November is Eat Smart Month and balance is key

By Guest Blogger: Courtney Bertrand

What does it mean to “eat smart”? To eat smart is to adapt to a healthy diet that adheres to all of the essential food groups. The essential food groups include:

  • Protein
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Healthy fats (good fats include vegetable oils (such as olive, canola, sunflower, soy, and corn), nuts, seeds, and fish)

The key to eating smart is balance. Finding the proper balance can ensure that you are successfully filling your body with the proper nutrients it needs. There are many benefits to finding that perfect balance. For starters, it helps to reduce your risks of potential disease. Second, it overall helps provide you with great overall health. Lastly, it can help you maintain good energy throughout the day. Healthy eating starts with healthy food choices. And by making these healthy and smart food choices, your body will thank you in the long run.

A helpful tool to find healthy options when shopping to prepare meals is easier than you think. Just look for the Heart-Check mark on foods and beverages every time you shop.

Create a healthy grocery list using Heart-Check’s digital grocery list tool. This tool will allow you to search for Heart-Check certified foods, create a grocery list, print or email your list as needed, and check off items as you find them! This tool is updated regularly to provide you with the most current list of Heart-Check certified foods. It can help you identify healthier foods to add to your shopping list including fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereals, lean meats, deli meats, poultry, fish and more.

See the Heart-Check certified food list here:

The American Heart Association can also provide a variety of different recipes that can not only satisfy your stomach but also touch on those key food groups.

Check out this quick and easy / budget friendly recipe, that you can try at home with your friends and family!

For more heart healthy recipes, visit

Black Bean Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles is a traditional Mexican breakfast dish in which crisp tortillas are simmered in salsa or mole sauce and then combined with eggs, queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese), and beans. In this version, fresh tomato, cilantro, and jalapeño add more flavor. For a spicier dish, leave in the jalapeño seeds.


  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 6-inch corn tortillas, stacked, cut into 3/4-inch strips, then cut crosswise into 1-inch squares
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or farmer’s cheese and 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or farmer’s cheese, divided use
  • 3/4 cup canned no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium jalapeño, seeds and ribs discarded if desired, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a large bowl, using a fork, lightly beat the egg whites, eggs, and salt. Stir in the tortilla squares and 1/2 cup queso fresco.
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the beans and chipotle powder. Fold into the egg white mixture. Set aside so the tortillas can soften.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the onion and jalapeño for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir the tomatoes into the egg white mixture. Pour into the skillet. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the eggs are set, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, sprinkle with the cilantro and the remaining 1/4 cup queso fresco.

See the video here:

Black Bean Chilaquiles – YouTube