Vegan tortilla soup

 

Raise your hand if you feel personally victimized by winter of 2017/2018.

The positive side to it is that it’s mid-April, and a nice hot soup is still on the menu! This vegan tortilla soup is so good.   You can even freeze the leftovers so that when cooler temperatures roll back around in 6 months you’ve got dinner suited for the weather 🙂

My grandma doesn’t really eat meat so when I visit her I try to cook meals for us that will work for both. I’m not vegan (or even vegetarian for that matter), so this forces me to get creative with my cooking which I really appreciate! I didn’t expect to feel so satisfied with this soup, but I was positively surprised. The flavor is so good, and it’s really filling due to all the protein from the beans and lentils.

This can be done on the stove top as well as the crockpot. I almost ALWAYS go for the crockpot because why would you not? Your food cooks itself and you go on and live your life! WIN.

 

Ingredients:

  • 14.5 oz black beans
  • 14.5 oz pinto beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (I go with a smaller size, but you can also use a 14.5 oz)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup lentils (red or brown)
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 16 oz vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1c soy/almond milk, or can use 1/2 c heavy cream or whole milk (optional, but makes it non-vegan)

Put all ingredients in your crockpot except for the milk/cream. Cook on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 7-8 hours.

Top with cilantro, pico de gallo and red onion. I also add shredded cheese and sour cream to mine because again… not vegan 🙂 This recipe is great because it really works for all diet types!

Let me know if you make it and what you think!

 

Xoxo, B

Here fishy fishy

I don’t know what it is about warm weather, but it makes me crave all things seafood. So today I’m kicking off what will hopefully SOON be 100% spring instead of this 80/20 split (war) we’ve got going on with winter. Girl BYE we are done with you!!

You know how much I love an easy, delicious, *healthy* 30-minute meal and this one is no different. It took me a little longer because I wanted a veggie side to go with, but if you skip the side and/or buy pre-made pico de gallo you’re looking at just half an hour until you can treat yo’self with a delicious dish.

I LOVE pico regardless of whether it’s store bought or fresh, but fresh is always best when it comes to your vegetables. Pico is pretty easy to make, but here’s a quick and easy recipe for those that are a little unsure:

  • 1/3 c. red or white onion
  • 1 medium jalapeno
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1/8 c. chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice from 1 lime

Mix all ingredients together, and place in the fridge to chill while you make up the fish. Serves 2, so just multiply the recipe to make for 4+ and you’re good to go!

 

For the tacos:

  • 8oz of white flakey fish (I used halibut)
  • 2 tbps Cholula lime chili sauce
  • 1 tbps oil (I use evoo)
  • blackened seasoning
  • shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • juice of one lime
  • tortillas of choice

Add oil to a medium/large size skillet over medium heat. While the oil is heating, cover each side of the fish with 1tbps of the chili sauce and the blackened seasoning. Add the fish to the pan, and cooking for 4 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily. While the fish is cooking, mix together the sour cream and the lime sauce. I like to add in a pinch of salt to mine to take the tangy-ness level down just a little, but you can adjust to your own preference.

Add the fish to the pan, and cooking for 4 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat the tortillas, fill them up with your fish, cabbage mix, sour cream sauce and pico. Dinner is served! How easy was that??

 

Let me know if you make it, and what your thoughts were!

Xoxo, B

Time to get basted

Ummm… what? As in baste a turkey? It’s April right? *checks calendar* Yes it is!

Turkey is a good source of B6 and niacin which help with the body’s energy production (say hello to less caffeine required) as well as containing tryptophan which is an amino acid that produces serotonin (why you feel sleepy after that healthy serving at Thanksgiving) that strengthens the immune system.

I know you’re probably wondering why I’m posting about turkey recipes in the Spring, but I’ll ask you this: why should  a nice, roasted turkey be exiled to Thanksgiving? What did the turkey do to you? Aside from providing a delicious, high-protein, low-fat meat that made you primed and ready for a nap? There are SO many benefits to this lean meat which is why we need to consider working in to our regular diets along with any other meats you eat (if you eat them!). Turkey is a good source of B6 and niacin which help with the body’s energy production (say hello to less caffeine required) as well as containing tryptophan which is an amino acid that produces serotonin (why you feel sleepy after that healthy serving at Thanksgiving) that strengthens the immune system.There are several other benefits I could list out for you, but we’ve all got Google so you can look it up after you read all these tasty recipe ideas I’m about to share!

