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The Cheesecake Factory's SkinnyLicious Mexican Tortilla Salad

The Cheesecake Factory's SkinnyLicious Mexican Tortilla Salad


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Salads don't have to be boring! This loaded salad has all of the tasty trimmings you could desire without putting you...

Salads don't have to be boring! This loaded salad has all of the tasty trimmings you could desire without putting you over the day's calorie count. That, of course, just means more room for dessert!

Notes

This recipe is courtesy of The Cheesecake Factory.

Serves: 1 portion (The exact calorie count will vary depending upon the specific ingredients used.) We freshly prepare our dressings and sauces in each of our restaurants, but you can find good quality substitutions in most supermarkets and specialty stores. Excellent recipes can also be found in various cookbooks.

Ingredients

  • 1 fried corn tortilla (6 inches)
  • 1 chicken breast (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cilantro dressing
  • 1/2 Ounce tomatillo salsa verde
  • 1 Ounce black beans, cooked
  • 3 Ounces romaine lettuce, sliced, 1/4 inch
  • 2 Ounces green cabbage, sliced 1/8 inch
  • 1 Ounce red cabbage, sliced 1/8 inch
  • 1 Ounce baby lettuce mix
  • 2 Ounces fresh corn, grilled
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 Ounce green onions, chopped
  • 3 Ounces French mustard vinaigrette
  • 1 Tablespoon avocado cream sauce (optional)
  • 1 -1/2 teaspoons sour cream
  • 1/4 Ounce crispy tortilla strips

Servings1

Calories Per Serving837

Folate equivalent (total)337µg84%

Riboflavin (B2)0.3mg19.9%


Skinnylicious Menu at the Cheesecake Factory

Usually when I think of the Cheesecake Factory, I day dream about calorie laden appetizers like fried macaroni and cheese bites, creative burgers that equal a day’s worth of calories, humongous pasta portions, mountains of salad, and cheesy pizzas, followed by what else? Cheesecake, available in every flavor imaginable. But when I went last night I was in for a real surprise! Apparently in 2011 they rolled out a new Skinnylicious menu?

I guess I haven’t been there in a LONG time because they have offered it since August 2011. I was so excited that the menu is so long. There are around 50 items to choose from, from cocktails, to salads, appetizers, to lightened up burgers and flatbreads. The drinks are said to be 150 calories or less the small plates, apps, and flatbreads are under 490 calories and the main dishes and salads are under 590 calories.

On my visit, it was about 9 pm and we had just finished shopping at Macy’s home store. I already made use of the gift card I told you about from Admin Day and I got a new comforter and throw pillows! Yay! I just adore the colors and paisley pattern along with each and every pillow, which all add so much to it. You like?

The boyfriend ordered a gin martini on the rocks with olives (bold move) and I of course started off with a wine spritzer. We had seats at the bar and I actually watched the bartender pour it and unlike any other bar, she did the soda water and ice first, followed by a SPLASH of wine. Um, can I have more wine please? It was the first time I EVER have complained about a wine sprtizer, lol. The bf was not thrilled that I am high maintenance and said something, but hey! They jack up the prices on beverages at this place, so if I want a drink on a Friday night, that is wine with a splash of soda water instead of vice versa, darn it, I deserve it! Anyways the manager actually came by to apologize and they ended up offering me a not so healthy alternative. The white wine sangria! I gladly accepted it and sucked down. Oh well, I didn’t want to be that much of a pain and sangria did sound yummy!

We ordered an appetizer off the Skinnylicious menu, the Crispy Crab Bites for $6.95 and a few other things off the regular menu.

I had to get them after drooling over the recipe for crab cakes I posted on yesterdays Worthwhile reads from the web this week. They were bite-sized crab cakes served with mustard sauce that you could just dip and pop in your mouth. I thought it was a very tasty, flavorful, and well presented dish. I did not sample any of the other items but I definitely want to. Check out a few the highlights I chose from their menu to try next time I make a trip over there:

Small plates/apps:

BEETS WITH GOAT CHEESE Fresh Beets, Apples, Baby Arugula, Pecans and Vinaigrette

AHI CARPACCIO Thin Slices of Raw Ahi Tuna, Wasabi Pesto, Creamy Avocado and Togarashi Aioli

ASIAN CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAP TACOS Butter Lettuce Leaves Filled with Grilled Chicken, Carrots, Bean Sprouts Cucumber, Cilantro and Marinated Rice Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

