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#StartTODAY: Save calories and cash with these restaurant-inspired dishes

Sure, it’s nice to treat yourself to a restaurant meal every now and again. But you can easily make similar — and slimmer — versions at home for a fraction of the calories and cost!

The next time you're craving one of these restaurant staples, try one of these lightened-up options in your very own kitchen.

Italian food: 

Restaurant chicken parm can be loaded with calories. Try Joy's make-at-home version instead to lighten the meal!Today

Between the cheese, the oil, the creamy sauces, the white bread and pasta, traditional Italian food will often cost you a boatload of calories. But with a few easy tweaks, you can turn your favorite Italian dishes into diet-friendly fare. Bon appetit!

Chicken parmesan

Eggplant parmesan

Penne with chicken and broccoli

Chicken fettuccine alfredo

Shrimp scampi with linguini

Chinese food:

Your fortune says: You will likely consume way too many calories with Chinese takeout. Instead, whip up these healthier versions yourself.

Chicken lettuce wraps

Hoisin glazed salmon

Chicken and vegetable noodle bowl

Peanut butter spaghetti 

Mexican food

A grilled chicken or shrimp dish isn’t a bad option, but beware of all the tasty toppings. Cheese, sour cream, guacamole, refried beans, oversized tortillas and more can add hundreds of extra calories to your plate. Satisfy your cravings for fewer calories with these healthier homemade versions.

Salsa-mole dip

Southwestern black bean dip

Black bean salsa spuds

Quinoa black bean casserole

Pinto bean chipotle tacos

Spinach taco burgers

#StartTODAY with more of Joy's healthy meal plans and shopping lists here.

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