Author Topic: Olive Garden Msg reaction  (Read 33082 times)

Offline misfitguy

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 06:52:38 pm »
Welcome to the forum.  Sass and I have been traveling the past two days, so we were not able to respond to your posts immediately.  We are now ensconced in a motel in Las Vegas awaiting the beginning of the ASD Trade Show and will be able to interact in a timely fashion for the next week.

At one time, we were able to tell people that it was OK to eat at Olive Gardens but as they themselves admitted in an email to Sassafras (previous entry in this thread), they are not a safe place to eat.  I will say without equivocation to never ever go to Olive Gardens again.  They started using excitotoxins because they began preparing much of their food at a regional center so as to increase profits.  They surely didn't do it to lower expenses so they could lower the price of their food.  If anything, they have increased their prices as they increased their use of excitotoxins.

If you value your health, stay away from Olive Gardens.

I think this post by you, truejeans, has prodded me to create a list of restaurants that use excitotoxins.  Maybe we can get one of them to try to defend their use of brain cell killing, headache creating, ADHD giving, etc, chemicals in their food just to increase profits.


Keep up the good fight.

Mick
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Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2013, 10:15:00 am »
I've eaten at Olive Garden in the past & gotten the MSG migraine after being told they don't have MSG in their foods. Recently, I went to OG with friends, to celebrate someone's birthday, and very specifically asked for what item(s) were free of both MSG and Autolyzed Yeast Extract. The manager came to our table, talked to me about it and had the chef personally prepare me a meal using their gluten-free chicken breast, pasta and a freshly made marinara type sauce. The sauce wasn't spiced as much as the usual one, but I thankfully had NO reaction this time! :-)


I am surprised that you were able to find helpful people at Olive Gardens.  The last time I was there, the manager was willing to be helpful, but corporate had his hands tied.  The guy just didn't know how to help me.

It was so long ago, I think I had the Shrimp Scampi or the Seafood Alfredo.  The one thing I know I get a reaction from is the croutons in the salad.

About the "gluten-free" chicken breast:  Gluten and Glutamate are not related.  So, unless the only chicken in the restaurant that wasn't spiced or seasoned was the gluten-free variety, it irritates me that the manager suggested it.

I will have to try Olive Gardens again sometime.

Warmly
Sass



Note:  This note doesn't have any bearing on this thread topic, but rather other posts made by myself and Mick in the past and maybe in the future.  Mick and I are working off the same computer.  So, sometimes when we are posting, we forget to check who's logged in.  I posted this reply under Mick's name yesterday, but I corrected it this morning.  I don't always correct these errors, so sometimes it looks like I have the same comprehension able politics and sports as Mick does.  And of course, anyone that we have conversations with on the internet, and in person, knows that simiply isn't true.  So, I just wanted to clear that up.  Post-on people of the City!!


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline dvcwinner

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2013, 05:55:24 pm »
Hi all..new guy here...just googling and found this...I have a bad reaction to MSG..racing heart, jitters, shakes...I read your forum and posts and ingredient list...I find Chinese food does me in the most...today, however,  we had Olive Garden..now, I've never had an MSG reaction before...their salad does not upset me..however today, I had 1 and a half breadstick,loaded with garlic salt, and then chicken Alfredo...I had a bad reaction...racing heartbeat, shakes, everything. I usually stay away from the garlic salt everywhere, as that seems to get me...

Thanks for reading.

Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2013, 07:44:35 pm »
Glad you're here.  Olive Garden used to be 100% safe minus their soups, but as you may have read in this thread, they are now run by people that feel or is ok to sicken 15% of their customers by using numerous excitoxins including MSG.  They are no different than any fast food chain restaurant.

Keep up the good fight

Mick


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline skylamor

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2013, 08:07:03 pm »
I found this forum after searching for msg and Olive Garden. It seems when I go there, does not matter what I order the next 1-2 days I get a horrible migraine. The only thing I can eat is the plain salad, no cheese, croutons, or dressing. Might as well not go. The soup is put of the question, not only is the msg loaded in that but so is sodium. I've had the eggplant parmigiana, a few bits of my husband's tour of italy, even the child's pasta and marinara sauce.  I request gluten free pasta as I try to do gluten free most of the time. But, I have gotten the migraine with and without gluten free. I think it's in their marinara sauce. Are there any restaurants that people here have gone to without reactions? Any at all? I really cannot eat out anymore.

