Thursday, September 5, 2013

Healthy Black Bean Soup - A Quick Recipe

Since I am a vegetarian, it is important that I add protein into my meals whenever I can. For the first 4 years of my vegetarian life, I would say I was what i called a "BAD VEGETARIAN" or maybe you prefer "COOKIE-A-TARIAN". I assumed that cookies were vegetarian, cakes were vegetarian, and so were starchy sides---so I gained weight. Not only did I gain weight, but I wasn't the healthiest that I could be. So...when I started my organic lifestyle, I decided that me HEALTH was just as important as my disdain for meat!  IMy passion for being meatless and need for healthy options is  why protein packed legumes like Black Beans and Garbanzo Beans are a staple in my home. If you have know they could care less how nutritionally awesome they are...if it isn't what they like, they won't eat it. It is soooo important that I hide these nutritional powerhouses into my foods so my oldest doesn't hear, see, or think BEAN! So far, I have hidden beans in my black bean brownies, black bean cookies, sausage made with garbanzo beans, black bean meatballs and even some other creative goodies! Even this soup made the list ---after I blended it all the way!

I have two different versions this soup. 1 is a "quick cook" recipe involving only 2 cans of ingredients! ANYONE can handle this--Eating healthy shouldn't be a chore! The original recipe takes a few more ingredients and a little more cooking time but is still a quick fix.  I make this soup in a large batch because it has so many uses! You can use it as a soup; serve it atop nachos; drizzle it on hotdogs; serve it as a taco salad; and even as a yummy dip for bread!  I even make my own whole wheat tortillas- it is so easy to do and uses only 5 ingredients! The packages of tortillas you buy in the store are loaded with preservatives and chemicals...not mine! You can get the recipe HERE.

Both recipes are easy to make and are done in less than 30 minutes. This is NOT a recipe that you have to live by!  Add additional spices if you like your food spicy or add some smokey herbs for a more smoked flavor.

HERE IS A GOURMET TIP: Okay, maybe not gourmet but it does enhance the flavor in a crazy way. Add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder or a small handful of chocolate chips to your soup while cooking. Chocolate is an ingredient found in a traditional Mexican mole sauce and it will bring a truly amazing undertone to your soup.

  • 2 cans of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • tablespoon oil or cooking spray
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup of salsa (or canned tomatoes with chilies)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
Garnish ideas:
Cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla strips, hot sauce,  diced onions, diced peppers, chives, tomatoes, etc.
  1. Saute onions in the oil until almost transparent.
  2. Add in the seasonings
  3. Blend 1/2 of the beans in the blender until smooth. This step will thicken your soup (if you are hiding the beans like I do for my kids...blend them all!)
  4. Add the beans and salsa/tomatoes and cook for about 20 minutes
  5. Right before serving - squeeze in the lime juice. If you don't have lime--no worries! It is just an enhancement.

  • 2 cans of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can of  tomatoes with chilies. (depending on the brand you can find chili ready, tomatoes with chilies, etc)
  1. Blend together half of your beans and the can of tomatoes
  2. Cook for a few minutes
  3. SERVE!
I hope your family enjoys this "health" based soup and can find even more ways to use it throughout the week!

PS. You can totally use this soup to make a SUPER HEALTHY TACO! Click HERE for my 5 steps to a HEALTHIER TACO!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Healthy Homemade Almond Butter

Hello, my name is Heather, and I am an almond butter..ADDICT! Okay, maybe there isn't a group for people addicted to almond butter BUT, if there were, I would need a seat and a doughnut (also an addiction).

So, you now may be asking WHY I am addicted to almond butter. The main reason is that it contains amazing health benefits! It is Naturally rich in Vitamin E and magnesium and offers more calcium, fiber, potassium, and iron than traditional peanut butter. It does ALL of this and with less saturated fat :)! It also doesn't hurt that Almond Butter is so versatile! You can use it as a dip, just as peanut butter, or even in a gourmet tasting FROSTING!

Now...for the UGLY side of Almond Butter....It is EXPENSIVE! One jar organic or All-Natural Almond Butter can cost close to $10!  As much as I love it....spending $10 for a jar that will be gone in a day is not going to happen at my house. So...I was lucky enough to have my Blogger Buddy Jelli from Jellibean Journals who recently shared a recipe for homemade All-Natural Peanut Butter.  I thought if it would work for Peanut just might work for Almond Butter-IT DID!

I hate to say it but this is a very simple recipe - which is a HUGE plus in my house.  It is also a very CLEAN recipe with a SHORT ingredient list. We are avoiding all chemicals in our home so this is vital to us. This homemade almond butter is so easy to make that I can not believe that I did not try it before.....

Raw Almonds (500g)
1 ingredient! NO CHEMICALS!
  1. 3 cups of RAW or ROASTED almonds
Yep...THAT's IT! Feel free to toss in a hint of cocoa powder, salt, spice, honey, maple syrup, or vanilla to make a gourmet treat!

  1. Blend in Food Processor for about 10 minutes. make sure you scrape the sides down as needed.
  2. Store in fridge and always stir before you use it! The oils will naturally separate.
See...I bet you never knew it could be this easy to make homemade almond butter but after you try will think it is the ONLY way to get your Almond Butter FIX!

If you enjoyed this recipe...check out a few of my other super easy organic recipes:

Super Easy Organic Ranch Dressing
Organic Peanut Butter and Chocolate Granola
2 ingredient Greek Yogurt Dough

There are many more on the site so stay a while and look around! Don't forget to follow me on Social Media! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

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