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Tacos to Go

May 9, 2011

By Brianne Harrison Moore

Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, but south-of-the-border flavors are perfect at any time of the year. On the nights when you’re really in a hurry, tacos (especially meatless ones) make a fast, simple, satisfying meal that usually appeals even to picky eaters. This is a recipe that came out of a fridge clean-out in our house: I had a little bit of a lot of different things and was able to stretch it all out to feed myself and my husband (healthily!) for a couple of days.

In A Hurry Tacos

1 cup edamame (fresh or frozen), or substitute black beans

1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)

Juice and zest of 1 lime

1/3 cup grated cotija cheese* or queso fresco

A few leaves of chard, spinach, or kale, sliced into thin ribbons

4 small whole-wheat tortilla wraps

½-1 tsp chili powder (optional)

Toppings of choice (salsa, fresh tomato, avocado, etc.)

Boil edamame and corn in a saucepan for about 2 minutes, until cooked but not mushy. Drain.

Add a little vegetable or canola oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the greens, corn, edamame, lime juice, and chili powder and toss for about a minute, until combined and the greens have wilted.

In a bowl, toss the edamame combo with the lime zest and cheese. Warm tortillas over low heat in a pan or stuff them cold with the edamame and toppings and eat.

Healthy Roundup:

Edamame is high in fiber and protein and is a good source of vitamins A and C (both antioxidants) and iron (1/2 cup of edamame has about as much iron as a 4-oz chicken breast). Edamame is one of the few vegetarian protein sources that contains all nine of the essential amino acids the body’ can’t make. Certain studies have indicated that soy protein may help reduce insulin resistance, kidney damage, and fatty liver in people with diabetes, and regular consumption of soy foods has been associated with healthy cholesterol levels.

Corn is high in vitamin B1, folate, fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus, manganese, and vitamin B5. Folate can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems, and a carotenoid found in corn has been linked with reducing the risk of developing lung cancer. Vitamin B1 supports brain function and memory.

* Cotija is a salty, crumbly cheese. It can be found in some specialty markets (I found some at Trader Joe’s), but if it proves elusive, feel free to substitute queso fresco.


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