Offline misfitguy

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2013, 09:01:48 pm »

Sorry to hear about your reactions, but that is why we are here.  Olive Garden used to be a safe restaurant to eat in, but because of corporate decisions to increase profits by building their product in a regional center, they became msg and other excitotoxin users.  I cannot suggest anything other than their salads that would be safe for you.  Unless you have Celiac disease, your problem is not gluten.  The food industry has created a "gluten free" buzz, confusing consumers into thinking what they are doing is good for them.  Many of the "gluten free" foods have excitotoxins that would give you a migraine as well as other symptoms.

We have found most Italian restaurants are OK.  Italian cooking uses wonderful spices and don't need the excitotoxin kick, unless they are a chain restaurant and they have started processing their foods at a regional center. We travel almost year around and eat in a lot of different restaurants.  One must learn what to ask when ordering and also what not to order.  Go to http://www.saynotomsg.com  This is our information site and it gives you a good base for learning how to eat out and not suffer from the symptoms of ESS (excitotoxin sensitivity syndrome).  What part of the country are you from. If we know that, then we can give you some hints on where to eat and what to order.

Keep up the good fight

Mick
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Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2014, 11:45:10 pm »
I found this forum after searching for msg and Olive Garden. It seems when I go there, does not matter what I order the next 1-2 days I get a horrible migraine. The only thing I can eat is the plain salad, no cheese, croutons, or dressing. Might as well not go. The soup is put of the question, not only is the msg loaded in that but so is sodium. I've had the eggplant parmigiana, a few bits of my husband's tour of italy, even the child's pasta and marinara sauce.  I request gluten free pasta as I try to do gluten free most of the time. But, I have gotten the migraine with and without gluten free. I think it's in their marinara sauce. Are there any restaurants that people here have gone to without reactions? Any at all? I really cannot eat out anymore.

Skylamor,

Thank you for joining and posting!  And welcome to the Forum!!   [welcome] W==(:D)==

I use to love going to Olive Garden.  I use to order the Shrimp Scampi or the seafood dish with mussels, scallops, and shrimp with garlic butter sauce.  I didn't vary too far from the seafood portion of the menu.  And I never got anything breaded.  I did have some of my husband's Chicken Marsala.  I was fortunate enough not to get severe reactions from eating at Olive Gardens.  I stopped going to Olive Garden because there were so many people suffering from ESS (Excitotoxin Sensitivity Syndrome) who had meals filled with excitotoxins, that I decided not to go anymore.

Some other habits I developed over time at OG was not to eat any croutons.  Try to eat more greens with less dressing (though this was hard to do) because their base is a Paul Newman's dressing, I think it is Caesar.  Though Parmesan is high in bound and free glutamates, I don't react to its use like other people.

Now, having said all the that and maybe getting your hopes up along with others, Olive Gardens might have changed SO MUCH that nothing is safe.  I don't know. I haven't eaten there for at least three years.

About your other plights:

Gluten-Free has nothing to do with ESS.  The symptoms you are dealing with come from excototoxins, not gluten.

There are NO safe restaurants.  There are safe meals that can be found at most restaurants.  Sometimes you'll have to create your own meal.  Every restaurant you go to you have to ASK QUESTIONS.

Make a journal of your meals.  Note those things you react to, and don't eat them again.  Learn what all those chemical sounding names mean, and design your meals so you will avoid those that cause you problems.

Read labels on EVERYTHING, including toothpaste, hair care, make-up, medicines, waterless sanitizers, and anything you swallow, apply to your body, or inhale.  Read everything on this site, at SayNOtoMSG.com, and the multitude of sites available on the internet.

I wish you the best and keep us informed on your progress, Skylamor.

Keep up the good fight!

Warmly,
Sassafras



It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline skylamor

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2014, 12:16:25 pm »
Thank you so much for your great replies, Sassafras and Mick. Well, I was expecting to hear what you said about restaurant choices being next to none but hoping to hear there was one maybe! Oh well..... I pretty much eat at home now so I know what I'm ingesting. I have not been diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity. I chose to give it up because when I eat pastas or breads with gluten it always caused severe bloating. Once I stop eating it that stopped. I tried baking my own breads from scratch using no salt (in case it was to do with sodium) but it did not matter. So, it worked for me to eliminate gluten for the most part. These gluten free products do have things in there that are not good for an msg sufferer, I know. Anyhow, it's good to know that there's other people out there with the msg issues as I have. People that don't have msg reactions do not understand. They are really lucky....

Thanks again...
Skylamor


Offline misfitguy

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2014, 09:16:25 pm »


My Friend,

I just wish there is a restaurant that we could simply trust to prepare food without us having to ask questions.  Oddly, there are types of food that tend to be safe, but not a restaurant that I would ever say, sure, they only serve good wholesome, home cooking.  Pizza is normally a save food, if you don't have Italian sausage on it.  Sometimes the sausage is OK, but sometimes the processor of the sausage uses excitotoxins for some of their spices.  Italian restaurants normally have a pretty good menu that is safe to eat.  I think it is because they use natural spices that don't need flavor enhancing.  But, fair warning, even in Italian restaurants, most soups will have a canned stock as a base and that is where the bad things are found.

