Breaking bread with family and friends is really important to me. You know from reading my previous posts that getting time around the table enjoying a good, home-cooked meal is a priority. But, hey, I love going out to eat, too.
There’s been a lot of travel in our family since March, which means the fridge is more of a barren cavern than stocked with it’s usual bounty of healthy fare. So, by default and out of admitted laziness, we’ve been enjoying more meals "out," than are typical for us.
So, how are we avoiding the major ouch in our pocketbook and around our waistlines? Well, we’re splitting entrees.
Inspired by my mother-in-law and her beau, who always practice this money-and-calorie-saving dining-out style, we’ve been challenging ourselves to find something on the menu that we can agree on and share. This can be something of an adventure and exercise in marital compromise, but we’ve been making it happen.
We’ve even tired splitting our cocktails, which for a lightweight like me is perfect.
The reality is that restaurant food portions are often scaled for two or more. So, after getting over the initial feeling of being deprived of our very own, full plate of restaurant yumminess, we are realizing that splitting a meal leaves our appetites perfectly satisfied and never overstuffed. Which is really the healthiest way to consume food! Don’t chow until you are stuffed, but only until you are almost full.
That way there is room for digestion! For those watching what they eat, sharing an entrée is a great way to keep tabs on portion size and overall calorie intake.
More than that, it puts a smile of accomplishment on our faces when the bill arrives.
Sharing a meal saves a ton of money – even at fancy, upscale establishments that charge a fee to share an entree. Often, at steak houses, they will charge a small "split plate" fee, but serve an entire plate of sides to both diners. For us – that’s perfect! I can have a few bites of the prime cut and all the fixins! (If a bone-in rib eye is center stage, my husband always gives me the bone when I’m feeling particularly carnivorous. Eh, hem.)
Fear you’ll still be hungry? Then, split an entrée salad loaded with veggies or a side or two of vegetables, as well. That ensures you’re getting tons of fiber, vitamins and minerals to accompany your main dish and the check will probably still be slimmer than normal!
So, do as my ever-svelte mother-in-law does and next time you go out to eat declare, "Let’s split it!"
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