What better time to eat smart than after the holidays when rich food is everywhere?
Here are the choices for the Best Light and Healthy eating options from the Best of the Upper East Side of Texas contest. Our readers gave us plenty of options. [For the complete list of winners across all categories, visit www.goo.gl/5aExZj.]
Auntie Pasta’s. Nacogdoches. Auntie Pasta’s offers guests a large variety of meatless dishes. A few of their bigger dishes include build-your-own-pasta; Stuffed Manicotti, pasta shells stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and layered in marinara sauce and topped with more mozzarella cheese; Vinny’s Skinny Pasta; Eggplant Parmesan, served with spaghetti; or handmade gourmet vegetarian pizza, with tomato sauce, bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, black olives and onions, and topped with mozzarella. They also serve soups and salads, and desserts. 211 Old Tyler Road, (936) 569-2171, www.auntiepastas.com
Lil Thai House. Longview. Thai food is a special culinary art, one that takes time and patience, and this restaurant does not stray from the traditional cuisine of the Thai culture. They respectfully provide vegan and vegetarian options in the form of Tofu substitutes and more. They happily serve guests with dishes of fried rice, stir fry entrees, noodles, soup, or curry. They also serve egg roll appetizers, and sides of veggies, brown and red jasmine rice, or white jasmine rice. All of their dishes are carefully prepared with fresh ingredients. 212 North Fredonia Street. (903)236-0155. www.lilthaihouse.com
Winnsboro Farmers’ Market. The Winnsboro Farmer’ Market is a charming event that takes place in the downtown arts district of Winnsboro every Saturday April through October. They feature locally-grown produce, artisan breads, honey, handmade soaps, organic and grass-fed meats, jellies, jams, and much more. The backdrop of the arts district and live music creates a festive atmosphere and makes for a fulfilling time. They also have an online market where people can order produce throughout the year and pick up in downtown Winnsboro once a week. (903) 629-7079. www.winnsborofarmersmarket.com
Panera Bread. Greenville. This restaurant chain offers guests wholesome food and fresh ingredients to create good salads. On the menu are a few specials including Ancient Grain & Arugula Salad with Chicken, Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad with Chicken, Fuji Apple Salad with Chicken, or the Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa. 3208 Interstate Highway 30. (903) 458-7509. www.panerabread.com
Plain & Fancy Sandwich Shoppe. Sulphur Springs. This little eatery lives up to its name, serving guests with a simple menu of delicious sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of their more popular menu items include the Chicken Salad sandwich, made with all white chicken, diced with grapes, pecans and celery, and mixed together with mayo; the Pimiento Cheese, Swiss, American and cheddar cheeses with chopped pecans, and mixed with mayo; traditional meat sandwiches with ham, turkey, roast beef, tuna, or a BLT; the Club, with ham, turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo on three slices of toasted wheat; or the Hoagie, ham, turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing on a hoagie bun. 120 Main Street. (903) 885-9225. www.plainandfancyshoppe.com
Honorable Mention: Pint and Barrel Drafthouse, Palestine; Moore’s Store, Ben Wheeler; Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue, Tyler