When most of us talk about going out to a local Mexican restaurant, the primary motivation isn’t necessarily healthy eating. Which is not to say that all Mexican food is instantly awful for you—that’s definitely not the case. However, smothering your tacos with melted cheese does diminish the healthiness somewhat. At Maudie’s Tex-Mex, we wholeheartedly believe that everyone should be able to enjoy quality Mexican food, whether you have allergies, dietary restrictions, or just want to eat as healthfully as possible. As much as we know you love a plate of nachos smothered in queso, here are a few of our favorite Mexican food options to tempt you with health as well as flavor.
Starting With Quality
While we can’t speak for every Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurant out there, a big part of what makes Maudie’s menu stand out in the dearth of other Mexican food options around Austin is our commitment to quality. In order to make the best food, we know the importance of starting with the best quality ingredients. This is why we use the best fresh vegetables and herbs as well as all natural beef, pork, and chicken and organic eggs. Better ingredients means bigger, bolder flavors. As chef and TV personality Alton Brown said, “Salt makes food taste more like itself.” When ingredients aren’t up to par, chefs often supplement by adding more salt and seasonings. If the ingredients used already taste amazing, chefs can use less of those unhealthy additives like salt, butter, oil, and sugar. This is precisely why, at Maudie’s we’ve made a commitment to better ingredients. With better meat, fruits, vegetables, and herbs, we can serve those delicious Mexican dishes you love and you don’t have to worry about what else gets added to up the flavor.
Healthy Choices You Actually Want to Eat
Of course, if you have strict dietary restrictions, food allergies, or a more health-conscious lifestyle, you may be looking for options that go beyond healthy ingredients. While choosing healthy options at a Mexican restaurant will depend on what your health needs are, there are plenty of options available so you don’t have to sacrifice deliciousness for better health content. When you come to a Mexican restaurant like Maudie’s Tex-Mex, skip the salad and enjoy dishes that are as full of health benefits as they are flavor. Some of our favorites include:
Often, what makes Mexican food less healthy comes from the sauces and condiments slathered on top. Fajitas are a fantastic option for those who want a healthy option because they are, in essence, seasoned and grilled meat and vegetables served with tortillas—which can come gluten free, if you need that option. Fajitas are particularly good for the health-conscious because there you can control how much of the condiments to use.
Unless you’re swinging through your local fast food joint, tacos aren’t inherently unhealthy. What can make them less healthy is the style and toppings you choose. Like fajitas, tacos are basically just mean, veggies, and toppings. However, they do tend to come with a larger variety of unhealthy options. If you love tacos but want to keep it healthy, skip the battered and sauce-smothered options and opt for some fresh Gulf shrimp, chicken, or vegetable varieties instead. Feel free to ask for your sauce and toppings on the side to have more control over your calorie intake.
Enchiladas can be one of the healthier options on a Mexican restaurant menu, but it depends on which you choose. While the filling matters, a healthy enchilada filling can be made a lot less healthy depending on what you smother it with. Seek options that are full of meat and veg, rather than beans or cheese, and smothered in a chile-based sauce, rather than a cheesy or cream-based sauce.
If you don’t want to forgo your favorite Mexican dish entirely, there are also a few substitutions you can make to nearly any entree to make it healthier. The most common examples are swapping refried beans for black beans, getting a salad instead of rice, and—as sad as it may be—skipping the queso. For those of you who have to watch your carb intake, ask for corn tortillas instead of flour (if your dish doesn’t come that way already). And, as we mentioned above, ask your server about getting the condiments and toppings on the side, so you can better control how much you add.
Yes, we know how much you love a delicious, deep-fried chalupa and nachos smothered in queso. We love them too. Save those less-healthy options for your cheat day. In between, there are plenty of other favorites that offer an abundance of health benefits without a high calorie count. When you want to enjoy those delicious Mexican favorites, come to Maudie’s for great quality ingredients and familiar flavors. You can see our various Austin locations here. Find the Maudie’s nearest you and come visit today!