It seems like so many occasions in my life are surrounded by food. When I host people at my house, there is always an abundance of goodies, whether it’s a holiday meal or just a quick play date. Even when I hang with my friends out somewhere, there’s generally a meal involved, and that is a lot of calories. Houlihan’s has just introduced their new lighter fare menu filled with delicious options, all under 590 calories. Now that? I can handle!
I love that there are Houlihan’s pretty much anywhere I want to go. While I love eating at local restaurants, knowing that there is a familiar favorite with an awesome menu nearby – wherever I happen to be – is a comfort. So when my friend suggested we get together to catch up, you know what I suggested.
Not only are the main dishes part of the lighter fare menu, but there are all sorts of other indulgences available, too. Yes, that includes the alcohol from an X-Rated Moscato Martini to the Coco Basil Infusion, both clocking in at 140 calories to the Skinny Raspberry Mojito from their regular menu (120 calories) and Skinny Margarita (150 calories). They haven’t forgotten the sweeter side either, as they have two featured desserts that can fit into a diet, especially if you share them (because my mom always told me that calories don’t count if you share). I adore key lime anything, and the key lime mousse is just 420 calories, while the chocolate mousse is 410 calories. Yum!
When I first looked at the menu, I had a hard time deciding what to order. Granted, this isn’t an unusual issue. Typically, it’s because everything looks sort of the same and nothing stands out. At Houlihan’s, the menu is the opposite. Even with a smaller set of choices than the usual huge and yummy menu, the lighter fare has me doing eenie meeenie minie moe to decide what to order because they all sound amazing. Do I go with the lemon and herb grilled chicken? Or maybe the miso grilled salmon? Or the rice noodle salad with ginger-soy USDA prime top sirloin?
Even the sides play into my decision. When was the last time you saw organic veggies on a menu? The chicken comes with Tuscan white beans, organic kale-spinach-chard blend, roasted artichokes, tomatoes, and an herbed broth. The grilled miso salmon offers a stir-fried quinoa and ended up being my choice by a nose, although I almost ordered the noodle salad. Instead, I talked my friend into ordering it so I could cheat and share from her plate.
And oh when they arrived was I in heaven. They are plated so beautifully, and the lower calories aren’t made by skimping on the portions. I actually took home some of my chicken, although I will admit that was partly so I could justify ordering that key lime mousse! They tasted as amazing as they sounded, and I may have unconsciously sighed with happiness as I took my first bite.
My friend loved her meal, as well, and my taste made me almost wish that I’d ordered the So Cal Fish Tacos (not on the lighter fare menu) instead of the salmon. I loved that they came with a side of chips and salsa. Then I realized there was a perfect solution. I just have to come back to Houlihan’s again. Right now, these items are on the menu for a limited time, so I will need to scoot there quickly!
You have a chance to enjoy this menu, too. I have a $50 gift card to Houlihan’s to give away to one lucky reader. Simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below to enter, and good luck!