10 Bean Soup

After spending a week away from home and enjoying eating out a little too much, it’s always nice to settle back into the routine and eating homemade meals again. I’ve always loved going to the grocery store and now that Sienna is a little bit older and more aware of her surroundings it’s a fun little outing for us. I remember when she was only a couple of weeks old and I was dreading going to the store… How much time do I have in between feedings? What if she starts melting down while I’m debating if I should get gala or granny smith apples? #firsttimemommyproblems.

I love Sprouts because I can buy bulk. All of our homemade meals tend to be vegan so we always have a lot of beans at hand. I bumped into this 10 bean soup mix in the bulk section the other day and since the weather is back to being a little chilly at night I thought – heck, I’m making another soup. I promise that once we hit warmer days, I will be posting more salad and “hot weather” recipes.

This soup turned out delicious – husband approved! I did add some cooked quinoa that I already had in the fridge to John’s bowl. I wanted to make sure the soup worked as a full meal for him so that seemed to do the trick. Also, I left the seeds in the jalapeño for more of a spicy soup. If you are looking for a milder flavor, make sure you deseed the bad boy first.

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10 Bean Soup – Yields About 4 Cups – Vegan – Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of 10 bean mix (found it at Sprouts)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini – diced
  • 1 jalapeño – minced
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 large carrot – diced
  • 1/2 medium onion – minced
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • avocado for garnish

Directions:

Rinse and soak the bean mix overnight.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño an cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

Add the carrots, salt, pepper and cumin and continue cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes. Stir so that the vegetables don’t burn and cook evenly.

Add the tomatoes (with the juice), vegetable broth and bean mix. Bring to a boil and then bring the heat down to a simmer.

Allow beans to cook for about 1 hour then add the zucchini. Stir occasionally and continue to cook for another 30 – 40 minutes, until the beans are tender. If the broth is reduced too much, you can always add another half a cup.

Serve in bowls and garnish with avocado cubes.

Buen Provecho!

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NEDA Week: Celebrate People

February 22nd marked the first day of the National Eating Disorder Awareness week. Each year that passes, the meaning that this week has for me grows. It marks another year when I can say that “I made it”. Although there are still times when I struggle, I know that I am “on the other side” of my eating disorder. Sometimes, I still hear that disordered voice in my head – however, I am now able to listen to it, acknowledge that it’s there and then let it go. It’s not my -TRUTH- anymore. I’ve learned to detach from it and come back to myself.

About a month ago I met Jessica Raymond. She is the face behind Recovery Warriors, a site with tools that help girls during their recovery from eating disorders. She also lives in San Diego and it was great to connect with someone else who fought her eating disorder and is now giving back to society and the community. I heard her say that recovery is like surfing. You can have periods of time where you are just patiently sitting on your board, waiting for the waves in peace. A period of time where everything feels steady. Then there’s times when the waves hit you and you just have to ride them, not knowing the outcome, unaware if you’re going to make it out “alive”. She said she’s learned to treat emotions like waves. You have to acknowledge that they are there, you have to ride them to realize that they are fleeting. That they are not permanent. That they will pass. If you think about it we all pretty much go through a sort of “surf recovery”.. our lives are filled with steady moments that sometimes change into a set of crazy waves.

I know that sometimes it’s hard for people to talk or think about eating disorders. I also know that more people than you think you know, struggle with them. So I don’t think that talking about them is in vain. Now that I have a daughter my priority is to raise her with a high self esteem and self love. I want to celebrate her for who she is. I know that a big part of this is the example that I set for her, in how I treat myself and how I treat others.

This year for NEDA week my goal is to celebrate people and I want to invite you all to do the same.

I come from a family where friendly “banter” is part of the dynamic. Mexicans love speaking their minds and although the intentions are never hurtful I’ve noticed it’s easier to laugh at people than to compliment them. We love instant gratification and it takes way less time to find something on the outside of people that you can talk about than actually taking time in getting to know people, asking the right questions and finding something lovable/admirable inside of them. It takes work. It takes dealing with feeling vulnerable.

We reap what we sow. This is what I want to teach my daughter.

