Today's recipe that I am sharing does include meat: baked crunchy tacos with grass-fed beef, spinach and black beans. Tacos are something that anyone, with any cooking ability, can make. But, to make a delicious and nutritious taco takes a little more intention. So, I am not just going to share a recipe today. I am also going to explain why I chose to include each of the specific ingredients.
Grass-fed beef: One of the things I have learned over the past year is that grass-fed beef is actually very good for you! I always knew grass-fed beef was better than conventional, but honestly, I never really understood just how much better it is for you. I have found one principle (and quote from Michael Pollan--author and chef) to be true: "You are what what you eat eats." This means that the diet of the animal affects the nutritional value and quality of the meat, milk and eggs we consume. Cows, for example, are intended to consume grass. If they are fed too much grain and not enough grass, they get sick and need antibiotics. Also, they are often given hormones to increase their growth or production. The difference between grainfed and grassfed animal products is dramatic. For most of our food animals, a diet of grass means much healthier fats (more omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA; fewer omega-6s and saturated fat) in their meat, milk and eggs, as well as appreciably higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants. I could share a plethora of statistics with you, but instead, I will share a few and point you to an awesome article to read more (and be blown away!) First, did you know that grassfed meat has about the same amount of fat as skinless chicken or wild deer or elk. It also has extra omega 3's (which may reduce cancer risk). One more awesome tidbit to share: the meat and milk from grassfed ruminants are the richest known source of another type of good fat called "conjugated linoleic acid" or CLA. To quote the linked article: "When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their milk and meat contain as much as five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets. CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer. In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA --- a mere 0.1 percent of total calories ---greatly reduced tumor growth.In a recent Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet, had a 60 percent lower risk oI honestly could go on and on on the benefits of grass-fed meat products. Click here to read more details about the benefits.
By adding your own spices instead of using a store-bought taco seasoning packet (which likely has nasty preservatives, MSG or other things we would never keep in our kitchens at home), you can choose healthful spices, such as turmeric and cumin. Turmeric is such a powerful healer due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Curcumin, which is the bright yellow compound found in turmeric, has been shown to inhibit the expression of a specific gene that’s believed to lead to the development and progression of breast cancer. Cumin also contains the heart-healthy antioxidant, curcumin, along with other compounds that provide health benefits. Cumin may support heart health, reduce your risk for anemia and help fight infections. It helps control blood pressure, improves iron levels and kills bacteria.
This recipe also includes black beans, because they are amazingly great for your health also. They have significant digestive tract benefits, help regulate your blood sugar, are wonderful for cardiovascular health, help prevent cancer with their 8 different flavonoids and high content of phytochemicals, they're high in folate (great for your nervous system), and rich in the trace mineral molybdenum (serves the useful purpose of breaking down and detoxifying sulfites).
|Our delicious finished meal, complete with a side salad of seasonal greens (arugula, kale, spinach and herbs, organic apples and freshly shredded organic carrots.) Since this is apple season, organic apples have come down significantly in price. So, we have been enjoying a lot of them lately!|
Our family rated this meal an A+ and it is definitely in our meal rotation!
|Our growing boy!|
|And our sweet little Abbey.|