Monday, January 12, 2015

Olive Garden

This past week, I had lunch at Olive Garden. Still on my mission to eat healthy, I searched the menu for lighter options. The Olive Garden menu had a small "Lighter Fare" section containing about 6 different options (3 with pasta and 3 without). In the case of Olive Garden, I've noticed that their "lighter" menu just consists of smaller portions sizes and not necessarily a difference in preparation methods. I ordered the Chicken Abruzzi (pictured below). It was one of the pasta-less options and was very good. The other healthier options consisted of a lasagna dish and a pasta primavera as well as a couple other entree dishes of a protein with veggies. 

If you look at the "light" menu, it is obvious that these dishes all have something in common. All of them are made with wine based sauces or red tomato sauce. In general, dishes made with these sauces are going to be lower calorie than those made with the creamier white sauces. They are also served with greater amounts of vegetables, which add volume to your dish while keeping the calorie count down (two of the options were vegetarian). These are facts you can keep in mind when ordering at other Italian restaurants.

And lastly, at restaurants such as Olive Garden, it is extremely important to monitor the "all you can eat" bread sticks and salad, because this alone can make your break your diet.

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