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!