Soft Tacos & Beans - Easy, Delicious & Healthy Meal Ideas
We eat a lot of stir fry in our house - it's hard not to love the simple staple because it's such an easy option and there are so many different ways you can build a healthy meal around it.
These soft tacos are loaded with stir fry veggies and you can get even more vitamin and mineral content by topping it off with fresh greens & vegetables of your choice (spinach & tomatoes in this case). Eat with a bowl of slow cooked beans on the side and you've built yourself a very tasty, filling, and nutritious lunch or dinner.
Actually, a meal like this even makes a great breakfast with some slight variations. Recently we went to Austin to visit family and I was very pleased to find that they are happy to roll up all kinds of different delicious foods in tortillas for pretty much every meal, if you like - we ate "breakfast burritos", "lunch burritos" and "dinner burritos" for several days in a row and I am not complaining. I was in my element!
The best part about a meal like this is that you can adjust the ingredients to fit even the pickiest of eaters. A lot of times, when we are cooking for a big group of friends/family, we will end up making a "build your own" burrito set up. It's as easy as preparing a handful of fresh & cooked veggies, meat, and a few fresh toppings. Then you let everyone self serve & build their own burrito, taco, or salad. It's not any more work than building one giant dish or meal for everyone, and as a bonus, each person gets exactly what they want on their plate. It also makes for delicious leftovers that lend themselves to a wide variety of other meals. It's great because you can cater to gluten free, dairy free, vegan/vegetarian/omnivore needs in one preparation.
Below I've provided a very loose "recipe" of sorts that tells you how we made what you see in the image above, but also how to tweak the recipe so that you can put an entirely different spin on it - so it never grows boring - or, to meet your dietary preferences (vegan, omnivore, dairy free or not, etc).
Let us know what you think about this recipe and what you might like to see next!
Harvest bowl with Chickpeas, Greens & Veggies
Harvest bowl are the ultimate celebration of produce in seasons. No matter if it is summer, spring, fall or winter, Nature offers a variety of colorful and vibrant veggies to delight our tastebuds and nourish our bodies.
It is curious how intelligent seasonal eating is when it comes to the nutritional need of our bodies. Each season provides us with the types of fruits and veggies that we are most in need of. During the darker days we are abundant in hearty beans and roots which gives us energy for a prolonged amount of time and keep us warm and energized. On the other hand spring is all about the greens that detoxify the body and bring more vitality whereas summer is loaded with juicy fruit to keep us moving throughout the long sunny hours of the day.
This harvest bowl is a beautiful example of this transitional period between winter and spring. We still enjoy earthy and juicy beet, but combine it with cleansing and nutrient-dense greens for optimum energy and nutrition.
Check out some of our other recipes:
Type: Vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time: 1 h
Cook time: 15 min
2-3 cups mixed leafy greens
1 cup dried or 2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 medium beetroot (cooked; boiled)
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 handful of pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp smoked red pepper
salt, black pepper
2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp water
1. Rinse and soak chickpeas the night before if you are using dried beans.
2. On the next day rinse the chickpeas well and transfer to a pan with 1.5 l filtered water.
3. Bring to a boil and cook for 30-40 minutes until the chickpeas are soft and tender.
4. Remove from heat, season with salt and let soak in the liquid for 15 minutes.
5. Rinse all vegetables well. Slice beets, bell peppers and carrot on a mandolin or with a peeler.
6. In a skillet heat some coconut oil or ghee. Add the smoked pepper and stir just until fragrant.
7. Add the chickpeas and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring vigorously to cover the chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper.
8. In a big bowl add leafy greens and sliced veggies. Toss to combine.
9. Add the chickpeas and decorate with avocado slices and pomegranate seeds.
10. Mix all ingredients for the dressing and stir well.
Season the salad and enjoy rightaway!
Note: You can freely sub chickpeas for quinoa or beans. Just do not forget to soak them in advance so that they cook and digest more easily. The same goes for any of the veggies; if you don't like any that we've used, feel free to sub out for your favorites. If you prefer, you can also top with an egg or meat.
