A Healthy Twist

So, major kudos to Tijuana Flats for revamping their menu to appeal to a healthier mindset and lifestyle! I hadn’t been there since the beginning of last summer and was happily surprised that besides ordering a “power-lite” burrito (low fat cheese), one could also opt for a whole wheat burrito at no extra charge! I hope others take advantage of this as well! I ordered a veggie power-lite burrito (no sour cream) in a whole wheat tortilla and it was fabulous. Now they just need to offer fruit instead of taco chips and I would be totally sold! But then the overall Mexican theme would sort of get lost…and Americans do love their chips. I ate them just because they were there 🙁 But….they were tasty! I also opted for black beans instead of refried because refried beans are (traditionally) fried in lard, which wouldn’t be very vegetarian OR a good healthy option for anyone! I don’t think this restaurant uses lard, but it still brings more extra fat than just ordered black beans plain. That’s a good tip to keep while dining out at any Mexican/tex-mex place because refried beans can most always be easily substituted by regular, healthy black beans.



At least they kept to a respectable serving size with the chips unlike most places that pile a whole mountain of them on your plate! I think there were like 15 chips here and I left about 5 on my plate.

After the gym this morning I snacked on organic applesauce (1/2 cup) and cinnamon before lunch! 🙂

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  • VeggieGirl
    March 4, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Too bad there are no Tijuana Flats locations where I live – that power-lite burrito looks quite hearty and delicious!! I like the realistic portion-size too, as you mentioned.

    Oooh, cinnamon-applesauce? Brings me back to my childhood :0D

  • rae
    March 4, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Jenna–have you ever been to Mellow Mushroom for pizza? It is WONDERFUL. Im not a vegan, but I tried their “veggie pizza” and substituted regular for soy cheese and requested no butter on the crust–it was really delicious. Definitely the best pizza resturant I have been to.

  • Meghan
    March 4, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    rae, I agree with you about very yummy pizza at mellow!

    jenna, that food looks delicious! good choice!

  • Emily W.
    March 4, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I am going to make quinoa tommorrow for the first time and I found this recipe:

    It says to soak the quinoa over night…is this necessary? Thanks

  • Cara
    March 4, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    wow that looks great. I more recently tried to eat more black beans instead of refried beans. they are probably why I gained so much weight. oh well.

  • blueberrybabe
    March 4, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Jenna and others- what are your opinions on nutritional supplements like Ensure or boost? (to aid in weight gain) They seem a bit artificial for someone (me) who is obsessive about only eating all natural things… WHAT IS IN THERE ANYWAY?! But i am running out of (and tired of so much planning) calorie dense food ideas! thanks for your thoughts…

  • Kate
    March 4, 2008 at 7:15 pm


    Would you mind listing the nutritional info for the oatmeal you ate this morning. I mean the info on the box (not your specific calorie count). The multigrain cereal not on quaker’s website. The specific numbers I am interested in is, serving size, calories, grams of protein, carbs, and fat. And fiber grams (insoluble and soluble). Thanks so much!

    Your lunch looks so good….hope the meeting went well 🙂

  • Kate
    March 4, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Kelly, you said that you typically spend between 40 and 50. Would you mind posting a typical weekly shop (you can make it up and just show an estimate? It would be so helpful. I always seem to spend 70 dollars even at the regular grocery (not WF). Produce seems to be so expensive, especially vegetables. Even one bag of frozen fruit cost 3.30 and one bag of lettuce 3.50. Any specific tricks? Thanks!

  • ashleystravel
    March 4, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Tijuana Flats is one of the many things that I miss since I have moved away from Orlando. Since the menu revamp, did they keep that tasty spinach artichoke quesadilla? I haven’t had that since 2003!

  • arimcg
    March 4, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Emily W, I’ve never soaked quinoa. I also don’t rinse it like most directions say to. I think you’re fine!

  • Majrhoulihan
    March 4, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Oh, I’m from New York, but I love the Tijuana Flats in Deerfield Beach. Thanks for reminding me of good burritos of the past.

  • jenna
    March 4, 2008 at 7:34 pm


    1/2 cup of dry multigrain cereal= 130 calories, 1 gram of fat and 5 grams of protein. It’s pretty comparable to regular oats! I made it on the stove with a cup of soy milk lite to get that creaminess I love!

  • Patricia
    March 4, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Mellow Mushroom does have tasty pizza but I like their hoagies the best!

