Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Honey-Lime Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos

Tacos are one of my favorite foods! I ran across this recipe a few weeks ago and decided to give it a try. So delicious! I didn't make the honey-lime cream sauce to go on top, just the filling. In addition to tacos, I think this filling would be delicious in quesadillas or enchiladas!

Honey-Lime Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1 small yellow or white onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5) oz can black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained (the second time I made this recipe, I ended up adding 2 cans of black beans, just to stretch the filling a little further)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Tortillas (I went with corn-wheat blend)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, set aside. Peel and dice sweet potatoes and place in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add in paprika, cumin, chili powder, coriander, cayenne and salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly, then pour onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tender and slightly caramelized, stirring once halfway through baking.
While the potatoes are roasting, in a large skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute about 5 - 6 minutes, adding in garlic during last minute of cooking. Reduce heat a bit, to medium-low, add in drained and rinsed black beans, and corn, and heat until warmed through.
Add in roasted sweet potatoes, drizzle with honey and lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine well. Serve over warm tortillas with desired toppings.

I topped my tacos with a little bit of hot salsa and crumbled cojita cheese, plus had some lime-cilantro rice on the side. I actually bought some pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds) to put on top as well, but forgot about them! But that's another good topping option. The recipe made lots (especially after I added the extra can of beans), so we'll be eating leftovers for days!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lentil Stuffed Pepper Soup

This soup was delicious! I made lime-cilantro rice to go along with it, adding the rice separately was a great idea. Michael and I ate this for a week, our friend Elliott also had it with us for dinner one night. When I said I was about to throw the leftovers away (they were a week old at that point), he asked if he could take them home instead!

I've been trying lots of new recipes since cutting out meat and Oh My Veggies has been a great resource! Lots of delicious recipes and beautiful photography. If you have any suggestions for vegetarian recipe sources, I'd love to hear them!


1 cup uncooked brown lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (15-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
10 ounces cooked brown rice (optional)
Fresh parsley for serving (optional)

In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the diced onion, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for about 3 minutes, until translucent.
Next, add the garlic, bell peppers and dried herbs, and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, water, and lentils, and stir everything together. Turn the heat to high to bring to a boil then reduce it to medium and cook for about 35 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Serve the soup warm with fresh parsley and add brown rice as desired on top of the soup.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos

I've made this recipe 3 times since I first came across it, it is delicious and versatile! You can mix up the veggies to use almost anything you want. Last time I made them, I added some cubed butternut squash. The leftovers are also wonderful, I put the taco filling over lime-cilantro rice.


3 medium tomatoes, cored and seeded, diced* (1 1/2 cups)
2 ears corn, kernals cut from cob (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium zucchini, diced (1 1/2 heaping cups)
1 medium yellow squash, diced (1 1/2 heaping cups)
3/4 small yellow onion, chopped (scant 1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed and warmed
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Corn or flour tortillas for serving
Queso fresco, for serving
Sour cream and Mexican hot sauce for serving (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place first 6 ingredients in a mound on a large baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, canola oil, cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder and salt and pepper (I used 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, but you can adjust to your taste). Drizzle oil mixture over veggies on baking dish, then toss to evenly coat and spread veggies into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes, then remove from oven and toss (then spread into an even layer again) and return to oven to roast 10 minutes longer (or until they've reached desired doneness).
Near the end of veggies roasting, toss warmed black beans with salt and remaining 1/2 tsp chili powder. Once veggies are done roasting, add black beans along with chopped cilantro and drizzle lime juice over top and toss. Serve warm over tortillas (I preferred corn vs. flour, I tried both. I recommend heating about 1/2 - 3/4 tsp veggie oil slightly over medium heat in a non-stick skillet, add corn tortilla and swirl. Cook until golden brown in spots, then lift, add another 1/2 tsp and repeat). Top with Queso Fresco, sour cream and hot sauce if desired.
*Dice all the veggies about the same size so they all cook evenly, except for the tomatoes (and corn obviously). I diced the tomatoes bigger because they shrink the most since they have a higher water content than the others.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti

I have actually made this recipe several times since I first came across it. I have been splitting the baked ziti (well, more accurately, penne or rigatoni since I can never seem to find ziti) between two pans and freezing one. It freezes great! I just leave off the last sprinkle of mozzarella, cover the dish with plastic wrap and press down to keep out air, then add foil on top.