Mexican restaurants are normally safe, but not chain Mexican restaurants.  They also use strong spices in cumin, chili powder, cilantro and garlic which do not need flavor enhancing.  If the restaurant is part of a larger conglomerate, though, it is important to ask if they get their sauces from a can or central processing plant. 

We have found certain foods are safe to order when traveling.  Grilled ham and cheese is a good order.  Fish if they are baked or broiled with no seasoning or lemon.  Salads if the heads are chopped on site and do not come from a bag or aren't treated with a fix-it to keep them from browning.  Breakfast, but ask that they don't use any spicing on your potatoes and don't use any special "pancake" butter on the eggs or pancakes or French Toast.  Also, when ordering omelets or scrambled eggs, ask for "fresh" eggs, rather than bottled eggs. Do not use any flavored creamers in your coffee, which many restaurants provide. Avoid most sweetened pastries unless you can read the ingredients.  Many today use maltodextrin and other fake sugars.  Baked potatoes are OK, but not mashed potatoes unless they actually boil and then mash them and never any spiced potatoes like garlic potatoes.  No gravy or soups or ice cream (carrageenen) or diet drinks.  It is good to get to know a restaurant and their staff. Find one that understands your needs and wait staff that are responsive.  We have restaurants across the nation that have come to know us and we make it a point to stop at while traveling. Since we travel a lot, we depend on restaurants and have learned how to avoid the things that will cause Sassafras symptoms.  By the way, if we stop at a new restaurant and are not able to get answers for our questions, we will leave rather than risk sickening Sass.  There have been times, in a small town, after leaving a restaurant, we have gone to a grocery store and purchased fresh fruit and vegetables and picnicked in the car/van, which, by the way, is a lot more satisfying.

Eating at home can be an answer, but eating out, with care, can be OK as well.  You mentioned that pasta causes you to bloat.  I remember that in college, I came to realize that if I ate spaghetti, within a couple of hours or less, I would feel like it had doubled in my stomach.  This caused me to use much less pasta than I had in the past, which helped.  Now that I am diabetic,  using less pasta is better for me anyway.

Wishing you well

Mick
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Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2014, 12:19:03 am »
Skylamor,

Mick gave some really good food ideas.  There are other helpful restaurant tips, and I will post them when they come to me. 

I would say that any restaurant - chain restaurant or not - has something which is safe for every ESS (Excitotoxin Sensitivity Syndrome) sufferer.  Of course, that "something" might only be a pine float but still something nonetheless.  [A "pine float" is a glass of water with a toothpick.  Just a little humor.]

This post does remind me of one incident in Las Vegas last year.  While traveling, we tend to go to Denny's because I know what I can order and not get sick.  But, we were getting tired of the same older meals, so I asked our waitress about other restaurants in the city.  She suggested Blueberry Hill Restaurant.  The restaurant emphasized pancakes from "scratch", "homemade" mashed potatoes, and "homemade" desserts.  Impressive.

Breakfast is usually always safe for me, even in the evening, so we tried it.  We also asked questions about their evening meals and were impressed.  That evening, I think, we went there again and we had a very helpful waitress.  I asked questions and she answered them or found out the information if she didn't know.  When my meal came, I was suspicious of my side, which was rice.  I ordered it because I was told it was cooked with only water.  It turned out the rice wasn't just plain white rice, but mixed with Uncle Ben's in a box, which had, I think, Autolyzed Yeast.  Nonetheless, I couldn't have it, and our waitress quickly substituted it for something I could have.

The point of the story is, no matter how many questions you ask, you might get something you can't eat.  I can tell you that this has happened to me plenty of times.  It might seem "fussy" to some people, but not wanting to get sick isn't "being fussy", its being smart and healthy.

I hope this helps you (and others).

Keep up the good fight!!
_____________
Sass


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline misfitguy

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2014, 10:23:09 am »

I just noticed that this thread about Olive Gardens has over12,000 hits, by far the most of any topic in the health section by over 10,000 hits.  This tells me that there are a lot of people that have suffered after eating there.  My suggestion is don't eat there unless they change back to there old ways and quit using excitotoxins in their food.