SKINNYLICIOUS™ GRILLED ARTICHOKE Served with Lemon-Garlic Aioli

ROASTED PEAR AND BLUE CHEESE Pecans, Arugula and Caramelized Onion

SKINNYLICIOUS™ FACTORY CHOPPED SALAD A Delicious Blend of Chopped Romaine, Grilled Chicken, Tomato, Avocado, Corn, Bacon, Blue Cheese and Apple with Our SkinnyLicious™ Vinaigrette

MEXICAN TORTILLA SALAD Crispy Corn Tortilla Topped with Grilled Chicken Breast and Black Beans with Mixed Greens, Fresh Corn, Green Onion and Cilantro. All Tossed in Our SkinnyLicious™ Vinaigrette and Garnished with a little Avocado Cream Sauce, Salsa and Sour Cream

SKINNYLICIOUS™ HERB CRUSTED SALMON SALAD* Our Wonderful Fresh Herb Crusted Salmon Served Chilled on Top of Baby Lettuces, Tomato and Vegetables. Tossed in Our SkinnyLicious™ Vinaigrette

MARGHERITA Fresh Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella

WILD MUSHROOM Garlic, Shallots and Fresh Herbs

Sandwiches/Burgers:

SKINNYLICIOUS™ HAMBURGER Our Hamburger on a Toasted Bun with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Pickles and Mayonnaise. Served with a Green Salad

SKINNYLICIOUS™ CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICH Housemade with Roasted Almonds, Lettuce, Tomato and Mayonnaise. Served on Toasted Brioche Bread with a Green Salad

SKINNYLICIOUS™ TURKEY & AVOCADO SANDWICH Freshly Roasted Turkey Breast, Smoked Bacon, Avocado, Tomato and Mayonnaise on a Toasted Bun. Served with a Green Salad

SKINNYLICIOUS™ SOFT TACOS Three Soft Corn Tortillas Filled with Spicy Chicken or Shrimp, Avocado, Tomato, Onions, Cilantro and Crema. Served with Spanish Rice

SKINNYLICIOUS™ PASTA Gemelli Pasta with Sauteed Chicken, Fresh Tomato, Marinara Sauce and Fresh Basil

TUSCAN CHICKEN Grilled Chicken Breast with Tomatoes, Artichokes, Capers, Fresh Basil and Balsamic Vinaigrette. Served over Fresh Vegetables and Farro

ISLAND GRILLED CHICKEN Grilled Soy Glazed Chicken Breasts Topped with Macadamia Nuts. Served with Fresh Vegetables and a little White Rice

SKINNYLICIOUS™ HERB CRUSTED SALMON Served with Lemon Sauce and Assorted Fresh Vegetables

PETITE GRILLED TENDERLOIN OF BEEF Our Petite Filet Mignon Served with Fresh Vegetables


Small Plates, Apps & Flatbread

Mexican or Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos 1 order: 260 - 450 calories, 3 - 4g sat. fat, 616 - 1,068mg sodium, 14 - 46g carbs

Tacos wrapped with lettuce instead of tortillas? These couldn't be more HG if they tried! We're particularly nuts about the lower-calorie Mexican ones.

Beets with Goat Cheese 1 order: 360 calories, 4g sat. fat, 931mg sodium, 32g carbs

Feeling schmancy and a little adventurous? Here we have red and golden beets, topped with arugula, diced apple, pecans, and vinaigrette. Mmmm.

Edamame 1 order: 290 calories, 0g sat. fat, 1,250mg sodium, 27g carbs

If you feel the need for some pre-meal grazing, skip the bread and order some edamame for the table. Since you have to shell the beans, you won't wolf 'em down too quickly, which is always a bonus.

Fresh Basil, Tomato and Cheese Flatbread 1 order: 320 calories, 7g sat. fat, 746mg sodium, 32g carbs

Pizza cravings? Scratch that itch with this simple flatbread. Paired with a Tossed Green Salad (100 cals before dressing), we'd totally make a meal of this.

Ahi Carpaccio 1 order: 260 calories, 1g sat. fat, 1,410mg sodium, 13g carbs

This is our favorite! The tuna comes topped with aioli, plus a wasabi pesto on the side (which isn't even needed). If you wanna shave off some sodium, skip one of those sauces.

SHOCKER: Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes 1 order: 1,590 calories, 54g sat. fat, 1,152mg sodium, 112g carbs

Some of the appetizers are no-brainer calorie disasters. Fried Macaroni & Cheese? Obviously. Southern Fried Chicken Sliders? Doy. This corn-based app -- inspired by tamales, which are typically steamed or boiled -- sounds practically virtuous in comparison. But the cakes are fried and smothered with fatty toppings! Pass. P.S. The Fire-Roasted Fresh Artichoke is still as bad as ever -- click here for a DIY swap.


