GreenHouse effect

November 27, 2016

Whoever said fast food wasn’t healthy should pay GreenHouse a visit

GreenHouse effect

"The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison," said Ann Wigmore, the famous 20th century Lithuanian-American holistic health practitioner and raw food advocate. Her words ring true for me personally, as I have lately started to look for healthy, organic alternatives.

But what about my cravings for fast food?

Enter GreenHouse, a decidedly ‘healthy fast-food joint.’ For those who think this sounds quite self-contradictory, Mahlaqa Shaukat, the owner of the freshly opened outlet, has an explanation: "Fast doesn’t necessarily mean the food is unsafe for consumption, if it offers healthy, nutrition-balanced meals.

"Only ingest something that nourishes the body; the rest ought to be filtered out."

A fitness fanatic and somebody who has work experience with chefs in Dubai and health cafés in Istanbul, Shaukat’s vision of a place that could meet the taste demands of the Lahoris while also taking care of their health has finally come to fruition. GreenHouse is "my dream project," she declares.

Located in the heart of DD Block market in DHA, the place is a welcome addition for those who don’t necessarily have the time to cook a healthy as well as tasty meal.

GreenHouse also offers delivery service, reservations and catering. The green and white décor is soothing to the eyes. The space evokes a sense of serenity that helps you to unwind and decompress.

The menu is based on "portion-controlled meals," each dish duly mentioning the amount of calories and nutrients it boasts.

I knew people who were raving about their salads, soups and sandwiches, so I ordered some and got the rest packed for my folks back home. There’s a variety of salads that I could pick from -- such as Thai beef, beetroot and lentil, chicken chipotle and chunky Greek salad.

Daal burger, as interesting as it sounds, intrigued me for sure. Thai lemongrass soup also looked appetising. It had minute meatballs and, whoa, only 62 calories!

I ordered quinoa chicken salad which consisted of 260 calories, had 23 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, and 6 grams carbohydrates. Priced at Rs475, this was the most expensive of the lot. But it was worth every penny I paid for it.

The salad was fresh and delicious at the same time. Roasted pumpkin, sliced chicken, spinach topped with cheery tomatoes, sprinkled with pomegranates and the quinoa, this one got its zing from the lemon and orange dressing.

Moving on to the other dishes on the menu, I thought of trying roast beef sandwich. Succulent pieces of roasted beef tenderloins, teamed with horseradish sauce and parsley chutney, turned out to be a delectable and wholesome meal. Mercifully, the beef was not chewy and had been done to perfection.

Daal burger, as interesting as it sounds, intrigued me for sure. Thai lemongrass soup also looked appetising. It had minute meatballs and, whoa, only 62 calories!

Looking around the place, I noticed a couple who looked as if they had just come post a workout session; they were grabbing protein shakes and actually seemed pleasantly surprised at the list of beverages that included power boost, muscle fuel, blue energy and mint margarita. They even had iced lemongrass and fresh mint tea which has zero calories.

Next, I ordered tandoori chicken bowl. I was compelled to try salmon ratatouille but I left it for another day. The dish came served with pan seared vegetables alongside a chicken breast piece in a spicy tikka and tandoor sauce. Delicious, aromatic and reasonably priced, each and every bite of the dish was hearty yet light.

To quote Mahlaqa Shaukat again, "We are embodying a healthy lifestyle and don’t want GreenHouse to be a one-off thing for our clients. We want it become part of the mainstream food culture of Lahoris."

GreenHouse effect