5 dietitian-approved take-out lunches in Toronto’s Financial District

Focus on smart protein and vegetables

Sababa Salad at iQ Food

Roasted cauliflower, feta, chickpeas, cucumbers, pickled carrots, spicy sunflower seeds, organic baby kale, cilantro, brown rice, spicy tahini dressing

This salad is spicy, flavorful, high in fibre and offers great plant protein. If you are watching your sodium, skip the feta cheese and pickled carrots – Vandana Gujadhur, RD

479 calories, 17 g protein, 6 g fat, 10 g fibre, 905 mg sodium

Il Padrine 2.0 + Tempeh at Crave Healthy Habits

Zucchini pasta, massaged kale, lemon roasted eggplant, pico de gallo, local feta cheese, sweet potatoes, pecans, cilantro, lime juice, garlic free basil pesto + extra virgin olive oil

Tempeh, a fermented soybean product, is an excellent source of protein that’s easier to digest than meat. Thanks to the large serving of vegetables, this is a very satisfying meal. Having zucchini pasta can satisfy your craving for a pasta meal and up your intake of vegetables at the same time – Vandana Gujadhur, RD

Customized salad at Fast Fresh Foods or Greenbox Express

Regular sized salad, spinach base with chickpeas, beets, lentils, peppers, pumpkin seeds, roasted turkey and an olive oil & balsamic dressing (can choose up to 5 toppings plus a protein source & dressing)

I like the idea of customizing your own salad. The combination of chickpeas, lentils and pumpkin seeds makes this salad an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that’s used to make DNA and proteins, generate energy in cells, contract muscles, transmit nerve impulses and regulate blood pressure and blood sugar. If you want to save calories, order half the amount of salad dressing. Many of the dressings are made with olive oil, a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and vitamin E  – Megan Scully, RD

(Based on using half the recommended salad dressing) 368 calories calories, 31 g protein, 13 grams (1.7 grams saturated fat), 9 g fibre, 278 mg sodium

Thai Sesame Shrimp with Wild Rice (Hot Entrée) at  La Prep

It’s nice to see wild rice take centre stage in a take-out meal.  Wild rice is actually the seed of an aquatic grass that’s native to Canada.  It’s high in fibre and has a delicate, nutty flavour.  The calories and carbohydrate in this dish are reasonable and you can customize it with a double portion of vegetables – Alexandra Friel, MHSc RD PTS

350 calories, 25 g protein, 8 g fat, 7 g fibre, 570 mg sodium

Frenchy Flock salad (half order) at Flock

Mixed greens and arugula, vine beans, crispy onions, roasted cauliflower, French lentils, sweet peppers, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg, yellow zucchini with roasted tomato/olive/caper Vinaigrette

If I were to vary my lunch routine of sushi or a custom salad from Longo’s salad bar, I would order this salad. The cauliflower, onions and lentils provide plenty of fermentable fibres to help feed good gut bacteria.  It also includes olive oil and capers, both good sources of antioxidants: vitamin E in olive oil and quercetin in capers.– Stefania Palmeri, M.H.Sc., RD


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