Tag Archives: black beans

Spicy One-Pot Southwestern Pasta

30 Mar

One-pot dishes have clearly taken off recently. What’s not to love about healthy meals cooked in one pot (with usually just one cutting board and one knife for prep), that are ready in a half hour from start to finish?

Spicy One-Pot Southwestern Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Not all meals need to be multi-part gourmet dinners that are composed of five dishes! This one-pot pasta is too easy – whole wheat pasta joins a pot of water with black beans, bell pepper, onion, celery, and seasonings for a protein- and fiber-packed dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights or after a workout. Kick up the spice factor by stirring in some hot sauce before serving!

Spicy One-Pot Southwestern Pasta

Serves 4

  • 2 C water
  • 8 oz whole wheat pasta, such as penne, macaroni or shells
  • 1 can or 1.5 C black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried minced garlic, or 2 cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • Shredded cheddar, option, to serve

Place all ingredients in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, remove lid and let cook about 8-10 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed/evaporated.

Stir in the hot sauce and serve into bowls. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Black Bean Smoothie 

11 Jul

Over the past few years, I’ve learned to love a variety of  vegetables, fruits, grains and preparations. As a result, my smoothies are often rather interesting. Spinach, kale, peas, chia seeds, rhubarb, cucumbers, celery, and now: black beans.

Yep, black beans in a smoothie! When combined with cocoa powder, strawberries, frozen banana, milk, and a few other ingredients, black beans make for the perfect creamy base to a chocolate-flavored smoothie. They’re full of protein and fiber, so you don’t even need to add protein powder.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Black Bean Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Not sold yet? Give it a shot – I promise you’ll love this breakfast drink! It’s naturally sweet, and will taste so much like dessert, that you’ll forget you added the legumes 🙂

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Black Bean Smoothie, adapted from the Never Homemaker

Makes 1 smoothie

  • 1 C non-dairy milk
  • 2/3 C black beans, rinsed extremely well
  • 5 large, whole strawberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 frozen, sliced banana
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Blend all ingredients together until creamy and smooth. Pour into your favorite smoothie glass and garnish with a strawberry, shredded coconut, additional chia seeds, or your favorite nut!

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Black Bean Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Linking up with Running on Happy & The Fit Foodie Mama, and Confessions of a Mother Runner & A Whisk and Two Wands for #MeatlessMonday! 

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap + Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad

16 May

I ran my second half marathon this weekend! The Kings & Queens Half took place on Saturday in Pewaukee, WI. Despite it being mid-May, I don’t think the temperature surpassed 45 degrees, which made for quite the chilly run. Luckily, training had me running in colder weather, so I was relatively well-prepared, both physically and mentally.

My goal for this race was to improve my speed by one minute per mile. Not only did I achieve that goal, I blew right past it! Shaved 2.5 minutes off my pace, for a total of 33 minutes faster than last time 🙂

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Hair flying in the breeze, or is it my speed? 😉

The course was nice enough – plenty of hills punctuated the miles for several challenges along the way. Much of the course was on a bike path, so there was a huge lack of spectators and cheerleaders, something I very much missed. With no one cheering us on, I had to rely on my own motivations to push through the hills, the wind, the cold, the pain, and the miles in general.

The end was the best (duh!). I was about a quarter-mile away from the finish line when I finally saw it, and the crowd. With a blister on my toe and my thighs burning with each step, I took off as fast as I could! I spotted my boyfriend and parents, saw the professional photographers, and smiled wide and finished strong.

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com


A volunteer donned me with a medal and handed me a rose, but all I wanted was that much-deserved banana and beer.

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

I believe I told my mom, who took this pic: “either take the picture or shut up – I want a banana!” (sorry mom, I hope you understand!)

All of my running group friends had finished ahead of me, but waited at the end so we could snap a few photos together. I’m so thankful for that running group, for the motivation, friendship and community it provides me.

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Running group buddies! It was nice to have friends to start out the gate with, and to see them when I finished 🙂

Kings & Queens Half Marathon Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

We packed up and headed to brunch – just as hail started to roll in(!).

There has since been a lot of foam rolling, compression gear wearing, and relaxing, but all in all, I feel pretty great. I’ve already set my next half marathon time goal, and now just need to pick one & register! But before that happens, let’s get to the recipe 🙂

Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This salad is quick, easy, delicious, and full of protein and fiber. The raw vegetables lend a nice crunch, while the quinoa and black beans give it a nice chew. It’s perfect as a main or side dish, and makes a great take-along salad for picnics or potlucks. Let it refrigerate overnight to really soak in the flavors.

Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad
Serves 8

  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked dry black beans)
  • 2 bell peppers, different colors, diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 5 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp organic sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/4 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

If you haven’t already, cook and cool the quinoa. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of dry quinoa, cooked with 1 cup of salted water or vegetable stock.

In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, black beans, and diced vegetables. Stir well.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Whisk in the sugar and spices. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to coat. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge up to 5 days.

Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Salad | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Linking up with Running on Happy & The Fit Foodie Mama, and Confessions of a Mother Runner & A Whisk and Two Wands for #MeatlessMonday and Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation for Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup. Also linking up with Running in a Skirt for Best of Blogs: May!

Black Bean “Meatballs” with Creamy Beer Pasta

20 Nov

Your day took a turn for the hectic, you forgot to think about what dinner will be, and you still have a million things to do. What do you make? A frozen pizza? Boxed mac & cheese? A frozen dinner?

I hope not! Real food doesn’t always need a long time to cook. In fact, a full dinner should be easy to pull together, provided you are stocked with the right ingredients. This meal is simple but loaded with flavor. Instead of your boring old spaghetti with tomato sauce, I went a different route with this pasta: a creamy beer sauce. And even us vegetarians can’t have pasta without meatballs! Black bean meatballs require only a few ingredients, minimal time, and just one hot, well-oiled pan.

Have a healthy, hearty and delicious dinner on the table in no time. Garnish with fresh shredded cheese and you’ll look like a pro!

Black Bean “Meatballs” with Creamy Beer Pasta
Serves 4

For the pasta:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 C milk of choice – I used soy
  • 1/3 C low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2/3 C beer – wheat or summer Ale are good choices
  • 2/3 C fresh grated parmesan
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 8 oz pasta + water to boil

For the “meatballs”:

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 C bread crumbs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Cook pasta according to package directions, but subtract one minute from the boil time.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook the minced garlic a few minutes, stirring to avoid burning. Add the milk, broth and beer. Mix well and bring up to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes to reduce down.

Add the grated cheese one spoonful at a time. Mix well after each addition to avoid clumping, and so the cheese can melt properly. Mix in the spices and continue to cook on low heat.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and stir it into the sauce mixture. Keep the pot over low heat, stirring occasionally. This will help cook the sauce INTO the pasta, enhancing the overall flavor.

While the pasta and sauce meld, make the meatballs. In a bowl, mash together all the ingredients until well-combined. Heat a large skillet over medium high and spray with PAM or coat with a tablespoon of oil. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to make meatballs. Note: the scoop was perfectly sized and left my hands relatively clean! Place the meat balls in the skillet and cover with a large lid. Cook for 4 minutes, turn, then cook another 2 minutes.

Serve pasta into bowls and top with the black bean balls. Garnish with parsley and additional grated parmesan. Enjoy with a cold glass of beer!


Triple Pepper and Black Bean Lasagna

2 Jun

I have never made lasagna.

Now, I should say that I’ve helped my mother make panfulls of lasagna. In fact despite our German heritage, lasagna was almost always the birthday dinner menu of choice – paired with salad and garlic bread and finished off with an amazing layer cake.

In fact, when I called my mom asking her just HOW to layer a lasagna properly, she promptly asked “what’s the occasion?” “Dinner” was my response.

I’ve taken on the mindset that every meal with a loved one(s) should be considered an occasion. This was a simple dinner to be enjoyed with my boyfriend – the leftovers of which will feed us for lazy days and lunches this week. But why save the “fancy” or time-laborious dishes for special occasions when you can enjoy the little things in life?!

Well, here’s a relatively easy lasagna to indulge in on a Tuesday or save up for a family birthday. Either way, it’s healthy, loaded with flavor, melty cheese and savory veggies. Adjust the spicy level to your tastes (as is, this recipe has just a bit of a kick – nothing crazy here) and you’ve got yourself a fabulous meal!

Triple Pepper and Black Bean Lasagna | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Triple Pepper and Black Bean Lasagna

Serves 8

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 15-oz can diced stewed tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp pure cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 28-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 C shredded part skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with PAM.

Chop the onion, celery and peppers. Toss with oil and spread onto the prepared sheet. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

While that roasts, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain thoroughly and separate the noodles to lay over the sides of the empty pot and/or sieve (so they don’t stick together!).

As the veggies roast and the noodles boil, prepare the sauce. Combine the two cans of tomatoes, garlic, sugar, spices and S&P in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with PAM. Spread 1/3 C of the sauce into the bottom of the dish.

Now add the drained black beans and roasted veggies to the sauce.

Triple Pepper and Black Bean Lasagna | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Lay three cooked noodles into the pan to make your first layer of lasagna. Spread about 1 1/2 C of veggie sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella on top. Repeat: lay another three noodles on top, cover with veggie sauce, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese + 1/4 cup mozzarella. Repeat once more to use up the last three noodles, whatever sauce you have left, and the rest of the mozzarella. Top with sliced tomatoes.

Spray a sheet of foil with PAM and cover the lasagna. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit 10-15 minutes. This will allow it to cool off AND let the sauces thicken a bit so it’s not all runny upon serving. Slice the lasagna into 8 pieces and serve hot.

Keep leftovers in the fridge up to five days.

Triple Pepper and Black Bean Lasagna | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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