Like so many of us, Steve grew tired of the fast food scene. He didn't like being unsure of exactly what was in between the buns of his burger, or how many chemicals were used to make it taste the same way every time. He didn't like the way a stomach groans with subtle dissatisfaction after a fast food meal. You know the groan of which we speak.
Being a chef, he felt like there was room for food that was better for everyone in the equation, from the suppliers of the ingredients to the customers who eat it in their cars. Combining all of these sounds like an impossibility, but he managed to pull it off.
Steve is Steve Ells, the founder of Chipotle. Founded in 1993, Chipotle now has over 1400 locations, and they continue to push his vision of "Food with Integrity." Their 2013 "Scarecrow" campaign went viral, and ruffled the feathers of many of their fast food rivals.
Chipotle is known for their fresh ingredients at surprisingly fair prices. But is it healthy? Organic, home grown, sans hormones...none of these guarantee that you'll be slimmer or live longer for eating them, though you certainly stand a better shot with these types of foods.
We poured through the Chipotle menu to find the best, healthiest items that match up with our preference: the Mediterranean Diet. This diet emphasizes olive oil, fruit, veggies, nuts, whole grains, beans and fish, with other meats and processed foods deemphasized or forbidden altogether.
Next time you roll into a Chipotle, try these dishes for an even healthier experience:
Burrito Bowl/ chicken or pork - This is everything you love in a burrito, just minus the high-calorie flour tortilla. Guacamole, lettuce, black beans...so good. Skip the rice and cheese if you really want to stick close to the Mediterranean Diet.
Crispy Tacos- While the corn shells are a bit iffy, everything else is good.
Guacamole - All that cheese you skipped out on is replaced in flavor by a bit of guacamole. Chipotle makes theirs with simple avocado, salt, jalapenos,cilantro, lime and diced onions. It isn't low cal, but avocado and the other fresh ingredients make up for it with other health benefits.
Beware of: Really, they've done a great job of limiting their menu, so there isn't a ton to avoid. The flour tortillas and chips are really our primary threats, and they're both very easy to avoid.
Hey, sometimes you have to hop out of the car and grab something quick.
It happens to us all. Chipotle is one of the places you'll do well to drop in to, because they have a rare combination of fresh ingredients and reasonable prices.
Chipotle is known to make orders any way the customer wants, so we'd love to hear your ideas and healthy menu secrets. Let us know in the comments!
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