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Our Five Faves

Best healthy dining options

Posted June 12, 2013

Mix together a busy job, an unpredictable schedule and a touch of laziness and you have a recipe that sees me eating out at least once a week. We all know that's not a recipe for the most balanced diet, so I return time and again to these (somewhat) healthy options.

Just about every big grocery store in the Triangle has a hot and cold foods bar. One of the best selections can be found at Whole Foods in Cary at Waverly Place. There, depending on the time of day, you can fill up on oatmeal with toppings, salad, sushi and prepared meals like chicken tikka masala. There is seating right up front for a business lunch or casual dinner.

WRAL's location means I pass the NC State Farmers Market twice daily. A stop here on the way home from work is a great way to start a thrifty, healthy, quick dinner. Steam in-season veggies, snack on a full pail of fresh strawberries, or grab a loaf of La Farm bread, a bottle of wine and a chunk of cheese from the Market Shoppes.

If bread's your thing, be sure to add Neomonde to your itinerary. Don't overlook this well-known bakery as a source of a full meal. The patio at the Raleigh location is perfect for a mid-day nosh on Middle Eastern specialties like spinach pie, stuffed grape leaves or baba ghanouj.

Even in the mood for junk food, you can toe the healthy line with options like the all-organic, fresh ingredients in a stromboli from Lilly's Pizza in Raleigh's Five Points. Create your own combo from a list of dozens of meats, cheeses, veggies and sauces. Prices start at just $10 and one stromboli is enough to share.

And finally, a list of healthy dining in the Triangle would not be complete without the legendary Irregardless Cafe where the ever-changing menu is tiered for budgets and appetites of all sizes. Small plates and vegetarian options are always included and even the meat entrees are accompanied by the freshest of vegetables.

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