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Taco Bell

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    How's this for coincidence: both McDonald's and Taco Bell got their start in San Bernardino, California, in the early '50s. Glen Bell opened a hamburger and hot dog stand called Bell's Drive-In, while the McDonald brothers, Dick and Mac, were just around the corner with their golden arches and speedy drive-up service. "The appearance of another hamburger stand worried me then," says Glen. "I just didn't think there was enough room in town for both of us." Turns out there was enough room—for a while.

    In 1962 Glen decided that it was time to offer an alternative to the hamburger stands that were saturating the area, so he opened the first Taco Bell and changed his menu to Mexican food.

    Ten years and hundreds of new taco Bell openings later, the Burrito Supreme hit the menu and became an instant hit. By making this reduced-fat clone version at home, we can knock the fat down to less than one-fifth of the original.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 burrito
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–325 (Original–503)
    Fat per serving–4g (Original–22g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur. 

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    Taco Bell had very little luck with light menu items over the years. In 1983 the Mexican fast-food chain introduced Taco Light, a taco with a fried flour tortilla shell. But the fried flour tortilla that replaced the traditional corn tortilla only made the taco light in weight and color; not in fat or calories. The item was quickly discontinued. In 1995, the chain tried again with Light Line, a selection of several lower-fat menu items. Those items were also quickly nixed from the menu boards due to poor sales.

    When we cook at home, though, we often like to make a meal better on the waistline, especially if it takes no extra effort and the food still tastes good. This recipe will show you how to do just that: knock the fat way down—from ten grams to just two grams—without compromising flavor. Check it out.

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–1 taco
    Total servings–6
    Calories per serving–172 (Original–213)
    Fat per serving–2g (Original–10g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur. 

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    When we cook at home, and want to clone the flavor of food like Taco Bell's, it takes no extra effort to make the meal significantly lower in fat than what you get at the restaurant. Why not give this recipe a go? You'll soon find out these tacos taste just like the soft tacos you get from the world's largest Mexican food chain, but with only one-quarter of the fat.

    Nutrition Facts

    Serving size–1 taco
    Total servings–5
    Calories per serving–170 (Original–225)
    Fat per serving–3g (Original–12g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur. 

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    You may not know that the delicious "pizzas" you get from the world's largest Mexican food chain have 36 grams of fat. If you like Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza as much as I do, you'll be happy to know that you can make a home version with only 10 grams of fat, and fewer calories, too.

    The secret fat savings come from baking, rather than frying, the flour tortillas. You'll also say "adios" to much of the fat by using reduced-fat Cheddar and Jack cheeses. I picked reduced-fat for these, because the fat-free stuff does not melt well when the pizza is baked.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 pizza
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–427 (Original–570)
    Fat per serving–10g (Original–36g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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