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Fast Cheap and Easy January 29, 2013  RSS feed

Fast, Cheap, Easy and Healthy #3

By Sherry Matney

Beginning Week Three and the scales showed 152.5 today. Hurray!! Last week’s weight was a disappointment but I knew, from my Weight Watcher days, that it will come off, if I am consistent. Still have not eaten any processed sugar, of which I am aware, and have not stuck one fried thing in my mouth, although I have drooled quite often. Walked six miles outside and clocked about the same on the treadmill, giving a total of 12 miles this week.

Challenges this week will be my brother’s birthday celebration, my son’s birthday celebration and the Super Bowl. These events will take some planning and discipline!!

Last week I talked about cabbage and some of its nutritional value. This week we will spotlight two more rather lowly southern staples: blackeyed peas and pinto beans. Both are in the bean family and provide an outstanding amount of nutrition without fat, cholesterol or sodium. A ½ cup serving of beans or peas provide about 30% of your daily requirements of both protein and fiber. Because neither have complete protein, eat them with some type of grain product, such as corn bread or tortillas, pasta or rice. Be sure to use wholewheat pasta and brown rice.

Beans and black-eyed peas are super easy to cook and even cheaper than they are easy. The only drawback is they are not fast, however, once cooked you can pull them out and use in dozens of ways. Canned beans and black-eyed peas have almost the same value but watch the amount of sodium that has been added. You can tell from the nutritional facts that they fit the healthy criteria. These are exceptional foods for diabetics because their high fiber content slow down the digestive process and keep sugar levels from spiking.

Below is one of my favorite black-eyed pea recipes. It is fast (if you use canned peas), cheap, easy and healthy. You can easily add delicious to that list of adjectives. To me this tastes like Pico de Gallo with peas and corn. MMMMMM.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad (goes great with last week’s cabbage) 1 can black-eyed peas

(if you use dried peas, cook then measure 2 cups) 1 can whole kernel corn or hominy 1 can Rotel tomatoes

(add a couple of chopped

Roma tomatoes to make it prettier.) 1 medium onion chopped

(green onions work well and look great.) ¼ cup chopped cilantro season to taste

Drain peas, corn and tomatoes. ( I put all three in a colander.) Place in large bowl and add remaining ingredients. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, but be prudent with the salt.

For a simple, cheap, delicious bean recipe I’m giving you Mexican Tostadas where you start with corn tortillas. I have a tortilla press but it is so much easier to buy them prepared.

Mexican Tostadas

Get the size tortilla package you want and spread them on a cookie sheet to bake at 350 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes. This dries the tortillas so they will fry better. 1 can of refried beans

( I use Rosarita) get the size can to suit your needs Shred 1 head of iceberg lettuce or buy a package already shredded Chop one or two tomatoes Chop one avocado or use purchased guacamole Grate 8 oz. of Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese or buy already shredded Salsa and/or pickled jalapenos Chopped cilantro

Heat refried beans in a frying pan until warm. For extra flavor you can stir in a little bacon fat or add some cheddar cheese. Keep the beans warm while you prepare the tortillas, adding water to them as necessary.

Pour a small amount of oil into skillet and heat to medium heat. One at a time, fry the tortillas until golden brown, turn and cook on other side. (This should take 30 seconds to one minute.) Place the cooked tortilla on a paper towel-lined plate, to absorb the excess oil. Sprinkle with a little salt. Put in 250 degree oven to keep warm.

To serve, place toppings in separate bowls. I leave my beans in the black skillet. To prepare tostada, spread a large spoonful of refried beans over a tostada shell, sprinkle with cheese and other toppings.

This sounds complicated, but it isn’t. You can bake the tortillas if you like and save time and calories. They just aren’t as tasty or tender. Once you get them ready all you have to do is build your tostada.

Some of you have said that you haven’t been able to comment at the end of the column on leoncountytoday.com. Mac is correcting the problem but I created a new email address. Let me know how you are doing at fast. cheap.healthy@gmail.com.

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