Friday, May 23, 2014

Build-A-Pasta Workshop: Fazoli's Edition

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I hope that you readers are enjoying the beginning to your Memorial Day Weekend and I hope that it will be filled with family and honoring those who have served!

Today I will be talking about Fazoli's Restaurant and how to choose the healthiest pasta options there. I'm pretty sure Fazoli's is just a Michigander/ Midwest thing-- but this advice will go for all pasta in general (specific nutrition information may vary).

I am going to talk about the build-your-own pasta option because once the basics are understood it is easier to build off of that and learn what other dishes the restaurant offers are healthiest.

First off, we will start with the base of the dish---pasta!
Pasta is a great carb--especially if it is whole grain.

*all 10oz.
Calories
Fat
Carbs
Protein
Fiber
Spaghetti, Fettuccine or Penne
510
7
91
16
4
Ravioli
625
25
66
34
3.5
Whole Wheat Penne
510
7
89
18
11
** Ravioli is usually served in 5.6 oz servings

These are the choices that you are given for pastas. I added a new category that I usually don't to this table which is fiber. Fiber is a nutrient that helps your body process food better (metabolize) and is very important in keeping your body running efficiently! I wanted to emphasize this because if you look at the fiber values it shows how much more fiber is in a serving for whole wheat penne than regular penne. We've all seen those Fiber One commercials where the guy is joking that he would rather eat a paper bag for fiber than foods with fiber because sometimes they just don't taste the best. Well, if you don't want to eat the chocolate bars (or a paper bag) you can definitely go for some whole wheat pasta! This is no joke people, whole wheat pasta is seriously so much better for you than white pasta. 



Next up is the sauces,

*9 oz. servings
Calories
Fat
Carbs
Protein
Marinara
111
0
22
3
Meat Sauce
210
9
21
12
Alfredo
355
25.5
20
8
Creamy Basil
410
32
20
8

Choosing the sauce is what ties together your entire dish. Personally, I like to stick to a tomato based sauce because it is lower in fat and calories. 

Last but not least are the toppings and meats,


*ounces vary
Calories
Fat
Carbs
Protein
Roasted Chicken
110
2.5
1
19
Broccoli
60
4.5
3
2
Asiago Mushrooms
120
11
3
4
Italian Meatballs
250
18
6
13
Italian Sausage
200
16
3
10

The portions of the meats vary because they all have different serving sizes. All of nutrients listed for the toppings are for their standard serving sizes.

What shocked me the most here was the amount of fat in the mushrooms and broccoli. Obviously, they are putting something in these vegetables than just the vegetable and that is not always okay. However, if you want the veggies I would still get them because they are still a good source of fiber and vitamins. 

As far as the meat goes, the best option is the roasted chicken because it is lower in calories and extremely lower in fat. It is also the highest in protein. 

So here are a few extra tips/ main points that I picked up through looking at this:
  • Always go with whole wheat pasta when possible.
  • Tomato based sauces are lower in calories and fat and higher in vitamins and antioxidant values.
  • Pick a protein that suits you best. If you like chicken in your pasta than definitely go for the chicken. The sausages and meatballs will be higher in fat, but they are rich in iron-- just limit how much of these you have. 
  • The best option for having red meat (meatballs/sausages)  in your pasta is to go with the meat sauce because it still gives you 12g of protein and it is lower in fat and calories than if you chose marinara with meatballs or italian sausage. 
  • If you want to have veggies on your pasta than go for it-- just remember that they are a little higher in fat than you may think. A side salad is also a good option if you are looking for some greens in your meal. 
Thanks for Reading!

Feel free to comment on what you would like to see next or just tell me what you think so far. :) 


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