Health Facts Monday – Calories Face-Off: T.G.I. Friday’s vs. IHOP

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IHOP is one of my favourite restaurants to go to for breakfast whenever I vacation in the States.  I miss their large portions and their nicely battered pancakes.

What I didn’t know is IHOP also sell burgers, salads and sandwiches just like any other American-style restaurants. So is the food at IHOP healthier than other American-style restaurant?

In today’s Health Fact Mondays, we would be comparing calories of food served between T.G.I. Friday’s and IHOP. LET’S TAKE A LOOK!

1) Sandwich (IHOP’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s Rotisserie Chicken Salad Sandwich – 850 calories

IHOP’s Chicken Clubhouse Super Stacker – 690 calories (SCORE)

2) More Sandwich (Friday’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s California Club –  750 calories (SCORE)

IHOP’s Southwestern Club Sandwich – 770 calories

3) Salad (IHOP WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s Strawberry Fields Salad with Grilled Balsamic Chicken  –  820 calories

IHOP’s Citrus Chicken Pecan Salad – 660 calories  (SCORE)

4) Burger (IHOP WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s New York Cheddar and Bacon Burger  –  1480 calories

IHOP’s Mega Monster Cheeseburger – 1170 calories (SCORE)

5) Dinner (Friday’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s Grilled Salmon  –  480 calories (SCORE)

IHOP’s Tilapia Florentine – 940 calories

What do you think of the results above? Have you ever been to IHOP? What do you usually order when you are at IHOP? Post your comments below. Till next time!

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Product Review: Nairn’s Scottish Oat Crackers Roughly Milled (Recipe Included)

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This Scottish Oat Cracker is another sample I received back from Nairn’s on late July.

The taste is very similar to the other Nairn’s cracker and the description, Roughly Milled, is very self-explanatory.   The crackers are also came with pouches like any other Nairn’s crackers.

Moreover, I made a Roasted Red Pepper Hummus dip that I think it is best with this cracker. *Eating as I am writing this post* OH MAN! I AM ABOUT TO GET FULL!

Here is the recipe:

3 red peppers

2 garlic cloves

half can chickpeas

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

four teaspoons tahini or sesame paste

salt and pepper to taste

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1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut peppers in half.  Get rid of the seeds.  Cook pepper in oven for at least 30 minutes or until the skin of peppers blackened.

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2) When skin of peppers blacken, put pepper in a bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Leave pepper to cool inside bowl for 15 minutes.

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3) Peel skin of peppers and put flesh in the blender.  Put chickpeas, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, tahini or sesame paste, salt and pepper in the blender.

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4) Blend until smooth.  Serve when ready.

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OH MY GOD! This dip is so delicious! I could taste the sweetness from the red peppers and the slight kick from the garlic. THIS IS ALSO VERY HEALTHY AND EASY TO MAKE!

I am going to keep eating now and stay tuned for the last review!

Product Review: Nairn’s Light and Crispy Oat Crackers with Sunflower Seeds (Recipe Included)

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Another sample I got from Nairn’s was their Light and Crispy Oat Crackers with Sunflower Seeds.

The flavour of this cracker is very similar to their Scottish Oat Crackers with the addition of sunflower seeds.  The crackers are also packaged in pouches, so you can carry the crackers on the go! AWESOME!

Any crackers would not taste great without the appropriate topping. Therefore, I made an avocado dip that would be great for these Oat Crackers.  Here is the recipe:

1 avocado, skinned

2 tablespoons yogurt

1 garlic

0.5 teaspoon lime juice

0.5 teaspoon lemon juice

0.5 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

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1) Put all the ingredient in a blender and blend until smooth.

2) Sprinkle more cumin onto dipping sauce.  Serve when ready.

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There are more variation of avocado dips you could make.

If you want your avocado dip to taste less garlicy and sour, you may substitute yogurt with mayonnaise or mustard. I personally prefer grainy mustard because it provides the dip with some texture.

