Black Bean Recipes

In my newsletter, I talked about the importance of plant based protein, and I gave a special shout out to black beans.  Here are some great recipes!

Quinoa and Black Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
 

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
  3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.
 
Black Bean Veggie Tacos
 
Ingredients:
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1/2 a white onion, sliced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
avocado
yellow peppers (optional)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp. curry powder 
Taco shells (look for gluten free if necessary)
1 cup shredded cheese -optional (I use Daiya dairy free mozarella)
 
1. Sautee the sliced onions and chopped mushrooms in oil (coconut or olive oil)
2. Add peppers if desired.
3. Sprinkle seat salt, chipotle pepper and curry powder and stir. Let cook on low for a couple of minutes.
4. Add to tacos, then add chopped acocados and cheese if desired
 
 
 
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Protein Rich Snacks

We’ve come down to the last question!
This question (from my recent Giveaway) comes from Sarah, of Phoenix, AZ.

“What are some protein rich snacks that are good 
to grab and go?”

Answer:

I know many of us, especially working moms, or moms with young children are so busy and need snacks that we can take with us.  We are usually rushing from one activity to another.  The key is to find snacks, such as protein rich ones that will give us lasting energy, as opposed to quickly grabbing something like a candy bar  that will just give us a sugar crash.

It’s important to consume protein because it helps build our muscles and tissues.  Also, it doesn’t break down into fat like carbs do.  Protein helps us feel full and  gives us lasting energy.  So the key is to find a protein rich snack that does NOT contain loads of sugar.

For example, there are many protein bars out there that may look healthy, but when you look at the label, it may contain up to 20 grams of sugar.

Here are some ideas:

1. Raw almonds
2. Almond butter on an apple
3. Almond butter on  a celery stick
4. A hard boiled egg
5. Trail mix (mixed raw nuts, raisins and dried cranberries- with no added sugar)
6. Hummus dip (with carrots)
7. Goji berries (these are dried berries that contain protein)- you can find them at a health food store
8. Hemp seeds (mixed in a green smoothie)
9. Sunflower seeds
10. Greek yogurt (if you can handle dairy)

Or, if you have time, you can make something!

Raw Cacao Balls
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
3/4 cup raw almond butter (or any kind of nut butter)
8-10 dates
pinch of sea salt
optional- roll in shredded coconut
Mix all ingredients in a high powered food processor. Roll into little balls and keep in the refrigerator. May also be frozen until ready to eat. 
Makes about 20 .
 
 
Enjoy!!
 
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Eggs: Harmful or Helpful?

This next question comes from Maja, from Tucson, AZ

She asks:

“Are eggs as bad as smoking a cigarette? According to the Fox News this morning, there is a study stating that eating more than 4 eggs a week can be harmful to one’s health.”


Answer:

Thanks, Maja, for that very important question.

It seems like eggs have had a bad rap for quite some time now.  Remember the days where “fake” eggs were all the rage?  I remember consuming the “food like substance” in college, all because I was afraid of eggs.  I thought they were absolutely evil.  

Why have we been so afraid of eggs?  Mainly because of the cholesterol content.  It seems it is this reason alone,  that researchers  recently used to try to convince people that consuming eggs can be just as bad as smoking.  

First, comparing eggs to tobacco, in my opinion, is absolutely ridiculous. Tobacco is a drug that contains the highly addictive, Nicotene.   Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable death.  It is a major risk factor for heart attacks, stroke, COPD and cancer. It just doesn’t make sense to compare a drug that causes so much destruction, to a complete, whole food.  I don’t recall “excessive egg consumption” as a typical cause of death. Hmm..

 The reason why these “experts” make this comparison is because smoking has been shown to cause hardening of the arteries, which is what some people say is mainly caused by too high of LDL (bad) cholesterol.  Since eggs are known to contain cholesterol, the conclusion is made that eggs are just as bad as smoking, based on certain research that shows that a too high cholesterol content increases the risk of heart disease.

So, what is this study that Maja mentions?

According to CNN:

“The study published online in the journal Atherosclerosis found eating egg yolks regularly increases plaque buildup about two-thirds as much as smoking does. Specifically, patients who ate three or more yolks a week showed significantly more plaque than those who ate two or less yolks per week.”

Now, let’s dig a little deeper here.  It’s important to not blindly follow every study out there. If we did, we would be tossed to and fro between every extreme view out there, like a boat tossed around in a storm. 

What is the number one question we should ask ourselves when a study is performed?  
WHO FUNDED THE STUDY? 

According to NaturalNews.com,  this study was authored by scientists who have financial ties with BIG PHARMA. (aka the pharmaceutical companies)

Secondly, question the validity of the study.  A reliable study is what would be considered as Gold Standard. What that means is that it is a double blind, placebo controlled, independent study. 

This study seemed to based on mere speculation.  The participants chosen all had existing cardiovascular issues. Strike one right there.  Also, waist measurements and physical activity were not taken into account.  Lastly, what about the rest of their diet?  How do they know the eggs were the culprit, and not Double Cheeseburgers? 

So back to the original topic, which is what scientists are blaming cardiovascular risk on in the first place.  

It is what we have feared for years now…. CHOLESTEROL.

Cholesterol is found in many foods, and, admittedly, eggs do contain about 237 milligrams of it. 
However, this does not mean we need to be afraid of it.  In fact, the liver produces about 75% of our cholesterol.  It is necessary for keeping us alive! What we really need to look at is the size of the cholesterol particles…we need particles that are large, light and fluffy, as opposed to the small and dense kind that can build plague and harden arteries. 

Studies are now showing that it is not high cholesterol that is causing these damaging, small cholesterol particles….. it is sugar.  Insulin resistance is a major problem in this society.  Diabetes is very common.  Many people deal with a high triglyceride level.  This problem is not caused by fats, it is caused by excessive sugar intake.

So, going back to BIG PHARMA’S  vested interest in this recent study comparing eggs to smoking….. what is the real issue here?  This is just one more way to get people to take Statin drugs to help prevent heart disease…… scare tactics are such a great way to get people to give up on their diet and resort to a quick fix.  

So what are the benefits of eggs? One great thing about eggs is that they actually increase HDL, which is the good cholesterol.

I, for one, really love eggs.  Not only do I enjoy the taste,  I love how they are a complete protein. They also contain 13 essential nutrients, which all happen to be in the  yolk. Eggs are an excellent source of B vitamins, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and Vitamin D.  They also contain important omega 3’s which are great for preventing heart disease. 

 I personally wouldn’t recommend more than one a day though, (two on occasion), as eggs are very acidic. We want to strive to have a diet that is mostly alkaline to the body.  A good pH level is the perfect balance between acidic and alkaline.  An example of alkaline foods are leafy greens, (such as spinach and kale),   vegetables, almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, avocados, lemons and limes.  

I would encourage you to look for eggs that are organic as well as pasture raised.  This insures the highest quality of nutrition, as well as no antibiotics and hormones.  Locally raised eggs from pasture raised chickens are ideal.

Overall, my opinion is that eggs are great, and should not be feared.  Combined with an overall healthy diet and lifestyle,  moderate egg consumption can be a beneficial addition to anyone’s diet.

Enjoy your eggs! 🙂

For more info, check out: http://www.naturalnews.com/037062_eggs_junk_science_financial_ties.html

http://drhyman.com/blog/conditions/why-cholesterol-may-not-be-the-cause-of-heart-disease/



Kellie
www.nourishedandnew.com