A Healthy Taco Salad

I know, I know, taco salads are typically associated with bar food, horrible eating habits, and WAY too much beer!! 


But that doesn’t mean we can get all the healthy benefits of this super salad … you just have to control consumption. 

 
Try this at home … it’s delicious and a perfect quick spring time meal!

 

You’ll Need

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 (19 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 small carrots, julienned
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips

Directions

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the turkey, and stir until crumbly and no longer pink. 
  • Season with chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, kidney beans, and salsa. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture is simmering and the beans are hot, about 5 minutes.
  • Divide the lettuce, carrots, and red bell peppers among 4 serving plates. 
  • Spoon the turkey mixture overtop to serve.
 

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Simple Beans and Rice

 This red beans and rice recipe is delicious and one of the healthiest foods you can find. The preparation is simple, really, and once you figure out how to throw them together, you can start improvising with your own spices.

This is not something you will have time to make after a typical workday, but when you put it together on the weekend, you will have it to eat all through the week.

You’ll Need:

·         1 pound dry red beans
·         1/4 cup olive oil
·         1 large onion, chopped
·         1 bell pepper, chopped
·         2 tablespoons minced garlic
·         2 stalks celery, chopped
·         6 cups water
·         2 bay leaves
·         1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
·         1 teaspoon dried thyme
·         1/4 teaspoon dried sage
·         1 tablespoon dried parsley
·         1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
·         1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
·         4 cups water
·         2 cups long grain white rice

Directions

1.    Rinse beans, and then soak in a large pot of water overnight.
2.    In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes.
3.    Rinse beans, and transfer to a large pot with 6 cups water. Stir cooked vegetables into beans. Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, parsley, and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
4.    Stir sausage into beans, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
5.    Meanwhile, prepare the rice. In a saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve beans over steamed white rice.

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Tuscan Bean Soup

This is a delightful soup that incorporates beans into the diet and beans aid us in cholesterol!

You’ll Need

  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water (more if needed)
  • 2 cups navy beans, cooked (save bean juice)
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ pound elbow macaroni or Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan or Asiago cheese

Directions

  • In large pot, cook the bacon until crisp.
  • Pour off the fat and add olive oil and cook the carrot, celery and onion until slightly soft.
  • Stir in flour and tomato paste.
  • Add beef broth, bean juice/water, rosemary, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer slowly until the vegetables are tender, adding water as needed.
  • Add macaroni and cook until tender, stirring frequently, as it sinks and sticks.
  • Add water, if needed.
  • Add the beans and heat through.
  • Taste for adequate seasoning.
  • If soup is not thick, puree one third of it and return the puree to the pot.
  • Serve soup with a bowl of grated cheese.

New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Well as we all know, the new year is just around the corner. Here is a meal to help you bring in the luck!

You’ll Need

  • 2 cups black-eyed peas, dried
  • 2 quart of water, more if needed
  • 1 ham bone with “trimmings”
  • 3 onions, medium, chopped
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  • Wash the beans well in cold water several times, then place in a large, heavy stew pot and cover with water.
  • Allow to soak overnight.
  • The next morning (start early – beans like to take their time), pour off the soaking water, and ham bone, 8 cups of water, onion and seasonings.
  • Put on the back of the stove and let simmer gently until beans are very tender, usually about 4 hours.
  • Add more water if needed.
  • Remove and discard ham bone.
  • If the water looks a bit scant pour in 1-2 cups more.
  • When beans are good and tender remove about a cupful of the beans and mash well with some of the bean liquid. (This can be done in a blender)
  • Return mashed beans to pot, taste for seasoning, and serve steaming hot over freshly cooked white rice.

Beans and Greens

A delicious dish that benefits our cholesterol too!

You’ll need

  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 can or  1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans (reserve 1/3 cup of the liquid)
  • 1 1/2 pounds chopped kale
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions
 In a medium pot, saute the garlic and red pepper in the olive oil on low heat until fragrant.
Next, add the take and saute until the kale has completely wilted.
 
Add the beans and simmer until they are heated trough but still firm.  
Add salt and pepper to taste.


Play with Your Food!

Serve this dish topped with parmesan cheese and/or hot Italian sausage.
If you want to make this more like a soup, add water or more reserved juice from cooking the beans. 

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower’s website.

 

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Basil and Bean Soup

Make beans a regular part of your diet. They are super for heart health and cholesterol control.

You’ll Need

  • 1/2 pound dried white kidney beans or great northern beans
  • 1 pound lean stewing meat, cut in 1″ cubes
  • 2 small zucchini (unpeeled), diced
  • 2 turnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons leaf basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 dash salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

In a crock potCompletely soften beans by combining all ingredients in crock pot.
Add water to cover and mix well.

Turn it onCover and cook on high setting for 3 hours.
Turn to low setting for 8 to 14 hours (or keep on high setting for 5 to 7 hours).

To servePerfect with a dip of crusty garlic bread.

Quick Refried Beans

Beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet and benefit cholesterol control too! They can be prepared in so many different ways so experiment with them by mixing in some cheese,
hot peppers or hot sauce.

You’ll Need

  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced onion

Directions

  • In a small bowl mash 2/3 cup of beans to a smooth paste.
  • In a skillet saute onions in oil until soft.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining beans with the water.
  • When heated through, stir in garlic, onion and oil that the onion was saluted in, chili powder, and salt.
  • Stir the bean paste into the whole beans and mix well.
  • Stir in the onion and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Mash the beans and onions up a bit more while cooking.

Black Bean Salsa

Nutrition Boosters and Busters is the topic for the week. Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and egg yolks are a great source of Vitamin D. Incorporate them into your diet because they will help you boost your calcium absorption.
You’ll Need
  • As many hard boiled eggs as you would like
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Directions
Mash eggs and mix in lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to the ratio of your liking.

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower’s website.

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