The Bloomin’ Onion from Outback and the infamous Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes are restaurant staples we know and love—yet we try to stay away from them when aiming for a healthy diet. Skip the night out and instead make these guilt-free versions at home. With a few healthy swaps, they will taste just as good and will keep you on track.
The Aussie restaurant’s signature appetizer takes a healthy vegetable and fries it to the point of no return, racking up thousands of calories. There’s no doubt that the dish is delicious, but for those of us wanting a healthier version, look no further than your oven.
By simply baking this dish, rather than frying, you’ll knock off a load of unnecessary calories. (Not to mention how much easier and more pleasant baking is to frying!) In place of heavy batter, opt for a coating of breadcrumbs.
Check out Ali Ebright’s lighter version, available on her blog Gimme Some Oven. We’ve broken down the nutrition facts below.
- Calories: 1954
- Fat: 154.7 grams
Gimme Some Oven’s Recipe
- Calories: 396
- Fat: 10 grams
The Cheesecake Factory is known for their massive menu, limitless cuisine options and—of course—cheesecake. You can go big with Dulce de Leche Caramel or Hot Fudge, but even their original recipe for the dessert would be considered a splurge. One slice is more than 700 calories.
If you’re looking for rich and creamy dessert, make your own cake with a few subtle exchanges. Try a thinner, low-fat graham cracker crust for the base. Swap in 1/3 less fat cream cheese for regular and fat-free sour cream in place for original. Cooking Light even has a recipe that uses fat-free cottage cheese.
Check out Cooking Light’s version here. We’ve broken down the nutrition facts below.
Cheesecake Factory’s Recipe
- Calories: 710
- Fat: 29 grams
Cooking Light’s Recipe
- Calories: 291
- Fat: 9.8 grams
Ordering a pizza is the perfect go-to plan for a night in. No mess and no fuss, delivery pizza is an easy option, but one you don’t want to make regularly once you realize how much that cheese, crust and pepperoni adds up. While a traditional supreme pizza does have its fair share of veggies, it doesn’t negate the excess other ingredients.
By making your own pizza, you can cut calories and pick and choose exactly what you want. Try making a pizza with whole-wheat crust, rolled out thinly. Use low sodium marinara for sauce and load up on the veggies—not the cheese. Pick a low fat cheese and sub in turkey sausage.
Check out Eating Well’s supreme version here. We’ve broken down the nutrition facts of their recipe, and a Papa John’s “The Works” pizza, below.
Papa John’s Recipe
- Calories: 350
- Fat: 14 grams
Eating Well’s Recipe
- Calories: 289
- Fat: 6 grams
Author: Allison Klibanoff
PHOTO CREDIT: Outback Steakhouse