I had lunch today with my dear friend Helen, who is visiting from Toronto with her beautiful family.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Cheesecake Factory has a special “SkinnyLicious” menu. Oh so good!
I haven’t been there in quite a while, because I would find that no-matter what I ordered, I would leave there stuffed, and yet still feeling unsatisfied and frustrated—probably because the portions are huge and seemed more about “quantity” than “quality.”
When I first moved to this country I was shocked to see the humungous carrot cakes and salads served in the same wooden bowls we used to serve our family dinner salads in South Africa.
I remember sitting opposite my close friend Dina, who was one of “them”—meaning, she could order and eat whatever she liked and still stay skinny. She would have pizza… and dessert, and I would have my usual—a salad. But I would finish the entire salad and walk out stuffed, while she would eat a few slices of the pizza and a few bites of the dessert and be done.
I’m proud to say that today I felt like I might finally have become one of “them” myself! Or at least I am seeing fleeting moments of it.
I didn’t order a SkinnyLicious Salad—mostly because almost every day of my life I eat chicken and salad, so eating out is my opportunity to taste different things and be inspired as a chef.
I ordered the Wild Mushroom Flatbread, which was the perfect size—giving me my pizza fix without the guilty, overstuffed feeling.
I ordered a garden salad—with the balsamic vinaigrette on the side—to fill me up.
The old me would never have trusted myself to eat pizza in the middle of the day, because that would mean that I had blown the day, and the rest would just be a slippery slope. Especially on a Sunday! But today I happily enjoyed my flatbread, and when I felt peckish around 4:30pm, I made a lovely big salad with fancy balsamic vinegar (I’m loving these right now) and olive oil.
Not the usual I’m-giving-up-and-starting-tomorrow chips on the couch.
My focus was the wonderful time spent with my friend—you know the special ones, where no matter how long it’s been, it feels like you were never apart—not on the food.
The actual reason for this blogpost was to let all you Cheesecake skeptics out there know that their SkinnyLicious Menu is definitely worth trying out. I might just have to go back real soon for the Chicken and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps and SkinnyLicious Grilled Artichoke. Or the SkinnyLicious Caesar Salad.
Oy—so many options!
Helen enjoyed the SkinnyLicious Fresh Vegetable Salad with chicken—though she left off the white cheddar in favor of a piece of Carrot Cake Cheesecake for dessert! I admit that I did partake thereof, and though I am a cheesecake purist—strawberries being the most exciting I usually get—it was pretty good. I also admit that I am planning on partaking in the piece of strawberry cheesecake sitting in my fridge right now that my husband insisted (ok—he didn’t really need to insist) that I bring home.
This was unfortunately not on the SkinnyLicious Menu! But definitely worthy.
What are your favs on the Cheesecake Factory’s SkinnyLicious Menu?
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