Black beans are a great meal starter!
Black Beans & Good Nutrition
Have you every tried black beans? If not, I recommend you do. You can eat black beans as part of breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can combine them with rice, couscous or quinoa, 3 healthy and tasty grains. The nutrition of black beans is excellent and, due to their very high fiber and protein contents, they keep you feeling full for hours.
Easy Black Bean & Sweet Pepper Salad Recipe
Ingredients to gather: 1 can black beans (15-16 oz); 2 cloves garlic; 1/2 sweet Bell pepper or other sweet pepper (red or green); 1/2 onion; 1 stalk celery; 2 Tbsp parsley or cilantro; 1/2 lemon or lime; 1/2 tsp ground cumin; pinch salt and pepper; 2 tsp vinegar; 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Directions to make salad:
Drain black beans, rinse off with cool water and put into a large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients to the beans after preparing like this:
Peel and crush or mince garlic.
Wash, chop or thinly slice sweet pepper.
Peel and chop onion.
Wash and chop celery.
Wash and chop parsley/cilantro.
Squeeze juice from lemon/lime.
Measure cumin, salt, pepper, vinegar, oil.
Mix it all together and serve right away. Or, cover and chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours and then serve.
To Learn More
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An apple a day is a smart nutrition decision!
The legend of Johnny Appleseed is fun to read about while munching on a favorite late-summer or early-fall season apple. Apples are full of flavor, fiber and crunch and they’re versatile in meals and snacks. Take a look at this handy Apple Buyer’s Guide to learn more about apple varieties and how to use them. Then, wander over to your kitchen and make an easy and tasty apple recipe!
Fresh Apple Salad – A sweet and crunchy side dish for any meal or serve it for dessert!
Ingredients: 3 medium apples; 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice; 3/4 cup lemon or lime yogurt; 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt; 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
How to Make: Wash apples. Remove core and seeds. Cut apples into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over apples. Stir. Add both yogurts to apples. Stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition per serving: 80 calories; 0 gm fat; 0 gm saturated fat; 0 trans fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 40 mg sodium; 19 gm carbohydrates; 3 gm fiber; 3 gm protein
Easy menus and recipes are healthy and do-able! Check out my affordable e-books for homemade flavors you and your family will love!
My car's passenger seat is full of good nutrition!
1. Look at what I bought at my local Farmer’s Market yesterday.
2. Try to name everything.
3. Try to work each fruit/veggie into a healthy meal or snack.
1. Fresh fruits can be a part of breakfast, lunch or dinner…or, a snack. One easy way to prepare them is to wash in cold tap water, peel (depending on the fruit) and eat.
2. Fresh veggies can be eaten raw, in most cases, or cooked. One easy way to cook them is to wash in cold tap water, cut and microwave.
Solution to the Game (left to right):
1. Santa Rosa Plums – Very sweet and a tiny bit tart. Wash and eat for dessert.
2. Athena Cantaloupe – Sweet, juicy and flavorful. Wash, peel and eat as a refreshing snack.
3. Jimmy Nardello Peppers – Sweet, not hot, flavorful peppers. Wash and cut into a pasta salad for lunch or dinner.
4. Aristocrat Zucchini – Mild, fresh squash flavor. Wash, slice lengthwise and grill with a little olive oil for dinner.
5. Elephant Garlic – Mild flavor with large cloves. Peel and mince, then sprinkle onto a homemade pizza for lunch.
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Fresh blueberries are easy to grow & fun to eat!
Blueberry Nutrition is Awesome
No doubt about it – there is a ton of good nutrition in blueberries. Fresh ones from your backyard or the local Farmer’s Market taste best; however, even the frozen store brand at your grocery store are loaded with awesome nutrition. In one cup (fresh or frozen), there are only 85 calories, 4 grams fiber and 1 gram protein. All this comes without any fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol or sodium. Sound good? What’s even better is that hiding beneath its great nutrition is powerful antioxidant value in every serving of blueberries. To learn about selection and storage, click here.
Now, on to your kitchen…
Simple & Delicious Recipe for Blueberry Pancakes
Heart Smart Bisquick – 3 cups; Whole wheat flour – 1 cup; 1% Low fat milk – 2 1/2 cups; Large eggs – 2; Blueberries – 1 cup. Mix all ingredients together , adding blueberries last. Do not over-mix. Heat a flat skillet to medium and spray lightly with vegetable oil spray. Add batter to heated skillet using a soup ladle or large spoon. Cook about 3 – 4 minutes per side until pancakes are golden. Top with a little syrup or powdered sugar.
Shopping List for Blueberry Pancakes
Heart Smart Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix + Whole wheat flour + 1% Low fat milk + Large eggs + Blueberries + Syrup
Fruit is sweeter than candy!
Good nutrition is all about enjoyment and variety. Fruit is a crowd pleaser as it offers variety, healthy carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. A big bonus in fruit is the natural sweetness as well as an abundance of antioxidants. These natural plant elements can strengthen all your health and help guard against heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and inflammation– a sweet deal!
Grocery Store Tips
1. Enter the store with a list of at least 3-5 fruits for your shopping cart. Choose 2 fruits that are in-season and then add 1-3 more colors to the mix. Remember, fresh, canned and frozen fruits all count so store them properly at home.
2. Try a new fruit often. Perhaps you will explore tropical mangoes or papaya, or an appealing apple variety like Cameo or Honeycrisp. Being adventurous means enjoying fruit every day.
3. Learn what’s local and ask for a taste at the store. Flavors are superior when fruits are in season. Check with your local agricultural experts, too.
Is it broccoli, cauliflower or both?
What’s in season now?
Fields of vegetables are growing strong in Monterey County’s Salinas Valley of California right now. It is a sight to see — spinach, lettuces, fennel, artichokes, carrots and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower stretch for miles on end.
Why is seasonal a smart choice?
Seasonal produce is a great choice for satisfying flavors and top-notch nutrition. Shop for the abundance from California as well as the local region of North Carolina. It’s a wonderful way to appreciate what America’s agricultural areas are doing for us every single day.
Looking for a Nutritional Goal?
A fun, visual goal is to add more colors to your meal plate. This just happens to be the theme of this month’s National Nutrition Month ~ Eat Right With Color ~ and, handy tools can help.
If you have already mastered the colorful food goal, then try this online Rate Your Plate challenge to target a different, positive nutrition goal. Even for those who eat well, there are usually areas for improvement. Perhaps you need more fiber, more vitamin D, less salt or less saturated fat. It’s always best to choose and work on one goal at a time for realistic and successful behavior change. Good luck!
The more colors on your meal plate, the better!