Keep up the good fight

Mick
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Offline cmalik824

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2014, 03:09:28 pm »
I get severe migraines from MSG, but have only discovered this in the past 6 months and am still testing EXACTLY what I can and cannot eat. I see a lot of mentions of soup here and how it is clearly not safe which I too accepted to be true since I cannot eat canned soup without a reaction, but I gave it a chance anyway to see if it is a trigger for me and I did fine. No migraine at all! That doesn't mean anything for anyone else's case, but for me it was fine. I had both the Minestrone and Zuppe Toscana. Does anyone know if MSG specifically is listed as an ingredient for these two soups? I am still experimenting with all the "cousins" of MSG and found some to be safe for my migraines and others not. Because I desire to be healthy overall- I try to avoid all of them anyway, but just curious. :)

Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2014, 09:56:36 pm »
I get severe migraines from MSG, but have only discovered this in the past 6 months and am still testing EXACTLY what I can and cannot eat. I see a lot of mentions of soup here and how it is clearly not safe which I too accepted to be true since I cannot eat canned soup without a reaction, but I gave it a chance anyway to see if it is a trigger for me and I did fine. No migraine at all! That doesn't mean anything for anyone else's case, but for me it was fine. I had both the Minestrone and Zuppe Toscana. Does anyone know if MSG specifically is listed as an ingredient for these two soups? I am still experimenting with all the "cousins" of MSG and found some to be safe for my migraines and others not. Because I desire to be healthy overall- I try to avoid all of them anyway, but just curious. :)

Cmalik824,

First, welcome to the Forum!!   [welcome] (;D)b W==(:D)==

As an MSG sufferer, I can tell you that your reactions will only get worse as time goes on.  There is way to build up an immunity to MSG and Other Excitotoxins (MSG&OE).  I tell that because you may not react to certain items now, like the soups are Olive Garden, but as time progresses, your body will become more sensitive to these harmful ingredients.

Soups, for the most part, are not safe.  Canned soups and bouillons are always bad.  Pre-made broths from a can or box are 98% bad.  There are a couple, three on the market which seem to be okay.  Kitchen Basic (which I am familiar with), Pacific something Organic broths (I have been conversing with someone by email about this, I was hoping they would share here), and another brand which looked to be okay, but I haven't tried.

The biggest thing you have to do for yourself is Read Labels!!  I can tell you something is safe today and yet tomorrow, the ingredients might be different, rendering them not safe.

Soups from Olive Garden have always had Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) in them.  I don't presume that will change... ever.  When an ex-boyfriend and I went to Olive Garden back in the mid-nineties, I didn't notice any reactions during the many times we were there.  But one evening, we did the All You Can Eat Soup and Salad, I I remember reacting to the soup.  Dizziness, spinning, non-responsiveness to our conversation.  These reactions subsided and I was able to eat the rest of my meal, probably because I didn't have anymore of the soup.

I didn't know I was reacting to MSG&OE at that time.  I didn't find that information out until 1999.

As a rule, when going out to eat, I never eat soup with a meat-base, like beef or chicken.  I will eat some of the clam chowders because they are my weakness, and some the cheese potato soups.

Before trying a new soup, always ask questions.  Bouillons?  Stocks?  Reason: If they use any of these, they are NOT the safe kind.  More questions are about the seasonings and spices used.

Also, any ingredient which has been Hydrolyzed, like HVP, contains at least 20% MSG.  Some manufactures add additional MSG increasing the MSG load up to 50%.

I tried to answer your questions to the best of my ability.  Mick and I just got back home, and I wanted to answer your email before anymore time elapsed.

Again, welcome to the City!!!   ::D

Warmly,
Sass


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline misfitguy

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2014, 11:54:03 am »
I get severe migraines from MSG, but have only discovered this in the past 6 months and am still testing EXACTLY what I can and cannot eat. I see a lot of mentions of soup here and how it is clearly not safe which I too accepted to be true since I cannot eat canned soup without a reaction, but I gave it a chance anyway to see if it is a trigger for me and I did fine. No migraine at all! That doesn't mean anything for anyone else's case, but for me it was fine. I had both the Minestrone and Zuppe Toscana. Does anyone know if MSG specifically is listed as an ingredient for these two soups? I am still experimenting with all the "cousins" of MSG and found some to be safe for my migraines and others not. Because I desire to be healthy overall- I try to avoid all of them anyway, but just curious. :)

