Tex-Mex Beef Stir-Fry

Dinner in a Jiffy

A jiffy can mean several different time intervals: A short period of time or a moment. The origin of the word is unknown, but is believed to have first appeared in 1779.* In computing, the duration of one tick of the system timer interrupt. Typically, this time is 0.01 seconds.

Dr. Sears has long recognized that people will eat healthy foods if they can prepare them in a jiffy. Past studies have confirmed this - one, for instance, showed that time-pressed Americans simply don't want to linger in the kitchen, especially during the workweek. Our priorities when deciding what's for dinner? It's got to be easy to make, satisfy hunger, and take little or no preparation — this means no special trips to the store for obscure ingredients.

The good news: Many of the "quick" recipes featured on Zone Diet can be made in 15 minutes or less. Try this delicious, fast meal idea for tonight's dinner!

Tex-Mex Beef Stir-Fry


3 ounces lean ground beef
1 ounce low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup salsa, any heat level
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed
1 cup red bell pepper strips
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (or 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce)
1 tablespoon lemon-flavored water


In a nonstick sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef and stir-fry, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, salsa, black beans, peppers, chili powder, garlic, cumin, red pepper, and water. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with cheese.

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