Sunday, August 19, 2012

Low-Calorie at Olive Garden Plus Recipes!

Cheese Ravioli with Fresh Vegetables

I much prefer eating at local mom & pop restaurants when it comes to Italian.  In the Kansas City area there are some great, local Italian restaurants.  My favorites are Carmen's in Brookside and Garozzo's in Columbus Park.  I have to confess that when I eat at either restaurant my diet is at the bottom of my priority list.  My favorite dish is pesto ravioli with gorgonzola cream sauce.  I also love the house salad.  With that said, I realize a lot of people eat at Olive Garden since it's a national chain.  Fortunately they list their nutrition facts on the company website. 

Olive Garden Nutrition Facts

The key at Olive Garden is to either order an appetizer/soup, salad, and a breadstick or simply order the entrĂ©e without all the accoutrements.  Many of the entrees at Olive Garden break the 650-calorie budget that I generally allot for dinner.  I have listed the few entrees that actually hit the range.

Mussels di Napoli 180
Breadstick (with garlic-butter spread) 150
Stuffed Mushrooms 280

Soups & Salads
Chicken & Gnocchi (one serving) 250
Pasta e Fagioli (one serving) 130
Minestrone (one serving) 100
Zuppa Toscana (one serving) 170
Garden-Fresh Salad (one serving with dressing) 290
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad 610

Dinner Entrees
Linguine alla Marinara 430
Steak Toscano 590
Ravioli di Portobello 670
Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce 660
Venetian Apricot Chicken 400
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken 670
Shrimp Mezzaluna 630
Capellini di Mare 650
Herb-Grilled Salmon 510
Seafood Brodetto 480
Parmesan Crusted Tilapia 590

Interestingly enough, the Olive Garden website also has numerous recipes that you can make at home.  I love that!  They don't list the calories per serving, but it's easier to lighten up a recipe at home.  Here are a few recipes that sparked my interest.  Yum!

Portobello Mushrooms with Mozzarella

Beef Filets in Balsamic Sauce

Cheese Ravioli with Fresh Vegetables

Creamy Polenta

White Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Crispy Pancetta

Green Beans with Tomato and Garlic

Asparagus with Lemon and Minced Onions

Angel Hair and Three Onion Soup

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