Welcome to the Forum and thank you for your post.  Everytime somebody other than Sassafras and I post, it underlines for the other readers that there is a large community of sufferers.  Surprisingly, most sufferers are in some sort of quasi denial, such as you are.  If you are showing symptoms from excitotoxins some of the time, then you are sensitive all of the time.  It gets worse, and not better.  If you can eat the soups at Olive Gardens without any symptoms, then you may have some other problems besides ESS (excitotoxin sensitivity syndrome).  We started this forum to share information that we have accumulated over the past 15 years through research and Sassafras' own sensitivity issues and to give an opportunity for other sufferers to share their experiences as well. We are not much interested in debate.  What we report is founded on experience and other published research.  We do not give medical advice, but we do give explicit advice about what an ESS sufferer will react too.  There is no need for you to experiment with the "cousins" of MSG.  They are not cousins, but simply chemicals that have been produced that has MSG in them or in the case of fake sugar, cause the same reactions as MSG.  Sadly, ESS doesn't allow you to be selective on which excitotoxins you need to avoid.  You need to avoid all of them.  All sufferers, if they want to eliminate the debilitating symptoms in their life, have to become label readers and be willing to deny themselves of favorites from the past.  When you are willing to say, "I DON'T WANT TO GET SICK EVER AGAIN FROM EXCITOTOXINS!", you will, then, start to become symptom free.

Keep up the good fight

Mick
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Offline misfitguy

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2014, 12:41:43 pm »
CMalik,

You asked if anybody knows what ingredients are in the soups at Olive Garden.  Olive Garden does not share their ingredients, but I went to a "copy cat" recipe site.  They do give you a good indication where the excitotoxins enter the soup dishes.  In the minestrone, all the ingredients look good except for the four cups of "vegetable stock".  Vegetable stock, except for a few manufacturers, has hydrolyzed vegetable protein and autolyzed yeast in them.  It is what makes the stock strong tasting and gives it a hardy boot.  I included the recipe so you can see for yourself.

Olive Garden Copycat Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker}
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups water
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 cup diced celery (3 stalks)
1 cup diced carrots (2 carrots)
1 cup diced yellow onion (1 small)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried crushed rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/3 cups diced zucchini (1 small)
1 1/3 cups shell pasta
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can white navy beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian green beans, drained
2 cups slightly packed chopped fresh spinach
Finely shredded Romano cheese, for serving (Parmesan works too)
 
Directions

Add vegetable stock, water, tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and sugar to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 6 - 8 hours or high 3 - 4 hours.
Add in zucchini, pasta, garlic, kidney beans and white beans and cook on high heat and additional 30 - 40 minutes until pasta is tender. Stir in spinach and Italian green beans and cook several minutes until heated through. Serve warm topped with Romano cheese.
Recipe Source: Cooking Classy



Concerning the Zuppa Toscans Soup:  There are two ingredients that we would be concerned with.  The first is the Italian sausage.  Many, in fact, most Italian sausage has excitotoxins in them.  When we pizza out, we always order it without sausage for that reason.  The other item is 3 cans of chicken broth.  I can guarantee you that if the broth is in a can, it will have flavor enhancers in them because it overcomes the taste of the can that sneaks in over a period of time.  Since all restaurants use broth or stock from Sysco type food suppliers, I can again assure you they all use flavor enhancers to overcome frozen and shelf life flavors.  I posted the recipe below of a copy cat site since Olive Garden does not or will not share their ingredient information.

I called them on 3/20/2014 and asked if they used flavor enhancers in their products.  The individual that I talked to said I really needed to give them specific dishes so I asked about the minestrone and he said I would have to give them more so their "team" would have more to work with.  I said how about this question, "Does Olive Garden use hydrolyzed proteins in any of their dishes?"  He didn't believe they could answer such a vague question.  I gave him my contact information and asked if he would send me the results of his "teams" research.  I guess we are in a holding pattern because Olive Garden doesn't seem to be able to tell us, their customers, what is in their food.  Stay tuned for further development.

Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden Copycat Recipe}
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil
1 lb Italian Sausage (casings removed if necessary)
4 oz bacon (about 5 slices), diced into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 small onion)
3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed then sliced into halves, halves diced into 1/8 to 1/6-inch slices
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp salt, then to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups half and half
1 cup lightly packed kale, chopped into bite size pieces
finely shredded Romano cheese for serving, optional
 
Directions

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into 1-inch pieces and add to saucepan. Cook sausage, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Drain sausage onto a plate or baking dish lined with paper towels leaving 1 tsp fat in pan, set sausage aside. Add diced bacon (being sure to separate pieces from each other if you stacked them when slicing) to fat in saucepan, return to heat and saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced onions to bacon in saucepan and saute mixture until bacon is cooked through (not crisp) and onions are tender, about 5 minutes longer.
Add chicken broth, water, sliced potatoes, sugar, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bring soup just to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in half and half, kale and cooked sausage. Cover saucepan and simmer 25 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender. Use a spoon or ladle to remove excess fat from top of soup if desired. Serve warm topped with Romano cheese.
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