Tuesday, June 20, 2006

black beans

Legumes constitute such a beautiful hidden treasure waiting to be discovered! Black beans are among my favorites and suits perfectly every mexican dish. It can be added in salads, fajitas, chilis... everything! If it's new to you, try to substitute half or all of the ground meat of your favorite mexican recipe for any kind of beans. Whether you cook them yourself (which could take about 2 hours plus an overnight soaking) or whether you choose the canned version, you will benefit from an abundance of nutrients. Beans and legumes can replace meat with their high protein and iron content. However, by contrast to meat, beans and legumes are practically fat-free and they don't contain saturated fat neither cholesterol. But the biggest advantage of integrating this vegetarian protein to our diet is that it is plentiful in fibers, phytochemicals, and antioxidants... things that are definitely lacking in the actual North American diet!

Here's a look at my lunch. A mix of salsa, black bean, avocado, and shredded cheese wrapped up in a whole-wheat tortilla... yummy!!!

Nutrition facts for 1 wrap (8-inch whole-wheat tortilla, 1/3 cup black beans, 1/5 avocado, 1/2 cup salsa, and 1 oz mozzarella part-skim milk): 339 calories, 13.0 g fat, 4.3 g saturated fat, 41.3 g carbohydrates, 11.2 g fibers, 16.6 g proteins, 329 mg calcium, 4 mg iron. My comment: This makes a really delicious, fast and easy, vegetarian nutritious meal! Customize the recipe as you wish to fit your own tastes.

Another good idea to use those beans once the can is opened is to throw them on your pizza dough with grilled corn, red onions slices, and cheese... Scrumptious! Finally, if you still didn't manage to use all the black beans in your can, don't forget that any leftovers can easily be frozen until you need it... and hopefully, this time will come soon!
Nutrition facts for 1/8 pizza (12 oz whole-wheat dough, 1 cup salsa, 1 cup black beans, 1 cup grilled corn kernels, and 8 oz mozzarella part-skim milk): 221 calories, 6.4 g fat, 3.2 g saturated fat, 35.2 g carbohydrates, 5 g fibers, 12.9 g proteins, 243 mg calcium, 1.12 mg iron. My comment: 2 slices make a healthy, balanced, and filling meal... believe me, i've tried it!

Last thing... Lots of people are afraid to eat beans and legumes because of their well-known unpleasant side effects. To avoid bad smell, it's a great idea to rince them thoroughly and to begin by small quantities and gradually increase the serving size and the frequency to allow your bowels to adapt. In brief, the best solution is to have beans regularly on your menu...!

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