Original Blogspot Post: Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I’ve tried for several years to maintain healthy eating habits, but it wasn’t until recently that I really started exploring my dietary options. For instance, I’ve started straying as far away from red meat as possible and substituting beans, mushrooms, and other “meaty” vegetables in it’s place. I’ve also made it a habit to order fish at almost every meal. I reserve chicken for salads, and try to even go vegetarian at least one day a week.
Since I’ve started eating beans more, I’ve noticed that I feel fuller longer and I don’t feel weighed down, like when I eat breads and pastas. Not only are they good, but they are relatively easy to prepare. Most beans that come in a bag can just be added to water and simmered for an hour or two. Plus, they’re cheap! Garbanzo beans or chickpeas are also another great option that don’t even have to be cooked if bought in a can. They are also a nice crouton substitute for salads. Now let’s not forget the really great part about garbanzo beans…hummus. Throw a few handfuls of these little beauties in a food processor, add your favorite flavors, and voilà! You have a great batch of hummus that is perfect for dipping.
So why make an entire entry about beans? Well according to whfoods.com, black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and when combined with whole grains, like brown rice, they provide a tasty meal that is high in protein and extremely low in fat. This is ideal for someone like me who is trying to blast fat and build lean, long muscles. Check out the link below for more details.
In closing, I’d like to leave you all with this simple concoction I just discovered today when I was trying to spice up my lunch. It left me full, satisfied and didn’t blow my diet.
Hispanic Mediterranean Salad
2 handfuls of spinach leaves (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
2 1/2 tbs of black and red bean/brown rice mix, cooked
1/4 cup of garbanzo beans or “chickpeas”
2 tbs of red pepper hummus (see additional recipe)
3-5 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken strips, cooked
salt and pepper
Combine the rice, beans, chicken, and hummus on top of the bed of spinach leaves for a tasty mediterranean/hispanic inspired twist on chicken salad.
Red Pepper Hummus Recipe
1 (16 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 fresh lime, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder