As a follow-up to our protein discussion, I thought I would take the time to share one of my favorite, easy dinner recipes that feature beans! This is a great weekday meal and is requires just a little preparation and cooking. It also uses lots of fresh product so it makes for a good summer dinner as well.
Last week, we looked into how beans are a great way to get both fiber and protein. Both fiber and protein are known for their benefit of keeping you full. Beans are one of those special foods that falls into two food group categories: vegetables and meats. Beans, or legumes, include black, kidney, garbonzo, butter, cannellini, white beans, and many more. Feel free to substitute your favorite bean in this recipe. The added vegetables provide fiber to your meal as well. Plus, this is a nice meal that you can customize to everyones’ tastes. Make the basic bean mixtures and let your family choose their toppings! Be creative and find other veggies to add on!
This recipe can also be used to make a healthy taco salad. Substitute a bed of chopped mixed greens, scoop your bean mixture on top, and finish with any additional toppings. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the salad for a light and fresh tasting meal! Use the recipe as a basis and tailor it to your own tastes!
Note: I prefer my onions cooked, so I throw them in with the beans. If you prefer raw onions, just use them as a topping.
Fresh Bean Tacos
1 15.5oz can red kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 onion, diced
˝ cup water or chicken broth
1 pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 tomato, diced
˝ cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 whole wheat or corn tortillas, warmed
Combine the kidney beans, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion, and chicken broth in a medium sized pot. Cook over medium warm heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 5-10 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients. When the beans are ready, scoop the warm bean mixture onto a tortilla shell. Top with peppers, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and cheese. Use additional toppings to make to your preference!