afternoon heartbreak: saying no to cheese

Can someone explain to me why something you can make at home always tastes better when you eat out?

Like this salad I had for lunch.

There is literally nothing in this salad I couldn’t whip together at home, but instead I spent like $10 on a salad. Outrageous!

But hey, at least I modified the dish to be less horrendous on the ole smart point tracker.

Modifications, I find, are the only way to keep yourself from going hog-wild when you eat out. This was a cobb salad when it started life on the menu. And it’s from a place which prides itself on fried chicken.

So what did I do? Subbed the fried chicken for grilled, and had to say no-thank-you to the bleu cheese. Guys, you know how much I love cheese. It was a hard decision, but I made it through.

Oh, and I also had them leave off the bacon. I might lose some followers over this statement, but… I hate bacon. I might be the single American who doesn’t like bacon. I also hate hot dogs. I’m on board with apple pie though, will you still accept me?

With my changes the salad went from probably 22-25 SP to 13 SP. While still a little heavy points-wise for lunch, it was an otherwise light day, so I didn’t feel as guilty.

The real killer on salads out in the world is dressing. If I was really tight on points it would have been wise to ask for a vinaigrette or no dressing at all. Sadly, I know how delicious this particular establishment’s ranch dressing is, so I threw caution to the wind.

One trick for anyone who likes a little kick though, I ask for less dressing and then hit my salad with a few drops of hot sauce. It mixes with the dressing a bit and gives the illusion that there’s more going on with your plain jane lettuce.

2 C Iceberg Lettuce – 0 SP

1/2 C Tomato – 0 SP

1 Egg (hard boiled) – 2 SP

1/4 Avocado – 3 SP

3 oz Grilled Chicken – 2 SP

2 TBSP Ranch Dressing – 5 SP

3 TSP Cholula Hot Sauce – 0 SP

1 Unsweetened Iced Tea – 0 SP

Total SP: 13

Anyone who is reading this to the East of the Sierra’s (and particularly in the South) is probably wondering what kind of insane person drinks unsweetened iced tea. All I have to say is, don’t knock it til you try it.

Until about 2 years ago, I regularly had one diet soda a day. It wasn’t even a conscious decision to stop drinking it, but when I did, it kind of left me stuck with water as my primary source of liquid (aside from my coffee… obviously). While water is great for you (duh), it gets real boring. Cutting up fruit or veggies for flavor is great and all, but who has that kind of time in the morning?

Anyway, I have learned to LOVE unsweetened iced tea. Some are better than others, and a lemon slice is always a nice addition when you can get it. Truly, if you can go without a sweetener, iced tea is a great change up from h20 for anyone trying to keep the calories low.

If you’re looking for a tasty unsweetened, prepared iced tea, I really love Tejava. It’s a bit darker/more intense than others, so if you’re new to the game I might try adding a bit of water to your glass. As always, not advertising, just sharing what I like. That statement also applies to the giant bottle of Cholula in my picture – not sponsored, just a hot sauce addict.

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