Fibre rich slow cooker stew (vegan or omnivore)
Stews, chilis, soups or even healthy pasta – I love preparing hearty, warming dishes loaded with nutrients, especially when the slow cooker is included. This kitchen gadget is the ultimate time-savior, helping you maintain a healthy diet without wasting time with long cooking steps. While some of the vitamins are lost within the cooking process, the minerals, protein and fiber remain intact. Just make sure you serve your stew next to a salad to ensure your body gets fresh enzymes and vitamins too. And there's nothing as comforting as a bowl of home-made stew, wonderfully flavored and packed with nutrients to keep your body in great shape!
I always combine different classes of foods to get the maximum health benefits from my stew – chickpeas, tofu, beans, peas or lentils, to add plenty protein and fiber to the dish, and lots, I mean, lots of vegetables for a rich mineral intake. There isn't a specific recipe for creating the perfect stew – just make sure you add plenty of ingredients to nourish your body with a wide variety of nutrients.
Quick tip: start your slow cooker stew & then fit in a 30 minute workout video while it cooks!
The best vegetables that goes well with slow cooker stews are the root vegetables, especially sweet potatoes, carrots or potatoes. Their starch creates a probiotic nourishment for your microbiome, resulting in increased vitamin absorption and a great boost for the immune system. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli or brussels sprouts enrich the nutritional values of your stew with essential minerals magnesium and potassium, and also with fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Your digestion is improved, the health of your colon cells is protected, and it's easier for your body to eliminate the toxins, old estrogen and cholesterol, preventing them from leaking back into your blood stream.
The secret to creating a tasty slow cooking stew is adding enough garlic, onion and aromatic herbs to create a wonderfully flavored thick broth that keeps all the ingredients together. I add aromatic herbs with the rest of the ingredients and let them infuse the vegetables with their flavor, and also sprinkle freshly chopped ones when serving the stew, for a nice styling and refreshing taste. Basil, sage, parsley or mint work just perfect!
Related: this roasted sweet potato, cauliflower and barley salad recipe is a must try
If you want to enrich your stew with green leafy vegetables, I recommend adding them when the cooking process is finished, because cooking destroys some of their detoxifying nutrients, especially vitamins, and they will lose color and health properties. Spinach, kale or chard, they make a delicious and healthy addition to your stew, and give it an alluring, vibrant color dash.
Type: Vegan (can easily be made omnivore by adding 1-2 servings of your favorite meat)
2 cups peas
1 carrot, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup brussels sprouts
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 sage leaves, chopped plus extra for garnishing
3-4 mint leaves, plus extra for garnishing
1 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 black peppercorns, crushed
1 cup diced tomatoes (canned)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp pure maple syrup
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
Fresh lemon juice, to serve
Quick and Healthy Stir Fry Recipe - How to Make Clean Eating Taste Great - Detoxing Taste Buds
We eat a lot of stir fry in our house because it's so quick and easy, and the best part is that you can really just make do with whatever vegetables you happen to have in your fridge. The other big plus is that you can use whatever spices you like (in abundance) in order to constantly change things up and keep your taste buds from getting bored - which should really not be underestimated in terms of actually being able to enjoy and adhere to a healthy diet long term.
Keep it simple
Whether or not you have the exact veggies or spices below doesn't matter. All you really need is a skillet or pan and some olive oil; you can add any veggies or different spices that you like. Keep the ingredients simple with just vegetables, add minimal salt, and you really can't go wrong. Broccoli, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, yams or sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, celery, etc, all taste great.
Add as much spice as you like
A lot of times when a person starts eating clean, they feel like all of the food tastes so bland. That's a two part problem, and the first issue is that when you're used to foods that have a ton of additives, preservatives, and fake flavors, your taste buds basically need to go through a detox of sorts (or at least a readjustment period), which can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks; be patient, outlast those initial cravings and you'll never look back. Believe it or not, you'll actually start craving clean food. The second issue is typically that someone new to clean eating goes too light on spices when they're preparing their meals. Go crazy with the spices- add as much as you like and you will be adding either zero or minimal calories, and many of them even have health benefits. Other spices that go well with this easy dish are cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, paprika, curry, turmeric, sage, basil, Italian, just to name a few. Need more examples? Get a very hands-on guide for eating clean with Fitness Blender Meal Plans.
Tips on outlasting cravings for processed foods
- 1 onion
- 6 large mushrooms
- 1 bell pepper or 6 mini peppers
- 1 tomato or 6 cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 to 1 Tbsp olive oil
- roughly 1/2 Tbsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- salt & pepper to taste
Chop up all veggies into bite sized pieces. Heat up your olive oil on low-medium heat; toss in all of your veggies, season, and cook until onions are transparent (or until it reaches desired consistency).
