I was having a conversation with one of the owners of OnMilwaukee.com recently, when our chat drifted to the subject of dining. After discussing all the new and different restaurants in town, I commented that OMC should write a column on where one could get delicious but healthy food. Very few restaurant reviews take into consideration the bulging waistlines of over 90 million Baby Boomers.
He then looked at me with a grin and said, “Great idea, doc. When do you want start writing your column?"
And now I'm an OnMilwaukee.com blogger. This was certainly a new concept for me. After all, I’ve cared for thousands of ill and injured patients in the Emergency Department over the years, but never have I been a restaurant reviewer. However, as a partner in the Aurora Health and Wellness initiative, I thought it would be a worthwhile endeavor. Starting today, I'll write periodic reviews on tasty but nutritious food in Milwaukee.
There’s really no better time to begin a healthy dining program than at the start of the new year when everyone is motivated and still committed to their New Years weight loss resolutions. Our first culinary adventure takes us to that stylish little Japanese restaurant at 714 N. Milwaukee St., Sake Tumi. As is the case with most Japanese restaurants, there’s always something healthy on the menu. This review will feature a thre- course meal, all for less than $15 and 500 calories.
First Course: Miso soup ($1.10)
This is a delicious Japanese staple and can be found at almost all Japanese restaurants. It consists of a light soy based broth, to which is added tofu, scallions and seaweed. It has a delicious flavor and is low in calories (approximately 90 calories per serving) and loaded with nutrients. The Japanese have held the belief that Miso is responsible for longevity, reduction of several types of cancer (stomach, liver and breast), helps preserve beautiful skin and lowers cholesterol. Interestingly enough, recent studies have corroborated many of these beliefs. The only downside to miso soup is that it contains a fair amount of sodium, so go easy on it if you have high blood pressure.
Second Course: Edamame ($3.10)
Sink your teeth into this delectable Japanese soybean. Edamame is not only flavorful but is inexpensive and loaded with nutrients. It is basically a soybean in a pod. Just pick up the pod and squeeze the soybean into your mouth. It’s a great source of protein and fiber (9 g of each per cup)
healthy omega 3 fatty acids and various antioxidants. (One cup of edamame with husks is about 110 calories) For the lighter diet, the Miso soup and the Edamame may be enough. For those longing for fresh fish, proceed to the third course.
Third Course: Sashimi ($4.50)
For us raw fish aficionados, nothing beats fresh Sashimi. Sashimi is raw fish placed directly on your plate and garnished with fresh ginger and hot wasabi, as opposed to sushi, which is raw
fish set on top of a roll of rice and secured with a ribbon of seaweed. (Sushi is also delicious but white rice is not on our diet). There are many types of sashimi to choose from. Probably the healthiest, and my favorite, is salmon (also referred to as sake). It has the highest amount of omega 3 fatty acids and is comparatively low in mercury. Absolutely delicious. Two pieces per order cost $4.50. Now chase it all down with a cup of hot green tea (a plethora of antioxidants) and a large glass of ice water. Bon Apetite.
HEALTH TIP: Edamame can be purchased in many local grocery stores. Boil some up at home and take it to work with you. It makes a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack and helps prevent you from reaching for the potato chips. Enjoy.
Dr. Kevin Derus is a Board Certified Emergency Physician staffing the new Aurora Urgent Care Center at 946 N Van Buren St. in downtown Milwaukee. He is also an attending physician in the Emergency Department at Aurora Sinai Medical Center. He completed his undergraduate training at UW Eau Claire, and then attended Medical School at the Medical College of WI in Milwaukee. He completed his specialty training in Emergency Medicine in Akron OH.
Born and raised in Madison, he now resides in Hartland with his wife, Vicki and two sons, Nate and Nick. His interests include dining, exercise, snow skiing, water-skiing, fishing, Packers and Badgers Football, scuba diving, golf, travel and music. He is a singer/songwriter and does the lead singing in Madison's classic rock band Axle Grease.
Dr. Derus has been a confirmed foodie since 1985, always looking for new and interesting cuisines. As a partner in the Aurora Health and Wellness Initiative, he now works out five days a week and seeks great food that is delicious, as well as nutritious. What could be better than eating scrumptious food, while keeping an eye on one's cholesterol and waistline?