Original source:

1 crown broccoli
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
¾ lb. (12 oz.) uncooked ziti
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
salt and pepper
1 (24 oz.) jar marinara sauce (or a batch of your favorite recipe)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop red pepper into matchsticks or large pieces, slice the onion, cut the squash into quarter rounds, and cut the broccoli into small florets. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and seasonings.
Divide the chopped vegetables between two baking sheets covered in foil. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until they are soft and slightly charred on the edges. Stir once, half way through roasting.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until al dente). Once cooked, drain the pasta and return it to the pot with the burner turned off. Add the sauce and toss to coat.
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, the egg, one cup of the shredded mozzarella, ¼ tsp salt, and a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper. Stir until smooth and even.
Coat an 8x8 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread ⅓ of the pasta and marinara sauce over the bottom. Layer ½ of the ricotta mixture over the pasta, then ½ of the roasted vegetables. Repeat these three layers, then end with one final layer of pasta and sauce, and the final cup of shredded mozzarella.
Reduce the heat in the oven to 375 degrees and bake the casserole for 30 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese on top is melted and slightly browned on the edges.

Southwestern Black Bean Salad with Citrus Dressing

Original source:

15 oz. can black beans
8 oz. cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cup corn (I used frozen, thawed)
1 large orange bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
3/4 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed

{For the dressing}
Juice from 1 large orange
Juice from 1 1/2 limes
1/4 tsp. cumin, or more to taste
1/2 tsp. agave (or honey)
1/8 tsp. salt
Optional: cayenne pepper or chipotle for a kick!

Make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until agave/honey is incorporated. It should yield about 1/2 cup dressing. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the beans (rinsed and drained), tomato, corn, red onion, bell pepper, and roughly chopped cilantro.
Add the dressing and toss to combine.
Best if chilled 1 hour (can be longer) before serving.
Stir well before serving, as some of the dressing gathers at the bottom.

Yum! I had this as a side dish to a veggie burger, then mixed the leftovers with quinoa to take for lunches for a few days.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon 2014

After a long hiatus, it's time for a running update!

Right after my marathon in December, I experienced severe IT band pain every time I tried to run. I saw my doctor, who sent me to an orthopedic doctor, who then sent me to physical therapy. By the time I got to physical therapy, the IT band pain was much better so my physical therapy involved strengthening my hamstrings and quadriceps in order to prevent the injury from happening again.

So the last few months have been focused on recovery and building my mileage back up. I did a couple of shorter races and also ran/walked the Cowtown Half Marathon with a friend who was doing her first. Meanwhile, I still had the Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on my mind. I had signed up to run (my fourth time!) very early so that I could get the best price. I had a PR in mind when I signed up, but this was before the IT band issue came up. Even though my IT band was doing better, it still didn't feel completely healed. I also felt like I was generally much slower than before my injury. I knew I could finish the distance, but I felt discouraged about how my performance would go.

Luckily, my race ended up going better much better than I expected!

Michael had originally signed up to run as well, but after his training got derailed, he decided not to. Which meant that he was my chauffeur and cheerleader for the day! He dropped me off as close to the starting line as he could get, which was nice. I didn't have to walk far at all and immediately made my way to Corral 5. The weather had been warm in the days leading up to the race, but the temperature had dropped a little bit. I think the high for the day was predicted to be in the low 50's and it was in the 40's when we started, plus there was a chance of rain in the forecast. I wore shorts, a short-sleeved tech shirt and a long-sleeve half-zip tech shirt. I also wore a hat (in case of rain) and decided to wear my IT band compression wrap. I bought the compression band a couple of months ago (before physical therapy), hoping it would help with the IT band pain and while I don't think it's a cure, I do think it has helped keep the IT band from becoming more inflamed. In any case, I figured it wouldn't hurt to wear it.

My corral started only about 5 minutes after the gun time and off we went! Immediately, I was feeling good but tried to keep myself from going out too fast. I settled into what felt like an easy pace. I was surprised when my watch beeped at the first mile and saw that I had run that mile at a 9:32 pace. I didn't feel like I was going that fast and certainly didn't think I was running faster than about a 10:00/mile. So I made a mental note to keep it easy, but each mile ticked off a little faster.

We ran through downtown, then uptown and into Highland Park. The first several miles were a gradual uphill. I stopped at most of the water stations to get fluid. I didn't feel thirsty (especially since the temperatures were cooler) but wanted to make sure I was staying hydrated. I mostly just drank water, but I did get Gatorade at a couple of the stations. I also took a couple of Honey Stinger chews every 3-4 miles (with water).

