Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Healthy Options in Tex-Mex Restaurants: Entree Edition

Could you eat a jumbo chicken burrito slathered in queso every day?  How about cheese and spinach enchiladas with ranchero sauce?  Me?  Yes and yes.

But we know that eating that way on a consistent basis is not the foundation of a quality diet.  Given that we eat Tex-Mex so much in Texas, it is worth finding qualities staples at our favorite restaurants that keep our diets on track and don't have us eating 1000-calorie meals.

Image via FernandoMexicanCuisine.com
Monday we focused on margaritas.  Tuesday we tackled starters.  Now let's enjoy our entrees. You can eat relatively healthy entrees in Tex-Mex restaurants.  Order fajitas with light cheese and no sour cream or salads without cheese and fried tortilla strips are always a good choice.  Grilled fish tacos are also a nice option.

Always consider splitting an entree.  When you order a guacamole or other healthy appetizer, you have already enjoyed a fair amount of food.  The Tex-Mex portions are typically huge and big enough to share.

Let's dive a bit further with specific menu items at area restaurants:

Image via www.UncleJulios.com
  • Ensalada Grande - delicious with the grilled portobello mushroom and salsa for dressing. 
  • Soft Taco Plate - get black beans instead of refried.
  • Vegetable Fajitas - ask for no butter.
  • Mesquite Grilled Salmon 
Mi Cocina 
  • Rico Salad - comes with fajita chicken or steak.  Try the spicy blue cheese dressing on the side or just enjoy salsa with your salad.  
  • Tacos al Carbon - typically a good choice at any restaurant.
  • Pauley's - sub the beef with chicken and borracho beans in place of refried beans.  
  • Tilapia Vera Cruz or Salmon a la Parilla - both quality seafood dishes.
  • QuinceaƱera Salad 
Fernando's 
  • Tacos de Pescado - nix the cheese. 
  • Pechugo de Pollo - again, nix the cheese, enjoy it with their delicious green salsa.
  • Ensalada de Espinaca - enjoy with chicken or shrimp. 
  • Jorge - get it with chicken and corn tortillas.
  • Carne Asada - nix the sour cream.
Mattito's  - they make it easy with a ❤ next to their "healthier" items.
  • Lite Fajitas - these are served with broccoli and cauliflower.  Delicious!
  • De Marisco Salad - shrimp, salmon or scallops over a bed of greens.
  • Pollo con Salsa Maiz - chicken with a tasty black bean sauce and a healthy serving of veggies.
  • Enchiladas de Hongos - sauteed mushroom enchiladas served with a spicy Cascabel sauce, black beans and corn pepper salad.
Rafa's
  • Veggie Enchilada Plate - order it with black beans and veggies, top with green tomatillo sauce.
  • Pechuga Parilla - nix the cheese and substitute the refried beans for black or whole beans. 
  • Veggie-Jitas - ask for black or whole beans instead of refried beans.
  • Steve's Steak Tacos 
  • Snapper a la Feliz
Blue Goose - I might have tried my very first margarita here...when I was 15....might.
  • Chipotle Chicken - order with charra beans instead of refried. 
  • Chicken Toluca Salad - nix the jack cheese and bacon. 
  • Verde Enchiladas - this is big enough to split.
The Takeaway
Again, go ahead and enjoy quesadillas and nachos, once in a while.  If dining out in Tex-Mex restaurants is something you do a few times a week, make these healthier choices.  Your waistline will thank you.



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