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Applebee's

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    Score: 4.75. Votes: 12

    As the seasons change so does the menu, at this popular 1064-unit casual restaurant chain. You'll find this item in the "Low-Fat and Fabulous" column during the summer months where it's been a favorite since 1997. As with any salad, the waistline violator is the traditionally fat-filled dressing that's drizzled in gobs over the top of very healthy greens. A tablespoon of dressing is usually around 10-12 grams of fat each. So if we can just figure out a cool way to make the dressing fat-free, we're well on our way to making huge salad—four of them to be exact—with only 12 grams of fat on the entire plate. Most of those grams come from the chicken breast, while the crunchy chow mein noodles pick up the rest. Just be sure to plan ahead when you make this one. The chicken should marinate for a few hours if you want it to taste like the original. Get ready for some big, meal-size salads.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size–1 salad
    Total Servings–4
    Calories per serving–575
    Fat per serving–12g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.93. Votes: 14

    Menu Description: "Our non-fat Honey Mustard dressing and non-fat Cheddar/Mozzarella blend give this Blackened Chicken Salad the same great taste as our original with less than 5 grams of fat."

    Applebee's original Blackened Chicken Salad quickly became a favorite, encouraging this popular full-service chain to create a low-fat version of the delish dish. Since most of the fat in the original comes from the tasty honey mustard dressing, this version creates a dressing that tastes just as good, yet has not a single gram of fat. Combine that with fresh lettuce, shredded carrot, a little egg white, non-fat shredded cheese, and a delicious Cajun spice blend which generously coats grilled chicken, and you have a majorly munchable salad which is incredibly easy on the waistline. Who says you need gobs of fat to create a tasty meal?

    Nutrition facts
    Serving size–1 salad
    Total serving–2
    Calories per serving–420
    Fat per serving–5 g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.58. Votes: 104

    Menu Description: "Crisp Oriental greens topped with chunks of crunchy Chicken Fingers, toasted almonds and crispy rice noodles tossed in a light Oriental vinaigrette."

    Applebee's 60-item menu is revised twice a year. That means about 40 percent of the entire menu changes on a regular basis. The other 60 percent are items that are found on menus in all of the Applebee's restaurants, and seldom ever change. One item that has been on the menu for some time now is this Oriental Chicken salad, which is considered one of the restaurants signature items. The recipe makes one dinner-size salad and can be easily doubled or quadrupled for additional servings. This recipe comes from the third book, Top Secret Restaurant Recipes, but the dressing has been improved to more closely match the current dressing served at the restaurant.

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    Score: 4.90. Votes: 10

    It may not be listed on the menu, but this is Applebee's most ladled soup each and every day. Just be sure you have some oven-safe soup bowls on hand before you jump into this clone, since you're going to pop the dish under the broiler to brown and melt the cheese on top. Under the gooey melted provolone of the original version you get from Applebee's is a unique round crouton that's made from bread that looks like a hamburger bun. So that's what we'll use for our clone. The round shape of the bread is perfect for topping this Applebee's French onion soup recipe.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 4

    Menu Description: "Grilled chipotle chicken breast with guacamole and sour cream on a bed of greens tossed with two cheeses, pico de gallo, tortilla strips and our Mexi-ranch dressing."

    Create a robust chipotle marinade that fills your chicken fillets with flavor. As you wait for the chicken to marinate you have plenty of time to throw together clones of the Mexi-ranch dressing and fresh pico de gallo. Now most of the work is done, and you're standing in front of the gate to salad heaven. When you're ready to enter, simply grill the chicken, assemble your salads and open wide.

    You should know that if you don't have buttermilk for the dressing, and don't want to buy a whole carton to use just a single tablespoon, simply substitute regular milk. You'll find ground chipotle pepper where all the spices are stocked in the market: I use McCormick. If you can't track down ground chipotle, use ground cayenne pepper. Just be sure to measure roughly half the amount, since cayenne packs more heat than chipotle.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 4

    Here's a great twist on the traditional margarita. Sour apple schnapps and apple juice join forces with tequila and sweet-and-sour mix in a martini glass that's rimmed with cinnamon sugar. Hey, it's like drinking apple pie! This recipe makes one drink, but it's easy to double up. That's a good thing, since it seems like one is never enough.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.83. Votes: 6

    Menu Description: "Dare to indulge with a white chocolate and walnut blondie under a scoop of ice cream and chopped walnuts. Served warm and topped at your table with a rich, sizzling maple butter sauce."

    For Applebee's regulars, this dessert is a hands-down favorite. In a hot skillet comes a delicious slice of white chocolate and walnut cake—it's similar to a brownie in texture topped with a scoop of ice cream and warm maple butter sauce bubbling as it hits the pan. Commence with the salivating. To recreate this pile of pleasure at home you start by making the cake from scratch. For the white chocolate, get a couple of 4-ounce bars or one 8-ounce bar and chop it into chunks. White chocolate chunks work best in this recipe, but you can certainly use white chocolate chips in a pinch. While the blondie cake is baking, whip up the sauce—it will be fluffy at first. When you're ready to serve the dessert, zap the sauce in the microwave until it's hot and creamy. Arrange the decadence in a hot skillet and serve it sizzling to happy, drooling mouths.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.89. Votes: 9

    Menu Description: "Bury your sweet tooth with smooth Kahlua, creamy vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and rich Hershey's chocolate syrup."

    Sure, there's a little Kahlua in there, but this famous Applebee's drink is more dessert than cocktail, really. And the presentation will make you look like a pro because you spiral the chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass before adding the drink. This Applebee's mudslide copycat recipe looks cool and its easy to do...even after you've had a couple. Grab a straw and prepare to crave another when this one's gone. No wonder this drink also comes in a larger size.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.87. Votes: 15

    Menu Description: "A large flour tortilla topped with melted Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, grilled chipotle chicken, shredded lettuce and pico de gallo. Rolled, sliced and served with a Mexi-ranch dipping sauce."

    Take Applebee's delicious chicken chipotle fajita recipe, roll it up in a large flour tortilla with lettuce, cheeses and fresh pico de gallo and you've got a meal to wrap your hands around. The Mexi-ranch dipping sauce is the perfect creamy compliment for this recipe and you can use what's left over for a dressing on your next salad. The sauce is actually just a kicked-up ranch dressing recipe that includes a small amount of buttermilk in the ingredients list. But if you don't want to buy a whole carton of buttermilk to use just a tablespoon for this recipe, that's okay. Substitute the regular moo juice you've got sitting in the fridge. For the spicy marinade it's best to use ground chipotle pepper (dried smoked red jalapeno) made by McCormick. If you can't find that stuff, cut the amount in half and use cayenne pepper. For the cheeses, many major brands make a cheddar/Jack blend that will work great here if you'd rather not buy the cheeses separately. That's helpful if you're about to tip the limit for the express lane checkout line.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 7

    Menu Description: "Flame-grilled Atlantic Salmon with Applebee's Honey Pepper Sauce served with a side of almond rice pilaf, seasoned vegetables and toasted garlic bread."

    It's all about the sauce. This sweet, tangy and slightly spicy sauce goes perfectly with salmon, but can also be used on chicken or ribs. Just be sure to watch the sauce closely as it cooks in case it starts to bubble over. If it sounds like I'm speaking from experience, you're right—oh, what a beautiful mess I made on one attempt. So, cook the sauce slowly, and watch it closely as it thickens. If it gets too thick, you can always add a bit of water to thin it out. I suggest serving this salmon with almond rice pilaf as they do in the restaurant. You can find a good clone recipe here on the site.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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