NUTRITION
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 11:2 pm

CARNEGIE DELI

Find healthy nosh at the world-famous deli.

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A NYC landmark since 1937, Carnegie Deli is not your typical Fit Gourmet restaurant. Grounded in traditional, kosher-style deli food, Carnegie is internationally recognized for its pound-size sandwich portions large enough to feed a family of four, mammoth-size Jewish delicacies, such as knishes, potato latkes, matzo balls, stuffed cabbage and chopped liver, and world-famous, NY-style cheesecake. It’s safe to say that almost every menu item is best shared if you want to stick to healthy portion sizes. Otherwise, you’ll need to add a few extra hours of tennis to burn the 388-calorie matzo ball (multiplied by two when you order the soup), 599-calorie potato latke or knish, 276-calorie stuffed cabbage, 1,000-calorie-plus sandwiches or any of the other one-of-a-kind homemade treats.

Their unique seasoning process allows the flavors to permeate throughout the high-quality meat fats for delicious flavors, which keep customers coming to the restaurant that’s opened nearly 24/7, 365 days a year. At their own plant, the three-step process starts with brining the meats with 10 hand-selected seasoning needles injecting a blend of spices. Next comes dry rubbing the meat with a blend of secret spices. And last is the smoking process, which keeps delicious flavors locked in and brings the best ones to fruition.

You really can have your meat and eat it, too. Owner Sandy Levine says they not carry their pound-size portion signature sandwiches—The Woody Allen, a corned beef and pastrami combo; Leo’s Delight, a triple-decker turkey, corned beef and tongue with homemade Russian dressing, and Jeff’s Tatalah, a turkey, corned beef and Swiss on pumpernickel bread—they also accommodate diners with made-to-order healthy dishes.

While most of the food is not for calorie-, fat- or sodium-conscious diners, they offer 100% chemical- and antibiotic-free sliced turkey; organic fruits and vegetables delivered daily from a local farm; homemade dressings and mayo-free coleslaw; sandwiches minus the extra condiments; half-order menu items, such as grilled fish, boiled chicken and meats; oil-free steamed vegetable sides instead of fries; and plain baked potatoes and plenty of fresh green salads. You can even start your day with a light breakfast of egg white omelettes or steel cut oatmeal prepared with skim milk and a side of fresh fruit.

Take-Out Tips for Special Diets:

Overall Health: Try the Californian Dreamin’ salad (sliced peaches, prunes, fruit salad, cottage cheese, Jello and lettuce), or the chicken or 100% chemical-free turkey with sides of salads, vegetables, fruits, baked potato or corn on the cob.

Body building: Go with chemical-free turkey, gefilte fish, Virginia ham, roast beef, sturgeon or lox—all lower in fat content compared to the other meats served, and high in glutamine, which supports the immune system and protects muscles from breakdown and maintains muscle mass. Include a side of fruits and veggies.
 
Endurance athletes: Order the matzo ball soup, knish with whole grain kasha (buckwheat grouts that have all eight essential amino acids, are high in B vitamins and rich in potassium, phosphorus, iron and calcium—all fundamental for endurance training), kreplach soup (small dumplings filled with ground meat or cheese), or the turkey or roast beef sandwich with pumpernickel bread. Pair with a side of baked potato, veggies, salad or fruit.

Low fat/low cholesterol: For breakfast, try the egg whites scrambled with greens or oatmeal. For lunch/dinner, order the borscht or consommé soup with vegetables or the chemical-free turkey sandwich on rye, condiments on the side. A safe best for dinner is the whitefish platter with a salad and fresh fruit or grilled fish or boiled chicken with a side of steamed vegetables, baked potato, fresh fruit or tossed salad. The key is to eat lean protein and good fiber.

Read more great nutrition tips in the September/October 2010 issue of SOBeFiT Magazine.

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