Lunch Delivery Makeover: 7 Tips to Order Healthier Mexican Food Takeout

Posted by on Friday, July 25th, 2014 with 6 Comments

Ah, Mexican food. When you find a good Mexican food delivery place near your office, there’s no better source of midday comfort during a stressful day than the arrival of a shiny, foil-wrapped burrito and a plastic-cup rainbow of salsa, sour cream, and guacamole alongside. Unless, of course, it’s the crispy tortilla chips and gooey queso dip that you share with your coworkers before the main meal.

But, the feeling after you’ve polished off the last few bites of your giant burrito — because what’s the point in saving that end that’s mostly tortilla, anyway, right? — is not comforting at all. In fact, it’s downright exhausting. The momentary comfort and pleasure that relieved your stress have now been replaced with a weary desire for a couch, a nap and maybe a looser waistband… not exactly the recipe for a positive, productive afternoon.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Mexican food is not inherently unhealthy. Grilled meats, sautéed vegetables, bright flavors, herbs, and spices — there are so many Mexican dishes that are just as delicious and much better for you than the sauce-smothered burritos and enchiladas most of us equate with Mexican food delivery.

chicken tostadas

Tostadas are a healthier alternative to heavier Mexican fare.
Image source: Flickr user ilovememphis

You can get the comfort and not totally derail your diet or your energy levels for the day. Next time you’re craving Mexican food, consider switching up your usual order and try one of these simple tricks to enjoy a healthier Mexican lunch:

1) Eat chips and salsa like a monk. Seriously: practice mindful eating instead of uncontrolled munching, and approach chips and salsa like a special treat instead of an afterthought. Count out a reasonable serving size (eight to ten) from the bag or basket, put them on a separate plate, and really savor your chips and salsa. Consider the texture, and the flavor, and that satisfying crunch. You’ll enjoy them more, and eat less.

2) Give tostadas a chance. If nachos are your thing, do yourself a favor and try tostadas instead. Instead of a pile of fried chips piled with gooey toppings, a tostada is one crispy tortilla layered with toppings like grilled chicken, beans, veggies, guacamole, and salsa. Make a meal out of two, and tostadas still offer fewer calories thanks to their built-in portion control… without sacrificing the crunchy delight of nachos.

3) Limit your tortilla consumption. Nobody loves Mexican food for the flour tortillas, but one burrito-sized wrapper can add 300-plus calories to your meal. Instead of one giant burrito, order fajitas instead — that way, you can enjoy the savory meats and sautéed veggies with just one or two smaller tortillas.

4) Cut out the creamy condiments. True Mexican food is more about fresh flavors than queso and sour cream — so go authentic, and try seasoning your next meal with a squeeze of lime juice, fresh cilantro, and jalapeños. Add avocado slices or guacamole for creaminess, and you might be surprised at how little you miss the fat-laden white condiments.

5) Say adios to ground beef. This is usually the most fat-laden protein on a Mexican menu, and rarely the most delicious! Instead of ground beef in your tacos, treat yourself to grilled steak, which is usually considerably lower in fat and calories.

6) Make friends with the a la carte menuOne of the biggest downsides to Mexican food is that it’s so easy to overeat – entree portions and combo plates are usually way too much food for a normal human being to eat in one meal (comfortably, at least). Instead, order your favorite dishes from the a la carte menu: one chicken taco, one veggie enchilada, black beans, and some guacamole. You’ll get to enjoy a few bites of everything you like, without stuffing yourself full of incidental items on your plate (like rice and flour tortillas).

7) Realize there’s nothing that special about Mexican Coke. Yes, it’s made with real sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup, but it’s still 150 empty calories in a pretty glass bottle. Instead, pour yourself a club soda with a wedge of lime: there’s just a tiny hint of margarita-likeness thanks to the citrus, and zero calories.

For healthy yet comforting Mexican food delivery, you can get the perfect lunch whisked right to your office with! With easy online ordering, prompt delivery, and even recurring Virtual Cafeteria Service, all you have to do is relax and enjoy your new favorite Mexican meal.


When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

6 responses to “Lunch Delivery Makeover: 7 Tips to Order Healthier Mexican Food Takeout”

  1. Chchhfhhall says:

    I really love Mexican food and like to find ways to make my meals healthier. I’ll definitely try out these ideas the next time I eat out.

    • Sara says:

      Mexican can be tough – so much delicious cheese!! But hopefully you’ll find to can taste the more delicate flavors even better in the lighter dishes.

  2. DoloresB says:

    I love Mexican food and I love healthy food, so what is there not to love. I’ll have to remember this the next time that I go to order Mexican food. That picture looks really delicious and it’s making me hungry, so probably sooner rather than later I’ll be using this tip.

    • Richard Scherek says:

      We’re glad we’ve given you some ideas about food that you love; enjoy!

  3. Scott says:

    I like that you suggest to eat chips and salsa slowly and savor them. I can see why this would help you eat healthier because you won’t be eating as much. It might also be a good idea to eat only half of your meal and save the other half for another day. That way you aren’t tempted to eat more than you’re supposed to.

    • Shelly says:

      Great idea, Scott! We are of the opinion that chips and salsa should always be savored. And if you cut your meal in half, you get to enjoy it twice!