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Mexican takeout makeover: big bold burrito with a fraction of the calories of Taco Bell and Chipotle

By Carolyn Malcoun, June 1, 2011 - 10:01am

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Mexican takeout makeover: big bold burrito with a fraction of the calories of Taco Bell and Chipotle

The burrito joint I frequented in college boasted a sign on its window that said, “Burritos as big as your head!”® And were they delicious! Lots of juicy meat, seasoned rice, all the accoutrements your heart could desire. And, yes, I measured once, and one of their burritos was about as long as my head.

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That was many more years ago than I’d like to remember, but apparently that idea caught on because plus-size burritos seem to be the norm these days. Indeed, a Taco Bell Grilled Stuft Steak Burrito packs 640 calories (and that doesn’t even include guacamole!) and a Steak Burrito from Chipotle clocks in at a whopping 1,000 calories (that includes rice, black beans, steak, cheese, guacamole and salsa).

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But burritos are full of inherently healthy ingredients—lean meat, beans, fresh vegetables—so there’s no reason they have to weigh you down. Lucky for us burrito lovers, the EatingWell Test Kitchen uses three tricks to make a stuffed steak burrito that clocks in at 471 calories and is a whole lot healthier:

1. Reduce the amount of steak and added black beans, which are virtually fat-free plus full of fiber to keep the burritos satisfying.
2. Use a full-flavored cheese, like sharp Cheddar or pepper Jack, so you can use less without sacrificing flavor.
3. Don’t ditch the guacamole! It’s full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Just limit yourself to a tablespoon per burrito.

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Added bonus: They’re ready in 30 minutes so you can have them anytime a craving hits.

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Get the Recipe: Steak Burritos

What are your favorite ingredients to stuff in a burrito?




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TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Food Blog

Carolyn Malcoun
Carolyn Malcoun combines her love of food and writing as a recipe contributor for EatingWell. Carolyn has a culinary arts degree from New England Culinary Institute and a degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin—Madison. Carolyn lives in Burlington, Vermont, and enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and running in her free time.

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