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Saturday, May 30, 2009

How Low Can You Go?

NPR is having a "How Low Can You Go?" segment where they ask both home and professional chefs to contribute "recession-friendly," (they've recently removed the word "healthy") recipes that feed 4 people for less than $10.

They featured an interview with the Neelys (of the Food Network's "Down Home with the Neelys") who offered their budget-friendly recipe, $9 Mac 'n Cheese:
6+ tablespoons butter, 1 lb. white pasta, white flour, 4 cups of whole milk, 5+ cups of cheese, 5 slices of bacon, and... wait for it...
1.5 cups of crushed potato chips.

I was so frustrated that I wanted to write a strongly-worded letter to NPR but, alas, the comment section had already been closed. (Although not before a few dozen people echoed my sentiments about calling bacon, potato chips, and cheese a healthy meal.)

It's really easy to make a truly healthy, delicious, inexpensive, quick meal. And in my perhaps-not-so-humble opinion, there are tastier, healthier ways than bacon and potato chip mac 'n cheese to get a bang for your buck! So I'm putting my money where my mouth is...

These tacos (similar to Holy Mole Tacos) hit all the major notes: whole grains, protein, veggies, and avocado. (Avocado is a food group in my book.) Pick any veggie you want/have lying around - carrots, peppers, acorn squash, broccoli, zucchini, kale, sweet potato... the sky's the limit!

Ingredients1 package small corn tortillas
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 tomato
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 clove minced garlic
1-2 avocados
1 lb. carrots (or any vegetable)

1. Preheat the oven to 425. Toss the vegetable in olive oil and salt and roast until they start to brown.
2. In the meantime, heat a skillet for the beans. Drain and rinse the beans. Saute the garlic in olive oil for a minute, then add the beans, tomato, and spices.
3. Cook the beans, mashing a little with the back of a fork, until the tomato is broken down, about 7 minutes.
4. When the veggies are ready, assemble your tacos: Spread some beans on a tortilla, top with roasted veggies and avocado.

1 comment:

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