#2. Cheesecake Factory California Guacamole Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of grape tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of spring lettuce
  • 4 tablespoons of butterhead
  • 4 tablespoons of romaine lettuce
  • 4 tablespoons of tortilla chips
  • 1 ounce of black beans
  • 4 tablespoons of guacamole
  • 2 tablespoons of corn kernels
  • 1 avocado
  • Feta cheese, cilantro dressing, salt, black pepper, green onions, and radish

Directions:

1. Cut in half the tomatoes, remove the stem of spring lettuces and chop them in 1 and a half-inch.

2. Chop romaine lettuce into 1-inch pieces, cut the avocado and dice it in half an inch cube. With the tortilla chips, crushed tortilla chips into small crumbs.

3. Use a saucepan on medium-high heat and add black beans inside. Cook for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.

4. When you finish the preparation, place all of the lettuce, butterhead, tomatoes, tortilla chips, avocado, beans, and corn in a large bowl. Mix them with some salt and pepper.

5. Toss the cilantro dressing and guacamole in another bowl.

Serve the salad with the guacamole mix on top with some feta cheese, radishes, and green onions for garnishing.


The Good

There are a number of nutritionally solid options on the SkinnyLicious menu, from shareable plates to tacos to even a cocktail. Keep in mind that the bulk of these dishes come from the Appetizers & Small Plates menu, so the portions may be on the small side. If you’re ordering one of these for just yourself, we recommend supplementing it with a tossed green salad.

SkinnyLicious Mojito
Calories: 100, Fat: 0g, Sat Fat: 0g, Sodium: 30mg, Carbohydrates: 9g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 0g

If you’re looking for something boozy, try the SkinnyLicious Mojito, a refreshing rum-based drink made with fresh mint and lime juice. It’s lower in calories and sugar than any other cocktail on the menu, so you can safely sip away.

Tossed Green Salad (No Dressing)
Calories: 140, Fat: 6g, Sat Fat: 1.5g, Sodium: 150mg, Carbohydrates: 19g, Fiber: Sugars: 8g, Protein:5g

The majority of the salads on the SkinnyLicious menu are loaded with sodium, so finding a healthy option can be difficult. It’s not the most exciting thing, but your safest bet is the simple Tossed Green Salad. Order the dressing on the side and drizzle it over yourself. Opt for the Mustard Vinaigrette, which is lower in calories, fat, and sodium.

SkinnyLicious Chicken Soft Tacos
Calories: 520, Fat: 16g, Sat Fat: 3.5g, Sodium: 890mg, Carbohydrates: 65g, Fiber: 12g, Sugars: 13g, Protein: 32g

If you can believe it, the Chicken Soft Tacos have the least amount of sodium out of any option from the SkinnyLicious Specialties menu. (In fact, most items clock in over 1000mg!) Per order, you get three soft corn tortillas filled with chicken, avocado, tomato, onions, cilantro, and crema—plus a side of veggies. Major kudos to The Cheesecake Factory for choosing corn tortillas, which are lower in calories, fat, sodium, and carbs than their flour counterparts. The Shrimp Soft Tacos are also a smart pick, but they’re a touch higher in sodium.

Mexican Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos 
Calories: 220, Fat: 9g, Sat Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 690mg, Carbohydrates: 14g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 24g

The Mexican Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos, which are also gluten-free, are an excellent choice to share with the table, and they𠆝 also work as a lighter meal. You get three to an order, and each one comes stuffed with avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, roasted corn salsa, and crema.

Ahi Tartare
Calories: 240, Fat: 14g, Sat Fat: 2g, Sodium: 650mg, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 13g

The Ahi Tartare, composed of raw tuna, avocado and a soy-ginger sesame sauce, is a solid pick across the board. It probably isn’t filling enough for one person, but it would make a great shareable appetizer.


Weekly Weigh In

Weight Loss (Gain) Results-

Laura +1.0 lb (Goal 2 lbs/week)

My sisters are still MIA. They are both busy and not into dieting right now. I’m still trying and after losing 3.4 lbs the week after vacation I gained back a pound over this past week. I’m not surprised. 3.4 lbs in one week is too much for me. I have been good and I have only eaten out once this week. I went to Cheesecake Factory with a friend. They have this new menu called Skinnylicious! Check it out: Here

Scroll all the way down to the 2 last pages. I had the Skinnylicious Mexican Tortilla Salad. It is under 590 calories. Being a vegetarian, I had them take out the chicken. It was so delicious and filling. I didn’t even finish it. My friend got the Mexican Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos. They are under 490 calories and only $5.95. There is a lot of things on the new menu I am excited to try out.


