McDonald’s Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken

While running a bunch of errands I was away from the house initially a lot longer than I anticipated. When my stomach started grumbling I realized it was well past lunch-time and I needed to eat something before a case of hangry set in. So pulling into McDonald’s parking lot, I parked my car and pulled up my Weight Watchers app on my phone. To avoid just ordering whatever sounded tasty on the menu I looked thru the menu on my phone for something that was point comfortable and ultimately decided on the McDonald’s Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken.
The salad itself is served as McDonald’s salads typically are – mixed greens and shaved carrots. It’s presented alongside fire-roasted corn, black beans, roasted tomatoes and poblano peppers, cheddar and jack cheese, chile-lime tortilla chips, and grilled chicken all alongside a fresh lime wedge. The salad is a pretty decent size, is pretty to look at due to the vibrant colors and is mighty tasty and filling. The salad has a little bit of spice to it, but there’s nothing overwhelming or uncomfortable about it.
The salad typically is served with Newman’s Own Southwest Dressing but I find that to be a little spicier than I prefer my dressing to be … so I opted to go with the Newman’s Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette. Drizzling about ¼ of the package over my salad, I found it to be more than enough.
The salad with grilled chicken is 290 calories or 7 points plus values. With my choice of dressing my whole meal was 8 points plus values. Quite worth it for lunch out on the go!

McDonald’s Holiday Pie

McDonald’s makes one of the best apple pies which has been a staple on their menu for as long as I can remember.  A number of years ago McDonald’s started offering limited edition pies depending on the season. I know that they had offered a S’Mores pie (which is gross), a pumpkin pie (which is fabulous), and Strawberry & Cream pie (which is alright, but nothing to write home about). But I had never known that they had offered a McDonald’s Holiday Pie up until a few weeks ago.
On the way home from running a few errands, I swung through McDonald’s and decided to pick up a holiday pie to give it a try. Incase you’re not familiar; the holiday pie is a vanilla custard pie which is held inside a flaky, crusty and then topped with a bit of sugar and rainbow sprinkles.  The pies are served warm as is the case in all McDonald’s dessert pies. It’s a holiday party in a little handheld pie … and upon the first bite it brings that party to your mouth.
It reminded me of a Boston Cream donut without the chocolate atop of it. If you go into it with an open mind, not expecting to taste an apple pie, it’s truly delicious.  Secondly, if you enjoy custard in any way, I think you’d find this to be a slam dunk.  My mother tried it and since she truly only likes the apple pie and typically is a fan of flan or coconut custard pie, she wasn’t a fan. But regardless … this was a slam dunk for me.
A pie is 270 calories or 7 points plus values.
What is your favorite pie at McDonald’s?

McDonald’s Southwest Grilled Chicken Premium McWrap

I was awarded a Klout perk to try the new McDonald’s Southwest Grilled Chicken Premium McWrap. I was interested in trying it because I’ve tried the Sweet Chili Grilled Chicken McWrap and found I quite enjoyed that one. I figured with “southwest” in the title, it was going to be spicy.
The McWraps come in both grilled and crispy (fried). I always opt for the grilled version because I just find that to be more satisfying. The grilled sandwich itself is described as “Grilled chicken breast with cilantro lime glaze, crunchy tortilla strips, fresh spring greens, sliced tomato, shredded cheddar jack cheese, and a spicy, creamy habanero ranch sauce — wrapped up in a soft, warm flour tortilla.” Upon ordering my McWrap I opted to order it without cheese and tortilla strips because it was just a personal preference.
Bringing my sandwich home I unwrapped it and was anticipating it to be a little spicy … after all McDonald’s slogan on their nutrition page for the sandwich says “add a little spice to your day.” Now, I’m not a wimp when it comes to spice – I can pretty much handle my own.  I took one bite and it was okay, but rather plain because the sauce wasn’t on that part. I took another bite and whoooooo-weeee! It was spicy. I took another bite and my mouth was on fire.  After taking a fourth bite my nose was running, my mouth was in a blaze (I felt like I could breathe fire), and I was just overall uncomfortable. McDonald’s calls this sandwich spicy? This sandwich takes that statement to a WHOLEnew level. In fact this should come with a warning because this is not for the faint of heart … nor is it for those who, like me, enjoy a pretty moderate level of spice in their food.  It was too spicy to be enjoyable, let alone palatable.
One day while out with my mother she mentioned something about the new McWrap.  She’s not a spice lover, so I told her to not even bother. I actually told her, I feel this sandwich could be fed to people on Fear Factor – except those folks would have to eat 5+ of these before their head blew off their shoulders from all the internal “steam”.
The grilled southwest McWrap as is without any substitutions is 520 calories or 14 points plus values.
The grilled southwest McWrap as I ordered it without cheese and tortilla strips is 430 calories or 11 points plus values.
If you wanted to order it without cheese but with the tortilla strips it would be 470 calories or 12 points plus values.
I can’t say I’d ever order this again … in fact, I’ll stay as far away from it as I can.
Have you given the new Southwest McWrap a shot? If so, how’d it fare on your taste buds?