  • Sam
    March 4, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Besides black beans and no sour cream what else is in your burrito?

    Looks good!

  • Lindsay
    March 4, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    So I had absolutely no idea that there is a Tijuana Flats literally 10 minutes from my house until I googled it, I thought it was a Florida thing! I will definitely have to check this out and try the whole wheat veggie burrito!! There is a place similar that I like to go to called Moe’s… I always get the salad with black beans, veggies (no meat), tons of extra salsa (so no need for dressing)… it is yummy but still healthy!

    Oh by the way, Jenna, it says they dont use lard or microwaves (among other weird/interesting things) when you click on their menu online!

  • Emily W.
    March 4, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    I also go to the grocery store each week (my favorite part of the week) and spend between 40 and 50 dollars! (you can too!! …i know, that was cheesy!)
    I am a Very savvy shopper. However, it may be easier for me because I live in Houston (I have noticed that food is cheaper here than other places I have been). Nonetheless, if you shop around and get a feel for who has the best prices on certain foods that can help. Also, Make a shopping day and visit some close grocery stores and buy a few things at each (dont waste too much gas or anything!). Once you have shopped around you will have an idea as to what to buy at each place. Last time I went shopping I bought

    Simple Harvest Granola bars- $1.50 (after a $1 coupon)
    Dewafflebakers Flaxseed pancakes- $2.29
    Kashi Cereal- $2.70 (after a $.50 coupon)
    Salad(bag)- on sale for $2!!
    2 oranges- $1.00
    Amy’s single serve pizza- $2.50 (After $1 coupon)
    Zucchini- $.80
    Romaine lettuce- $2
    Onion- $.75
    Tomatoes- $1.70
    Ice cream (single serve)- $1
    Carton Pacific All natural Light sodium Creamy tomato soup- $2.29 (YUM!)
    All natural PB- $2.69

    4 apples- $2.29
    3 bananas- $.44 (i love bananas…so cheap!)
    1 gallon milk- $3.50 (expensive!)
    Carrot chips- $1.25
    all natural eggs- $2.80
    Single pouch tuna- $.89
    2% Kraft sharp cheddar cheese- $2.50
    All Natural Whole Wheat Bread- $2.89

    Total: $39.78

    (I did already have some things at home (EVOO, yogurt, jelly..), but it is not always necessary to completely restock your whole kitchen each trip so this is a pretty good representation!)
    Look at the websites of your favorite brands and check to see if they offer coupons. I also find coupons at and I emailed Amy’s and Kashi and they graciously sent me coupons!

    Hope this helps…

    My advice is to take a few moments before you go out to decide what you are going to get, make a list for each grocery store, get your coupons sorted out and have a plan! However, allow yourself one treat that is not listed (that is half the fun of going to the grocery store, right?!)

  • VeggieGirl
    March 4, 2008 at 8:21 pm


    I used to drink the EnsurePlus weight-gain shakes when I was younger – not only did they not work (no weight-gain – all they did was make me sick!), but the ingredients are NOT worth it. Those shakes are nothing but chemicals and preservatives – you are MUCH better off with wholesome smoothies made with nut-butters, flax oil, fruits, etc.

  • Indeed
    March 4, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Tijuana Flats’ refried beans are vegetarian. They may be slightly “worse” for you but I can’t stand black beans unless they are dry and in a veggie burger or something. Just can’t stand them really juicy like that. Anyone else like that?

    And if they had fruit I’d have to still get the chips. The spice on them is just right! Viva Tijuanas!

  • Lori- the pleasantly plump vegan
    March 4, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    besides family and friends, Tijuana Flats is one place I seriously miss from FLA. Luckily, I found the Sweet Thai Sauce at my local Asian Market, so I can pretend everytime I eat Mexican food. I actually bring this sauce with me to restaurants! I’m such a food nerd!

  • NJ
    March 4, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Another question to follow up about the beans…

    On the nutrition info for TF… the only difference between a black-bean powerlite burrito and a refried powerlite burrito is that the refired has 10 more calories, one gram MORE protein and one gram LESS sugar. Aside from that they are almost the same.

    So my question is, while I realize most mexican places use lard and therefore the rf beans would be “worse” for you, what makes them so much worse for you at a place like Tijuanas where they are vegetarian? Or the vegetarian RF beans from a can?

