Bean, Beans The Musical Fruit...Wait, Fruit?

Dry kidney beans. Photo from Morguefile.

OK, sing along with me:

"Beans, beans the musical fruit!
The more you eat, the more you...."

We all know the rest of the rhyme. (And, I'm not interested in blogging about flatulence!)

However, I am curious about the claim that beans are members of the fruit family. Really? So, I put on my investigative reporter hat and found this little nugget of nutrition trivia.

Beans are members of the legume family. Other legumes include lentils, peanuts, peas and soybeans, according to The Bean Institute. The most popular bean consumed in the United States is the pinto bean.

My top five favorites ways to eat beans are:
  • Boiling and mashing black beans with the juice of a fresh lime and chopped garlic to use on tacos
  • Tossing several beans together and dressing it with a light Italian dressing for a summer salad
  • Adding pinto beans to a pot of vegetable soup for extra protein
  • Mashing garbanzo beans and using them in lieu of ground beef to make a veggie "meatloaf"
  • Combining kidney, pinto and white beans as the base for a vegetarian chili
So, how do you like to eat beans?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


One More Reason to Eat Vegetables

Photo Courtesy Krumdieck, Morguefile.
Think of that salad or side of brussels sprouts as an extra nudge towards a smoke-free life.

As a writer, I do lots of reading. This morning I came across an article on Futurity claiming that eating vegetables makes the taste for tobacco less appealing. This is fantastic news for smokers implementing a healthier lifestyle.

“We knew from our previous work that people who were abstinent from cigarettes for less than six months consumed more fruits and vegetables than those who still smoked," explained Gary A. Giovino, chair of the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior at the University at Buffalo in the Futurity article. "What we didn’t know was whether recent quitters increased their fruit and vegetable consumption or if smokers who ate more fruits and vegetables were more likely to quit.”

Here are a few key points from the article:

Smokers who ate more fruits and vegetables...
  •  smoked fewer cigarettes per day and scored lower on a common test of nicotine dependence
  •  were three times more likely to be tobacco-free after 14 months than those who didn't eat an increase in produce
  •  feel more full from the increase in fiber consumption. Some smokers confuse hunger for the need for a cigarette.
*Futurity reports on scientific discoveries by researchers at universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Follow me on Twitter @AngelaTague to see what I've been up to!


Eating Healthy, Quickly: 10 Minute Quesadilla Lunch

Layer on the veggies! Photo by Angela Tague
One of the number one excuses I hear people give for not eating healthy is time. Well, sure if you plan on making a four course meal from scratch you're going to be in the kitchen for hours. That's why I have a few go-to quick lunches I make often.

My absolute favorite is a pan-cooked veggie quesadilla. Now before you say you don't like spicy food or Mexican fare, this lunch treat is mild and flavorful--sans spices.

Pan-cooked Veggie Quesadilla in 10 Minutes
  • olive oil
  • soft tortillas (2 per meal)
  • flavorful cheese crumbles
  • fresh veggies (mushrooms, red onion, spinach, sliced tomatoes, roasted red pepper slices, etc.)
  1. Simply preheat a large skillet. Spray it with a light mist of olive oil and keep the heat on a low-medium setting.
  2. Place one soft tortilla in the pan. I use brown rice tortillas due to a sensitivity to gluten. These cook up crisp and delicious. I have not tried using a flour tortilla, but assume it works well too.
  3. Now, layer on crumbles of a good quality cheese. I use a locally produced sharp white cheddar or a deli yellow cheddar. Choose a cheese with a bold flavor.
  4. Finally, layer on the veggies. I used pre-sliced mushrooms (time saver!), thinly sliced red onion and pre-washed baby spinach leaves. I've been dying to also try roasted red pepper slices and fresh sliced tomato.
  5. Top the veggies with a few more cheese crumbles. These help glue the quesadilla together. Place one more soft tortilla on top of the veggies and cheese and squish the concoction with a flat lid or bottom of a plate. Let the quesadilla cook for 3-4 minutes. Then, flip with a pancake turner and let the other side cook. Your lunch is ready when the tortilla slightly browns, the cheese melts, the onions soften and the mushrooms begin to change color. Are you drooling yet?
I cut my treat into wedges with a pizza cutter. If I'm feeling naughty the wedges get dipped into Daisy sour cream. (Read the ingredient list--it's only cream!) Finally, I add a handful of corn tortilla chips or baby carrots to the plate and I'm set.

So, what are you having for lunch?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Visit me on Facebook! I also blog about beauty, natural skin care, nutrition, crafts and cleaning tips. I post links on Facebook daily. :)