EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 1, 2013

Best bets for healthy in a hurry


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Making the decision to eat better doesn’t mean you have to stock your fridge exclusively with carrot sticks and lettuce leaves. There are plenty of healthy and delicious meal options that will have your taste buds cheering.

Fill up your fridge

How many times have you raided the fridge, only to eat the first thing you could find? Arrange your fridge so everything at eye level is packed with nutritional benefits. The top shelf is prime space for fresh fruits, berries, vegetable sticks, string cheese and hard boiled eggs.

Keeping lean proteins on hand is another way to take proactive steps towards creating healthy meals. Lean proteins, like the protein found in soy, can help families feel fuller longer and can also help lower the chances of childhood obesity.

Pick the perfect protein

During dinnertime, entrées featuring beef, pork or chicken are often the star of the plate. However, meat proteins can supply your recipes with unwanted saturated fats and cholesterol. Instead of asking your family to forego their favorite meat dishes, try swapping out meat proteins with meat alternatives, using soy protein. Soy is a high-quality vegetable protein that is easy to incorporate into your family’s diet. It can support muscle strength and is an especially good choice for managing healthy weight for the entire family.

Find recipes for family favorites

Quick, easy and delicious have to be a part of every family’s meal on busy weekdays. Breakfast Burritos are sure to be a family favorite. Simply fill tortillas with sausage, eggs, cheese, salsa and fresh herbs for a hot, tasty start to your morning. Another sure crowd pleaser is beef tacos. Just use lean ground beef and spoon your favorite taco ingredients into soft or hard shells.

Once you’ve picked the perfect recipes and filled your fridge with lean proteins, like soy protein, eating well will become a healthy habit the whole family will love.

Beef Tacos

Makes: 6 to 8 tacos

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cups yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped

1 pound lean ground beef

4 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1 jalapeno, diced with seeds

6 to 8 hard or soft taco shells

Shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, cheese, taco sauce or your other favorite toppings

Add olive oil to saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until clear but not brown. Add garlic. Sauté for one minute. Add ground beef and break apart with fork. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add taco seasoning and cumin. Increase heat to medium/high and continue browning ground beef until outside is crispy. Add black beans and reduce heat to medium. Add jalapeno. Serve with your favorite taco shells and your favorite toppings.