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LiveBest: Make your veggies interesting with these mushroom and spinach tacos

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It’s nothing new that vegetables are good for us.

The problem is how to make them interesting. A side of canned green beans doesn’t offer much excitement. A spoonful of peas doesn’t really inspire. Corn. Again?

How about a vegetable taco?

In this easy one-pan recipe, I sautéed mushrooms and wilted spinach to fill a taco.

At the store, look for fresh spinach that is not wilted. Check the date. The sell-buy date is a suggestion for the store to sell it, still leaving you time to use it after you buy. The use-buy date is a suggestion for best results. But you should use it within a couple days after buying because the longer it’s stored the more vitamin loss. Leafy greens, such as spinach and lettuce, are best kept cold. Store it in the vegetable drawer as soon as you get home. We’ve probably all thrown out a bag of brown goo that was once lettuce. Now that’s real vitamin (and money) loss!

Fresh vegetables are what we toss the most. Produce doesn’t age well. From the farm to the store to your fridge, the clock is ticking. So try to use them as close to purchase as you can. Vegetables often end up in our grocery cart because of their healthy halo. We know we should eat them, so we buy them, but then find them weeks later in the fridge. Does this happen to you, too? Keep in mind how much you will eat through the week to avoid buying too much. A good deal at the store doesn’t translate if it ends up in the garbage. A 2015 study from the University of Arizona found that we pay close attention to sale prices, but not the money squandered through wasted food.

Choose mushrooms that are smooth with tightly closed caps. If the gills under the cap are showing, the mushroom is old. Mushrooms absorb water, so rather than rinsing them, the best way to clean them is to rub them with a damp paper towel. Slice the mushrooms in similar sizes so that they cook evenly. Or save time and just buy them sliced.

To smash garlic, place the clove on the cutting board. Lay the flat part of a knife blade (sharp edge away from you) on top on the clove, then hit the flat part of the knife with the heel of your hand. Be careful to stay away from the sharp edge. I use a chef’s knife because of the wide blade. Smashing releases the compounds that give garlic its pungent flavor and healthful benefits. Let the garlic rest for 10 minutes before cooking, to allow those compounds to work so you maximize the healthy benefits.

Mushroom spinach tacos could be for breakfast or dinner. The spinach mixture could be rolled in a tortilla and topped with salsa verde for an enchilada or stirred into scrambled eggs for breakfast. However you serve it, I think you’ll find them delicious.

Judy Barbe is a registered dietitian, speaker and author of “Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest: Simple Solutions for Fresh Food & Well-Being.” Visit her website for every day food solutions.


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