Saturday, June 21, 2014

Eating Chinese Buffet Food

Most of us consume an inordinate amount of calories when dining at a Chinese buffet. As much as one thousand in a meal. (And lunch from the inviting pans of hot food may contain more sodium in it than most of us need to consume in a day.) This food has a Chinese influence, but it is Americanized with all our demands for high calories.

According to Calorie Count, a serving of General Tso’s Chicken has 844 calories per serving. One solution is to get a tiny piece of chicken.

Next, a pile of crab Rangoon awaits hungry diners. Just one. That shouldn’t be too bad. Chicken is a popular diet foods, but the chicken on the buffet is fried and dipped in various sweet syrups. A mere bite of one and another . . . which one tastes better? Soon a mountain of food piled on a plate awaits our tingling fingers and salivating palates. At the table it all tastes alike because we mix it together, or at lest stack it in close proximity.

We know to avoid all those fried foods with crusts. Instead of fried chicken, we can choose chicken with broccoli, and for being good we can select one high-calorie food we’ve been craving. The broccoli cancels the calories.

Soup isn’t too bad. A cup of egg drop soup, if it isn’t loaded with chicken fat, may have as few as 100-120 calories. It is definitely a better appetizer than an egg roll, which may have 200-300 calories. Since we’re craving the crisp taste of something chewable, let’s try a spring roll, which supposedly has half the calories of an egg roll.

Who isn’t in a hurry these days? Sometimes we don’t like to spend time ordering food and waiting for it. This Chinese buffet has to be an improvement over fast food, right? Hurried travelers and business people often find Chinese buffets practical solutions for the problem of obtaining a quick lunch. Let us remember though that we don’t have time to go back and get a second or third plate of food.

The Great Wall Buffet, 2005 Lamar Street, Sweetwater, TX 79556, is a typical Chinese buffet restaurant. I honestly don’t see much difference in most of the Chinese buffets I’ve visited throughout the South.

One of the popular buffets in Ruston, LA, is Peking Restaurant, 1300 North Vienna Street. It has improved. Sometimes it features fresh, tasty sushi at the end of the buffet line. There’s something about all that food that is addictive. Plate after plate, we consume it until the waiter comes and offers a serving of ice cream.

Ruston now has a leaner alternative: Teriyaki Grill, 1913 E. Kentucky Ave. #6, Ruston, LA 71270. We can order Asian food, freshly prepared and not go back for seconds. At the restaurant’s website there are pictures of beautiful food, low in caloires and ample with proteins . . . but what about the sodium content?

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