What am I Going to Make?

Quick and easy tacos with lots of fruits and vegetables.

wp_20160927_004-2Sometimes it can be challenging putting a meal together. You stare at the fridge and wonder, “What am I going to make”? Choosing to make a healthy meal can seem to be challenging too…especially if you can always access a box of something in your pantry.

If you’re going to spend money on food and then take time to prepare it, why not focus on options that will have the biggest impact on health, satiation, and long-term satisfaction.

Macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are The Fuel that your body needs to run well. When you give your body the Real food that includes the living nutrients that it needs, your body will thank you by working well, fighting dis-ease, and not telling you it’s hungry all the time.

Your digestive processes begin when your brain registers the sights and smells of what is sizzling in your skillet, blending in your blender, and getting chopped on your cutting board. Your body is already beginning to prepare for nutrients like zinc, Vitamin c, and B12 when you begin to eat. When you feed your body the very nutrients it needs, you feel satiated and have avoided wasting time, effort, and money on products that are not actually recognizable and useful to your body.

One addition you can make to every meal is so simple….Just add a fruit or vegetable, and many experts suggest you eat foods that represent the colors of the rainbow everyday. To just name a few to match those colors, how about:

  • Red – Red peppers, tomatoes, or cold watermelon
  • Orange – Cantaloupe, carrots, or sweet potatoes
  • Yellow – Yellow squash, lemon or banana
  • Green – Avocado, celery, kale, or cucumbers
  • Blue/black/purple – Blueberries, purple cabbage, or plums
  • White/tan/brown – Garlic, onions, mushrooms, or cauliflower

If veggies and fruits aren’t already a major portion of your meals everyday, may I suggest that you add just one, starting today, to every meal. If you already eat a fruit or veggie at every meal, add a second.  Some easy suggestions that take very little time include:

  • Serve your chicken, beef, or lamb on top of spinach leaves. The leaves will cook slightly from the heat of the meat and will take on the flavor of the food its partnered with.
  • Dice/slice up some watermelon, cantaloupe, orange, or apple as a side or dessert
  • Melt and spread a touch of coconut oil and sauté some sliced onion in a medium hot skillet. When onions are nearly translucent, add in some sliced red pepper with a little garlic, salt, and pepper
  • Melt and spread a touch of coconut oil, and slice and sauté some yellow squash or zucchini in your medium hot skillet with a little salt and pepper until just barely browned
  • Slice up fresh tomato and/or avocado to serve with your grilled or roasted chicken or hamburger patties

One quick meal with lots of room for colors from fruits and veggies is tacos. Ground beef can be easy to defrost and turn into a number of different meal choices, so I always try to keep a few pounds from a good source in the freezer. Definitely enjoy adding fruits and vegetables that you would commonly find in tacos, most of which don’t need to be cooked (definitely a healthy timesaver), but be sure to also consider fruits and vegetables for your side dishes and dessert. They can be so much faster and easier to prepare and really open the door wide to seasonal variety in your meals.

Quick Beef Tacos with Sautéed Onions & Red Peppers

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A quick meal to easily add some delicious salsa and other colorful veggies and fruit.

Ingredients

    For Salsa: wp_20160927_003-2 – Go here to see directions for making the salsa of your choice
  • Make ahead and refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

Ingredients

    For Sautéed Onions and Red/Green Peppers
  • 2/3 large white onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 red or green pepper (cleaned out and thinly sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled, scar cut off, minced)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

    Prepare Sautéed Onions and Red Pepper:img_2480
  1. Melt and distribute the coconut oil in your skillet.
  2. Add your thinly sliced onion to a medium hot skillet, and sauté for 3 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.
  3. Add pepper slices, minced garlic, and seasoning, and continue to sauté for about 2 more minutes, continuing to stir often, until lightly browned. Remove from heat and serve.

Ingredients

    For Beef
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 pound of ground beef (defrosted preferably)
  • 1/2-1 Tablespoon cumin (preferably organic & non-irradiated)
  • 2 garlic cloves (skinned, scar removed, minced) or 1/2 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Turmeric (optional-good health benefits)

Directions

    Prepare Beef:
  1. Melt and distribute the coconut oil in your skillet.
  2. Add ground beef to medium heat skillet and break apart while stirring to lightly brown all.
  3. Add the additional ingredients when the meat is nearly done and stir in well. (Adjust the seasoning to your taste preferences as needed)

    Notes and Recommendations:
  1. You can find coconut oil options at your local grocery store.I usually use expeller-pressed or refined coconut oil for a recipe like this to avoid the coconutty flavor. Check out brands like Tropical Traditions, Nutiva, and Wilderness Family Naturals on their individual websites, your local grocery store or online through sources like Azurestandard, VitaCost,   Thrive Market, and Amazon.
  2. I prefer Redmond Real Salt (fine) for the minimal processing and to add the trace minerals to our meals.
  3. I recommend organic, grass/bug-fed meats and eggs whenever possible. Check out LocalHarvest for sources near you.
  4. I recommend organic fruits and veggies whenever possible. Grow your own, when possible, or check out LocalHarvest for sources near you.
  5. You might find the “The Clean 15” and “The Dirty Dozen” lists at Environmental Working Group EWG helpful when considering organic and conventional fruits and vegetables.
  6. I used grain-free Siete tortillas that I picked up at Whole Foods.
  7. You could substitute ground chicken or turkey for the ground beef if preferred.


Recipe by Elaine @ www.foodandlivingcoach.com


If you look at the first photo, you’ll see we also served up sliced avocado, nice green leafies (I picked green tip here), + sliced oranges and apples. We almost covered the whole rainbow in one meal….too bad we didn’t have grapes.

If you remember to move your ground beef from the freezer to the refrigerator early, the biggest effort really goes into the veggie prep, and I highly recommend recruiting help when possible. Everybody working together on different parts of the meal can really save time, And give everyone a great opportunity to share their day and have a laugh or two.

Enjoy!

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