Sheila's Chicken and Avocado Salad

So, you've had a couple of appetizers at The Cheesecake Factory, and you're full to the gills, but you don't want to be the only one at the table without an entree. You think: "I'll order something light." And, voila!, the server presents you with Sheila's Chicken and Avocado Salad. It's big, it's bountiful, it's beautiful . well, it's big. What you're about to dig your fork into has been deemed by The Daily Meal and Business Insider as one of the most unhealthy menu items at The Cheesecake Factory. But why? It has good-sized chunks of grilled chicken and avocado on a tower of mixed greens. Cashews and fried tortilla strips aren't the most diet-friendly items, but they can be picked out.

The real damage is probably from the salad dressing, a honey-peanut vinaigrette that contributes to the salad's 56 grams of sugar. The USDA recommends 12 teaspoons in total per day, so Sheila's salad is getting up there on the sugar count. Chefs are taught in culinary school that adding sugar can balance a salty dish that doesn't taste right. Sheila's Chicken and Avocado Salad has 2,130 mg of sodium, so the kitchen is doing a real balancing act. If those levels weren't insane enough, this salad has 129 grams of fat and a total of 1,840 calories. To put this into perspective, The Cheesecake Factory's Bacon-Bacon Cheeseburger has less fat and is 251 calories lighter.


How to make your favorite Cheesecake Factory recipes

Now you can eat enough for five from the comfort of your own home.

The Cheesecake Factory, a beloved American fast-casual restaurant chain and consistent finalist on the annual Xtreme Eating list, has recently made a number of recipes available on its website, for you to prepare in your own kitchen while at home during the quarantine.

The list of recipes -- which are vast, though still not comparable to the literal book of a menu you order from at an actual Cheesecake Factory -- includes popular appetizers, main courses and brunch items for you to recreate.

Among them is the fan-favorite warm crab & artichoke dip, the recipe is shared below, as well as the cinnamon roll pancakes (recipe here).

The cinnamon roll pancakes were among the featured recipes. (The Cheesecake Factory)

If you’re going for something a smidge lighter -- at least by The Cheesecake Factory's standards -- the restaurant also shared recipes for many of its filling salads, like the Chinese chicken salad (recipe here) and the Mexican tortilla salad from the chain’s “SkinnyLicious menu” (recipe here).

Somewhat shockingly, however, none of the recipes are for cheesecake. Looks like you’ll just have to order delivery or takeout from the chain if you want your dessert fix.

Warm Crab & Artichoke Dip

Warm crab and artichoke dip made the list. (The Cheesecake Factory)

Ingredients:

1 slice White Bread, minced

1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper

6 oz. Artichoke Hearts, drained, cut into 3/4” pieces

1/2 lb. Crabcake Mix (personal choice)

1/4 lb. Crab Meat (lump or backfin)

4 slices Sourdough Baguette, sliced 1/2” thick

6 oz. Crab and Artichoke Mix

2 tsps. Buttered Breadcrumbs, toasted (personal choice)

1. To make the mix, place the minced bread and cream cheese into a mixing bowl. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl and over the other ingredients. Mix the ingredients together evenly combined.

2. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and old bay seasoning into the mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients together until evenly combined.

3. Add the artichoke hearts, crabcake mix and crab meat into the bowl. Gently “fold” into the other ingredients being careful not to break up the large lump pieces of crab.

4. Transfer to a clean storage container.

5. Cover, date and store under refrigeration.

6. Brush each slice of bread evenly on both sides with olive oil. Place the bread onto a flat grill or into a pan set over medium heat and cook until the slices have become crispy and lightly golden.

7. Heat crab and artichoke dip in sauté pan set over medium heat, stirring frequently until it is warm throughout.

8. Place the crab and artichoke dip into the small serving bowl. Sprinkle the toasted buttered breadcrumbs evenly over the crab & artichoke dip.

9. Slice each piece of grilled bread in half at a slight angle.

10. Place the bowl of crab dip and the grilled bread slices onto a serving platter


15 of the healthiest menu items you can get at Cheesecake Factory

Eating healthy when you’re out at a restaurant can be tricky — and at the Cheesecake Factory, it may seem impossible. You flip through page after page of the menu, gawking at the impossibly high calorie counts listed next to each item.

