I forgot to tell you guys…
I guess someone thought it would be ok to sleep in without me. Hmm. That’s Christopher Columbus. No, not this guy – although, technically, they’re both very famous explorers. So don’t say anything, but his real name is Curious George. I spent at least, oh gosh, let’s see, maybe a whole day going through all the tedious steps of a name change. You know: thinking up different names, choosing one, assigning it to your stuffed monkey. The usual. I even stopped halfway through the process one day and picked back up the next because it was just so mentally and emotionally draining. So many thoughts go through your head. What if I don’t choose the right name? What if he has identity issues? What if he’s really a she and I effed this whole thing up? What if he doesn’t love me? What if my stuffed monkey had feelings and could actually experience any of the former in the slightest capacity whatsoever? And so on. Anyway, he responds to Christopher Columbus.
Last night I went out to eat at The Cheesecake Factory with my sister Anna and my parents. This restaurant is d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. And for good reason. Ready for the reason? Ok, well, there are more than one, but here they are: reason 1, reason 2, reason 3, and, most importantly, reason 4. In case you didn’t click on any of those links, allow me to summarize: for all intents and purposes, The Cheesecake Factory is the worst restaurant in America. But, I mean, that’s the reason it’s sooooo freaking yummy. Copious amounts of fat, an excessive mg count for sodium, and an unfathomably high concentration of calories in ONE dish, albeit a meal that two (or even three) people could easily share. I digress.
Being well aware that these pestilences are present in nearly every dish on their menu, I was really excited to see that they now have a SkinnyLicious Menu. On top of the fact that I don’t really care to consume 2,500 calories in one sitting, I’m also following the Paleo diet quite strictly right now – at least until I go to Boston in 3 weeks (what! what!). Both of these considered, I thought it would be pretty difficult to find something to eat last night, and honestly, I really thought that I would just end up sitting there, sipping coffee while everyone else ate nothing but piles and piles of cheesecake – just to rub it in my face, of course. But, alas!, that was far from it.
Anna and I ordered the SkinnyLicious Grilled Artichoke to split.
I definitely recommend this. It was just grilled artichoke, topped with balsamic, and served with a lemon-garlic aioli on the side. I didn’t eat any of the aioli, as it was mayonnaise-based and that’s not Paleo. Plus – bleh! to mayo.
For my entree, I chose the Tuscan Chicken. I got it without the Farro – which is a grain, and again, not Paleo compliant.
Of course, I ordered it only after looking up the nutrition info. They list a basic calorie count on their menu, such as “590 Calories or Less,” but I was particularly curious about the sodium count, so I quickly investigated before our server took our order.
Cheesecake Factory – Tuscan Chicken
|Total Fat||5 g||Potassium||0 mg|
|Saturated||2 g||Total Carbs||21 g|
|Polyunsaturated||0 g||Dietary Fiber||2 g|
|Monounsaturated||0 g||Sugars||3 g|
|Trans||0 g||Protein||25 g|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
So, not AMAZING as far as sodium goes, but not terrible either – especially for a restaurant, and The Cheesecake Factory at that. Plus, when you’re eating Paleo (aside from the sodium in meat) the only salt you’re consuming is what you’re adding yourself. I was satisfied with these stats, so I decided to go for it. And I’m glad I did. It was healthy, tasty, and colorful, and even for a SkinnyLicious menu item, it was a pretty large portion so I ended up taking some home 🙂
All that to say: I love the new SkinnyLicious menu. I’m really happy that The Cheesecake Factory is stepping up their nutrition game. People are becoming more and more health conscious these days, and I’m glad this restaurant is moving in that direction, too. If nothing else, at least I now have options that are in sync with my diet when I visit that fine establishment. But to be real real with you, I’m only going to order something SkinnyLicious so I won’t feel nearly as guilty for indulging in those piles of cheesecake I mentioned earlier. How’s that for self-validation? Nailed it.
Is it wrong that I kinda feel like I should get a free piece of cheesecake for all this promotional literature?