Here's the Dish

healthy ANDI licious

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.

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Aguacate Relleno de Salmón August 17, 2011

Aguacate Relleno de Salmón
Salmon & Avocado Half with Salsa & Greek Yogurt

Inspired by one of my favorite summer dishes, Aguacate Relleno de Atún, I decided to give the same basic recipe a try with salmon instead. I used freshly baked wild caught salmon, chilled in the fridge for a few hours after baking.

Ingredients

-salmon
-1/2 fresh, ripe avocado
-fresh salsa
– FAGE 0% Plain Greek yogurt

Methods

Prepare salmon as desired. Scoop out 1/2 of a ripe avocado. Top with salsa and fat-free plain Greek yogurt. (The Greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to the mayo traditionally used in the tuna dish.)

Nutrition Info
Approximate values taken from nutritiondata.com. These are estimated values and may vary.

Info for 1/2 avocado, 2 oz salmon, 2 tbsp salsa, 1 tbsp fat-free plain Greek yogurt.

Calories: 310, Fat: ~20g (only 2.5g  saturated), Sodium: 50mg, Sugar: 3g, Fiber: 7g, Vit C: 20%, Calcium: 6%.

 

100 Calorie Upgrade: Hummus, Fresh Salsa, & Baby Carrots November 12, 2010

Hummus, Fresh Salsa, & Baby Carrots: Filling, packed with nutrition and flavor and, if you stick to the serving size shown here (2 tbsp hummus, 1 tbsp fresh salsa, 7-8 baby carrots), ~100 calories.

What’s in Your 100 Calorie Snack?

The wave of 100 calorie snack packs have seen enormous sales in recent years and, to their credit, may help a lot people stick to a moderate serving size for their favorite processed snacks. On the run, stuffed in a lunch box, or given out in large groups I can definitely see their value: foods we like, controlled portions, conveniently wrapped.

The problem is that I have yet to find a packaged 100 calorie pack that actually makes me feel less hungry. I feel like I am just putting a taste that I like in my mouth for a few minutes, then it’s gone, and I’m ready to find something else to eat. If you’re on the run you will probably be too distracted by other things to fixate on this feeling. If you’re sitting (near access to the rest of your food) working on a stressful homework assignment, however, fixation on anything happens readily.

When your 100 calorie snack becomes a mere appetizer to more snacking on processed foods, the 100 calorie pack’s purpose has lost its value. To fix this, try to make your dorm, your home, or your apartment, a place where your snacks are mostly fresh, unprocessed foods. A 100 calorie pack of cookies is useful if that’s your means of restricting your cookie intake, but should not be considered a “healthy” snack because it doesn’t provide you with anything that does something for you by packing nutrients, fiber, or satisfying flavor.

Here’s one healthy snack idea to get you started: 2 tbsp of your favorite hummus, 1-2 tbsp fresh salsa, and 7-8 baby carrots. The trick is to actually dish out the portions, put them on a plate, and then put all of the extra ingredients away. Keeping out a full container even of a great, healthy food like hummus, will make it tempting to eat more than a serving and consume excess calories. Instead, only have your prepared plate within your sight and have water or unsweetened tea with your snack to make it more filling without adding calories. (Note that adding diet soda, even if it is calorie-free, is not such a great idea for your health. Look for an upcoming post to learn more.)