Thursday, March 20, 2008

3 Bean Tacos

I mentioned before that I crave protein on occasion. Eggs are a great source, but I believe beans are probably the more common staple for most vegetarians. They can be added to most dishes (salads, casseroles, etc), if not stand alone as a main dish...

On a side note, regarding vegetarian's protein intake related to beans:
Nutritionists used to believe you needed to eat beans + a combo item (rice, grains, pasta) at the same time to make a complete protein. However, they have found that throughout the day, even eating the foods separately, your body will break the necessary combos down for protein. So have your toast in the morning, or rice for lunch, and beans for dinner. You're good to go! If you'd like to find out more about which foods combine for a complete protein, click here. Given that you have a day to eat and combine your food, most vegetarians get plenty of both complete and incomplete proteins needed for a balanced diet.

Getting back on topic, we'd like to introduce you to one of our favorite recipes: 3 bean tacos.

I'm hungry just thinking about them again. But when do I read about or discuss a delicious recipe and not feel the urge to run to the kitchen?

As always, this recipe is easy. Other benefits include speed of prep, better-than-the-night-before lunch leftovers, and they're packed full of good stuff for a healthy weeknight meal. For sorority friends, if you will kindly recall taco nights, one of the best meals at the house. And for those of you with kiddos, taco night was one of my favorite dinners growing up- it was FUN! A child's ability to come to the table and assemble their taco by themselves helps make dinnertime an occasion.

Feel free to mix and match your beans, and the toppings. The greatness of this recipe is the ease, and forgiveness based on your own preferences.

We hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

3 bean tacos

teaspoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper (I just buy 1 large red pepper, and skip the green)
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained (* see note below)
1/2 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained (* I choose one of these beans, and use the full can)
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce (I use 1 - 14 oz. can diced tomatoes)
12 taco shells (we use fresh, soft, corn tortillas- yum!)
3/4 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
3/4 cup diced tomato (because I use a full can of diced tomato with the beans, I skip this)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and next 6 ingredients (onion through garlic), and sauté 2 minutes. Add chickpeas, beans, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick.

Warm your taco shells/tortillas (highly recommended if using tortillas). Spoon 1/4 cup bean mixture into each taco shell. Top with your choice of toppings, which may include: lettuce, avocado (my favorite!) chopped tomato, shredded cheese, and salsa.

Makes 12 servings (serving size: 1 taco)

Guten appetit!

1 comment:

Sheena said...

I am DROOLING over your blog! I think if I try the 3 bean tacos, it would have to be on a day that I'm not going anywhere and after I deliver my bun. Beans on top of pregnant gas won't be very pleasant, lol! I'm glad that you stopped by!