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Tip #44 - Beans on Your Tacos

Beans are delicious, hearty and filling and a great source of protein and iron. They can be caloric dense, but they can be excellent weight loss dishes when prepared properly. Moderate to high on the SMI, they make delicious dips and spreads that are very low in fat (as long as you don't add any fats).

From a health standpoint, beans are not only fat free but research associates them with lower rates of heart disease and some cancers. Beans provide significant amounts of folate, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium – nutrients we don’t always get enough of.

Beans come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, which add interest to cooking and eating. Dried beans are the least expensive, but take longer to prepare. They last for a year or more in an airtight container.

If you don't have time to cook, pick up a can at the supermarket or the health food store. Simply drain and use these beans as if they were cooked beans.

Maui Tacos' Black Bean Burrito

Rice and beans, the daily fare of many peoples around the world including Latin Americans, do make a healthy combination. Add some potatoes and enjoy this hearty burrito recipe contributed by Chef Mark Ellman of Avalon and Maui Tacos restaurants. If you want this made for you, go to one of the Maui Tacos locations in Napili, Lahaina, Kihei, Kahului, Hilo, and Honolulu.

12 oz. Rice, cooked or Spanish rice
5 small Potatoes
1/2 Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp.Garlic (granulated)
1 tsp.Salt
1 can Black beans (16 oz.), or cooked
5 Tortillas (12")
8 oz.Lettuce, shredded
7 oz.Salsa or Maui Tacos' Pineapple Tomatillo Salsa
4 oz.Maui Tacos' Guacamole

Wash and peel potatoes. Place in saucepan and water to cover. Add salt. Boil potatoes for 35 to 40 min-utes. Drain water and cube into 1/2" cubes and set aside. Water-sauté onion and granulated garlic until trans- lucent. Add black beans, potatoes, and rice. Gently mix together until combined. Lay out tortillas on a flat surface. Layer the filling in the following order: black bean-potato-rice mixture, lettuce, salsa, and guacamole. Fold tortilla over layers, envelope fashion. Makes 5 portions. (1 portion with guacamole = 440 calories, 4.9 grams fat, 13% protein, 77% carbohydrates, 10% fat) (1 portion without guacamole = 416 calories, 2.7 grams fat, 13% protein, 81% carbohydrates, 6% fat)

Maui Tacos' Black Beans
1 lb.Black beans, triple washed
Water, to cover
1/4 Onion, chopped
1 tsp.Salt
1 Tbsp.Garlic (granulated)
Wash beans thoroughly.
In a large pot, add the beans, onions, salt, garlic, and enough water to cover beans while cooking. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low. Cook for 4 hours or until beans are tender. Remove from heat. Cool. Leave black beans whole. Makes 5 portions. (1 portion = 125 calories, 0.5 gram fat, 25% protein, 71% carbohydrates, 4% fat).

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