Nick and I have been dating five and a half years. During those five and a half years, we’ve probably been to Chili’s at least thirty times. Back in the good ol’ days (when I was still a college student and he had just graduated), it was a cheap place for a tasty date night. No shame, right? I mean, who hasn’t been to Chili’s in their life?
And who can’t resist the bottomless chips and salsa? Me, that is, until I became a nutrition major and realized that each basket of chips had 1,600 mg of sodium. EACH. BASKET. And the fresh guacamole had 2,640 mg of sodium. Isn’t guacamole just supposed to be avocado, lime, cilanto, onion and tomato…?
Nick’s favorite dish, the Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers, is the ultimate tastes-delicious-but-makes-you-feel sick dish. Which, by the way, has 1,590 calories, 70g of fat, and a whopping 4,960 mg of sodium. After looking all this information up, I found it hard to go out to eat at Chili’s anymore. We still do go occasionally, but it’s maybe once or twice a year versus once a month like the”good ol’ days”.
When we do go, we like to choose items off the Lighter Menu, like their Mango Chili Chicken! I decided to make an even lighter, lower sodium version of their Mango Chili Chicken! This is the perfect recipe to share today, because it’s also Recipe Redux day! This month’s theme is to Spring Clean:
Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.
I had a huge pack of fresh chicken breasts in the freezer that needed to be used asap. We had one of Nick’s buddies over to watch the Mavs playoff game last weekend (sad day…) and I made this dish. Everyone raved about it!
My version has 370 calories and 200 mg of sodium. Chili’s version has 520 calories and 2,180 mg of sodium. Keep in mind, however, that my version does not include rice and broccoli. Steam a large crown of broccoli and add a little melted butter, and cook a large batch of brown or white rice in low sodium chicken broth.
Here’s the recipe for a lower sodium version of Chili’s Mango Chili Chicken:
- 3 ripe mangoes, diced
- 3 avocados, diced
- 1/2 purple onion, diced
- 3 jalapenos, diced
- 1/2 bunch of Cilantro, chopped
- 4 vine tomatoes, diced
- Juice from 1 lime
- 3 chicken breasts, cut in halves
- 2 TBSP chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Combine the salsa ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and place in fridge.
- Combine the rub ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the chicken to a large ziplock bag or bowl. Add the rub and olive oil. Use your hands to make sure the rub and oil cover the chicken throuraly. Let marinate in the fridge for about an hour.
- Heat up the grill and cook until 165 degrees!
- Serve with fresh steamed broccoli and a rice pilaf!
- We used our George Foreman grill on the highest heat setting, took about 6-10 minutes depending on size of chicken breast.
What are you favorite “copycat” recipes?
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Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!