A vegetarian dish kids love

This ve­get­ari­an dish has all the fla­vors of a nacho or a taco.

Get­ting chil­dren to eat a healthy din­ner of­ten takes a little ex­tra plan­ning. You might try com­bin­ing healthy in­gredi­ents in in­ter­est­ing ways. 

   This re­cipe for black bean and broc­coli-stuffed pota­toes is a ve­get­ari­an dish that has all of the fla­vors of a nacho or a taco. 

   The ad­di­tion of broc­coli makes it a nu­tri­tious and easy-to-pre­pare meal. You also might try us­ing col­or­ful and in­ter­est­ing din­ner­ware or place mats.

   In­volving your child in the meal pre­par­a­tion is an­oth­er way to en­sure that they’ll eat din­ner. It’s also the per­fect time to make memor­ies and in­still healthy eat­ing habits that will last a life­time.

Black Bean and Broc­coli-stuffed Pota­toes 

4 large rus­set bak­ing pota­toes, scrubbed

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (8 ounce) box, frozen broc­coli florets, thawed

1-1/2 cups mild or me­di­um pre­pared salsa

1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil

1 ta­ble­spoon lem­on or lime juice

1 ta­ble­spoon chili powder

1 tea­spoon salt

1 tea­spoon freshly ground black pep­per

1/2 cup shred­ded ched­dar cheese

4 ta­ble­spoons sour cream (op­tion­al)

1. Prick pota­toes with a fork 4 to 5 times per side. Mi­crowave for 5 minutes, turn over, mi­crowave an ad­di­tion­al 4 minutes. Re­move from mi­crowave and cov­er with a clean dishtow­el to al­low pota­toes to con­tin­ue to steam. This provides for fluf­fi­er pota­toes.

2. While the pota­toes are cook­ing, com­bine black beans, broc­coli florets, salsa and 1/2 ta­ble­spoon chili powder, salt and black pep­per in a me­di­um bowl. Cov­er with plastic wrap, leav­ing one corner fol­ded back to al­low any steam to vent. Cook on high for 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Place pota­toes on a large plate. Cut top of the pota­toes length­wise with a knife. With a tow­el, push ends of the pota­toes to­geth­er to split open. Fluff the cooked pota­toes with a fork.

4. In an­oth­er small bowl, com­bine olive oil, juice, the re­main­ing 1/2 ta­ble­spoon of chili  powder, and the 1/2 tea­spoon salt and black pep­per. Drizzle olive oil mix­ture over the pota­toes and stir gently to com­bine. Spoon the black bean mix­ture over the top. Top with the shred­ded ched­dar.

5. Mi­crowave the pota­toes on high un­til the cheese is bub­bling, about 1 to 2 minutes. Top with a dol­lop of sour cream or ad­di­tion­al salsa, if de­sired. Serve im­me­di­ately. 

Serves 4. ••

Here’s an easy start to your morn­ing

This healthy break­fast sand­wich is easy to grab when you’re on the run.

Cook­ing spray

1 egg

1 egg white

3 mush­rooms, sliced

1/4 cup spin­ach

1 ta­ble­spoon soft goat cheese

1 (6-1/2-inch) whole-wheat pita

1. In a pan coated with cook­ing spray, scramble the egg and egg white. Set aside.

2. In same pan, saute mush­rooms and spin­ach. Stuff eggs, spin­ach mix­ture and goat cheese in­to whole-wheat pita.

Each serving: About 303 cal­or­ies, 19g pro­tein.

   An­gela Shelf Medear­is is an award-win­ning chil­dren’s au­thor, culin­ary his­tor­i­an and the au­thor of sev­en cook­books. Her new cook­book is “The Kit­chen Diva’s Dia­bet­ic Cook­book.” Her Web site is www.di­vapro.com

You can reach at .

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