What should I eat this with?
I made the stir-fry above for breakfast. I cooked a very large batch of quinoa (I will store the rest in the fridge for quick, easy meals later in the day and week), mixed it in with my sauteed vegetables, and topped it with avocado. If you don't like quinoa, black or wild rice, couscous, beans, etc, are all great options as well.
The allotments above serves 2-4 people but you can easily double or triple the recipe so that you can have convenient leftovers for later.
Healthy burrito bowl recipe - Fresh, flavorful & perfect for large groups
Burritos! Who doesn’t love them? Recipes like this are a staple in our house & they pretty much never get old.
They are rich, flavorful, sometimes spicy and always combine your favorite ingredients in one whole meal.
This recipe is ideal for a family or friends gathering as it offers a variety of ingredients that anyone can choose from - great for picky eaters or people who like or need to stick to certain dietary preferences. It is also a great way to add in more colors to your diet without even making an effort.
Looking for lunch ideas that are easy to make & easy to pack? Try these easy Sweet Potato Avocado Wraps
For the ones that are limiting their refined carb intake, this is a great option as it omits the wraps and focuses on whole hearty foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and who doesn’t need those?
The cheddar adds an additional flavor and topped with the sour cream it provides a balanced and nutrient-dense meal that can fuel you for hours! If you prefer a dairy free dish, simply leave it off or substitute with a minimally processed dairy free alternative.
It is so easy to assemble and put together that you can have it pre-made in the fridge in a lunch box and just grab it when you are on the go.
Type: Vegetarian, Lunch, Supper (add your favorite meat to make it omnivore)
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 h
Serves: 3 people
1 cup basmati rice (or black, wild, white, etc)
½ cup black beans (you can always used canned if you don’t have any slow cooked beans on hand)
1 red bell pepper
50 gr mushrooms
5 cherry tomatoes
100 gr cheddar cheese
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
For the cream sauce:
1 cup sour cream (we often use plain yogurt instead; either will do)
2 sprigs of fresh cilantro
Optional tortilla chips for garnishing
(Skip to step 7 if you are using canned beans or already have beans made)
1. Soak the beans for at least 12 hours.
2. Rinse them well from the soaking water and put them in a small saucepan.
3. Fill up with filtered water and bring to a bowl.
4. When boiling, discard the first water and refill with fresh one.
5. Cook for 30 more minutes until the beans are soft and tender but not mushy.
6. Remove from the heat, season generously with salt and let soak in the salty water to season.
7. Put the rice with 2 cups water and a pinch of salt and cook for 10 min with the lid on.
8. Remove from the heat and let steam for 2 more minutes. Open the lid and stir gently to let the steam out.
9. Rinse all the vegetables well.
10. Cut the lettuce, cherry tomatoes and slice the avocado on a cutting board.
11. Cut the onion in small pieces. Cut pepper and mushrooms roughly.
12. In a frying pan sauce the onion in olive oil. Add the peppers and mushrooms and stir.
13. Season with salt, pepper, coriander and cumin and cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside.
14. To assemble the bowl lay the cooked rice at the bottom of a big serving dish.
15. Arrange the cooked beans, stir-fried veggies, lettuce, tomatoes and avocado slices.
16. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese evenly on top.
17. For the cream stir the sour cream with the seasonings and scoop it into the center of the bowl.
18. Garnish with some tortilla chips on the side.
Notes: You can definitely diversify this recipe with whatever you have in the fridge. If you are aiming at more protein intake, add some chopped chicken breast to your bowl for extra nutrition
Another great recipe to try: Easy Homemade Mushroom Mozzarella Pizza
Easy, Healthy Pineapple “Fried” Rice
One of our favorite ways to get heaps of vegetables into a meal without putting too much thought into it is through fried rice dishes – well, pseudo-fried rice, in which the rice is cooked and stirred in with all of the other ingredients just before serving, rather than frying it in oil. We also like to use brown, black or wild rice to ensure we reap the benefits that whole grains bring to the table. If you use good produce, fresh herbs and a bit of chili sauce, you’ll find this recipe packs as much flavor as the traditional dish, but without the unnecessary calories and added fat.
