Most of us could benefit from eating out less, but if you are looking for a noble reason to hit up one of your favorite eateries, look no further than the Great American Dine Out.
From September 19 to September 25, Share Our Strength’s third annual Great American Dine Out is working with thousands of restaurants across the country. They will be offering great promotions, featuring special dishes, and donating part of their proceeds from that week to help support Share Our Strength’s work to end childhood hunger in this country. This year, Aaron McCargo Jr. from Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House” is the Great American Dine Out’s official spokesperson and he is encouraging you take part of this special cause.
All you have to do is locate a participating restaurant via this Share Our Strength Restaurant Finder and dine in or dine out to help make the organization’s mission of “No Kid Hungry” a reality. Read Full Post >
I decided I needed a night off from the kitchen. I typically make three meals a day in my kitchen, so I don’t usually have a hard time justifying letting someone else wear the chef’s hat! I’d planned on having us dine out once this week, so that we could experience the vegetarian side of a menu for once. I also wanted to try tofu for the first time tonight. All of these needs were satisfied at P.F. Chang’s. Watch to hear how vegetarian day five went.
I’m writing this as a public service announcement – do not be deceived by the teeny-tiny desserts!
At a dinner tonight at PF Chang’s (which was already too calorie and fat packed for me to want to fully own up to), the waitress asked if we wanted dessert. There were about 20 people at the table- I was hoping someone would order that Great Wall of Chocolate. I could have one or two bites and not hurt anything.
Then she said they have these new “mini desserts.” It’s a single shot glass full of dessert. Just $2.00 each. Eight different choices, including the Great Wall of Chocolate. I know better, but my sweet tooth took over and convinced me that that much cake couldn’t be that bad. It was delicious- all I’d hoped it would be. Not to mention cute.
Upon my arrival home, I’ve scoured the net to find the nutrition facts. I found them at The Daily Plate. That cute little teensy weensy itty bitty glass of chocolate cake… has 150 Calories! 2g Fat! 5g Saturated Fat! 26g Carbs! 130mg Sodium!
The lesson learned? Dessert in a restaurant, no matter which shape, size or level of adorableness, is NEVER good for you!
Last week I reported on the resistance of chain restaurants in New York to post sensible disclosure of their food’s nutritional information. Well, Health magazine has taken the proactive approach and published a list of 10 top choices, when they could find restaurants willing to divulge their nutritional information.
Backed by a panel of experts, Health magazine went through 43 chains that matched the criteria of having more than 75 locations across the U.S. Here are the top 10 (with some interesting surprises):
1. Uno’s (yeah, the deep pan pizza place)- The home of the deep pan pizza also has a penne bolognese with just 16 grams of fat.
2. Sweet Tomatoes- While all-you-can-eat buffets aren’t normally thought to be healthy, Sweet Tomatoes has all kinds of healthy options at their salad bar, and even some at their soup bar.
3. Ruby Tuesday- While Ruby Tuesday is home to a number of beef burgers and fried food options, you can also order a veggie or turkey burger.
4. P.F. Chang’s- Chinese takeout packs some serious caloric punch. But if you can go to a higher end option such as P.F. Chang’s, you have better options like the carb-free vegetarian lettuce wraps.
5. Bob Evans- The well-known greasy breakfast haven also has plenty of low-carb, low-fat entrees.
6. Mimi’s Cafe- This café-style restaurant has some healthy options, like the chicken & fruit.
7. Romano’s Macaroni Grill- The Italian chain has plenty of refined carb choices, but there’s also the Italian sorbetto and biscotti: just 330 calories and 4 grams of fat.
8. Chevy’s Fresh Mex- High sodium counts are always a concern when dining out, but Chevy’s lives up to the “Fresh” in its name. Grilled Fish Tacos are a better option than a thick cheesy burrito.
9. Olive Garden- Like Macaroni Grill, there are plenty of pasta options to lead you astray. But there are also choices like the low-fat capellini pomodoro (644 calories and 14 grams fat).
10. Denny’s- This is probably the biggest surprise of them all, but the same place where you get sausage and pancakes, offers grilled-chicken-breast salad, or even tilapia with rice and veggies. Each have less than 15 grams of fat.
Check out the article at CNN.com for details as to why these establishments made the grade.t