feature several “lighter fare” or low calorie items on their menus.  That’s why dining out doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be eating lots of nutritionally empty calories. 

Of all the Polish restaurants Chicago has to offer (and believe me, there are a lot!), I’ve always thought that Olivia’s Taste Polish Restaurant has one of the largest selections of “light” menu items.  The authentic Polish dishes that Olivia’s serves will have you leaving the restaurant happy and with a satisfied belly, but not weighed down by empty calories like you would be at some Chicago restaurants, fast food and otherwise.  And several of Olivia’s lighter dishes will help you satisfy your taste buds even though you’re eating healthy, wholesome, delicious food.

More and more people are looking for lighter items on restaurant menus.  This trend is probably partially fueled by all the newspaper and TV reports on the unhealthy foods being sold by many fast food restaurants.  Olivia’s Taste Polish Restaurant serves a filling but healthy meal-size Chicken Caesar Salad which includes lettuce, grilled chicken (not fried like you might find at some other places) parmesan cheese, croutons and Caesar dressing.  If that particular salad doesn’t sound appealing, you could always order Olivia’s meal-size Garden Salad at the same price.  It comes with lettuce, tomato, olives, feta cheese, red onions and dressing.

If you want a really light meal, you could opt for one of the soups that are specialties at Olivia’s Taste Polish Restaurant.  The soups on the menu every day include white borsch with Polish sausage/kielbasa (probably not the most dietetic choice), tripe soup, chicken soup and sauerkraut soup.  Besides those soups, Olivia’s also features a “Soup of the Day,” which rotates between pickle soup, tomato soup, bean soup, vegetable soup, Ukrainian borsch, red borsch with stuffed dumplings (meat or mushrooms) and mushroom soup.  No matter which one you choose it will be delicious.  I dare you to find that many choices at the other Polish restaurants Chicago offers.

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