As you can see from my previous posts I eat EVERYTHING! I love fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy. When it comes to protein sources I enjoy a wide variety, from legumes to eggs to fish to poultry to soy protein and red meat on occasion. Eating a variety of foods is extremely important for a healthy diet. Which makes it fun to try all different types of restaurants, and living in NYC makes that possible!
Last week, I visited a vegetarian restaurant on the Upper East Side called Gobo. The restaurant claims:
“Welcome to Gobo, where spirited vegetarian dining awakens the five senses for each guest. Rooted in Zen compassion, Gobo is founded on the belief that delicious food & beverages using wholesome, non-meat ingredients will nourish both your body & mind. Our food for the five senses include unique vegetarian creations using: konnyaku, nori, seitan, soy and tofu.”
As usual, my friend and I decided to share two dishes. I’ve mentioned before that I love sharing, and I’m always happy when my friends want to do the same! It’s nice to try a few things on a menu, in particular things I may not cook at home (i.e. seitan).
After perusing the lunch menu and getting suggestions from the waitress we chose:
Tender sliced seitan in ginger marinade on a bed of asian kale, squash, brown rice
Vietnamese spicy stir-fry rice noodle with five spice tofu roll
We ended up finishing just about everything you see (except for the tofu roll which was deep fried, and tasteless!). Overall, I really enjoyed both dishes; my only qualms were the small portion of vegetables and the heavy use of oils. The seitan description sounded like there would be a plethora of veggies, but in reality there was ~1/2 cup steamed kale and 2 small hunks of squash. The noodle dish had some small pieces of broccoli throughout, but not much to speak of.
While these dishes are vegetarian, they are not super low calorie. It’s hard to estimate exactly how many calories are in each dish. The food was not drenched in oil, like typical Chinese dishes, but they did contain their fair share. Additionally, the seitan claimed a “ginger marinade” but this was more of a thick teriyaki type of sauce and while it was delicious, I could taste the sugar. Next time I would order one vegetable heavy dish that was light on sauce or dressing in lieu of another to balance out the meal.
Nutrition Tidbit: Seitan
- Seitan is a processed wheat gluten that resembles meat and is high in protein.
- “Mock” meats are typically made out of seitan.
- Wheat gluten is naturally low in sodium and fat. One ounce of raw wheat gluten provides 10 mg sodium, 0 grams fat, and 7.5 grams protein. The extra fat, sodium and calories come from the preparation — and it’s not uncommon to find it fried!
- In the supermarket you may find seitan produced by White Wave and Lightlife Foods.
- A 3-oz portion of traditional White Wave Seitan (which is seasoned and salted) has 90 calories, 1 gram fat, 380 mg sodium, 3 grams carbohydrate, and 18 grams protein
- Try experimenting with seitan at home, it’s inexpensive, a good source of protein, and you can control the added fat and sodium. You can use it in stir-fry dishes, burritos/tacos, skewers, casseroles or any other place you may use meat or chiken, get creative!