I knew that my parents and Michael's mom would be around the 6.5 mile marker, so I looked forward to seeing them. I kept telling myself that once I saw them, I would slow back down. Around the 6-mile mark, the 2:00 pace group caught up to me and I realized that the DRC training director (Vishal) was the pacer! I asked him what corral they had started in (they started in 7, I had started in 5) and chatted with him for a minute. I debated trying to stay with the pace group, but knew that trying to run a sub-2:00 half marathon would be really pushing it! Instead I let them pass me after a while and looked forward to seeing my family.

Sure enough, they were in the same spot they have been for the last 2 years! Although this year they didn't get good pictures, my dad only managed to get one after I had passed them.

(I have a GPS app on my phone that allowed Michael to track me, he was showing his mom that I should be coming soon.)

After the halfway point, I kept expecting my IT band to start hurting, which would slow me down. Surprisingly, I continued to feel good! We crossed 75 Central Expressway and passed the Run On! store on Mockingbird, which had a huge crowd out to cheer! Right after I passed Run On! (about mile 8), I stopped to stretch. My IT band was feeling tight, but not painful, and a good stretch helped loosen it up. Once we turned onto Skillman, the rest of the race was a gradual downhill. I continued to feel good and even managed to pick up my pace slightly after the 10 mile mark. I stopped once more in mile 12 to stretch again, then we were in the home stretch!

I had planned on really pushing my pace once we got into Fair Park, however my stomach suddenly started to feel upset. It wasn't bad enough that I thought I needed to stop, but I was a little afraid to try to run any faster. We made several turns coming into Fair Park and this time I knew that there was a photo op before the real finish line. (Last year, I thought the photo op was the finish line at first!) I also saw Michael, he had managed to make it to the finish line just in time to see me! I crossed the finish line still feeling a little queasy but luckily as soon as I stopped running I felt better. I looked at my watch and saw 2:05 and some change, which I was very happy about!

I grabbed some water, Gatorade, a bag of pretzels and a couple of Power Bar protein bars on my way through the finisher's chute. I found Michael pretty quickly and we headed out!

One more medal in my Rock 'n' Roll collection! This was the fifth year that Rock 'n' Roll has put on a race in Dallas, hence the big 5. I noticed several runners that had special "Veteran" bibs indicating they had run the race all 5 years. Pretty cool! (I didn't run the race in 2010, the first year it was in Dallas.)

Another great Rock 'n' Roll race in the books! My official time was 2:05:15, which is not my best time but far from my worst! It was a big confidence-booster for me after my injury recovery, so I call that a win.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup

So I am currently sidelined with an unhappy IT band. While I'm waiting for it to heal, I've been biking to keep up my cardio. Last night a cold front came in and also brought strong wind gusts, up to 25 miles an hour. I decided to set out on a long-ish bike ride on the White Rock Creek Trail this morning. Heading south on the trail was cold and windy, I realized that my gloves weren't keeping my fingers very warm. After 30 minutes heading south, I turned around to head back north and realized I'd had a tailwind the entire way! I tried for a few minutes to struggle against the wind, but my hands were painfully cold and I realized it would take me about twice the amount of time to get back to my starting point. After less than 10 minutes, I took shelter in the nearby tennis center and called Michael to pick me up. The cold and wind was just too much for me!

After I took a hot shower to thaw out, I made myself some hearty soup. This soup was really easy, delicious and inexpensive!

I didn't have any paprika, so I subbed some chili powder which I knew had smoked paprika in it. This definitely cranked up the heat, so I ended up adding a little sugar to cut the spiciness. It was still delicious, but I think the smoked paprika would definitely add some depth so I will use that next time.

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
½ lb. (3-4) carrots
3 ribs celery (I left this out)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans
1 cup brown lentils
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
½ tsp salt
Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Cook both in a large pot with olive oil over medium heat until tender. Meanwhile, slice the celery and peel and slice the carrots. Add the celery and carrots to the pot and continue to sauté for about 5 more minutes.
Drain the can of black beans and add it to the pot along with the dry lentils, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and some freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill). Finally, add the diced tomatoes (with juices) and vegetable broth, and stir to combine.
Increase the heat to medium high and allow the pot to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, place a lid on top, and let it simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, test the lentils to make sure they are tender. If not, continue to simmer until they are tender.**
Taste the soup and add salt as needed (I added ½ tsp). Serve hot.