Among all the culinary trends that have excited us over the past few years, it seems that the health trend is more than a passing fancy. It's not just the high level of awareness of the connection between what we eat and how we feel. It's also a sense that it's the most correct for us here, in the Mediterranean, with our abundance of fruit, vegetables and fresh herbs that freshen up our sweaty summer and bring colour to our short winter.
Now Lechem Erez has also got caught up in the matter, and owner and chef Erez Komrovsky, as is his way, is doing it up right. Not just another random side of quinoa or 'health salad' to ease ones conscious, but an entire menu upheaval, for which dietician Maya Ben-Efraim was recruited. Maya's magic word is balance. She explains: 'Calories are just one element, 'health' is not just about being low fat, but also rich in dietary fibre, low in salt or rich in calcium. Essentially, it should be balanced in terms of nutritional elements.
Now, before you break out in a massively bored yawn, you should know that the result of all this is a fun, colourful, light and tasty menu. As a bonus, a colour-coded key is present describing every dish, telling you what it's worth nutritionally. Using the nutritional key, you can, for example, know that a sandwich of organic quinoa bread with tzfatit cheese, roasted vegetables, olive tapenade, watercress and basil is rich in dietary fibre, is low in fat, is vegetarian and is also light. Those who aren't so strict about 'light' can indulge in sandwiches made of country-style French bread with tuna, chicken, beef of turkey and various toppings and know that you are getting a meal full of dietary fibre and protein. What can be wrong with that?
Also on the menu: focaccia with a meat or vegetarian topping, a range of salads like fatoush, niçoise, and chicken caesar, and even pastas – though this might not be a calorie counters cup of tea. If you are especially strict about health or diet, you can read the information on the menu that explains some basics about nutrition, and also enjoy the calorie count posted next to each dish. If you aren't a diet freak – don't let this ruin your appetite, and just enjoy combination of fresh baked goods, seasonal vegetables and high-quality light cheeses and meat. As they say, it's all a matter of balance.
Locations across the country.
http://www.lehemerez.co.il/ (Hebrew only)