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Banana Pepper Ring Pizza

There are times when you want pizza … but you don’t want the “typical” toppings that come on pizza. In that case, you order a Banana Pepper Ring Pizza!
We have a local pizzeria in town which is essentially Little Caesar’s prime competition. The pies are slightly smaller but they’re made the same, etc.  The one unique thing about this pizza shop is that they offer a variety of toppings and one of my all time favorite pizzas has banana pepper rings on it.  Banana pepper rings are a mildly hot pepper, which can come off as tangy versus hot. They take a plain cheese pizza and truly transform it into a delicious and different treat.
Typically with pizzas that I don’t normally have I will put a slice on my scale, get the ounces or grams and find a similar pie on e-tools. And with these, it’s comparable to Little Caesar’s so it was 7 point s plus for a slice.
What is your favorite pizza topping?

McDonald’s Deluxe Quarter Pounder

I was sent a $5 McDonald’s Gift Card from Klout to use to purchase any of my favorites from McDonald’s.  One night, my boyfriend and I decided to head to McDonald’s and I originally went in wanting the grilled chicken ranch McWrap but upon arriving I was told that they didn’t have any grilled chicken.  Weird, right?  So, instead of driving well across town to the other McDonald’s, I decided to just order the Deluxe Quarter Pounder without the normally added cheese and mayonnaise. The Deluxe Quarter Pounder is a newer addition to the McDonald’s menu.
Low and behold when I got home, I realized my sandwich was without lettuce, and mustard but it did have a helping of bacon (which I kindly removed and discarded).  Since I can’t eat burgers plain, I added a little ketchup and mustard onto my sandwich and ate it as such.
I have to say it’s not the greatest thing on the planet, but its okay for a burger you’d order from McDonald’s. I wouldn’t run out and order another one, but if in the future I was in the mood for a McDonald’s burger and I wanted to make a meal out of it, I’d probably order another … of course without cheese and mayonnaise but I’d ask for an extra helping of veggies.
It is hefty on the points plus scale.  The sandwich, sold as is (with cheese and mayonnaise added) is 540 calories which calculates out to 14 points plus values.  The sandwich as I ordered it (without cheese and mayonnaise) was 440 calories and 11 points plus values.
Granted, as I admitted high particularly when you can have a bigger (and essentially better) burger at home – but if out on the go and McDonald’s is the chosen fast food joint and you want to be one in the crowd, it’s an option. Just as anything in the world is.
Have you tried any of the new McDonald’s Quarter Pounders?

Eating out @ Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A is hands down my favorite fast food restaurant.  I enjoy Wendy’s, but Chick-Fil-A is where it’s at. Sadly, there isn’t a Chick-Fil-A 5 minutes from my house … so needless to say I don’t get Chick-Fil-A very often because I need to travel to enjoy it.  But when I am in an area where there’s a Chick-Fil-A it usually becomes s lunch or dinner option.
I find Chick-Fil-A offers pretty healthy food options.  Their fried chicken options aren’t terribly high in points when in comparison to chicken sandwiches at other fast food restaurants (i.e. Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Burger King).  If I am in the mood for a sandwich the Chargilled Chicken Sandwich is my staple – which is what I ordered.  I opted to go with a meal so I ordered a diet coke and instead of going with the waffle fries (that I love) I decided to get a fruit cup.  The fruit cup has chopped up apples, strawberries, grapes and mandarin oranges in it.  You can also opt for a side salad (I suggest the fat free honey mustard dressing) but I really wanted a fruit cup, so a fruit cup is what I got!
This meal is completely filling and satisfying for me. The sandwich comes without any “dressing” on it, so I typically opt to put a little honey mustard BBQ sauce or ketchup onto it – just my personal preference with sandwiches, but it’s delicious with or without any dressing on it.
The greatest part is the sandwich itself is only 7 points plus values.
What is your favorite fast food item to order when out?

