My life - from the impact of great loss, to a refreshing new take on life and a place where I now share ............... my favorite Plant Strong recipes....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Simple Rice & Beans with a Kick

It has been cold here, and now that I'm eating better, I don't have the hot flashes like I used to.  On days like this, a hot flash just might be nice as I've been shivering in my socks all morning!

A hot cup of coffee is out - which really I don't mind since I have been sleeping so much better since kicking the habit.  I feel rested and have more energy....

But enough about that.  Let's get to the rice and beans.  Today I wanted something warm and filling - yet easy and fast to throw together.  This dish hit the mark.

Don't let the fact that it's so simple fool you.  It's good, and nutritious... and perfect for those chilly days!


  • 2 cans of black or pinto beans (or both!)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (not Italian seasoned)
  • Jalapeno - fresh or canned - to taste
  • Brown rice

That's it!  Simply put the tomatoes and jalapeno in any blender and blend.  Start of with a small amount of jalapeno and adjust to the heat that you like.  It does seem to lose some heat when cooked and mixed with the beans and rice, so you might make it a little hotter than what you would normally like.

Strain and rinse the beans, add them to a pot along with tomato sauce.  Bring to boil and then simmer.  The longer you can let it simmer to let the flavors meld, the better it will be.

Serve over brown rice.
(I like to keep cooked brown rice on hand, so I cook extra when I make it.  I keep individual portions in the freezer for days like this).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tortilla Soup = Satisfying!

These crisp, chilly evenings have made it a perfect time for some Fresh Tortilla Soup.  This recipe is so easy to make, and packed full of nutrition.  It has become my "go to" recipe when I am chilled and craving a cup of coffee… but so much better for me than coffee, and very satisfying!  I even eat it out of a coffee mug...

·         1 can of vegetable broth (or chicken / beef)
·         1 cup water
·         1 Roma Tomato
·         1 Carrot
·         1 Stalk of Celery
·         1 thin slice of Onion
·         1 Garlic Clove
·         ½ of a Yellow Squash
·         ½ of Red Bell Pepper
·         ½ Fresh Jalapeno (optional)
·         2 Mushrooms
·         Salt & Pepper to taste
·         ½ tsp. Cumin
·         1 tsp. Taco Seasoning

Additional Ingredients:
·         1 bunch Cilantro (chopped)
·         ¼ cup Black Olives
·         ½  cup Corn – drained
·         ½ cup Black Beans (drained)
·         2 oz Tortilla Chips
1     ½ Avocado, cut into larger chunks - added after soup dished into bowls

High Power Blender:  This recipe is super easy with a high powered blender.  Just add the top ingredients in the order they are listed, chopping larger vegies in half, and blend 5-7 minutes, until heavy steam comes out.  Then turn to low variable speed and add remaining ingredients, blend for about  10 seconds.

 Stove Top:  Chop  vegetables listed in top ingredients and add to pot of broth and water.  Cover and bring to boil.  Lower heat and simmer until carrot chunks are soft.  Add seasonings.  Using an immersion /hand blender, or batches in regular blender (let cool to avoid burns) – blend ingredients until desired consistency.  Return to heat.  Return to simmer and add remaining ingredients.  No blender?  Try using a potato masher once the vegies are soft.

This is one of those recipes that you can adjust to how you like it.  Play with it and find what you like... and then kick back and enjoy the warmth it brings.