All my life my Memaw has made almost our entire Thanksgiving meal including the turkey. I had no knowledge or appreciation for just how juicy and delicious her turkey was until I had my first thanksgiving away from home. The turkey at this meal was so dry I nearly choked (won’t name any names here, but completely thawing a turkey and cooking it in a basting bag for 6+ hours is not the way to go I learned!). From this point I knew that I needed to find out Memaw’s *magic secret* to moist turkey deliciousness. Turns out, it actually isn’t that difficult, but it IS critical… at least for me anyway. YOU COOK THE TURKEY FROZEN…. whaaaaat? Yeah, that’s what I said, but it’s the trick. The magic secret trick.

Cooking a turkey frozen takes about 50% longer per pound

Cooking a turkey frozen takes about 50% longer per pound than cooking it thawed so if you’re making a hefty bird for a big family then you’ll likely need to start it pretty early. In my case, I’m just making a small turkey for myself on this beautiful spring day.

How I cook my turkey:

  • Set the oven to 325 degrees
  • Put water in the bottom of the roasting pan to ~1in deep
  • Sprinkle rubbed sage in to the water (I use about 1/8 cup but you can adjust to your preference)
  • put the frozen turkey on the roasting rack and set the pan in the oven
  • Cook the turkey for 30 minutes per pound

 

With the leftovers, I made myself this salad for lunch today! Perfect for my afternoon workout with 25 grams of protein and 16 grams of carbs… now to get myself to the gym…

Salad (mix in your own favorites because with the turkey you’re sure to win no matter what):

  • 4oz turkey
  • 1 cup kale greens
  • 1/2 roma tomato
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • 1/8 c. diced red onion
  • 6 kalamatta olives
  • 2 tbsp Girard’s Light Champagne dressing

Stay tuned tomorrow for a turkey soup recipe that’s sure to warm your soul no matter the season!

 

Xoxo, B

 

Zesty oven-baked Sea Bass

Anyone that comes to my house for dinner knows that I’m all about that gourmet chef meal on a fast-food time budget. As much as I truly appreciate all of the intricate details of a meal prepared by a Michelin-star chef, I ain’t got time for that in my kitchen. What I want is a tasty meal that’s ready in under an hour. Maybe because I’m hungry, maybe because I’ve got somewhere to be, maybe because I’d rather not stand in the kitchen for hours on end unless it’s a special occasion (looking at you Thanksgiving). So with that, I bring you my FIRST recipe for the blog! Woohoo!

On my “to-do list” for 2018 was to put a better focus on eating foods that are high in omega-3 and antioxidants. Both are linked to stronger mental health, and studies show that they also help manage inflammation and free radicals in the brain which aids in relieving that feeling of anxiety. I’ll post more about that later, but for now let’s talk about this sea bass. Bass fish, whether fresh or salt water, are a high protein, low fat fish which also boast a healthy servings of the omega-3 that we all need. Also, it’s a delicious, flakey white fish that you can do so much with in the kitchen.

“Bass fish, whether fresh or salt water, are a high protein, low fat fish which also boast a healthy servings of the omega-3 that we all need.”
The thing I love about this recipe is that you can use it in a variety of cooking styles: oven-baked, on the grill, broiled, or stove-top. I went with oven-baked this time so that I could cook it with the asparagus simultaneously and have dinner in record time because… I was hungry 🙂

 

You know what the BEST part about that picture is? It means cleanup for this already easy to cook meal is basically non-existent. How amazing is that? 
To do this the oven-baked way you’ll need to heat your oven to 450 degrees (F). Grab the foil and prepare your sheet pan so that when the fish is ready to be transferred to the oven you’re ready to go. I also cooked asparagus with the fish so I created a separate “foil tray” about 2/3 of the way over on the sheet pan, but if you’re just doing the fish you can skip that part.
 
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • Lemon pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 11/2 tbsp evoo
Instructions:
  1. In small bowl, mix garlic, onion, paprika, lemon pepper and salt. Sprinkle over the flesh of the fish.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Place fish to cook skin side up for 4 minutes
  4. In small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with garlic and parsley. Remove when melted and set aside.
  5. After the 4 minutes is up, transfer the fish to the foiled pan and place flesh side up
  6. Drizzle the butter sauce even over the fish. You can even if out with a spoon or a spatula if you want even coverage, or leave it drizzled for a different taste in each bite!
  7. Cook for 7-8 mins in the oven
  8. Serve warm!
Side dish notes:
You can serve this wish any vegetable you want, but if you’re looking for a healthy dose of those foods to support your mental health go for asparagus, broccoli, spinach, Brussel’s sprouts or kale. If you want to bake the asparagus with the fish like I did, drizzle it with EVOO in it’s section of the baking sheet and top with a seasoning of your choice. I’ve recently rediscovered my truffle salt so I used that. 
I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you make the fish, and how it turns out!