Best New Menu Items of 2014 (So Far)

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We're halfway through the year, so we thought it was a good time to recap some of the best new items to hit chain-restaurant menus in 2014. Read on for the top Hungry Girl picks!

Panera Bread Flatbread Sandwiches
  Panera Bread Flatbread Sandwiches

1 flatbread: 280 - 360 calories, 10 - 17g fat, 490 - 940mg sodium, 34 - 38g carbs, 2 - 4g fiber, 5 - 10g sugars, 7 - 11g protein -- PointsPlus® value 7 - 9*

We get it... You're at Panera, home of really good bread, and you require a sandwich. Which is why we're excited about these impressively guilt-free flat 'n folded creations. Choose from Mediterranean Chicken, Thai Chicken, Southwestern Chicken, and the just-launched, limited-time-only BBQ Chicken. Poultry time! Pssst... Check out our Panera Bread Survival Guide for more good stuff.

  Starbucks Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich

1 sandwich: 230 calories, 6g fat, 560mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g sugars, 13g protein -- PointsPlus® value 6*

Keeping with the sandwich theme, here's a stellar breakfast option: lean turkey bacon paired with reduced-fat white cheddar and an egg-white patty on a wheat English muffin. Mega score! Enjoy it with an unsweetened Teavana iced tea for a good morning, guaranteed. BTW: We've totally got a Starbucks Survival Guide too.

Starbucks Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
Wendy's Asian Cashew Chicken Salad
  Wendy's Asian Cashew Chicken Salad

1 full-sized salad with dressing: 380 calories, 13g fat, 960mg sodium, 33g carbs, 6g fiber, 18g sugars, 36g protein -- PointsPlus® value 10*

You know we love our puns -- we're nuts about this salad! When we rounded up the best new menu items, this salad was a 'shew-in. Tee-hee! And how great is it that the above stats include the Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette? Hooray! BTW, Wendy's brand-new Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad has 550 calories and 29g fat, but if you skip that Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette, you'll cut it down to 390 calories and 18g fat (PointsPlus® value 10*). Click for more Wendy's 411 from your pal HG.

  Applebee's Chicken Freshcado

1 order: 440 calories, 10g fat, 1,250mg sodium, 43g carbs, 6g fiber, n.a. sugars, 47g protein -- PointsPlus® value 11 

Ordering something plain and boring can be a serious bummer, and Applebee's gets that. Which is why there are items like this chicken meal, topped with fresh fruity avocado relish and served with veggie-topped rice. Yum, yum, yum! And this isn't the only diet-friendly pick at the 'Bees... Check out the entire Under 550 Calories menu.  

Applebee's Chicken Freshcado
Panda Express Shiitake Kale Chicken Breast
  Panda Express Shiitake Kale Chicken Breast

1 portion: 170 calories, 8g fat, 570mg sodium, 11g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g sugars, 14g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4*

Get a load of this: If you order a Panda Bowl with this Wok Smart item and mixed veggies, your total will be just 240 calories and 8.5g fat (PointsPlus® value 6*). Or you can add half veggies and half brown steamed rice for 430 calories and 10.5g fat (PointsPlus® value 11*). Total score! As for that also-new Orange Chicken with Bacon? You're better off cooking and chopping a slice of center-cut bacon or turkey bacon, and mixing it into this recipe swap!

  Au Bon Pain BBQ Chicken Salad

1 salad without dressing: 280 calories, 7g fat, 510mg sodium, 35g carbs, 6g fiber, 20g sugars, 21g protein -- PointsPlus® value 7*

Why do we love BBQ chicken salads so much? Because that saucy poultry means less need for salad dressing! (The above stats don't include the lite ranch dressing served with this salad.) If you still need dressing, use the lite ranch sparingly -- a 2-oz. serving has 120 calories and 11g fat. There's also a new Fresh Fruit & Baby Kale Salad with reasonable stats (260 calories, 13g fat, and a PointsPlus® value of 7* before dressing), but we figured kale was getting enough attention today...

Au Bon Pain BBQ Chicken Salad
Panera Bread Egg White, Avocado & Spinach Breakfast Power Sandwich
  Panera Bread Egg White, Avocado & Spinach Breakfast Power Sandwich

1 sandwich: 410 calories, 14g fat, 640mg sodium, 54g carbs, 8g fiber, 5g sugars, 22g protein -- PointsPlus® value 11*

"Another Panera item?" Yup, the peeps at P.B. have been upping their game ever since last year's Power Menu launch. This is one incredible meat-free breakfast item. And if you just want a standard bagel swap, order the Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat (which this sandwich comes on) for 240 calories and 5g fiber, and top it with one of the six reduced-fat cream cheeses. So much good stuff!


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Peel yourself off the couch... It's Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven! Choose one of the Lite options, like Fanta Sugar-Free Watermelon Punch -- only 20 calories in an 8-oz. serving.

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We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.

*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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