Every year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics promotes National Nutrition Month. This March the theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” inspiring individuals to make small changes in their eating habits one forkful at a time.
Tips to put your best fork forward include adding a variety of your favorite healthful foods in your eating pattern, cooking meals at home more often, being mindful of portion sizes, staying active most days and managing your weight to lower your health risk.
Healthful foods include vegetables and fruits, lean meats, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds.
Adults can also put their best fork forward for children who model adult behavior. Planning a menu inspires creativity in children. Shopping for meals and preparing meals at home with them is quality time that nourishes the entire family.
Try this simple recipe to put your best fork forward with your family.
1 very large sweet potato (cut lengthwise into ½-inch-thick sticks)
½ small red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice (about ½ cup)
2 small garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 (15-ounce) can pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained (about 1½ cups)
½ cup frozen sweet corn kernels, rinsed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground ancho chile, or to taste
12 to 16 corn tortillas
1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled and mashed
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, cored and cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1 cup)
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
1. Cook sweet potato in steamer pot until cooked through but not too soft, 7 to 10 minutes, making sure not to overcook. Remove the sweet potato from the pot and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, place the onion, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water. Cover and cook over low heat until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the reserved sweet potato, beans, corn, cumin, ancho chile, and salt to taste. Gently fold to coat the sweet potato with the spices. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.
4. Line a plate with a damp large, clean dish towel. Warm the tortillas one at a time for about 20 seconds on each side in a dry skillet set over medium heat. Or, if you have a gas stove, place a tortilla straight over the flame for a few seconds on each side. As you heat the tortillas, stack them on the damp towel and cover the tops of them with the towel to retain moisture.
5. To form the taco, spread some avocado on half of each tortilla. Spoon some beans and sweet potato on top, and then add the tomato, scallions, and cilantro. Drizzle with some lime juice. Fold each tortilla in half. Serve at once.
This recipe was found at forksoverknives.com/recipes/spiced-sweet-potato-tacos/.
Put your best fork forward this month and every month to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Ann Petersson is a dietetic intern at Concord Hospital Center for Health Promotion and a contributing member of The Capital Area Wellness Coalition, which coordinates community resources and builds partnerships to create a culture of healthy living for everyone. The CAWC meets monthly on the second Wednesday at 8 a.m. at the Center for Health Promotion, 49 S. Main St. Visit capwellness.org to learn more.