Healthy Foods: Life in the Fast Food Lane

If you’re like me, there are times in my week when fast food is an absolute necessity. But here’s the rub: I don’t do drive-thrus. Instead, I make my own fast food. Consider how much it costs on a weekly basis to do drive-thru–even if you go cheap and get water to drink–it really adds up fast. And when you consider the health hazard awaiting you at Mickey D’s–one pass through the drive-thru can add up to a whopping 82 grams of fat if you order a super-sized meal–it just makes more (dollars and) sense to eat at home.

Now for the fast part of the equation. I have one dinner that I call the 911 Emergency dinner. It just plain could not get any faster than this. But what’s great about it, is that it’s healthy, low in fat, and absolutely delicious–no kidding.

Here’s the recipe:

911 Emergency Dinner!
Serves 3
2 1/4 cups brown rice (use Uncle Ben’s Instant variety unless you have some already cooked)
15-ounce can of black beans, drained (or equivalent of homemade)
1/4 cup shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese
Salsa, sour cream, and tortillas (optional)
Cook rice according to directions and heat the beans up. By the time the beans have heated through, the rice will be done. This meal takes 3 minutes to make.
Divvy up and serve, top with cheese, salsa, and low-fat sour cream. If you’re really gonna get crazy, give ’em a warm tortilla with it…talk about living la Vida Loca…
While beans and rice may not be the most exciting, thrilling recipe on the block, it wins hands down over a Big Mac or other nutritional nightmare, any day of the week. The addition of cheese, salsa, and sour cream makes it an often-asked-for meal in our house. If you are in a huge hurry, you could even throw this in a plastic bowl and let the kids eat it in the minivan on the way to soccer practice.
I cannot guarantee the cleanliness of such a proposal, however. You’re on your own there.

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