25 October 2009

Facelft Number Nine - Revisiting Taco Bell

I know my last facelift was a Taco Bell item, but let me explain why I'm revisiting this fast food joint.

My boyfriend loves (LOVES!) the crunchwrap supreme and it's really not that complicated of a dish. I've wanted to do a facelift of this crispy, meaty, spiced meal-on-the-go but I was going to wait for a great moment to do so.

On SparkPeople.com we are having a contest that seems to be right up my alley: come up with a healthier recipe for a fast food item. The winner gets a blender that retails for over $400!

So, I've pulled out the stops and decided that this is the moment to unveil what I believe is my best facelift yet... and I can't wait to make this again for my boyfriend!


Let's do this.


For four servings:
4 Mission "Plus" Heart Healthy Flour Tortillas
4 Old El Paso Corn Tostada Shells
1 pound 96% extra lean ground beef
.5 cup water
2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 oz tomato paste, no salt added
4 tbsp fat free sour cream
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle blend
.5 teaspoon Goya Sazon seasoning (1/2 packet)
1 tablespoon Trader Jose's Salsa Autentica


In a deep pan, brown the garlic.

Add ground beef, brown, drain fat, and return to the pan.

Add Sazon, Mrs. Dash, tomato paste, and water.

Stir until combined and bubbling, cover, and set aside.

Spread 1 tablespoon of sour cream on a tostada shell.

Put one tortilla in a pan on medium heat and top with 1/4 of the meat mixture and 1 tablespoon of salsa.

Put the tostada on top with the sour cream side facing down.

Fold the edge of the tortilla around the tostada shell.

Flip the whole thing over and let it cook a little longer (about 2 or 3 minutes)...

...and take a big bite! (Hopefully you use the other 3 servings to make one for your friends!)


174 fewer Calories (-32.1%)
9g less fat (-43.8%)
3g less saturated fat (-47.1%)
40mg more cholesterol (+133.3%)
799mg less sodium (-57.1%)
32g less carbs (-45.6%)
2g less fiber (-36.7%)
12g more protein (+75%)

Okay, okay... yes, there's more cholesterol, but it's not too obscene. Also, the decrease in fiber is obviously not intentional.

You can reduce the amount of cholesterol by using ground turkey (which I wanted to do, but the store only had 80/20 and I wanted at least 93/7) or a meatless product (I was thinking of using Gimme Lean but it would have brought up the sodium a lot) instead of the ground beef. Increase the fiber by adding more veggies like onions (which I don't like) or lettuce (which I forgot to buy... whoops!).

Overall, this was REALLY delicious and writing this blog made me want to have another!

Full recipe is HERE. As usual, please leave a comment here or on SparkPeople or e-mail me at FastFoodFacelift@gmail.com with your ideas, suggestions, and critiques.

Wish me luck with the Spark People contest! I hope this delicious recipe is a winner!

18 October 2009

Facelift Number Eight - Nachos Bell Grande

I used to adore Taco Bell. I know, I know, it's notorious for serving some of the poorest excuses for cuisine out there, but I loved it. What can I say?


42 grams of fat?? Yup, this needs a facelift... stat! (Wow, that rhymed. Not deliberate. Sorry.)


1 oz Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Tortilla Chips
.25 cup black beans
1 oz light shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle
2 tbsp Trader Jose's Salsa Autentica
1 tbsp fat free sour cream


Rinse the beans. This helps get as much of the added salt off of them as possible.

Put the beans in a food processor until they are a bit broken up.

Put the chips on a foil-lined baking sheet and top with beans, Mrs. Dash, and cheese. Broil until...

...cheese is melted and chips are golden!

Top with sour cream and salsa!


518 fewer Calories (-68%)
35 grams less fat (-83%)
5 grams less saturated fat (-83%)
1 grams less trans fat (-100%)
20 mg less cholesterol (-67%)
443 mg less sodium (-35%)
45 grams less carbs (-58%)
8 grams less fiber (-67%)
8 grams less protein (-42%)

As usual, I didn't mean to decrease fiber or protein. Whoops!

Also, take note that the sodium amount is most likely a little bit off because this does not take into account that I rinsed the beans for a minute before putting them in the food processor. According to an article I read, rinsing beans in cold water for 1 minute decreases the sodium by about 25%. If this is true then the amount of sodium in the beans went from 215mg to 161mg, decreasing the sodium for the whole dish from 808mg to 754mg.

In addition, I recommend making your own tortilla chips. I meant to do this but forgot to buy tortillas at the store; so, I used some of the Trader Joe's Guiltless tortilla chips because they were on hand. The sodium will decrease a little by not using pre-made tortilla chips!

If you want to add some protein, feel free to add any meat or non-meat protein to it!

All-in-all this was a really great light lunch that I paired with a small spinach salad. Yum!

Full recipe can be found HERE. As usual, leave a comment here or on my Spark People page, or shoot me an e-mail with any suggestions, comments, or criticisms! Thanks!

12 October 2009

Facelift Number Seven - Dessert Time!

Firstly, I'm so sorry for being late with this week's facelift. Though I do not have a fever anymore, I'm still working on getting back to 100% health; I'd say I'm at 90% now. I honestly took it easy this week with the dish; it's a really really easy-to-make yet delicious dessert, and although I based it off of a dish at Uno's, I'm pretty sure you can find a Brownie A La Mode at plenty of other restaurants!


Mind you, this is only showing one serving. Each bowl is actually two servings so if you don't share it with someone, double the numbers above! Yikes!

Let's do this...


2 tablespoons No Pudge Brownie Mix (original)
2 tablespoons Trader Joe's Greek Nonfat Yogurt, Plain
1 packet Truvia
.5 cup Edy's Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt Blends
1 wedge Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate with Ancho & Chipotle Chilis & Cinnamon


Mix Greek Yogurt, No Pudge mix, and Truvia together until...

...completely combined! Microwave according to directions (1 minute, or until done).

Grate one wedge of the chocolate.

Top brownie with frozen yogurt and sprinkle chocolate on top. Enjoy!


Assuming you only eat one serving of the original...
180 fewer Calories (-49%)
18g less fat (-90%)
10.5g less saturated fat (-87.5%)
60mg less cholesterol (-100%)
152.9mg less sodium (-69.5%)
27.8g less carbohydrates (-48.8%)
1.4g less fiber (-70%)
2.4g more protein (+60%)

Okay, so decreasing the fiber is an oops on my part. To counteract this, in hindsight I'd add a tablespoon of ground flax meal, which is one of my favorite things to add to baked goods!

Full recipe HERE.

Thanks again for being so patient with this blog post. This weekend I anticipate being on time!

Don't forget to keep commenting here and on my Spark People page, as well as e-mail, your suggestions and criticisms to me!