Thursday, January 27, 2011

The SKINNY on Applebee’s Under 550 Calories Menu

Tuesday I was invited to a special tasting of Applebee’s Under 550 Calories menu. Making smart food choices is a priority to me right now as I’m training for my 4th half marathon and I’ve taken on a pretty lofty birthday goal. I recently shared my Restaurant Rules for eating out as there often aren’t many healthy, low calorie options; so when I got the invite I was curious to see how Applebee’s entrees measured up.

We tasted all six of the entrees.

Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp
Teriyaki Shrimp Pasta
Teriyaki Chicken Pasta
Grilled Shrimp and Island Rice
Grilled Dijon Chicken and Portobellos
Asiago Peppercorn Steak

They brought out a regular-size portion and explained the dish then brought each of us little sample plates to taste.

Teriyaki Shrimp Pasta – full portion.

Grilled Dijon Chicken and Portobellos – sample size

Me sampling. It’s such HARD work trying all this food. Ahem.

We also had the opportunity to sample their Skinny Bee drinks – all under 110 calories.

Skinny Bee Margarita
Skinny Bee Long Island Ice Tea
Skinny Bee Mojito

The Skinny Bee Margarita. Um, yes. I can vouch for this one.

The Upside:

Great portion sizes. They didn’t just give you less food. You’re definitely getting a full meal.

Good flavor. I like things spicy so a few of the dishes could’ve had a little more zing for my personal taste but overall they were pretty flavorful.

They’ll cook to order. They want to please and will make the dishes with adjustments to your liking. Keep in mind, though, that might change the nutritional information.

The Calorie Count. Definitely on the lower-side for most restaurant entrees.

The Not So Upside:

The sodium. Yup, it’s high, there’s no way around that, but I do think if its eaten in moderation – I don’t get out much – and you account for it in you daily totals it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker.

My favorites:

The Teriyaki Shrimp Pasta, the Asiago Peppercorn Steak and the Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp. Oh, and the Skinny Bee Margarita. Yum.

You can find out more about the menu and the nutritional information here. Applebee’s isn’t a health food restaurant and they’re not claiming to be, but they are making healthier options – options that could help keep me on track to reaching my goals.

Winks & Smiles,

Disclaimer: I'm not a nutritionist or food expert. My food and drinks were courtesy of Applebee’s, but as always my thoughts and opinions are all my own.


Emily Sandford said...

Great information, thanks! I'm not a huge Applebees fan, but there's one a stones throw from my office, so this will be a good option in an crunch.

Morgan said...

Great review! Spike and I just tested out the Sirloin & Shrimp dish on Monday night and we were in love!

Sheliza said...

My hubby and I like to go to Applebee's every so often so I think we will check out the steaks. Great review!!

Nancy said...

Um...can I sample food for free?!? I will definitely head over there for the skinny cocktails!

Marlene said...

Those actually look/sound really decent. I find there is just no way around high sodium in restaurant meals, so like you said - moderation!

Now I wish we can Applebees here!!!

Thanks for sharing!

JaNell said...

I've tried the Asiago Peppercorn Steak and I loved it! I'm glad they have options so I can still enjoy a night out with family or friends and not feel totally defeated. I need to try the margarita ASAP! LOL

Amy said...

I shouldn't have read this right now. I haven't had dinner and am willing to eat it all right now!

Anonymous said...

Very cool opportunity to try the dishes out! Glad that more restaurants are making an effort!

Anonymous said...

My family is a Applebee's fan and when I go there with them I get a cesear salad with grilled chicken and dressing on the right?! It's great to know about these meal and drink options from someone trust!

La'Tonya Richardson said...

I love Applebee's, and those meals look great! I have shrimp in the freezer, I think it's going to be lunch!

Anonymous said...

Sign me up for that Skinny Bee Margarita!!! MMMM! :)

Anonymous said...

Love teriyaki chicken pasta...if your on weight watchers its very low points and always a side of broccoli is free points!!!! OOOOOO belly full!

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