You might be tempted to throw in the towel and just order something truly indulgent. Shrimp scampi, maybe, or a loaded bacon cheeseburger. Occasionally, it’s probably a good idea to order those “unhealthy” items that sound good to you.

If you always deprive yourself of ordering certain foods, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. The actual healthiest choice is the choice you want — when you allow yourself the food you crave all of the time, you’re actually more likely to make balanced choices in the long run. You’re wired to want what you can’t have. Only when you can have it all do you really get to tune in to what your body craves.

If you have legitimate health concerns or dietary restrictions prescribed by a doctor, it is, of course, important to pay attention to related aspects of your diet. Sodium, for instance, and making sure you get enough protein are both worthwhile concerns. Sugar is another relevant concern for diabetics, specifically. But if you’re just trying to lose weight, looking at calories on menus might not help you in the long run.

Unfortunately, the only information the Cheesecake Factory makes publically available is their calorie counts. In fact, they print them directly on the menu for you to browse as you choose. They also separate the lower-calorie options to a separate menu: the “Skinnylicious” menu. Many of these menu items made it onto this list however, the items that were so low-calorie and lacking in sustenance that they would not satiate you for a meal were omitted. Ordering something without enough protein, carbohydrates, and fats to subsist a meal isn’t actually healthy at all! With all these things considered, here are the 15 healthiest menu items at the Cheesecake Factory — though we encourage you to order whatever you truly crave.


9 Shocking Salads Over 1,000 Calories (and Healthier Swaps!)

Ordering a salad always feels so virtuous, right? After all, when faced with a menu full of rich, fattening pastas, burgers and entrées — you chose the healthy option. What could possible go wrong? Well, apparently, a lot. Just because there are veggies on your plate, doesn’t mean that the cheese, fried chicken or creamy dressing accompanying your carrots got any better for you.

So if your lettuce is served up with a hefty dose of not-so-healthy add-ons (we’re looking at you, tortilla chip toppings), you might be in trouble. We found nine salads on the menus of your favorite chain restaurants that all contain more than 1,000 calories. Yes, you read that right. Even scarier, some of these options look pretty healthy at first glance.

Get a load of these calorie catastrophes — and the healthier homemade options we found to replace them.

9 Shocking Salads (and Healthy Salad Recipes to Use Instead)

Nutrition Facts: One salad contains 1,430 calories, 96 g fat (28 g saturated fat), 17 g sugar and 64 g protein.

We hate to say it, but if your salad comes topped with a quesadilla, you might as well not be ordering a salad at all. Sure, the chicken is grilled, but the three-cheese quesadilla, crispy tortilla strips and creamy ancho chile ranch sauce aren’t doing you any favors. You might as well be eating eight orders of small French Fries from McDonald’s — because that’s how many grams of fat you’ll be consuming.

Make It Healthier: Blue Apron’s Two-Cheese Chicken Quesadillas with Chive-Sour Cream and Spinach Apple Salad don’t exactly qualify as diet food. But with half the calories of the Chili’s option, this dish is still a healthier bet. You’ll get your fix of cheesy goodness, but the simple salad will spare you from a multitude of foods sins.

Nutrition Facts: One salad contains 1,130 calories, 89 g fat, 27 g saturated fat, 5 g sugar and 70 g protein.

Beware the Cobb salad. Stuffed with bacon, blue cheese and slathered in ranch dressing, this dish can be calorically dangerous. Even made with grilled chicken, this salad is still a big no-no. So don’t think you can nab a get-out-of-jail free card just for foregoing the fried version of this IHOP dish.

Make It Healthier: Turkey bacon and low-calorie blue cheese or ranch dressing helps make this Skinny Cobb Salad less calorically horrifying. You’ll get your fix of veggies from the cucumber and tomato, plus a dose of healthy fats from the ripe avocado you’ll add into the mix.

Nutrition Facts: One salad contains 1,020 calories, 69 g fat (16 g saturated fat), 22 g sugar and 39 g protein.

If you hoped ordering a salad would allow you to enjoy Friendly’s signature ice cream dishes with less guilt, this is going to disappoint you. The restaurant’s “country-breaded” chicken is combined with two types of cheese and tortilla trips. But here’s where things really get crazy: Without the dressing, this salad is a more respectable 650 calories. Drizzling on the honey-mustard mix adds a whopping 370 calories.

