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June 16, 2011
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EATING OUT, EATING WELL: Spotlight on Spoons Bistro & Bakery

Editor's note: How many times have you gone out to eat and searched the menu looking for something healthy to choose? If you are one of those with dietary restrictions or simply looking to eat better and cleaner, read on. The Free Press is introducing a new weekly column by Paula Anderson, who will give you the lowdown on healthy menu entrees at local restaurants and eateries.==============GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - If healthy eating is your goal, then you'll love Spoons Bistro & Bakery!That's because you don't have to search the menu to find nutritious dining options. Just about everything they offer fits that description, minus maybe their delectable array of desserts. (But their sweetest offerings are kept in check because you buy them not by the slice, but by the spoonful!)They serve great food all day long - breakfast, lunch and dinner.Take their oatmeal. Nutritious by itself, an order includes such add-on options as craisins, their own prepared granola and raisins. Oatmeal is already high in fiber, and so the additional toppings for the oatmeal increases the amount fiber you're getting. Along with many other health benefits, fiber also helps to lower cravings later in the day for foods that might not be so good for you.For lunch, you can still get a great cheeseburger or a French dip roast beef sandwich, or a BLT with turkey breast, but if you're focused on vegetables, the choices are many.Two very delicious paninis are the Portabella Mushroom, and the California Avocado & Cheese. Both are served on ciabatta bread (an Italian flat bread). The mushroom sandwich is layered with roasted peppers and feta and mozzarella cheeses, served hot! The avocado sandwich includes lettuce, tomato, and Swiss cheese. While you can select potato chips as a side, the other option is carrot and celery slices. If it's salad that you're craving, my favorites are the Pear, Goat Cheese & Pecan Salad, or the Tossed Walnut and Apple Salad. Both include a bed of organic greens with balsamic vinaigrette. (You can also add grilled chicken, wild salmon or bay shrimp to any of the salads served at Spoons.)Executive Chef Troy Krukow's goal is to include as much fresh produce as possible, and to focus on quality - not quantity. That criteria more or less keynotes a healthy diet for anyone!Take the Grilled Salmon on Spoons' recently-added evening dinner menu. It's a good example of how a simple dish can easily tip to gourmet. Troy prepares a white wine sauce with capers that's SO yummy! (Mainly sauted shallots with capers, white wine, a bit of fresh-squeezed lemon, and a just a touch of real butter.) That sauce is drizzled over a 4-6 ounce grilled salmon filet. It shares the plate with wild rice tossed with cooked diced carrots, mushrooms and red onion, and flavored with some thyme, salt and pepper; along with sauted vegetables (whatever is fresh), seasoned with sweet basil. (There's also the option of a baked potato instead of rice, or steak rather than salmon.)Krukow said he's very conscious of portion sizes and the ratio of fresh vegetables to proteins, so you won't be able to order a 10 or 12 ounce meat serving there.That's one of the big challenges in dining out because Americans typically eat a lot more protein than their bodies can handle, and so that's what many restaurants serve."I haven't fallen for that," said Krukow, referring to large meat portions. "People don't need that much."------------------Paula Anderson is a local writer who now does presentations on Healthy Eating & Our Relationship with Food throughout the Grand Valley community. She is also an owner of Yoga West Collective where she does a weekly class every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on Mindful Eating. She has served as a regular columnist for the Grand Junction Free Press in its early days, and was an award-winning columnist for The Daily Sentinel. Visit her food blog at Contact Paula at

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The Post Independent Updated Jun 16, 2011 10:04PM Published Jun 16, 2011 10:02PM Copyright 2011 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.