Here's the Dish

healthy ANDI licious

Black Bean Salsa Verde Tacos January 25, 2013

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Black Bean Salsa Verde Tacos
with avocado, grapefruit, & lime

After a long cold day, there are some nights when–as much as I love to cook–I really just want to pull something healthy and tasty out of the freezer to heat and enjoy. With high salt, additives, and other less than optimal ingredients in most frozen meals out there, I decided to make my own.

Pictured here are two of my own black bean salsa verde tacos from freezer to hot-on-my-plate in 3 minutes. Topped with fresh avocado slices.

Make your own!

Ingredients
Makes 12 tacos (6 servings)

-12 small corn tortillas
-3/4 lb dried black beans (soak overnight or at least 4 hours)
-2/3 cup frozen corn
-squeezed juice of 1 fresh lime
-1 fresh avocado or your favorite guacamole
-3/4 cup tomatillo salsa
-fresh cilantro to taste (unless you hate cilantro–some love it, some hate it)
-squeeze juice of 1/4 fresh grapefruit (optional)
– 1/2 scoop PlantFusion Unflavored Protein Powder (optional)

Method

1) Rinse beans and soak overnight (or at least 4 hours). Drain soaked beans and bring beans to a boil (using enough waters to cover the beans) then simmer for 1 hour until soft. Rise cooked beans and drain water.

2) Combine cooked beans and all remaining ingredients (except tortillas) in large bowl and blend with an immersion blender.

3) Take a few tortillas (3-4) at a time, moisten with just a few drops of water, and microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Scoop approx 2 tbsp of your puree into each softened tortilla so that it is full but can still close.

4) Wrap filled tortillas in wax paper to prevent from freezing together or space them out so that they do not touch within sealed tupperware that can be used in your freezer. Freeze tacos immediately to keep them fresh.

5) Take out your delicious tacos as desired, remove all wax paper, and heat on a microwave-safe ceramic or glass plate for 2-3 minutes until fully cooked.

6) Enjoy! I love to top them with fresh avocado or fresh tomatillo salsa.

 

Quinoa Black Lentil Endive Boats April 16, 2012

Black Lentils, Red Quinoa, & Hummus make these "Endive Boats" High-Fiber, High-Protein Vessels

Black Lentil & Red Quinoa Endive Boats
with avocado and hummus

Protein champions quinoa, black lentils, egg, and hummus combine with high fiber avocado, endives (and again the lentils, quinoa, and hummus) for a powerfully delicious creation.  Enjoy 3-5 of these “Endive Boats” as the main entree for a meal or much on 1-2 boats as a healthy snack.

Suggested Meal Pairings:
♥ 4 Endive Boats +Small Mixed Greens Salad + 1/2 sliced orange or mango
♥ 4 Endive Boats + Carrot Cinnamon Smoothie
♥ 3 Endive Boats + Cup of Fit French Onion Soup
♥ 2 Endive Boats + Aguacate Relleño de Atún

Ingredients

-1/2 cup dried black lentils
-1/2 cup dried red (or tricolor) quinoa
-1 small avocado (cubed)
-1 onion (chopped)
-2 eggs
– 1/4 cup almond meal (almond flour)
1/4 cup spelt or buckwheat flour
-4 tbsp curry powder

-1 tsp turmeric & 1 tsp cumin (optional)
-2-3 large endive heads
-hummus (for topping)
– crumbled goat’s cheese or blue cheese (optional topping)
-1 tbsp olive or peanut oil

Method

1) Boil water (amount determined by your lentil bag’s instructions– usually about 4x water to the amount of dried lentils). Add enough water for both the lentils and the quinoa. So if you are using 1/2 cup of each, try using 4 cups water. When the water reaches a boil add the rinsed dried black lentils. After 15 minutes add the quinoa. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.

2) Chop onion and sauté in a pan with 1 tbsp oil.When onions begin to brown slightly, add your two eggs and stir until eggs are cooked. Set this pan aside from the heat once eggs have cooked.

3) Combine all spices, avocado, and egg/onion mix once the quinoa and lentils have cooked to the pot with the cooked quinoa lentil mix. Note that if there is excess water remaining, drain the water before adding remaining ingredients. (Do not add the toppings or endive leaves yet).

4) Using a hand blender, slightly blend your ingredients together so that they are well mixed but a grain texture remains. If you do not have a blender, simply stir vigorously for 3-5 minutes until ingredients are well mixed.

5) Scoop out contents and add to your fresh endive leaves. Top with hummus, goat cheese (optional), and any additional herbs if desired. Enjoy!

 

The Best Black Bean Soup January 10, 2012

Simple ingredients. Simply delicious.

The Best Black Bean Soup
with zesty salsa & avocado

They say black is slimming. When it comes to black beans these high-fiber, high-protein, low-calorie legumes can certainly do a body good. It won’t matter however, when you taste your first spoonful of this simple, natural combination of flavors you won’t need any further convincing.

Ingredients
Makes 8 Servings

-1/2 lb dried black beans
-4-5 green tea bags
-1 cup of your favorite salsa
-1 bunch fresh cilantro
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 ripe avocado
– 2 tsp cumin powder
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-juice of 1 lime
-1/4 cup oat bran (optional)
Topping
daiya deliciously dairy free mozzarella style shreds
-Baked blue corn chips
-1/2 ripe avocado (divide into slices)

Methods
1. Overnight: Rinse dried beans and soak overnight (or for at least 4 hours) in large saucepan.

The next day...After soak, drain most of the excess water. You will lose some water-soluble nutrients in the water but you will also lose some of the raffinose (type of sugar found in beans) that causes the discomfort known to give beans their nickname as “the musical fruit.” The majority of the nutrient quality will remain and your guests will thank you for this measure.

