August 13, 2011

A Healthy Plate of Mexican!

I recently read this book entitled, "The World is Fat" where the author (name escapes me, please forgive) suggests that those that tend to eat well during the week may also tend to enjoy the junkier foods on the weekend. I mean, who doesn't enjoy the odd bowl of chips or take out pizza after a hard work week? It usually starts on a Friday night and ends on the Sunday night....right? This means, as the author points out, we eat well for four days of the week and the other three is open season.  OMG...he's right!

With this in mind, I have committed myself to eat pretty much the same diet seven days of the week. However, to spice things up a bit, I have decided to make something really special every Friday night that is both healthy and great.  This past Friday night (last night), I made one of my favorite dishes at the moment.  It's a little plate of Mexico (as I am in love with how the Mexicans eat).  I have taken a few pictures and will walk you through how I did it. In the end, it takes approximately 30 minutes - the rice may take up to 55 to cook, but the leftovers can last for days.

I started by chopping up red onion and white mushroom and frying them up to a golden brown. I then chopped up pepper, cilantro, and added frozen corn in the end.  All this would go into the rice once the rice was cooked. So first be sure your rice is stewing and then begin the rest of it.

This picture is gross, I know, but I figured out how to re fry black beans myself and love it! All you do is open a can of black beans and dump in a strainer in the sink to allow for the residual juice to spill through. You don't rinse the remaining juice off as it helps moisten the beans in the fry pan. Next, you can either mush them up in a bowl or I just dump them in my pan (as you can see it is a bit beaten up already) and mush them up there. Before you do place them in the pan, place either butter or canola oil into the pan to help them fry up good!  I prefer butter, but I used Canola last night and it worked just as well.  I also added a dash of cumin and taco powder for flavoring.  Once they are fried up, turn the heat off and set aside. You could even do this last...I suck at order.

I made the guacamole with three avocados and four Roma tomatoes. I took out the guts of the tomatoes and cut up the skins. I didn't add lemon or lime juice (to avoid browning) because I didn't have any and it was fine. Seriously, this is a bit of heaven in a bowl!

I then triangled about three stacked tortillas and placed them on this pizza pan with a spritzer of canola. I also added parm cheese (the Kraft shaker stuff) for added flavour. I placed them in the oven at 410 for 5-10 minutes depending upon how crispy you like 'em.

Next, I chopped up some lettuce to add to the bottom of the plate. It adds some crispiness to the dish and also keeps to the theme of tacos. It also mixes up great once the dish is complete and turns into a taco salad almost.

Sorry this pic isn't right side up, but you can see the type of rice I used. I have never seen this before and thought it might be different. It is a Thai Black Sweet rice that needs to simmer for 45 minutes. I found it needed more time (about 55 minutes) but it is a healthier option than white rice and it doesn't taste like it's good for you (I can't stand brown rice for that).  It has a sweet taste to it and really went well with the veggie mixture I added to it. I highly recommend trying it.

Here it is all put together. I added a few chips on the side and over the lettuce I placed the guac, the refried bean, and the rice and veggie mix.  Did you know when you mix rice with beans you get a protein? Therefore, there is no need to add a meat and is a great vacation from red meat (if you tend to eat it a lot during the week).  It's a fun dish that can be rolled up in a tortilla, put into a taco, or just like this. The leftovers can be added to anything the next day. 

You have a ton of veggies in the rice dish, your protein with the rice/bean, and your healthy fats with the guacamole. The tortilla chips on the side just add a dash of fun to it all. You don't feel you are eating healthy in the least.

....and that is all I have for now.


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