We’ve all seen the Olive Garden commercials. Those bowls of never-ending salad and pastas, artfully prepared meats and seafood, and tables full of people laughing and enjoying those enticing Italian dishes. Can’t you just imagine yourself there? If you’re watching your weight, you may think it would just be torture to head to your nearest Olive Garden, but think again!
Our dietitians say, “Go for it!” Olive Garden has so many choices that will have you feeling like you’re indulging but without the guilt. Here are some of the ways you can treat yourself well next time you head out to Olive Garden:
Soup: Pasta e Fagioli
(130 calories, 2.5 g fat)
Sometimes, the best meal is a simple one of hot soup and a cool, crisp salad. This soup is a warming mixture of white and red beans, ground beef, rich tomatoes and pasta in a savory broth. Beans can be a great way to get added fiber and protein in your diet.
Grilled Chicken Caprese Panini
(Lunch Portion) (560 calories, 23 g fat)
For a quick lunch, try one of Olive Garden’s Healthy Dining Panini choices. This one includes grilled chicken, tomatoes and mozzarella, along with a sun-dried tomato and basil pesto spread that is full of flavor!
Lighter Italian Fare: Linguine alla Marinara
(Dinner Portion) (430 calories, 6 g fat)
When classic pasta is all you’re craving, order this linguine topped with a zesty blend of ripe tomatoes, onions and herbs. Tomatoes, especially when cooked, are loaded with the antioxidant lycopene, and studies have shown a link between eating tomatoes and a reduced risk for certain types of cancer.
Lighter Italian Fare: Herb-Grilled Salmon
(Dinner Portion) (510 calories, 26 g fat)
I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of salmon, a good food for heart and brain health—as well as the waistline! This salmon filet is brushed with Italian herbs and extra-virgin olive oil and served with seasoned broccoli.
So, get the gang together and find your nearest Olive Garden today… you can even have one of those famous breadsticks while dining healthy!