Friday, September 25, 2009

Day #4

45 minutes to my freedom. 61 minutes to my first drink. Approximately 120 minutes until I eat take-out. Yup, you read it right. Good 'ole take-out food.

When I started on this Restaurant Recipe journey, I knew I would not survive it if I didn't allow some time off. So, I purposely scheduled to cook my dinners 5 nights a week, which allowed for Friday and Saturday nights to be my "take-out" nights.

The best thing so far about re-creating these restaurant recipes is that I don't feel deprived in the least bit. This whole week I have eaten restaurant quality foods with rich, bold flavors, but with "diet-friendly" nutritional stats. Which means, I have no desire to binge this weekend. And to someone who's ex-best friend was weekend binging, this feels amazing.

So why still get take-out? Well, because I am tired. The last thing I want to do it get burned out on cooking, the one of a handful of things I can always look forward to.

Thank you for sticking with me through my first week. I'd love any feedback, ideas, comments, etc.


Applebee's: Crispy Orange Chicken Bowl


1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp sugar free orange marmalade
3 tbsp splenda
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced parsley
1 tbsp rice vinegar
pinch of chili flakes
pinch of minced garlic
pinch of thyme

2 servings of Applebee's Almond Rice Pilaf (see Day #1)
12 Morningstar Farms Chik'n Nuggets (or 3 servings)
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup sugar snap peas
1/4 cup shredded carrots
2 tbsp slivered almonds

1. In medium size bowl, combine all ingredients for orange sauce. Mix well. Simmer over medium heat for 15 - 20 minutes in saucepan, until sauce thickens.
2. Bake your Chik'n Nuggets in 325 degrees oven for 15 minutes, or until crispy.
3. In large saucepan, steam all veggie in water for 10 minutes, or until all veggies soften.
4. Heat leftover Almond Rice Pilaf in microwave for 1 minute.
5. Split pilaf into two bowls. On top of rice, layer veggies, and chik'n nuggets. Pour orange sauce over chicken and veggies. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of slivered almonds.

Servings: 2
Nutritional Info Per Serving: 644 cals, 25g fat, 87g carbs, 30g protein
Original Applebee's Nutritional Info Per Serving: 1515 cals, 58g fat, 203g carbs, 54g protein

* If you want to make this dish even more calorie friendly, use grilled skinless chicken instead of the nuggets, and swap the rice out for additional veggies. This can cut up to 300 more calories.

Applebee's: Perfect Apple Margarita

1 tbsp splenda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 oz white tequila
1/2 oz Sour Apple Pucker
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1 1/2 oz apple juice

1. In small plate, mix cinnamon and 1/2 tbsp of splenda. Moisten the rim of a martini glass, then dip rim into the cinnamon/splenda mix.
2. Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice. Pour in tequila, sour apple, lemon juice, lime juice, apple juice and 1/2 tbsp of splenda. Shake well. Pour into martini glass.

Drink up. It's friday!

Servings: 1
Nutritional Info: 165 cals, 0g fat, 16g carbs, 0g protein
Original Applebee's Nutritional Info: 236 cals, 0g fat, 33g carbs, 0g protein