    I ask because I loe RF beans and can’t stand black beans and would like to convince myself I am not sabotaging anything completely! 😉 Thanks!

  • Mel H
    March 4, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    blueberrybabe- In HS when i was trying to gain weight I drank a boost plus every single day. It did help me add calories but i didn’t LOVE the taste so I often mixed whem with yogurt and a banana or pb to make a smoothie!! that was good!! Good luck
    p.s. Mellow Mushroom is my FAV pizza place and they have great side salads..yum!

  • Kelly L.
    March 4, 2008 at 8:50 pm


    This might be a really silly question but I’m going to ask anyways….
    Okay, so I make my sandwiches the night before to take to work. I usually do turkey but tomorrow I’m planning on PBJ. Okay, so I freeze my bread (Natures Own Whole Wheat Double Fiber). I typically take out two slices and let them thaw on the counter for 20 minutes and then make my sandwich and wrap it up and stick in the frige. To save time (I hate waiting 20 minutes to make the sandwich) I was thinking of just making the sandwich while the bread was still mostly frozen and then wrapping it up and putting it in the fridge where it will thaw overnight. Anyone do this?

    Also, does anyone’s PBJ get soggy after making it a day ahead? Thanks! I said it was a silly question…..

  • Lindsay
    March 4, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Kelly L. ~ I have done this before with PB&J on frozen wheat bread, not recently, but it actually came out fine and tasted fresh once I ate it 🙂 And it did not get soggy whatsoever… I would try it out w/ no worries!

    Oh & I always make my PB&J the night before and it never gets soggy… maybe it depends on what brand/consistency of peanut butter & jam you are using?

  • jenna
    March 4, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I really don’t know what else was in that burrito! low fat cheese, black beans, a variety of veggies. I believe the website has a better description!

  • Sarah
    March 4, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Kelly L.—I do that all the time with my sandwiches, whether with meat and cheese, or pb&j, and always get good results…no sogginess! 🙂

  • Betsy
    March 4, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    you don’t need to soak quinoa overnight. It’s so easy to cook! 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water. cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until its all cooked (it will “sprout”). If you are using a small amout (1/4 cup or less) it will take less than 20 minutes.

    that burrito looks pretty darn good. my local burrito joint (benny’s burritos for you fellow nyers) also offers low fat cheese and whole wheat wraps. they’re pretty f-ing amazing.

  • Romina
    March 4, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I wish I could find healthier places like that! It sounds delicious. =) And the whole wheat option is superb.

  • ms.
    March 4, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Mmmmmm….I love Flats!! I don’t know if I’d have the willpower to get the fruit if they offered it instead of chips. The pepper on the chips rocks!

  • Megs
    March 4, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Does anyone have the cornbread recipe?
    Thanks 🙂

  • Carrie
    March 4, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Does anyone have the olive oil cake recipe?

  • Patricia
    March 4, 2008 at 10:11 pm


    Here’s the Olive Oil Cake Recipe….

    4 eggs

    1 cup sugar

    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

    1/2 tsp baking powder

    pinch of salt

    1 cup flour (white)

    1. Beat together the eggs and sugar with an electric beater until thick and pale. Add the olive oil, baking powder and salt and beat again until combined.

    2. Fold in the flour and pour into a prepared cake pan (sprayed with nonstick spray)

    3. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes until golden brown. When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

    **The cookbook this is from says “one slice=310 calories” and that there were 8 slices total. I get a lot more than 8 slices from this cake because a thin slice is all that’s needed to satisfy. Enjoy with a cup of tea with honey or a decaf cappuccino. Share with someone you love.

  • Carrie
    March 4, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Patricia, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  • Megs
    March 4, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Carrie, I can email it to you. Jenna is being smart and not posting recipes she hasnt made her own! Lord know what copyright people are lurking so I want to respect her attempt to be fair to authors! 🙂

  • Kelly
    March 4, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Thanks guys for the sandwich input. I just use Smucker Organic Natural Peanut Butter and the Whole Foods brand all natural Jam. I’m sure these would work fine, especially since they stay refrigerated anyways. It’s not like I’m putting gooey warm PB on frozen bread.

  • Phoebe
    March 5, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Emily W. — That looks like a great shopping list! And WOW food is a lot cheaper where you live than it is here, both in terms of brand name food and fruit and vegetables. I live in Chicago (school) and Boston (home) and the prices are very steep in both cities! I guess I should move to Houston. I love using coupons too.