Cooking From The Heart For Father’s Day

Brad Powell, a champion of local theater and dance, has been the executive director of The Actors Group (TAG) for the past 15 years, staging productions in an intimate setting with a passion and commitment to excellence and diversity. TAG will present Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike this fall. Got to for more information.

Brad arrived in Hawaii in 1959 just before Statehood, and his impressive career includes teaching drama and theater on Kauai, producing PBS educational programming for the state Department of Education, directing and choreographing myriad local and national stage productions, and serving as the president of Hawaii State Theatre Council for three years.

He brings this vast experience to his next project, Smokey Joe’s Café, a classic American musical revue featuring the music of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, opening July 3 at Manoa Valley Theatre. He promises it will be an evening that will brighten spirits and leave the audience humming a tune.

After Powell had open-heart surgery in 2004, his wife started to look for heart-healthy dishes. I have modified one of his favorites below.

This hearty dish would be perfect to make for a heart-healthy Father’s Day dinner, and good served with a tossed green salad on the side. Look for corn tortillas that are not made with lard and don’t contain trans fats.

Beans are a good source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, folate, iron, manganese, molybdenum (works to break down proteins and other substances), copper and phosphorus.

Happy Father’s Day!


* 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

* 1 large sweet onion, chopped

* 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

* 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced

* 15-ounce cans each black and pinto beans, rinsed and drained

* 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice

* 1 tablespoon chili powder

* 2 tablespoon (or to taste) hot or mild chopped green chilies

* 2 teaspoons ground cumin

* 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit or use less for low-sodium diets)

* 12 corn tortillas

* 1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (may use less, if desired)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add oil to coat bottom of large saucepan and sauté onions, bell peppers and garlic until soft (about 7 minutes).

Add beans and stir to combine.

Add tomatoes, chili powder, chilies, cumin and salt. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a 13-by-9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, spread 1/2 cup of the bean mixture.

Arrange six tortillas over the bean mixture, overlapping them a bit and going about an inch up the side of dish.

Spread half of the remaining bean mixture over the tortillas.

Sprinkle with half of the cheese, then arrange remaining six tortillas on top.

Top with remaining bean mixture.

Cover dish with foil and bake until bubbling and heated through, about 35 minutes.

Uncover and top with remaining cheese.

Bake until cheese is melted. Top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, green onions and sliced black olives, if desired (optional).

Makes eight servings.