Tag Archives: black beans

As fall slowly turns to winter, I’ve been reaching for my comforts: warm blankets, large mugs of coffee, tights & boots, family & loved ones, soul foods. Chili has been at the top of the list this season, as I’ve been slowly working my way through the “Vegan Planet” stew & soups section. On this week’s menu was “Quick as Lightening” chili, and that it was. An easy mixture of salsa, black beans, stewed tomatoes, chili powder, and Boca crumbles, this version is true to its title.

Before I started , I had the best intentions of saving money and riding the bus. Upon realizing the bus ride would be at least one-hour in length, those intentions went out the window. However, I did end up buying some , and this gem was one of them.

I use this nearly every day, and I’m a big fan. The components are on the smaller side, so it helps me keep my portions in check. It fits snugly into my purse, and it doesn’t spill. My only complaint would be that the lid-fit containers don’t close as tightly as I would prefer. I wish it would snap or lock into place, as other Tupperware does. In addition, the “laptop” case itself is hard to clean and gets finger print stains rather easily. Other than that, I’d say this was definitely worth the money, and I hope to use it for a long while.

Already knowing this batch of chili would go quickly, I asked my roommate to pick up more ingredients so we can make another batch. It seems that at this season in my life, what I need most is what I love the most. Those items that bring me comfort also seem to bring me happiness, too. This feels like a nice place to be. Yesterday, I did some freelance work for my old job in the attempts of making some extra holiday cash. Just the smell of the chili cooking made me more motivated to get my work done. It’s the little things.

I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait to make a batch of chili for a family someday. My family, complete with well-behaved children, that is.

It’s true. I’ve never met a sweet potato I didn’t like. Thankfully, it ties in nicely with Day 1 of my personal get healthier challenge. (Notice I say “healthier” instead of “healthy.” I already practice good habits I intend on keeping.) Did you know that sweet potatoes break down more slowly in the body? That means they produce smaller fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels. They are actually very diabetic friendly.

I didn’t make grocery shopping a priority this weekend, so tonight it was on the agenda. I rushed to the store after my evening workout and spent $40 on essentials. No matter how hard I budget or try to shop on the cheap, the items I buy always seem expensive. I think food in general is pricey if you want to eat well. Though I’ve found in my years of shopping that vegetables are always the cheapest of the bunch, clocking in much lower than the processed foods that aren’t good for you anyway. I guess it’s just a mixed bag these days. Nothing is free.

My roommate and I used this recipe for the dish:  You serve it over arugula, which has a nice taste in my opinion.

I’ve noted on the blog before that my roommate and I often cook multiple meals at once. Tonight was no different. We whipped up three different meals for lunches and dinners this week – all vegetarian and/or vegan, of course. All of our meals for this week feature an orange ingredient. I like the sounds of that. Give me more beta carotene.

Learning Moment: Part of documenting my life in a (somewhat) public space is the ability to make commitments, share moments of learning, and ediscuss “failures.” I’ve loved keeping a blog for more than three years because I can literally document my own individual growth. It’s been a great way for me to keep track of my life’s goals.

The boyfriend recently asked if I felt like I had to live according to my blog, meaning: do I feel a stronger need to practice what I preach? The answer is absolutely, and sometimes I will succeed at that and other times I will completely falter. That’s what makes me human.

Tonight’s simple success I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m starting to recognize even the smallest of achievements. I made myself a much-too-long to-do list for the night. Instead, I got busy in the kitchen and completely forgot about the handmade cards I wanted to make it. It was probably a blessing in disguise. Not only did I get to create three meals, I got to do it while catching up with my roommate. Now, I’m moving crafting night to Wednesday. It’s not a big deal. I don’t feel bad. I don’t have to live by lists. They don’t own me!

Now, it’s time to fall asleep without guilt. A full day, indeed.


Cooking in Advance

Cat and I have begun a new quest: Sunday cooking. I always cook a little something on Sundays, but this time we’re taking it to more-serious meal-planning level. Lately I’ve found myself rushing from one activity to the next during the week, with little time during the cook to cook or make lunches. This caused the restructuring of our food making.

First on the list was a basic chili recipe. We made this chili using fresh ground beef from my grandparents’ garden. I’ve eaten this chili twice this week – both for lunch and dinner on two separate days. It provided me with a ton of fuel to get through my running workouts and extracurricular activities. Though, I won’t lie. I still feel strange eating meat twice in once week. Maybe that means I’m more of a vegetarian than I thought.


The second dish we created was this This is a major power-food meal. Cat has already reported increased levels of energy after eating this for lunch, and I concur. Plus, we got to use up 12 cups of the swiss chard from the garden – pretty much our last surviving garden good.


Cooking in advance had made my life infinitely easier this week. Having healthy meals on stock has really helped me choose the right foods, especially in moments where I’m fatigued and just need to eat.

After nearly a year of willy-nilly eating, I’m ready to get my nutrition back in check – and what better way to do it than with a little beans, vegetables and meat that comes from a source I know.

Do you cook in advance?

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