Healthy food ends up at the top of the pyramid

Published 1:40 pm Sunday, February 25, 2018

NEDERLAND — Food can be delicious and healthy at the same time.

For instance, For the Love of Foods in Nederland recently won best food and best restaurant at the Taste of the Triangle at the Beaumont Civic Center.

Owner Jessi Ly said she never thought they would win because the theme was Mardi Gras — Fat Tuesday — and they serve healthy fast food.

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“As soon as they said that announcement we won my girls started to scream,” she said. “I was on the other side and I was sprinting from one end to the other to go up there. We’re completely honored.”

Ly believes this is proof food can taste good and be good for you. Their slogan is “Skip the diet. Just eat healthy.”

“Everything is done in moderation. We make the unhealthy stuff with healthier ingredients,” she said.

For instance using honey instead of sugar, no salt and no MSG. They also used local ingredients.

All of Ly’s more than 400 recipes are her own creation. She rotates different meals and cooks foods from around the world to maintain variety.

“I cook a lot at home. My family are my test cases,” she joked. “I cook foods that are kid-friendly too.”

The restaurant prepares 5,000 meals a week. They’ve also started catering. For instance, they cooked for Helena Elementary School in Nederland during the week of STAAR testing, at churches and at refineries starting in April.

Ly opened her restaurant in the spring 2016 in the former Eaton Meats on Nederland Avenue. Prior to that she began at Daviss’ Donuts and Deli in Nederland. She outgrew that space working 14 hours in the kitchen, making 1,200 to 1,400 meals a day before she decided to strike out on her own. Even before that she made meals at home until she outgrew that due to demand.

Ly, moreover, has some experience in the food business. Her parents own Kim’s Seafood in Port Arthur and she started working there when she was six years old.

“My passion has always been food and I always ran the seafood business. Everyone in my family are cooks and we like to eat. We come up with recipes,” she said. “I have incredible parents. I’m blessed.”