The More You Eat..The More You..

Eating beans regularly is good for your heart, and you don’t need to eat a truckload of them to benefit. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests having just 1/2 cup of cooked pinto beans daily might lower cholesterol. After 12 weeks, the bean eaters improved cholesterol levels: for the healthy controls, total cholesterol dropped by 8 percent and for those with several risk factors for heart disease it dropped by 4 percent. Either way, they came out with benefits! One serving of beans has 7 grams of fiber (about a quarter the daily recommendation)and 7 grams of protein– making it a simple and healthy replacement of ground beef, which is typically full of saturated fat. Add rinsed canned beans to soups, stews and salads and make entrees like chili, bean enchiladas or pasta e fagiole part of your weekly repertoire…and don’t for get this lovely spin on weeknight tacos!
Baja Butternut & Bean Tacos

INGREDIENTS:

SALSA
8 ounces tomatillos
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper
1/4 cup sliced white onion
1/2 ripe avocado, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

TACOS
4 cups diced (1/2-inch) peeled butternut squash
3-4 small dried red chiles
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 (15oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Freshly ground pepper to taste
8 6-inch corn or flour tortillas
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
8 teaspoons crumbled queso fresco, or feta cheese

DIRECTIONS:
To prepare salsa: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cook the tomatillos in the boiling water until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Remove the jalapeño stem and remove seeds if desired. Combine the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeño, onion and avocado in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Blend in cilantro, salt and pepper. Set aside for topping the tacos.
To prepare tacos: Preheat oven to 400°F. Put squash in a medium bowl and, using kitchen shears, finely snip chiles to taste into small pieces (seeds and all) into the bowl. Add 2 cloves garlic, oil, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt and whole cumin seeds; toss to coat. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until soft and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, saute onion in a small saucepan with remaining clove of garlic until fragrant and translucent. Add beans in a small saucepan with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt, ground cumin, chili powder and pepper. Heat over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
Warm tortillas in a skillet or microwave, spoon 1/4 cup of the warm beans into each tortilla; divide the roasted squash evenly among the tacos and top each with cilantro, 1/2 cup of the salsa and cheese.

(Refrigerate the remaining 1/2 cup salsa for up to 2 days.)

Nutrition Information:
4 servings: 2 tacos each
406 calories
9 g fat
70 g carbohydrates
13 g protein
13 g fiber

Comments

  1. Ed Schenk says:

    The older I have gotten the more I appreciate beans. I try work then into my meal plan as often as I can.

  2. Beans and butternut? You are a girl after my heart! :D

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