Find time. Learn to love people for who they are. Don’t be quick to judge strangers. Know that how you treat other people is only a reflection of what is inside of you. Love yourself. Ride the wave. And to all my fellow recovery warriors: I love you all! We are doing this – we are living life freely!

Quinoa “Ramen”

The other day I was craving ramen but a) I didn’t have all of the ingredients for ramen and b) I was looking for a healthier dinner option. We had a lot of leftover miso paste from our last trip to the Asian market and I noticed we also had seaweed, kimchi and vegetables that could join forces and turn into some sort of ramen-ish soup.

With no noodles in the house I decided to just cook some quinoa in a miso broth and it actually turned out pretty good! For a vegetarian option, you can soft boil an egg and add it to the recipe below.

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Quinoa “Ramen” – Yields 2 Large Bowls – Vegan – Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 1 quart of vegetable broth
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 12(ish) shishito peppers
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of miso paste
  • 2 large handfuls of red spinach (you can sub for regular spinach)
  • 1/2 cup of kimchi (look for an option with no fish sauce if you want a completely vegan dish)
  • sesame oil for garnish
  • roasted seaweed for garnish
  • salt, pepper and olive oil for roasted vegetables

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 375F. Cut the head of broccoli into florets and spread on a large cookie tray along with the shishito peppers. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast vegetables for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil and dissolve miso paste in the liquid. Add quinoa and bring down to a simmer, quinoa will begin cooking.

In a small pan add the olive oil and cookthe spinach lightly until it’s wilted. Set aside.

Assemble two bowls with: seaweed, 1/4 cup of kimchi each, wilted spinach and roasted broccoli and shishitos once they are done roasting.

When the quinoa is ready add quinoa to the bowls and then ladle some broth on top. Drizzle with sesame oil.

Enjoy!

Sienna and I are headed down to Guadalajara for a few days later today and I am hoping that she will do good on the flight. Wish us luck!

Trader Joe’s Finds & Faves

I’ve heard people say (mostly girls but I’m sure it applies to most of us) that it’s hard for them to leave Target without buying something that they didn’t even need. Yes. Guilty. I do have to say though that I’m pretty good at just walking straight to the aisle or department of the item that I need, grabbing it and heading to the registers. I don’t really browse at Target that much. Take me to Trader Joe’s though and it’s a totally different story.

Trader Joe’s is my Target. Obsessed! I walk down every aisle, EVERY time. We don’t really do our groceries there, Sprouts is cheaper and less tempting for me. Not to mention they do bulk so that’s that. Anyways back to Trader Joe’s. I’m a fan. When we lived in Hillcrest we used to live so close to one that I’d pretty much go every day. Now that we’re further I don’t find myself going as much but when I do I make sure to take my time and check out any new stuff and pick out some of our TJ staples. Here are some gems from my latest visit:

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1. Organic Baked Teriyaki Tofu – I love how it’s already pressed and seasoned. Perfect for when I don’t have the time to press and marinade a regular block. It’s a couple of dollars more than just their regular tofu but so worth it!

2. Cold Pressed Juices – Looks like TJ’s caught on the juice craze and went their own route. The juices are delicious, made with only fruits and vegetables and cold pressed. They’re 5.99 a piece which is cheaper than the cold pressed competition.

3. Inner Peas & Inner Beans – We’re quite the snackers over here so I’m always looking out for healthy snack finds. We love snacking on nuts, hummus, baby carrots and these crunchy peas. This was the first time I bumped into the beans which I’m pretty sure will live up to their name.

4. Preserved Tunisian Lemon Slices – I was totally wooed by the presentation of these bad boys. The slices look perfect and so pretty! Not to mention I have had my eye on this Cauliflower Cous Cous with Preserved Lemons and Chickpeas Recipe.

5. Almond Butter – Gimme that! Nut butters are a staple in our kitchen and this one is hands down our favorite. No fake ingredients and so delicious. We get one or two jars every time.