In addition, if you decide to add fruit or vegetable in your avocado dip such as tomato, mash the avocado instead of blending to retain the texture of the fruit or vegetable.

So try this at home and tell us what you think!

Health Facts Monday – Calories Face-Off: T.G.I. Friday’s vs. Chili’s

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First of all, HAPPY CIVIC HOLIDAY TO MAJORITY OF CANADIANS! 

Second of all, I am happy to be back for another post of “Health Facts Mondays”. While I was busy at work and was away from blogging, I have noticed people kept on surfing my blog and read my “Health Fact Mondays” posts.  That means my readers and followers are interested and I will keep writing “Health Facts Mondays” for you guys! THANKS FOR ALL THE SUPPORT!

Today, “Health Facts Mondays” would compare calories of food between T.G.I. Friday’s and Chili’s.

Chili’s is another causal dining restaurant chain found in the U.S. The chain currently have locations in the U.S.A., Canada and another thirty-one countries around the world.

The menu is American, which is very similar to T.G.I. Friday’s and Applebee’s.  But between Friday’s and Chili’s, which chain serves healthier food?  Let’s find out!

1) Sandwich (Friday’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s Rotisserie Chicken Salad Sandwich – 850 calories (SCORE)

Chili’s Buffalo Chicken Ranch Sandwich – 1240 calories

2) More Sandwich (Friday’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s California Club –  750 calories (SCORE)

Chili’s California Turkey Club Toasted Sandwich – 1540 calories

3) Salad (Chili’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s Strawberry Fields Salad with Grilled Balsamic Chicken  –  820 calories

Chili’s Santa Fe Chicken Salad – 700 calories  (SCORE)

4) Burger (Chili’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s New York Cheddar and Bacon Burger  –  1480 calories

Chili’s Oldtimer’s with Cheddar Cheese Burger – 1160 calories (SCORE)

5) Dinner (Friday’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s Grilled Salmon  –  480 calories (SCORE)

Chili’s Salmon with Garlic and Herbs – 650 calories

I have not been to Chili’s, so I do not know if I am surprised by these results or not.

But I guess I know what to order when I go to Chili’s in Toronto.

Between Friday’s and Chili’s, which restaurant do you prefer going to? What food would you order when you go to Chili’s/Friday’s? Post  your comments below. Till next time!

Product Review: Nairn’s Scottish Organic Oat Crackers (Recipe Included)

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Last Wednesday I received seven samples of  oat crackers and cookies sample from Nairn’s and one of them was their Scottish Oat Crackers.

This cracker itself tasted not bad because I HATE CRACKERS BEING TOO SALTY.  In addition, these crackers were not made with any hidden ingredients.  Moreover, these crackers are WHEAT FREE, which means people who have celiac disease can still enjoy this wonderful cracker. Lastly, crackers are wrapped in pouches so you can carry them with you when you are on the go.  HOW COOL IS THAT!!!

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Having said that, any crackers would not taste awesome without any dip or toppings. I think this cracker would serve best with baba ghanoush because the strong garlic and tahini flavour would not be upset by the crackers.  Most importantly, BABA GHANOUSH IS VERY EASY TO MAKE.  Here is the recipe and this recipe can serve up to five crackers:

1 eggplant, halved

1 garlic

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon tahini

salt and pepper to taste

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1) Heat oven to 300F.  Score eggplant diagonally.  Season eggplant with one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil on each eggplant halves, then salt and pepper on both halves.

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2) Bake eggplant in oven for about 30 minutes or until skins appear burnt and the eggplant begins to collapse. Set aside and let eggplant cool.

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3) Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant and put flesh in a blender.  Put garlic, tahini, three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in blender and blend until smooth.  Add more oil, tahini, salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve when ready.

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There are many variation of baba ghanoush.  You may omit tahini if you are allergic to peanut (that’s fine because it still tastes good!).  Also, you may also add lemon, cumin or other spices as you wish.  So try this at home and see what you think!