Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yam and Bean Burrito

This dish is new to us, but has quickly become one of our favorites. Yams and sweet potatoes, while not closely related, can be used interchangeably.

Yam and Bean Burrito

2010 California Dept of Public Health
2 large yams, cut into bite-sized chunks (I leave the skin on, do what you like)
Olive oil/cooking oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained, or 2 cups cooked black beans
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
Whole wheat tortillas

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, toss yam chunks with 1 TBS oil. Spread coated yams on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes (depending on how large your chunks are) or until yams are tender. In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and saute until tender. Add beans, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and mix in cooked yam chunks, stirring gently. Spoon mixture into the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up the tortilla and serve. (If you have any left over rice in the fridge, it also makes a great addition.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Banana Wrap + A Plug for Whole Grains

This recipe is so simple, I'm kind of amazed I never thought of it myself. The combination of flavors is classic (bananas and peanut butter!), and this is a great meal for little kids. It is just right for little hands to hold. For Kimball, I make the wrap then slice it. He loves it. Plus, you get a serving each of fruit, protein, and whole grains all in one! Be sure to use whole wheat* tortillas. The flavor is much heartier.

2010 California Dept of Public Health
Banana Wrap

1 whole wheat tortilla
1 banana, peeled
2 TBS peanut butter
2 TBS jelly/jam/preserves

Simply spread the peanut butter and jelly on the flat tortilla, lay the banana at one end, and roll it up.

It may look like kids' food, but I would eat this for lunch every day. It's so yummy!

*Here comes my rant in defense of whole grains: When grains grow in the field, they contain a fiber-rich bran, a heart healthy germ, and a starchy endosperm. Whole grains keep all three parts, while enriched/refined grains (white bread, white rice, etc.) only have the starchy endosperm. I think it's better for food to be closer to its natural state, rather than processed and refined.

Whole grains are great for heart health, digestive health, reduced risk of chronic diseases, weight management, and contain a slew of nutrients such as iron, selenium, magnesium, and several B vitamins. White bread is mostly empty carbs and sugars. Some people think white breads taste better, but I disagree. Besides, that's not a very good excuse to skip out on the irreplaceable benefits of whole grains. We love whole wheat pasta and brown and wild rice. I think the flavors are much more delicious and hearty, plus whole grains help you feel full longer. Read more about the importance of eating whole grains here.

One more thing: breads at the store that say "100% Wheat" are not whole grains, even if the bread looks brown (it has been dyed). It just means that wheat was the only grain used to make the bread. The label must say whole wheat. And multi-grain breads may or may not be whole grains; you just have to check the ingredients.

I told you I was going to rant!