With American Heart Month passing by and spring break coming up (bikini season, ahhh!), it’s the perfect time to take another look before you cook to ensure you are being kind to your heart. Eating healthy while on a tight budget can be a bit of a challenge. Over the past six months of living on my own, I’ve found that with a little planning, a little coupon clipping and a little creative thinking, eating healthy on a budget can be easy. I’ve been especially on my game recently because February was National Heart Health Month. While everyone else was devouring their chocolate Valentine’s Day treats, I was looking for ways to cut bad fats and introduce healthy fats into my diet.
I found a yummy-looking taco bake recipe on Pinterest. Unfortunately, it was loaded with red meat, full-fat cheese and unhealthy oils. This is where the creative thinking comes in! First, I replaced the canola oil for Mazola Corn Oil. Next, I swapped the ground beef for turkey, and it was still incredible. Xavier thought I used ground beef, and, although he’s no chef, I figure if I can fool someone, you can as well. We only used half the cheese and used reduced fat – and instead of topping with more cheese (can you imagine that?) and sour cream, we made a little homemade guacamole! My best advice is to line your baking pan with foil. The chips will soften a great deal and stick to the bottom. Plus, foil makes clean up that much easier.
You might be wondering about the corn oil swap.. isn’t corn oil still bad for you? Not only is corn oil extremely versatile in the kitchen (baking, sauteing.. you name it!), it also contains plant sterols which can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, thus lowering LDL cholesterol. Plant sterols can of course be found in fruits, vegetables and nuts, but the amount in one tablespoon of corn oil is more than double that of a one ounce serving of peanuts and more than quadruple the amount in a tablespoon of vegetable oil or olive oil. Never cooked with corn oil before? It’s excellent for sauteing, deep drying and stir frying. It can also be good for baking or in salads and pastas.
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- 2 dozen tortilla chips (multigrain)
- 1 tbsp Mazola Corn Oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 tbsp taco or chili seasoning (low sodium)
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup medium salsa, chunky
- ½ cup corn (frozen or canned, drain if canned)
- 1 cup shredded low-fat or reduced fat cheddar cheese
- avocado & red onion for guacamole (optional)
- Set oven to 350.
- Heat Mazola Corn Oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sautee until slightly translucent. Add ground turkey and taco seasoning and brown.
- Once turkey is fully cooked, add beans, salsa and corn. Cook until mixture is heated through.
- Line the bottom of your baking pan with aluminum foil. Line bottom with tortilla chips. Top with skillet mixture. Finish off with shredded cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.
- Top with guacamole or sliced avocado!
FTC Disclaimer: The Mazola corn oil was sent to me for the sampling purposes.