Other sneaky ways to add in vegetables: stir fry, soups, harvest bowls & burritos & burrito bowls
The other great thing about this recipe is the speed in which it’s ready. This is an exciting, comforting and healthy meal that you can realistically prepare from start to finish after a day’s work. Moreover, the recipe can be adapted to what you have on hand or what’s in season at your local market. Mushrooms don’t look good? Try some small cubes of eggplant or little cauliflower florets. As with most recipes, the use of real, quality ingredients will result in something delicious.
To balance out the savory elements of soy sauce, sesame oil and umami-packed vegetables, this recipe incorporates sweet chunks of pineapple, which are slightly acidic, but become caramelized and sugary once they hit some heat.
The key to a good fried rice is cooking the dish quickly – a burst of high heat gives the veggies a deep smoky flavor. Any more than that and they’ll become limp, soggy and pale in color. For this reason, it’s very important that you let all of your ingredients dry after washing so they don’t steam.
The added benefit of this flash cooking technique is that it keeps the vegetables fairly intact in their natural form; in fact, you are barely cooking them at all. This way, they retain many more nutrients and fiber than they would if you steamed, stewed or roasted them.
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup brown rice
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup fresh cubed pineapple
2 scallions (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Soy sauce, to serve
Cilantro, to serve
Bring a medium-sized stockpot of water to boil; add peas and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes; drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. In same pot, cook brown rice according to package instructions. Transfer to bowl with peas and set side.
In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil to combine.
In another bowl, beat eggs until smooth. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, add eggs, and cook, stirring occasionally until eggs scramble. Transfer to the bowl with rice and peas and cover with foil.
In same frying pan over very high heat, add remaining tablespoon of sesame oil. Once oil begins to shimmer, add onion, mushroom and pineapple in an even layer, allowing vegetables to char, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes. Pour vegetables into bowl with rice. Serve immediately with cilantro and a side of soy sauce.
Healthy packed lunch idea: Veggie & sweet potato quinoa salad
It's always so much tastier and healthier - and cheaper - to make your own lunch by putting together all your favorite clean ingredients. But we often forget about it, or maybe it looks too hard to plan in advance or we never have all the right ingredients at hand. This is one area where a little thinking ahead can save you a great deal of money and also end up benefiting your health.
This recipe can be of service for you if you would like to bring your lunch box to the next level. It combines some basic everyday ingredients that match beautifully and taste delicious.
What’s important for you to know are the basics. These are greens, veggies, protein and fat. This principle is very easy to follow when you prepare your box to-go. Which means that you must strive to have greens and some veggies every day (which is a pretty healthy habit after all). Then you just need to choose your protein and fat source. For protein you can choose chicken slices from yesterday, some salmon, egg or some piece of cheese. You can also combine the protein with fat and use half an avocado as an add-in. Here we use quinoa and egg which are both great source of protein, one animal and the other – plant-based.
Quinoa also adds up on the fiber which is great for your gut. Feel free to use beans or lentils in place of the egg or in addition to the ingredients listed, to make for an even heartier dish. As for the veggies – they add more flavors, vitamins and minerals that you can switch according to seasons and what's immediately available in the fridge. When you have taken care of the protein portion have a look at the fat content. If you already have and egg or an avocado just drizzle with some olive oil. If you need more energy during the day you can add more fat and use nuts, seeds and even tahini in your dressing. It all depends on your taste and the energy level you need during the day!
Type: Lunch, Vegetarian
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
2 cups mixed leafy green salad (arugula, spinach, lettuce, beet greens, etc)
1 cup dried quinoa
½ sweet potato
50 g mushrooms
salt, pepper, olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
sesame seeds for sprinkling
1. Cook quinoa as directed (we recommend cooking a large batch that can be used in a number of other to-go lunches)
2. Rinse the sweet potato and mushrooms. Chop into large chunks and transfer into a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
3. Season with salt and pepper and toss to cover. Roast for 15-20 min in a preheated oven at 200°C
4. Fry an egg according to your liking and set aside.
5. To assemble the meal place greens at the bottom of a lunch box.
6. Add the roasted vegetables and the quinoa. Top with the egg.
7. Season with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.
Note: You can also prep and roast your veggies the night before so that you can assemble the salad faster in the morning.