The holiday season is prime time for treating yourself to a special dinner out, but that doesn’t necessarily mean mass quantities of butter, cream, bacon and cheese!
By Mary Parsons, MS, RD
The holiday season is prime time for treating yourself to a special dinner out, but that doesn’t necessarily mean mass quantities of butter, cream, bacon and cheese! Healthy Dining is on a mission to help people recognize that healthy foods can be just as enticing. It’s all about relying on the naturally delicious flavors of healthy, whole food ingredients, balanced with a touch of decadence. The list below features a selection of our most tempting, tantalizing, irresistible dietitian-recommended menu options to prove that healthy options will fit right in for your special occasion meals this holiday season!
1.Mango-Chile Tilapia at Chili’s
Still doubtful that fruits and veggies can be as tasty as butter and cream? Just take one look at this gorgeously colorful entrée that pairs spicy grilled chicken with sweet mango, creamy avocado and fresh salsa.
2. Tuscan Chicken Panini at Sandella's Flatbread Café
Creamy pesto sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, grilled chicken and melted mozzarella cheese? Yes, you can have that much decadent flavor in a Healthy Dining option!
3. BBQ Chicken Pizza on Wheat Crust (½ pizza) at California Pizza Kitchen
With Healthy Dining’s dietitians on your side, you can satisfy your pizza cravings and your nutrition goals at the same time. At 640 calories, you can share the classic BBQ chicken pizza at CPK for a good source of both lean protein and whole grains!
4. Petite Filet at Fleming’s
Yes, steak is on the Healthy Dining menu! At Flemings, you can sit down to a perfectly-portioned filet mignon paired with grilled asparagus for the complete steakhouse experience, astonishingly under 500 calories.
5. Mediterranean Salad with Shrimp at Papouli’s Greek Grill
You can’t go wrong with fresh Mediterranean cuisine: tender grilled shrimp, plenty of veggies, and a side of whole wheat pita make this salad a satisfying meal.
6. Thai BBQ Salmon Salad at Elephant Bar
For exotic flavor and serious nutrition, look no further than Elephant Bar. This salad features wood-fired glazed salmon providing plenty of protein and healthy fats and more than three cups of fruits and veggies!
7. Mango Stir Fry - Under 600 Calories Menu at Silver Diner
For a vegetarian option to tempt your taste buds, try this sweet and savory stir fry featuring mushrooms, Napa cabbage, carrots, edamame and more, not to mention the whole grain noodles that add even more healthy fiber!
8. Quinoa Salad at Zoës Kitchen
A bed of leafy greens serves as the pedestal to showcase hearty whole-grain quinoa, crunchy veggies, Kalamata olives and feta cheese, all tossed with a fresh lemon vinaigrette. Full of healthful ingredients and undeniably delicious!
9. Caribbean Mango Salad at California Tortilla
This salad transforms your daily dose of leafy greens into a well-deserved tropical vacation with blackened chicken, avocado and fresh mango salsa.
10. Cedar Plank Roasted Pacific King Salmon at Seasons 52
For a special dinner out, indulge in smoky roasted salmon paired with roasted vegetables and crushed potatoes. All this for fewer than 500 calories? That’s really a treat!
11. Appetizer: Jumbo Lump Crab Stack (Serves 2) at Bahama Breeze
Pure luxury! Before choosing one of the many dietitian-recommended entrées at Bahama Breeze, share a portion of this extravagant appetizer that features premium lump crabmeat, shrimp, avocado, and sweet apple-mango salsa.
12. Snow Crab California Roll at Roy’s
For a luxurious spin on the classic California Roll, you won’t want to miss this hand-crafted roll featuring fresh snow crab. Just another way to make delicious healthy choices on HealthyDiningFinder.com!