You can tell summer’s coming when there are more of us toiling away in the gym, trying to trade in beer bellies and muffin tops for a leaner figure. And as if hoping for some kind of a miracle, we constantly check ourselves out in the mirror to see if we have abs of steel yet (admit it!).
But the more challenging part of getting our bodies in shape for the beach isn’t so much the exercising–it’s the eating. Reaching for the boring salad bowl is a struggle when there’s a plate of glistening crispy pata on the table!
But now, we have absolutely no excuse to keep eating junk because Runner’s Kitchen has figured out a way to solve the dilemma. This restaurant in Quezon City whips up healthy but tasty dishes that won’t make you feel like you’re missing out on the good stuff. And it absolutely won’t count as cheating if you eat here after your workout!
Eating healthy doesn’t have to feel like you’re suffering
Bianca King, co-owner of Runner’s Kitchen, hates calorie counting because it gives people the wrong impression that eating healthy is a cumbersome chore; something that deprives them of all the tasty things in the world.
To her, eating healthy is simply about consuming real, whole foods. This means that meat treated with hormones and antibiotics as well as fruits and vegetables sprayed with pesticide should be kept off the dining table. Of course, moderate intake of fat, salt, and sugar is also important.
Inspired by their travels to New York and California where wholesome produce is abundant, Bianca and co-owner Xander Angeles put up Runner’s Kitchen in a part of QC where there aren’t a lot of healthy choices. Xander, a fashion photographer by profession, was the brains behind the restaurant’s location and chic interior design. Bianca then came in to conceptualize the menu and create the recipes.
Most of their ingredients come directly from small local farms, every dish on the menu is made from scratch, and only healthy cooking methods like grilling, pan-searing, and roasting are used. A reliable source of organic food, even celebs know Runner’s Kitchen is a place they can trust with their hard-earned bikini bods!
The best part about dining at Runner’s Kitchen is forgetting that you’re actually eating healthy stuff! It’s not hard when you’re sinking your teeth into delectable things like tocino, tapa, sausages, waffles, and muffins! It’ll feel like you’re indulging sans the food coma or the feeling of remorse after.
You’re not going to be stuck with salads at Runner’s Kitchen
When Filipinos are trying to watch their weight, the first thing that usually goes out of the window is rice, and this includes the breakfast favorite, champorado. But at Runner’s Kitchen, you don’t have to part ways with this gooey, chocolate-rich rice porridge.
Their Black Rice Champorado makes use of Malagos dark chocolate (made from single-origin cocoa beans proudly grown in Davao), coconut cream, cacao nibs, crispy dilis, and black rice (a much healthier alternative to white rice because it’s rich in fiber and antioxidants!)
For the carnivores out there, you don’t have to give up your meat-eating ways to be healthy. Order up the Run365 Marathon Special which gives you sampler sizes of organic chicken tocino, grass-fed beef tapa, and native boar sausage. It’s a protein-packed breakfast meal you can dig into after an early workout session.
Everyone loves a crispy, golden waffle for breakfast. So it’s great news that Runner’s Kitchen has come up with inventive ways to make them good for us. Their Gluten-Free Waffles, made with their own waffle mix, are topped off with peach-mango compote and served with your choice of either native boar sausages or vegan mushroom sausages.
If you feel like starting your day off with some chocolate, there’s no guilt in giving in to their Gluten-Free Chocolate Waffles. It’s a treat mopping up the coco syrup with the warm, decadent waffles and letting the sweetness swirl in your mouth. To complement its rich chocolate flavor, they’re garnished with glazed bananas and crunchy cashew nuts.
Quinoa is a superfood but for someone who’s new to it, it could take some getting used to. To make your first bite palatable, Runner’s Kitchen has incorporated quinoa into fun dishes.
Their Spicy Tuna Quinoa Rolls are exactly like sushi minus the fattening carbs. Instead of white rice, you’ll find quinoa wrapped in the seaweed with chunky bits of raw tuna resting on top. Popping one of these into your mouth will give you combined flavors of spiciness from the Sriracha aioli and sweetness from the ginger soy reduction.
The Tahini Quinoa Super Bowl, an interesting blend of both raw and cooked ingredients, is another crowd favorite. Every hefty bowl comes with quinoa, chickpeas, mushrooms, tomatoes, bean sprouts, and cashew candy tossed in homemade tahini.
Seafood is already healthy on its own but at Runner’s Kitchen, they’re made extra nutritious and flavorful. Their Paprika Prawns and Cauliflower Rice is an entree of pan-seared prawns with red radish, crispy basil, spinach, and sun-dried tomato yogurt.
Another seafood dish you need to try is their Peppercorn and Sesame Crusted Tuna with Black Rice, flavored with soy-rice vinegar dressing and finished off with zucchini carpaccio. The tuna’s crunchy exterior gives way to a fleshy and tangy middle when bitten into, making it a delectable dish to scarf down even if you’re not a fan of seafood.
*You can choose to have your protein dishes carb-free or have a side of starch to go with them. You can pick from black rice (₱50), quinoa (₱80), roasted sweet potato (₱110), or cauliflower rice (₱140).
If you can’t resist a big ol’ Mexican feast, Runner’s Kitchen has a healthier alternative that will still leave you feeling satisfied. Order up their Chili Beans and Beef Wrap, a hearty mix of spicy Mexican beans, grass-fed ground beef, fresh tomatoes, red onions, cheddar cheese, and black rice bundled up in a whole wheat wrap. It’s big enough to share with another person but you could also just have it to yourself!
Of course, what’s a proper meal without some dessert! Cap off your Runner’s Kitchen experience with a slice of their Whole Wheat Peach Mango Pie, topped off with vegan vanilla ice cream or their Coco Sugar Cheesecake, made incredibly rich with pure cream cheese (you can have this either with warm strawberry or peach compote).
Don’t forget to order up a cup of their Cashew Flat White to go with your dessert! Their homemade lactose-free cashew milk makes for a thick and creamy drink that doesn’t overpower the flavor of coffee.
Whichever diet you’re on, there’s a tasty dish on the menu for you
Maybe you’re watching what you eat because you want to have your body beach-ready for the summer. Or maybe you’ve gone for a full lifestyle change, committed to a diet that’s paleo, pescetarian, gluten-free, low-carb, vegetarian, or vegan.
Whatever it is, you will find a dish on Runner’s Kitchen’s menu that has been creatively put together to suit your dietary needs. They’re also open to tweaking their recipes for you so don’t be shy to ask!
You can find Runner’s Kitchen at Creekside Square Bldg., Tomas Morato Ave., Kamuning, Quezon City.