South Beach Diet Phase 1 at Outback Steakhouse
I did one of these hubs on Applebee's recently and have decided to make a series out of it. Conceptually, Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet is not at all difficult to understand. But when a menu is put in front of you from a familiar restaurant, it's suddenly distressing when you see so many things on it that you can't touch. So I'm here to make things a bit easier for you.
Outback Steakhouse, or most steakhouses for that matter, are very friendly to the South Beach Diet. There are lots of lean, grilled meats and seafood items, as well as healthy veggie sides. Yes, you have to avoid the signature Bloomin' Onion, but I promise you'll survive. Keep in mind that every branch of restaurants like this is different, meaning some may serve the recommended low-fat cheese with some of these items and some may not, and some veggies are drenched in butter, so it's important to ask questions and use your best judgement. Here is a rundown of some of the items on a typical Outback Steakhouse menu that you can enjoy on Phase 1:
Dijon Chicken & Bacon Lettuce Wraps-This is a new item for Outback. Chicken, bacon, red peppers, carrots and basil wrapped in lettuce leaves with a Dijon vinaigrette. The only thing is, the SBD doesn't allow carrots on Phase 1, so you'll want to ask for those to be omitted.
Seared Ahi Tuna-Seared Yellow Fin tuna, spice rubbed and seared, and served with soy and wasabi dressings for dipping.
Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie-Seasoned and grilled..it doesn't get much friendlier than this for Phase 1.
Steakhouse Salad-Grilled lean sirloin steak on mixed greens with red onions, tomatoes and a blue cheese vinaigrette. But ask for it without the sugary cinnamon pecans.
Chicken or Shrimp Caesar Salad-Grilled chicken or shrimp atop romaine lettuce with Caesar dressing, but be sure to avoid the croutons.
Queensland Salad-Chicken breast with lettuce, cheese, bacon, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes and toasted almonds. It's basically a cobb salad and definitely SBD friendly.
Steaks-Acceptable choices are lean cuts like the Outback Special (sirloin) or Victoria's "center cut" filet. You can add on grilled shrimp or Alaskan King Crab. And for sides, Outback offers a side salad, steamed broccoli or green beans. Avoid the steamed mixed veggies, which have carrots and squash.
Outback Grillers-The beef filet, chicken or shrimp skewers have grilled vegetables but you will want to avoid the pineapple and rice pilaf. The side salad served with the grillers is acceptable.
Outback Lamb Chops-I'm not sure what is in the wine sauce these are served with, but the chops are definitely acceptable on Phase 1.
Grilled Pork Chops-The chops are fine, but order sides other than the cinnamon apples and mashed potatoes that they come with.
Seafood-Most of the seafood items are acceptable on Phase 1, including the fresh catch of the day, Atlantic Salmon, Tilapia, or Alaskan King Crab. The only no-no is the Boomerang Shrimp, which are breaded and deep-fried.
Alice Springs Chicken-This is grilled chicken breast with bacon, cheese, mushrooms and a honey mustard sauce. Due to the honey in honey mustard, you will want to avoid this sauce or ask for something else, like soy sauce, on the side.
Unless restaurants start serving sugar-free gelatin for dessert, everything is pretty much off-limits on Phase 1. But waiting until you get home isn't the end of the world.