Make It Healthier: The oven-fried chicken in this Coconut Chicken Salad with Warm Honey Mustard Vinaigrette gets its crunchy coating from a mouthwatering combo of breadcrumbs, cornflakes and coconut. Simple salad ingredients like shredded carrots, tomato and cucumber help you avoid extra calories. And the honey mustard vinaigrette is a straightforward mix of oil, honey, vinegar and mustard.

Nutrition Facts: One salad contains 1,290 calories, 81 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 64 g sugar and 56 g protein.

Holy sugar rush. This entrée seems simple enough: Fried chicken, toasted almonds, crispy noodles and “Oriental” vinaigrette. But somewhere along the way, this dish picked up a whopping 64 grams of sugar. That’s about as much as if you were to chow down on 2.5 full size Hershey’s bars in one sitting.

Make It Healthier: Enjoy this super low-cal Asian Cabbage Mango Slaw as a side dish to your next meal (or add some chicken to make it an entree). The combo of shredded cabbage, carrots, mango and scallions, with a light sauce, makes this dish a flavor win — in addition to being gluten-free, low-carb, dairy-free, vegan and egg-free.

Nutrition Facts: One salad contains 1,220 calories, 88 g fat, 17 g saturated fat, 51 g sugar and 42 g protein.

The health benefits of ordering this salad with sautéed salmon might go out the window, thanks to the other ingredients on your plate. Caramelized peaches and cranberries up the sugar content, while a hefty dose of Gorgonzola cheese is responsible for loading each bite with extra calories and fat.

Make It Healthier: By switching to reduced-fat feta cheese, and stripping the sugar-sweetened fruit from this Pan Seared Salmon Citrus Salad, you’ll bid adieu to many of the calorie bombs above. Craving something crunchy? Add a crumble of PopChips on top to make each forkful more satisfying.

Nutrition Facts: One salad contains 1,120 calories, 66 g fat (18.5 g saturated fat), 10 g sugar and 49 g protein.

The crunchy flour tortilla bowl is to your salad what a bread bowl is to soup —an unnecessary blast of calories in an otherwise okay dish. Plus, classic taco toppings like sour cream, guacamole and shredded cheese simply contain way too many calories when combined.

Make It Healthier: Ditch the bowl made of chips, and your taco salad just got a whole lot healthier. Lean ground beef and low-fat Mexican blend cheese help slash the fat in this Quick and Easy Taco Salad Recipe. And you can still crumble a cup of tortilla chips on top, as long as they’re baked!

Nutrition Facts: One salad contains 1,030 calories. Fat, saturated fat, sugar and protein counts not available.

Don’t be fooled by the grilled chicken, and minimalist ingredients in this Caesar salad. A combo of cheese, croutons and creamy, rich dressing — with zero veggies aside from lettuce — make this a nutritional miss.

Make It Healthier: Get a blast of nutrients by swapping out romaine or iceberg for vitamin-packed kale in our Kale Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe. By replacing croutons with roasted chickpeas, you’ll the crunch you desire without all the carbs. Add a Greek yogurt based dressing, and you’re home free.

Nutrition Facts: One salad contains 1,117 calories, 68 g fat, 60 g protein. Grams of sugar and saturated fat not available.

Chicken tenders, cheddar cheese, bacon, croutons and nuts create the perfect caloric storm in this southern-fried creation. While this salad does feature an array of veggies, including peas, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots, it’s not enough to make up for the aforementioned issues.

Make It Healthier: Pick your poison when it comes to adding fatty things to your salad — and if bacon’s your go-to, this healthier version will get you your fix. Turkey bacon, combined with broccoli, onion, cranberries and jicama, makes Broccoli and Bacon Salad a savory, yet still low-guilt, choice.

Nutrition Facts: One salad contains 1,620 calories and 108 g. Saturated fat, sugar and protein counts not available.

Fried tortillas and toppings of avocado cream, salsa and sour cream make this pick a no-go (the supersized servings don’t help, either). Heck, you could eat two slices of the Cheesecake Factory’s Low Carb Cheesecake for about the same amount of calories. In a pinch, order the chain’s Skinnylicious Mexican Tortilla salad, for only 550 calories — or whip up your own version, below.

Make It Healthier: Get the same south-of-the-border taste by prepping this Corn, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad Recipe. The quinoa serves up some extra protein, and a can of black beans makes this dish one that will keep you full ‘til your next meal. You could even add an avocado on top, if you are craving a hit of something creamy.