La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Low Carb High Fiber Large Tortillas
The best tool in my low-cal Mexican arsenal. Not only are these low in calories, but they're also crazy high in fiber. And they taste good, too. A pack of these should probably be in your kitchen even if you're not making south-of-the-border goodies — they make great wrap sandwiches!
Each tortilla has 80 calories, 3g fat, 12g fiber, and a PointsPlus™ value of 2.
Frozen ground beef-style soy crumbles
If you want low-cal, low-fat taco meat, this is hands down the easiest way to go. Microwave a scoop of these with a bit of dry taco seasoning, and it's perfect. Roll up the seasoned faux meat in the aforementioned tortilla with the rest of the items on this list (except maybe the next one), and you've got a serious burrito. (Morningstar Farms and Boca both make delicious crumbles!)
A serving of 1/2 - 2/3 cup has 60 - 80 calories, 0.5 - 2.5g fat, 3g fiber, and a PointsPlus value of 2.
Canned 98% fat-free white chunk chicken in water
I was a little worried about using canned chicken at first, but now I've embraced it just like tuna. Mix some of this up with dry seasoning mix, salsa, or hot sauce, and fans of spicy chicken items will be really happy. Pssst! This stuff is also a really good chicken taco salad ingredient, especially when topped off with the next food on the list...
A 3-oz. serving has about 70 calories, 1g fat, 0g fiber, and a PointsPlus value of 2.
Guiltless Gourmet Baked Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips
The best baked corn chips around. Yeah, there are other similar items out there, but these rule and are nice and low in fat. Nacho freaks should get their hands on these as soon as possible. (There are a ton of varieties, but this is my go-to type!)
A 1-oz. serving (about 18 chips) has 120 calories, 3g fat, 2g fiber, and a PointsPlus value of 3.
Low-fat/fat-free refried beans
If you're in need of something to make a bean burrito or a tasty hot dip, grab a can of this stuff. There is really no good reason to get the fattier kinds. The low-fat/fat-free versions taste terrific, and you're going to load 'em with cheese and other goodies anyway!
A 1/2-cup serving has 100 - 120 calories, 0 - 2g fat, 6g fiber, and a PointsPlus value of 2.
Yeah, I know, this one's a no-brainer. But I want to give it a quick shout-out because I love it so much. I scoop it on top of cheesy eggs to make a Mexi-licious scramble. I heap it onto salads. I like the stuff in jars, the stuff in tubs, the stuff you make yourself… I love salsa!
A 2-Tbsp. serving has about 10 calories, 0g fat, 0.5g fiber, and a PointsPlus value of 0.
Fat-free sour cream
Topping off a spicy dish with a little cool sour cream is like squiggling chocolate syrup onto your scoop of ice cream — yeah, you could go without it, but why? The fat-free stuff is totally adequate, however if you have an issue with the taste, you can use fat-free Greek yogurt instead.
A 2-tbsp. serving has about 25 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, and a PointsPlus value of 0.
Fat-free shredded Cheddar cheese
People, you just can't have a proper Mexican-style dinner without cheese. (At least I don't think you should.) And since there are so many fun ingredients to add, it's best to save a few calories and fat grams by going with the fat-free stuff. Tip: If you microwave the cheese with the soy crumbles or chicken and then stir it up, it melts really nicely.
A 1/4-cup serving has about 45 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, and a PointsPlus value of 1.
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Hungry Girl, aka Lisa Lillien, distributes her tips, tricks and takes on new food products through her daily emails and Web site. Check out www.Hungry-Girl.com.