{Foodie Friday: Panera Bread Co.}

25 Jun


So I thought this post would go against the reason for doing Foodie Friday blog postings. But not really.  Whether eating at home, or eating out, a girl has gotta know what’s in her food, right?  So when things get busy, or we’re super-tired, or on the road, or those other 3 nights/week that I haven’t gotten around to cooking, we always head to Panera.  Always.  They know us by name.  And order.  And when we order something outside of the norm, they go into a frenzy.  I’ll admit, it’s sad. 

After visiting their website recently and stumbling upon a wonderful build-a-meal nutritional calculator, I felt that I had to share.

Panera is really the only place I’ll eat out.  With the You-Pick-2 option, the price is decent, the portion sizes are perfect, and food actually is very healthy (as long as you pick the right two).  The You-Pick-Two gives the option of sandwiches, salads, soups, or even mac-n-cheese (not a good choice), along with a side: chips, apple, or baguette. Let’s take a look at what I normally get:

Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich w/lettuce and tomato only
(I don’t eat the bread, and instead make a wrap with the lettuce…)

That’s right—only 70 calories!  And with 12g of protein vs. 3g of carbs, it’s wonderful for those folks on a protein rich diet.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Again, very low-cal!  And although it is a bit more carb intensive, the protein is right there with it.  It is high in sodium, but I would rather have high sodium than high fat or high sugar.  Because it’s soup, it is very filling, and Panera uses a creamy broth, so it’s satisfying and filling.


At 80 calories, an apple makes a nice, sweet dessert that is also extremely healthy.

Some days, I like to substitute one of the choices for a salad.

Caesar Salad w/Grilled Chicken

Because I don’t eat dressing, or croutons (okay, sometimes I sneak a few), this item still comes in at under 100 calories.

Overall, I get a full meal for a grand total of:

  • Under 250 calories
  • Only 4-7g of fat
  • A good dose of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Iron
  • $6.19 (with cooking and clean-up)
  • A full, satisfied feeling

Now, just be cautious not to give into the temptation of getting the soup in a bread-bowl, loading up on condiments, or choosing a few of the delicious sweets (not that I would know…) from the glass display conveniently placed by the cash registers, and you’ll be set!

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