Settle Your Score with the Diet Gods – Healthy Dining Without the Sacrifice

By Jennifer L. Conroy. Dr.P.H., M.P.H. – November 17, 2012

We’ve all done the routine. You’re trying to eat healthier, but your friend wants to go out for lunch. So you pick your favorite Tex-Mex, Italian, or American restaurant. Determined to choose something healthy, you walk in the door. But when you look at the menu, healthy means sacrifice. Suddenly all resolve goes out the window, and you cave. Once again you fudge your way through the meal, making silent promises to the diet gods that you’ll get back on yours tomorrow.

Now, help is here. Based on the inaugural Taste of Health: Austin Chef Showdown, the Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council has compiled a menu of the 15 best-tasting healthy entrees in town. Selected through public voting and taste tests, these entrees obey all the rules without sacrificing any of the flavor. Half the plate is veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains, accented by a savory yet safe amount of salt. With no trans-fats, fake foods, or added sugars, you can indulge daily, smile often, and get right with your chosen deity (or should it be diet-y!?).

Does Austin really have a free food festival that’s open to the public? You bet! To taste for yourself and judge next year’s Taste of Health: Austin Chef Showdown, or enter your favorite restaurant entrée in the contest, or just tell us what you think, follow us online at or like us on Facebook at Austin Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council. To locate the nearest tasty, healthy entrée submission in your area, use our search engine at


Best in Show: Nacho Cheese Veggie Meat Tacos by Beets Café, 1611 W. 5th Street Suite 165, Austin, TX 78703

Southern Food Winner: RawBella Platter at Hoover’s, 2002 Manor Road, Austin, TX 78722

Tex-Mex Winner: Cordoba Chalupa at Bufalo Bob’s Chalupa Wagon, 603 W. Live Oak Street, Austin, TX 78704

Kids’ Food Winner: Meatball Veggie Pasta at Pflugerville I.S.D., 1401 W. Pecan Street, Pflugerville, TX 78660

Fast Food Winner: Vegetarian Cracker-thin Pizza at Papa Murphy’s Take-n-Bake, 2303 Ranch Road 620 South, Lakeway, TX 78734

“Other” Winner: Asian Seared Tuna Salad at Galaxy Café, 4616 Triangle Avenue Suite 203, Austin, TX 78758


  • Buddha Bowl at The Steeping Room at The Domain, Austin, TX 78758
  • Broccoli Cheese Nuggets at Whirled Peas,
  • Casa Chicken Enchilada at L & L Catering,
  • Ceviche with Brazil Nut Crackers at Kerbey Lane Café, 3704 Kerbey Lane, Austin, TX 78731
  • Free-Range Bison Stew at Hill’s Austin Café, 4700 S. Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78745
  • Fresh Tuna Roll with Edamame at How Do You Roll, 454 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701
  • Mediterranean Platter at Tom’s Tabooley, 2928 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX 78705
  • Mesquite-smoked Pan-seared Salmon at Judges Hill Restaurant and Bar, 1900 Rio Grande Street, Austin, TX 78705
  • Papdulce Taco and Ensalada Corazon at Tacodeli, 12001 N. Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78758
  • Veggie Lasagna at Snap Kitchen, 4616 Triangle Avenue, Austin, TX 78751

The Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Thank you to our 2012 sponsors: Whole Foods Market, the City of Austin Health and Human Services, City of Austin Parks and Recreation,, St. David’s Foundation, Natural Epicurean, HBO, Best Best Best Friends, Seton, Junior Achievement, Austin Fit Magazine, The Amala Foundation, Premier Party Central, RunTex, and SoundCheck Austin.


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