In Pictures: Foods of Double Tree Restaurant, Hong Kong

European Cuisine

The Restaurant


Spicy Salmon with Herbed Yogurt Sauce


1 whole boneless salmon filet, about 3 to 4 lbs
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp Indian curry paste
3/4 tsp salt


1 cup Balkan yogurt (6% M.F.) or regular sour cream
1/4 cup each finely chopped fresh mint and basil
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp each salt and ground cumin
Honey (optional)
Green onion curls


  1. Place oven rack in top third of oven. Preheat to 500ºF.
  2. In a bowl, stir honey with curry paste. Place salmon, skin-side down, on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Smear mixture over salmon and sprinkle with salt. Roast in top third of oven until richly glazed and a knife tip inserted in centre of thickest part comes out warm, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for sauce, stir yogurt with herbs, ginger, salt and cumin. Taste and stir in a drizzle of honey if needed.
  4. When fish is cooked, insert one or two large wide metal spatulas between skin and flesh of salmon. Gently and carefully lift fish onto a long platter, leaving skin on foil.
  5. When ready to serve, spoon some of the cold sauce over the fish. Serve remainder in a small bowl. Sprinkle salmon with green onions.

Makes 10 servings.

Source: Chatelaine

4 Metabolism Myths and Facts

Why can one person eat like a growing teenager and not gain a pound, while another person’s every indulgence shows up on the scale? Chalk it up to individual differences in metabolism, muscle mass and physical activity. Metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert what we eat into the energy we need to survive and function. Tweet this It powers everything from breathing to blinking. A fast metabolism is like a hot furnace that burns through fuel (calories) quickly. A slow metabolism needs less fuel to keep a body running.

It’s tempting to throw up our hands and blame weight issues on a slow metabolism, but there are ways to support metabolism and maintain a healthy weight.

Claim: Our metabolic rates can’t change.

The truth:

While it’s true that genetics help determine our metabolic rates, we can boost metabolism by increasing lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories per hour than fat, which means that people with lean, muscular bodies need more calories to function than people with a higher percentage of body fat.

Our muscle mass decreases as we age, and this contributes to a slower metabolic rate. But you can counteract this process by picking up the weights to help lessen this decline.

Claim: A diet of green tea and chili peppers will boost metabolism.

The truth:

No magic food will speed up metabolism. Some studies have shown that green tea and hot chilies temporarily boost metabolic rates, but the lift isn’t enough to offset eating too many calories.

The path to healthy weight loss is through portion control and a balanced diet filled with nutrient-rich foods, not through a diet doused in chili peppers.

Claim: Eating late at night slows metabolism.

The truth:

It’s the extra calories — not when you eat them — that cause weight gain. There is little evidence to support the fact that eating after 8 p.m. causes weight gain. However, you may be more likely to snack mindlessly in the evenings while watching television. Calories in these snacks add up, and that can cause weight gain.

Claim: Very low calorie diets and skipping meals can jumpstart weight loss.

The truth:

Weight loss is all about creating an energy deficit — ingesting fewer calories than your body expends each day — but creating too large of a calorie deficit can backfire. Our bodies are smart and programmed for survival. Severely limiting calories can make your body think it’s entering a famine, and that it needs to do more with fewer calories. Your body adapts to the restricted caloric intake, and uses fewer calories to perform the same tasks.

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Most U.S. Restaurant Meals Exceed Recommended Calories: Study

American, Chinese and Italian meals average around 1,500 calories, researchers say.

Calorie-counters beware: A new study reports that more than nine in 10 U.S. restaurants are serving meals that exceed the recommended calorie limit for a single meal.

And that’s just the entree. Drinks, appetizers and desserts weren’t included.

“We feel the results are extremely important because there is a general perception out there that fast food is the problem,” said study author Susan Roberts.

“What this study shows is that all restaurants are terrible when it comes to providing excessive portions that overfeed people. It’s not just fast food but virtually all of them,” said Roberts. She is director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

What’s more, Roberts said, the awareness plate is literally stacked against the consumer. “Even if you have a Ph.D. in nutrition, as I do, it’s almost impossible to make an accurate guess of what is on your plate because there are so many hidden calories.”

The study was based on an analysis of 364 American, Chinese, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese meals offered at restaurants in Boston, San Francisco and Little Rock, Ark., between 2011 and 2014.

Sampled establishments were both local and from large chains. But that made little difference. In fact, non-chain meals were found to be just as heavy on the belly as chain restaurant offerings. Which is to say, they averaged in the neighborhood of 1,200 calories a meal. That’s more than double the 570 calories experts recommend that the average adult woman consume at lunch or dinner, the researchers said.

“I feel like women get a particularly bad deal with these excessive portions,” Roberts said, given that their caloric needs are, on average, substantially less than a man’s.

Fans of American, Chinese and Italian fare may be particularly dismayed by the study findings. These foods topped the list with an average 1,495 calories per meal. The researchers noted that the average woman in the United States needs about 2,000 calories a day, and the average U.S. man, about 2,500 calories.

Roberts said the situation requires a radical restaurant rethink.

“What I think would work to help people eat less, and would be wildly popular with consumers, would be laws — passed at the federal or state or local level — that would give customers the right to buy proportional portions for a proportional price,” she said. “So, let’s say that I, as a small woman, want to buy one-third of an entree plate. I could do that and pay one-third of the price. Oh my God, I would love that.

“The restaurants wouldn’t love it, of course,” Roberts acknowledged. “But all restaurants would be in the same boat [and] it would take away the incentive they have today to overfeed people.”

Lona Sandon is a registered dietitian and assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She reviewed the study’s findings and reacted with little surprise.

“Consumer demand must change for restaurants to make changes in what they are serving,” she said. But barring that, she offered a few pointers for coping with the current eating-out environment.

“Eat out less often or never,” she said. “Try cooking at home. Or order the kids meal instead,” which she noted is easy to do in a drive-through setting.

More tips from Sandon: Share a meal among three people. Or order a soup and side salad, or something from the side menu. “I do this all the time. I love a baked potato with a side of broccoli and a little cheese, or a bowl of beans and rice with a side of fried plantains. I rarely order an entree,” she said.

Smaller and non-chain restaurants may be more willing to customize menu items for you, Sandon said. Still, she added: “Speak up and ask for what you want rather than just taking what is on the menu. Take charge of your health.”

The study findings appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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