Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tortilla Casserole

Things are happening. Big things.

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I am officially in love with my new camera. Like, seriously in love. I have no idea how to use it – probably won’t until this summer – but it’s fun. The pictures are crystal clear and the little manual zoom lens, obsessed.

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Also in love with spin class. Back in high school, I went to spin class all the time {2-3 times a week}, sometimes even at 5:30am. Talk about dedication. And Friday I got really randomly motivated to workout. With Tone It Up, we count mileage, and I realized I was running a little behind, so I spontaneously decided to go to RPM Express at 6pm on Friday night. I also convinced my friend to come, and I think we are going to make it a tradition! It was the best spin class I’ve gone to in a while.

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And I’m cooking. If you’ve followed my blog for longer than a few months, you know that I used to blog. A lot. Like four, five, six times a week. I really don’t know where I found the time. BUT I have started back. And I am hoping to keep it up. Also, I am bringing Dietetic Dish back. Yay!

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PS: I REALLY need to stop posting her recipes but THEY’RE SO GOOD. Next recipe will be more original, okay? Cool.

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Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tortilla Casserole
Adapted slightly from Oh She Glows

1 sweet potato, scrubbed, peeled, and cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 can enchilada sauce
1 c lettuce or spinach
8 small corn tortillas
1/4 c cheddar cheese
Cilantro for garnish

1. Place sweet potato cubes in a pot with just enough water to cover the sweet potato. Bring to a boil, then boil 7-8 minutes.
2. Saute onion and garlic until translucent over medium heat, about 8-10 minutes. Add the bell pepper, black beans, lettuce, and 1/4 c enchilada sauce. Cook until lettuce has wilted slightly and bell peppers are softened. Add the sweet potatoes.
3. Spoon a little of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the an 8×10 pan. Lay 4 of the tortillas on the bottom of the pan, then top with half of the black bean mixture.
4. Add the other 4 tortillas, then top with the remainder of the black bean mixture, more enchilada sauce, and the cheese.
5. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Top with cilantro when serving.

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Veggie Nachos

It’s supposed to rain all week. And snow a little.

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I think March is mourning the end of our Spring Break. For real.

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We are going to pretend it’s NOT rainy and NOT cold and NOT gross and dreary and blegh outside. We are going to pretend it’s sunny and 75°F. Like that country song.

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For some reason, I have never made nachos. Until now. What is wrong with me? These are so delicious and super easy to make. Just lay down a bed of chips, toss whatever you want onto them, and then either microwave or broil for a bit. Winner.

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Veggie Nachos

Lime tortilla chips
Black beans
Avocado
Spinach
Black olives
Mexican cheese
Salsa
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Lay down chips. Top with ingredients. Cook in microwave or broil just enough to melt the cheese. Top with salsa and sour cream or yogurt.

Cheesy Black Bean Rice

I think we should all drink a cup of coffee every once in a while to know what it feels like to be SUPER focused.

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At work the other day, I created a coffee concoction. No, it wasn’t healthy. No, it doesn’t follow the clean eating I am trying to do, but yes, it was amazing. And I was 100% focused and 200% awake.

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I normally just drink tea. Like green tea. And maybe black tea if I have an 8am. There is like… a fraction of the caffeine in tea as there is in coffee. Hence. WIDE AWAKE AND READY TO WRITE A WHOLE NOVEL.

It was fortunate that I had had that coffee because we also didn’t receive the food shipment until 9pm. Aka. I was there, by my little self, jamming to country music, until almost 11pm. Thank you, coffee, for saving the day.

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Now. This was one of those “I don’t want to cook but need to eat” meals. I have lots of those.. Being a graduate student essentially sucks the life out of you. All free time is allotted for watching Parenthood (which I have officially finished and am now devastated about), so there isn’t always a lot of time to cook fancy dinners. And there definitely isn’t enough time to take pictures of fancy dinners when you get home at 6:30pm and the light is slowly fading into the darkness of the night.

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Hence. Easy Sunday meals that last for days. And by days, I mean this was the equivalent of about two sides. But, you know. Two days is better than one.

Cheesy Black Bean Rice

1 c black beans
1 c brown rice
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp Mexican fiesta cheese
3 tbsp chopped parsley

1. Combine all.

Cucumber and Black Bean Pasta Salad

Today is a monumental day.

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Today is the day that I see Catching Fire. Freaking out, supah excited, can’t wait until 430pm.

If you are someone who is busy with Christmas (and birthday!) shopping and cards, a social life AND Catching Fire – plus, obviously, Pinterest and your Instagram Photo of the Day, maybe you’ll appreciate this pasta salad, too.

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I made this on Black Friday, actually. I worked for an hour – yes, one hour instead of 6 like I was supposed to – and came home, sad, and ate this. It was like healthy comfort food.

Cucumber and Bean Pasta Salad

2 c pasta
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 c black beans
1/4 c feta
1/4 tsp dried dill
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1. Combine all and serve chilled.

Spooky Spicy Chili

Today starts Halloween week. Which means all week you and I get to celebrate with some tasty Halloween foods.

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I got this nifty little idea about these cheese shapes from Pinterest. Duh. That’s where all great ideas are born.

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This chili is pretty intense. It’s not only boyfriend-approved, but boyfriend-made. Very hearty and with a serious kick. Great for a pre-trick-or-treating-all-night meal. And I mean, seriously. How CUTE are these??

 

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Spooky Spicy Chili
By Jimmie

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil leaves
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp hot sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 mini red peppers, finely chopped
1 mini orange pepper, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 12oz package soy sausage
1 can black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can white kidney beans
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
1 can tomato sauce
3/4 c water
Optional: Shredded Mexican cheese + cheese slices

1. In a large pot, add the olive oil over medium heat and sautee garlic and onions for a few minutes, until slightly softened, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the sausage and cook to brown slightly.
3. Add the tomato soup and sauce, as well as the fire-roasted tomatoes, hot sauce, and vinegar. Stir to combine.
4. Add the remaining vegetables and beans. Add the water. Keep on medium heat for 15 minutes, then turn to low and simmer for at least 45 minutes.
5. THEN the fun part: with Halloween shaped cookie cutters, cut shapes into the cheese and place on top of soon. And/or stir in (before or after) some shredded Mexican cheese.