After going through our receipts I see one of our latest obsessions is a little ol’ restaurant named Chipotle. We first heard about this place from the movie FOOD, Inc., but just recently got around to trying it out and it’s insane how many times we’ve been back since. There was a time where I used to think Baja Fresh was my healthy “fast food” joint but along the way the quality started taking a nose dive. Come to find out Wendy’s bought Baja Fresh then sold it to another company that operates other restaurants such as Cinnabun and Denny’s. It could just be us but I swear the quality tanked since being sold off so eventually we abandoned ship.
I really thought that would be the end of my “fast food” days considering it was the only place we ate at in that arena, and I was sad. I tell ya, I married a chef yet I’m the one on dinner duty most of the time and there are days where grabbing a quick healthy affordable bite is heavenly. Thank goodness we found Chipotle.
(By the way it’s the Missus here, sneaking in to write one of my first posts.)
If you don’t know about Chipotle Mexican Grill yet here’s the skinny:
They use meats that have been raised humanely and without antibiotics, they use fresh, locally sourced organic produce when available, they’re vegetarian friendly, they use organic beans and they’re in the process of greening up 75% of their restaurants with solar panels. Hoorah! That’s what I call a fast food restaurant making a difference. Hard to find fault with that right? But even with all the goodness that Chipotle does offer, you still have to be smart when it comes to ordering.
According to the Center of Science in the Public Interest:
A Chipotle Chicken Burrito (tortilla, rice, pinto beans, cheese, chicken, sour cream, and salsa) has 970 calories and 17½ grams of saturated fat and 2,200 mg of sodium, as much as three 6-inch Subway BLT Classic Subs! Getting the burrito with no cheese or sour cream cuts the saturated fat to 5½ grams, but you still end up with 750 calories and more than a day’s worth of sodium. Yikes!
Yikes is right–and that’s without chips! There are 290 calories in the tortilla alone. Even my beloved vegetarian salad has about 700 calories. A salad! I nearly choked on those numbers. The culprit(s)? Cheese, guacamole and the dressing (I already omit the sour cream).
Knowing this information is key so I can make better choices, which in turn cut the calories. My tricks? I’ve said adios to the cheese and only use 1/2 the dressing. I kept the guac because it’s delicious and though avocados may be high in fat, it’s good monounsaturated fat, which when eaten in moderation can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Now my salad is about 570 cals, which I can happily live with.
Chipotle offers nutrition facts on the back of their take out menus as well as on their website, which puts the power in our hands to make better choices.
Keep up the good work Chipotle and thanks for caring. See you tomorrow for dinner!