FitFitBanner Images

Audio Archive Audio Archive



Soulful Truckin’

June 3rd, 2011 - By Therese Madden




Share on Tumblr

Food trucks are convenient, and can be tasty, but are they healthy? We take a dietician to Denise’s Soul Food truck in West Philadelphia to find out.

Listen

RECIPE:
-Creole Coleslaw »
-Barley Hoppin’ John »
-Lebanese Potato Salad »
-Soul Food Stew »

Denise Severe, standing inside her Soul Food truck

Eating from lunch trucks is one of the joys of life in the city. They can be tasty, inexpensive, and with the right choices, even healthy. Today’s destination is Denise’s Soul Food truck. I brought Registered Dietician Erica Steinhart along to help with the healthy part. She prepped me on questions to ask when deciding what to order, “so you know asking them, ‘What do you cook your cabbage with?’ ‘What do you cook your greens with?’ ‘Are you cooking them for hours?’ ‘Do you add a lot of salt?’ ‘Are you cooking them with smoked meat?’ Anything that is smoked is usually high in sodium.”

The street, near 30th Street Station, is lined with lunch trucks. There’s the non-stop hum of generators. Denise’s truck stands out with a bright, hip, paint job done by the Mural Arts Program. She takes her first order of the day, “can I get the small curry chicken platter.” The food is actually Caribbean Soul Food, Denise Severe, the owner and chef is from Haiti.
Here’s what she serves, “greens, jerk chicken, potato salad, mac and cheese, cabbage, string beans, fried fish, fried chicken.”

Not that she eats all of this. In fact, Denise is really into eating healthy. Over the past 3 years, she’s lost a 100 pounds. Now she’s looking out for her customer’s health too, to the point that she’s not afraid to interfere with their lunch order. “Sometimes I tell them to get, don’t get two starchs, don’t get mac and cheese and rice. Don’t get fries and rice, because people do ask you for that. Then I ask them, ‘What about a vegetable? Do you want a vegetable today?'” She also keeps the customers health in check in other ways. Don’t even think about asking for salt, “I would tell the costumers all the food is already seasoned, most customers would ask you for the salt, I hide the salt, I don’t put it on the food because it is already seasoned, you don’t need that extra salt.”

And for those regular customers who may have told her they are diabetics, good luck. “If somebody would come and some customer would come and I know they are diabetic and they would ask me for my iced tea and I know the iced tea is sweet, I would offer them water instead.”

Standing with a big grin and nodding, it wasn’t too tough to figure out what Dietician Erica Steinhart was thinking about this situation. “The fact that someone inside one of these food trucks is pushing vegetables just makes me so happy,” she says.

The Soul Food truck

Comments are closed.

Photo by Flicker user Chiot's Run / CC BY-NC 2.0



Move Over, Kale Chips! Kale Buds Are Here

By Lari Robling - April 18th, 2012

High Tunnel farming caught my eye because its extended growing season adds to the amount of local produce we get. While farm manager Aviva Asher was tidying up the winter crop to make way for spring, I discovered another benefit of local growing: use what you’ve got.

More wisdom »




October 2014
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Got a question for Fit? Want to submit your own "fit and fresh" recipe? Have a good story idea for us?


Contact us at fit@whyy.org




Get Healthy Philly is part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, a federal effort to: prevent and delay chronic disease, reduce risk factors, promote wellness in children and adults, and provide positive sustainable health change in our communities.


Food Fit Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, a program that works to reduce and prevent obesity and related chronic diseases (like heart disease and diabetes) by increasing access to healthy foods that people can afford.


Your body needs help when it's time to quit. SmokeFree Philly is a program of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health that offers support and tools to help smokers quit. The goal of SmokeFree Philly is to: help people to quit smoking, stop people from starting to use tobacco, and reduce heart disease, cancer and other illnesses caused by smoking.




Philly Food Bucks!
Philly Food Bucks are coupons that help ACCESS/food stamp customers save money on fruits and vegetables. Philly Food Bucks can be redeemed for $2 worth of fruits and vegetables for every $5 spent in ACCESS/food stamps at a participating farmers' market. Learn more about Philly Food Bucks at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's recently expanded web site Food Fit Philly.com. Now also accepted at the West Oak Lane Weaver's Way Food Coop.