Vegetarian Taco Salad

Photo Credit: The Country Cook

This is the time of year when there is an abundance of fresh, colorful produce at both the grocery store and at your local farmers market. This vegetarian taco salad recipe was inspired by some fresh romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, green onion and corn. And if you are lucky enough to find a good guacamole this taco salad will be made all the better. This easy salad is very filling so it's up to you if you want to serve it as a side salad or as a main dish recipe. The black beans have lots of fiber and protein, so they are a healthy addition. And the corn chips give this salad recipe idea lots of crunch. You can also change this easy salad recipe up a bit and use organic pinto beans or organic red kidney beans if you like, as both beans work great in this easy salad idea. For this easy salad recipe, you will need romaine lettuce hearts, black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, sliced olive, corn chips and some Catalina salad dressing or Frech salad dressing. Additional toppings of sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo can also be used. For the full recipe tutorial, you will want to take a look on the Country Cook site.

Beans are an excellent part of a healthy diet as they offer plenty of health benefits. Beans fit into several different food groups because they are rich in complex carbs like bread and starches, as a plant-based food, like vegetables they offer an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Beans can also hold their own in the protein food group because they supply plenty of protein. But unlike some other members of food groups, beans provide little to no fat and are also cholesterol-free. In fact, beans may actually lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels instead of causing them to increase, as some animal proteins may do.

Beans are heart helpers. Beans are an ingredient that is known to be heart healthy because they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which may help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you prefer canned beans, you can ditch up to 40 percent of the sodium by rinsing the beans in water. Beans are low in fat. Most beans are about two to three percent fat and contain no cholesterol unless they are processed or prepared with other ingredients, such as lard. You always want to be sure and check the labels to see what else may be in the beans that you purchase. Beans pack protein. The dietary guidelines for Americans say that everyone should be eating more plant proteins. And beans are a good source of this, with about half a cup of beans providing 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in one ounce of chicken, meat or fish. Vegetarians, vegans and individuals who don't eat a lot of meat, poultry, or fish could count on beans as a healthy alternative choice. Beans balance blood sugar. With a low glycemic index, beans are an ingredient that contains a good blend of complex carbohydrates and protein. Because of this, beans are digested slowly, which helps to keep your blood glucose stable and may curtail fatigue and irritability. Beans may also help to cut your cancer risk. Scientists recommend that adults consume about three cups of beans per week to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, like cancer.

You will find this vegetarian taco salad recipe on The Country Cook site. On the site, you will find other easy salads, vegetarian recipes, salad dressing ideas, appetizer recipes, main dish recipes, dessert recipes and more. **

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