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Swordfish a la plancha at Jedidiah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Dining out doesn’t have to mean inflating your daily calorie intake to accomodate a four-course meal.

From quinoa salad to fresh grilled swordfish, North Fork restaurants offer plenty of lighter options for health-conscious diners that don’t skimp on flavor.

Order these tasty yet low carb and high protein dishes on your next visit to one of these restaurants or make them at home.

Jedediah Hawkins Inn

Swordfish a la plancha

Courtesy of Craig Attwood, executive chef

What you’ll need:

5 ounces swordfish steak

1 cup summer ratatouille

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive tapenade

5 whole heirloom cherry tomatoes, peeled

1 ounce green herb oil

basil, chiffonade and minced chives to taste

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

salt and pepper to taste

Season the swordfish on both sides with salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence and sear on both sides until the fish is at a medium-rare temperature. In a sauté pan, roast garlic and add cherry tomatoes. Quickly add the ratatouille and cook over medium heat. Sprinkle basil, chives, salt and pepper to taste and toss.

Plating instructions: With the tapenade, make a circle around the plate. Place a cup of the finished ratatouille in the center of the plate (reserve 2-3 tomatoes from the ratatouille). Cut the portion of swordfish in half and place on top of the ratatouille. Place the tomatoes on top and around the portion of swordfish. Finish drizzling green herb oil around the plate’s borders.

“The ratatouile is all from local farms. The swordfish is coming from boats off Montauk,” chef Attwood said. “You’ll taste something that’s a little bit different. This is a clean dish.”

Quinoa salad from Love Lane Kitchen.
Quinoa salad from Love Lane Kitchen.

Love Lane Kitchen

Quinoa salad

Courtesy of Carolyn Iannone, owner

What you’ll need:

1 cup red quinoa

1 cup garbanzo beans

2 carrots, julienned

2 avocados, sliced

1 cubed red pepper

1/2 diced red onion

1 part red wine vinegar

3 parts olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Place garbanzao beans, avocado, julienned carrots, cubed red peppers and diced red onions in a bowl. Mix olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and toss with quinoa and other ingredients. Serve at room temperature.

“It’s something I would grab and take to the beach,” Iannone said. “It’s not filling and it’s easy to eat.”

Bistro 72 at Hotel Indigo East End

Chickpean encrusted chicken from Bistro 72. (Credit: Vera Chinese)
Chickpean encrusted chicken Milanese from Bistro 72. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Chickpea encrusted chicken Milanese with spring salad 

Courtesy of James Junk, executive chef

What you’ll need:

8 ounces chicken breast, pounded

1/4 cup ground garbanzo bean flour

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

coarse black pepper to taste

kosher or sea salt to taste

chopped fresh herbs to taste

baby red oak lettuce

1 quartered heirloom tomato

crumbled feta cheese

a garlicky balsamic dressing

Butterfly cut the chicken breast and pound until chicken is consistently and evenly flat. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper, fresh herbs and chopped garlic. Sauté on medium heat till both sides are golden brown. Transfer to preheated oven 375 and cook to an internal temperature  of 160. Toss baby red oak salad in bowl with feta cheese crumble, coarse cut heirloom tomatoes, salt and pepper and roasted garlic balsamic dressing.

Place chicken on plate, top with fresh salad and serve.

“The chickpea flour is fine, but the chickpeas give it a crunch,” Junk said of the gluten-free dish. “I have so many people come in here and say ‘I have a gluten allergy or I’m vegan.’ Chefs have to adapt to our clientele.”

Salmon and mango salad from Vino N Vittles. (Credit: Vera Chinese)
Salmon and mango salad from Vino N Vittles. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Vino N Vittles

Pan-seared salmon with mango salsa

Courtesy of Dan Wajdik, executive chef

What you’ll need:

8 ounces salmon filet

1 green pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 red onion

1 jalapeno pepper

1 mango

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

cilantro, to taste

salt and pepper. to taste

splash of orange juice

2 asparagus spears

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

First prepare the mango salsa. Dice and seed the green pepper, red pepper, red onion, jalapeño pepper and mango and toss with lemon and lime juice and a splash of OJ. Set aside. Sauté the salmon in extra virgin olive oil on high heat for about a minute or until seared. To finish, place the fish in a 400-degree oven for about four minutes. Blanche the asparagus spears, then toss with salt, pepper and apple cider vinegar. Place on a grill for about a minute to finish.

Serve salmon topped with salsa and asparagus spears.

“This dish has such a summer vibe to it,” Wajdik said. “I love the colors.”

This story was originally published in the northforker 2014 Health & Fitness magazine