Eating Out – Subway Edition

When my boyfriend and I went away we made a stop at the mall. It was late in the afternoon and we did not have lunch yet.  Walking by the little fast food Asian food spots my nose was following the trail to the chicken teriyaki.  I knew deep down inside I wouldn’t truly enjoy it, but it smelled good and I was starving.  Asking my boyfriend what he wanted to eat he mentioned Subway (which I was silently grateful for) so off to Subway we went.
I’ve learned from many years of doing Weight Watchers, stick with wheat bread (not honey wheat, sadly).  It’s the lowest point bread, plus Subway calculates all of their nutrition information with that choice meat on that bread (cheese and condiments, not included).  I typically stick with the turkey breast – which is what I ordered in this case.  A foot long turkey, on wheat, toasted loaded up with fresh vegetables, banana peppers, black pepper, oregano and a little bit of spicy brown mustard.  I ended up eating half in the mall food court and wrapped the other half up to eat later in the afternoon.  Half of the sandwich is 7 points, the whole thing being 14 points plus.
Undoubtedly delicious and incredibly filling.
What is your favorite thing to order at Subway?

McDonald’s Sweet Chili Grilled Chicken Premium McWrap

I received a Klout perk to try out the new Premium McWrap’s which are available at McDonald’s.  Before being invited into the perk I had heard about the McWrap’s because they had pretty decent Weight Watchers Points Plus values associated with them (the grilled variety at least).  Granted, when making things at home you can make them for less (points) but I admit when going out to eat sometimes finding point friendly foods can be a pain in the keester.
Prior to the McWrap’s I used to order the grilled chicken sandwich, without mayo.  It’s nice to know there is now a new option, which is a lot tastier in my opinion that I can now choose from.
According to McDonald’s the Sweet Chili Chicken wrap is: The unique mix of juicy, grilled chicken breast filet, crisp cucumber slices, spring greens, shredded lettuce, all drizzled with sweet chili and creamy garlic sauce, wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
The fact that there are actual VEGETABLES in a McDonald’s food item purely excites me!  Between the vegetables, the grilled chicken and the delicious blend of sauce (Sweet chili with a creamy garlic sauce – which reminds me of ranch) is just a straight up homerun.  The sandwich was delicious (granted it took me 2 trips to actually GET the correct sandwich – originally they assumed my grilled request meant crispy).  The grilled variety, as is, without substitutions is 9 points plus and PURE deliciousness.  It’s actually quite massive and VERY filling for something you’d get at McDonald’s.
There are 2 other varieties available – both of which come in grilled or crispy (fried) varieties.  The other two flavor choices are a Premium McWrap Chicken & Bacon and a Premium McWrap Chicken & Ranch.  I have not tried either of these varieties but I typically wouldn’t order either of those anyway because I’m more of a sweet chili fan on chicken sandwiches.
Nonetheless – great new addition, McDonald’s!  And bravo for it being relatively health conscious!
Have you tried any of the new McDonald’s Premium McWraps?  If so, which one is your favorite?

His & Her’s – Popeye’s for Dinner

A Popeye’s opened in the area so my boyfriend and I decided to grab dinner from there last week.
I had Popeye’s when I went to Florida about 5 years ago and thought at the time it was alright – rather salty, but then again I am very sensitive to salt (because I don’t use a whole lot of it – if any).  Before I even mentioned going there I checked out their website and saw they had a new Louisiana Leaux line which offers a healthier, baked variety of chicken so I decided I’d try that out.
For myself – I ordered the Naked Tenders Combo.  The meal came with 3 naked tenders, a side of green beans, a French baguette roll and a drink.  I will say the green beans were the most REPULSIVE thing.  They smelled horrible; I took one teeny little bite and threw them right into the garbage.  I’m not sure if that’s how they always are, or if it was a really bad batch, but yeck!  The naked tenders were pretty decent – Cajun seasoned and the roll was good – so I made a little sandwich out of it.  Weight Watchers PointsPlus wise the chicken (according to the WW stats) was 3 Points Plus. The green beans would have been 1 but I threw them out and the baguette I guestimated to be 5 Points Plus.
My boyfriend ordered the5-piece Mild Chicken Tenders combo meal which came with a side of his choice , a biscuit and a fountain drink.  He ordered the coleslaw (which I have to say was pretty decent, worth the points WW wise if you’re a coleslaw fan).  He said the chicken was alright but he’d probably rather nuggets for less batter.
Overall the food was decent.  I would go back if I was in the mood for a low-point protein based meal … but I wouldn’t run right back.  When I do I’ll probably try the Naked Po Boy (9 PPV’s) and see what that’s cracked up to be!
Have you ever eaten at Popeye’s? If so, what’s your favorite thing to order?