How are you doing with small, simple changes we’re reviewing all month? Instead of going crazy with big resolutions, find a small tweak you can live with and build upon that success. Last week, we discussed a daily salad. This week, it’s meatless meals.
Meatless Mondays (or Tuesdays or any day of the week)
Making one dinner a week a meatless one has loads of benefits. Probably the most beneficial to you is that you’ll be healthier. Studies show that those who eat a plant-based diet weigh less and are less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Pick one day this week and replace your dinner’s meat entree with a bean-based dish such as Tuscan Bean Burgers (find the recipe here) or an omelette with sautéed vegetables. Once you get into the habit of once a week, try twice a week for even more health benefits. One more benefit: you’ll save money at the grocery store. Next time you’re shopping, compare the cost of beef to the cost of a can of beans. That savings will really add up!
Eating a Better Protein
What comes to mind when you see the word “protein”? Maybe you think of a big steak or a piece of grilled chicken. Do you think of beans? Well, why not give them a try in your next lunch or dinner.
Why Beans are Nutritional Superstars
- They supply the protein we need to build healthy muscles without the fat that comes with animal protein.
- Beans are high in fiber, which we need to keep our GI system working properly and boost our immune system.
- Beans are loaded with vitamins and minerals; especially iron and many B vitamins.
Try a variety of beans and other legumes, such as black, kidney, navy, soy (edamame), and lentils. Start with this yummy recipe and soon you’ll be a bean convert!
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito
Serves 4 to 6
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 large onions, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon minced fresh green chile
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons ground coriander
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
⅔ cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 eight-inch flour tortillas
fresh salsa for serving (purchase from produce section)
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Place sweet potatoes in large saucepan with water to cover. Cover pot, bring to a boil then simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well, mash with a potato masher, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and chile. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, onion mixture, black beans, cilantro and lemon juice.
Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spoon about ⅔ to ¾ cup of the filling in the center of each tortilla, roll up and place it, seam side down in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes to crisp the tortillas. Serve with fresh salsa.
The Coming Week
- Drink Up!