For followers of a low-carb diet, one of the most challenging aspects is dining out. This is especially true when something like Mexican cuisine, which normally considered heavy in carbohydrates, is the restaurant of choice. Fortunately, there are many low-carb options that still allow you to enjoy flavors from south of the border without blowing your diet.
Choose a salad
Most Mexican food restaurants offer several salad choices. If you go with this option, skip the taco shell bowl and instead fill up on the veggies and protein. A standard taco salad is the most popular option. This usually has lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, cheese, and a protein. It is topped with tortilla strips instead of croutons. For protein, steak or chicken is the best choice for a low-carber. You may also be able to get a fajita salad, which is similar to a taco salad but it may also feature sauteed peppers and onions.
Skip the rice and beans
Ordering a la carte is a better option that going straight for the meals. This is because most of the meals will be served with a generous portion of rice and beans. While filling, this is a quick way to pack on the carbs. Instead, order your main dish a la carte. You can have it served with a small side salad or ask if there are any vegetable sides to choose from – many Mexican restaurants offer sauteed vegetable sides.
Check out the soups
A spicy soup could be just the thing to satisfy your cravings. Chili verde is one low carb option that is big on flavor. This stew features green chili and vegetables in a rich broth. It most commonly contains pork, although chicken may also be an option. Tortilla soup is a vegetable and chicken soup that usually is stocked full of tomatoes, corn, and other veggies. Don't let the name fool you – the only tortilla in this soup is a light sprinkling of crisp tortilla strips that are used as a garnish.
If you want a heartier meal, fajitas are the way to go. Whether you prefer chicken, steak, or a mixture of both, this meal of sizzling strips of meat, peppers, and onions is sure to satisfy your cravings. Go heavy on the condiments – usually guacamole and salsa. Skip the tortillas, though. You can eat the fajitas with a fork or request some large lettuce leaves to use as wraps.
Contact a local Tucson az Mexican food restaurant to see what low-carb items are featured on their menu.