You may have heard that Chipotle recently added vegan sofritas to its menu, but is this a healthy option? Our friends at Shape tell us all about the new food item and how to order the right way at this popular Mexican chain.
Recently, Chipotle Mexican Grill began offering sofritas — shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblanos (mild chili peppers), and a blend of spices — at its California locations. The only source of protein for vegetarians and vegans at Chipotle in other states right now is beans, and while I am a huge fan of beans, having more than one option never hurts.
Like other fillings, sofritas can be added to burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads with other ingredients, and at 145 calories and 1.5 grams of saturated fat per four-ounce serving, it sounds pretty good for you. And while I’m glad Chipotle has a new vegan option and would hope that meat eaters would try it, too, there are many surprises on the menu that you need to watch out for, such as:
1. Just a burrito's tortilla — before adding any fillings — sets you back 290 calories and 670 milligrams sodium.
2. Normally I would not suggest anything with the word "crispy" in its description, but when choosing tacos, the crispy corn tortillas actually have 90 fewer calories per serving than the soft flour tortillas.
3. All the filling choices — steak, barbacoa, carnitas, and chicken — are about the same calorie- and fat-wise, but the steak has the least amount of sodium (320 milligrams) and the carnitas the most (540 milligrams). And unfortunately its newest addition, the sofrita, is the highest of them all at 850 milligrams per serving. Ouch!
4. A real sodium shocker is that the tomato salsa (470 milligrams) and tomatillo-red chili salsa (570 milligrams) are much higher in sodium than the tomatillo-green chili salsa (230 milligrams). And even the beans vary enough to sway you in one direction with pinto (330 milligrams) higher in sodium than black (250 milligrams).
5. Add-ons that can cause a calorie disaster are vinaigrette (260 calories), guacamole (150 calories), cheese (100 calories), and sour cream (120 calories).
So what can one possibly order if they want to keep calories at a reasonable amount and sodium less than their total day’s allowance? Find out after the break!