6. Roasted Seaweed – Put some hummus on it and eat it!

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7. Japanese Green Tea IPA by Stone – IT’S BACK! Boo-yah! John and I were on a serious beer hunt for this beer when this came out about 3 years ago. I’m a big green tea fan so I knew I had to try it. I didn’t even know that they had released it again and BAM! There it was. Happy early Valentine’s Day to me!

Weekend Happenings

We finally made it to Popotla for lunch! Sitting on a plastic chair by the beach, drinking Tecates and eating seafood in Popotla had been on John’s bucket list for a while. Sienna still hates the car seat so some parts of the little excursion weren’t super fun but it was worth it! The food was delicious, there was no line at the border to cross back and if you follow me on IG you probably saw that Charlie met a pig… it was pretty hilarious.

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I tried this delicious hummus trio and did some work for the next issue of the “La Vida Vegan” column. I can’t reveal the spot I picked yet but… it will be awesome! Also, for the March issue I will be one of the featured contributors so make sure you pick up a copy!

I got Sienna ready and all dolled up for a bridal shower that we had on Saturday. My cousin got her this cute dress from Du Pareil Au Meme for Christmas and I was waiting for a special day to put it on her. Unfortunately, the outing ended up being a total #fail. Her naps have been funky and she’s starting to teeth so she had a Meltdown with a capital “M” that ended up with her napping at home while John watched her and me arriving at the shower almost two hours late. It’s true – having a baby is amazing but there are definitely days that totally go wrong. How cute did she look though? :)akeout from Tajima on Saturday night. Enough said.

Babies and beers at the Modern Times Flavordome. I know I mention this place pretty often. It’s really close to our house and my friend Andrew works the bar so it’s pretty much our go to. Also #allthebeer that they make is delicious. And their typography is pretty. And Sienna loves the lights in there. Sold.

We went to the San Diego Zoo! Sienna loved it! Her favorite part had to be the aviary. At her age she couldn’t really “see” a lot of the bigger animals so she loved just being around all of the plants and sounds inside the aviary. She spent most of our visit with John holding her and they had a great time together. Sienna met her little cousin David visiting from New Jersey. His mom is my first cousin and it was great to catch up with her and her husband. John and I don’t have family living in San Diego so it’s nice being able to spend time with our families whenever they visit. I grew up surrounded by so many cousins! Luckily we have a lot of close friends in San Diego already so I am sure that Sienna will have a good amount of company around her as she grows up.

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Lazy Girl Chipotle Chili

When John goes out of town for work I rock my lazy girl lifestyle. My daily priorities are the same (i.e cooking, working, keeping the house in order, getting a good dose of exercise, getting some vitamin D by stepping outside for at least a small chunk of our day…) but my pace definitely changes. I feel confident in being able to take care of Sienna by myself but I have to admit that days are a little more stressful and tiring when I’m playing single parent.

I don’t get my little morning break where I can walk Charlie or where I can go for a run. I don’t have a partner who will get up and give Sienna her pacifier at night if she cries. I have to bring my A game and make sure that Sienna is getting everything she needs so I take a little more relaxed approach to my day in order to keep my anxiety levels at a minimum.

I keep my lululemon pants on all day. I put my hair in a high bun. I don’t put on my contact lenses. And most importantly – I bring my trusted friend the crockpot out to help me with dinner.

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This is a take on regular bean chili just a little more Mexican(ized). Perfect for a hearty and comforting dinner after taking care of a baby all day. A glass of wine to accompany it is highly recommended.

Lazy Girl Chipotle Chili – Yields about 6 cups – Vegan – Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini – cubed
  • 1 medium russet potato – cubed
  • 1 small sweet onion – finely diced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 jalapeño – minced
  • 1 can of black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans – rinsed and drained
  • 2.5 cups of veggie broth
  • 1 pack of Chipotle Chili Salsa (I use this one brand because who doesn’t love Rick Bayless? – Also, no fake ingredients.)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 lime
  • cilantro for garnish
  • avocado for garnish

Directions:

Add all ingredients to the crockpot – cook on low for 10 hours or high for about 5 (just check for desired consistency). Adjust seasonings. Serve in bowls and garnish with avocado, a splash of lime and cilantro.

Buen Provecho!