2. In a separate pot, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Once the boil is reached, turn off the burner and add 4-5 green tea bags. Cover pot with lid and allow to steep until very strong (for at least 15 minutes- but leaving the brew longer is even better).

3. In a large pot, combine brewed green tea (remove tea bags) and beans and add water until beans are totally covered. Bring beans to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for approximately 1 hour until beans are soft.

4. Chop onion and add to large saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil on medium high heat. Stir frequently until onions brown to a caramelized state (but do not become black and burnt).

5. When beans are soft, reduce heat to low and stir in cilantro leaves from one bunch, caramelized onions, 1 cup salsa, cumin, cayenne pepper, oat bran (optional), lime juice and 1/2 ripe avocado. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend ingredients until smooth.

Serve hot. Delicious topped with baked corn chips, daiya dairy-free “cheese” shreds, and a few small avocado slices. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for months. Freezer tip: If freezing, use containers that will hold only a few portions each for easy future dining.

Nutrition Highlights: This 100% vegan dish is packed with nutrients and extremely filling despite its low-fat, low-calorie profile. Black beans are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals including folate, iron, and magnesium. The green tea is high in antioxidants which help protect cells against damage (including both heart damage and wrinkles). This soup is an ideal dish for helping to lower cholesterol; The beans and oat bran are very high in soluble fiber- the type of fiber that can bind to cholesterol carrying molecules in the blood and help remove these molecules. The avocado, which adds a delicious creaminess to the soup body, is high in monounsaturated fat- the “heart-healthy” type of fat that helps to raise HDL levels and lower LDL levels.

 

Lush Cabbage-Carrot-Avocado Rolls December 21, 2011

Shredded Purple Cabbage, Sauteed Onion, Shredded Carrots, Mini Broccoli Pieces, & Sprouts combine with Avocado and Hummus for a fresh, nourishing meal. Wrapped in a large collard green leaf with green onion tie.

Cool Components: Prep well-rinsed leaf, sprouts, green onion slices, avocado, and hummus while the onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, & carrots simmer on your stove.

Lush Cabbage-Carrot-Avocado Rolls
wrapped in Collard Green Leaves

–a perfect lunch or snack–

Ingredients
Serves 2-4
-Large, fresh collard green leaves
-Purple cabbage (I used fresh sliced thin)
-Alfalfa Sprouts (optional- wash well)
-Green onion (chopped)
-1 large carrot (shredded)
-1 ripe avocado
-1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
-3 cloves garlic (minced)
-2 tbsp olive or canola oil
-Your favorite hummus (lemon or spinach & artichoke work well)
-1 small head of broccoli (break off small, thin pieces)

Wrap Filling: Sauteed onions, garlic cabbage, carrots, & broccoli.

Methods

1) Finely chop/slice onion, garlic, cabbage and green onion. Peel and shred carrot. In a medium sauce pan, add olive oil and set to medium-high heat. Add onion and stir frequently for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add cabbage, garlic, and carrots. Break off small pieces of broccoli and add to pan.

2) Rinse and dry large collard green leaf and spread about 1/2 tsp hummus around center. Add sprouts, a few small avocado slices, and chopped green onion. Be sure to thoroughly rinse all ingredients before using and be mindful of any recent recalls in your area (sprouts have had several bad press spotlights in recent years. Skip these if you or a guest has a compromised immune system. For a healthy adult, fresh, well-rinse sprouts are an excellent source of nutrients including vitamin C.)

3) Add ~3 tbsp of your sauteed mix to the wrap, roll it up and serve fresh. Tie with a green onion string or slice in half. For a snack, enjoy with a large glass of water or unsweetened tea (iced or hot). For a meal, serve with a side of brown or wild rice and your favorite fruit-packed smoothie.

Thanks to Tin for the awesome idea to use collard greens for the wraps! I love them!

 

Tastes of Spring Break: Lush Greens Salad March 29, 2011

 

Lush Greens with Fruit, Nuts and Sheep's Cheese. Salad beautifully designed by Erin O'Donnell.

Ingredients: Organic mixed greens, red bell pepper, avocado, olives, cucumber, strawberry slices, sheep’s milk cheese, walnut pieces, craisins, sun-dried tomatoes,  organic balsamic vinaigrette.

 

Fresh Tomato Guacamole December 20, 2010

Fresh Tomato Guacamole

Fresh Tomato Guacamole

Ripe fresh tomatoes blended into the avocado and cilantro base make this naturally potassium and vitamin-E rich guacamole a delicious appetizer or side dish.

Try it at home

Using a blender, food processor, or hand blender, blend two ripe avocados, two fresh (medium sized) tomatoes, a large handful of fresh cilantro, a splash of lime juice, and a dash of cayenne (or chili) pepper.

Serving sizes: Although I love avocados and believe they are a wonderful, healthy part of my diet, I try to stick to limiting a serving to about 1/2 an avocado or less to keep calories in check.  For guacamole, I try to stick to no more than 1/2 cup servings (about 175 calories). This dish can easily serve 4 people. If you’re making it for yourself you can cut the recipe in half or store it in the fridge for a couple of days to spread out the servings.

Serve cool. Pairs well with salsa and tortilla chips (look for a low-sodium variety).

Other tasty guacamole blends

Another guacamole favorite, Whole Food’s recipe for Edamame Guacamole boosts protein and slashes calories in each serving without missing any of the creamy flavor. I’ve made this version several times and it always seems to be a hit with friends.

I haven’t made this one yet, but a guacamole hummus is next on my to-make list. This recipe looks like a delicious on from “Fannetastic Food.” I’ll let you know how it turns out!