Our family is trying to adopt a cleaner style of eating. Though we already eat quite healthy, we are trying to cut out grains and added sugar for a few weeks. This is more of a detox. My parents are doing it with us, and my dad has admitted to already feeling better and losing some weight! Proud of him!
We have had cheat times, like our anniversary meals. Oops, can’t even say dinner, because Todd and I cheated more than once over the weekend, as well as last night, on our actual anniversary. But we aren’t letting a couple of off-plan meals stop us.
I promise there is a recipe coming, but here is my brief rant ……
I could go on a much longer tangent about how diets don’t work anyway, and how healthy eating needs to be a lifestyle. Diets are strict and make people have such strong cravings that they cheat, fall off the wagon, never get back on, and end up gaining extra weight. They might lose weight, but if healthy practices are not instilled, those lost pounds come back with a vengeance.
We all know that some foods are healthy, and some are not. Some foods fuel us, and some make us feel bogged down (like how you feel after a day with no vegetables and lots of junk food).
We just have to discipline ourselves so that we eat mostly healthy, and let ourselves splurge a little, when we need a treat. It’s the 85-15 rule. Try to eat healthy and clean 85% of the time, then give yourself a break the other 15%.
I’m stepping off my soap box now. Here is the recipe!
Black Bean Soup
I came up with a from-scratch, relatively easy and very healthy black bean soup recipe to fit our current eating plan. It takes some prep, but the prep is simple! Feel free to adjust this recipe to make it your own – you could add cooked, shredded chicken; use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth; use goat cheese or pepper jack cheese, and so on. Also, this can be frozen.
- 1 lb dried black beans (1 bag)
- 7-8 c water
- 1/4 onion, small dice
- 2 small jalapeños (or 1 large), minced
- 1 red bell pepper, small dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 c of soaking water (that the beans were in)
- 1 1/2 c chicken stock
- 1 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the dried beans in the water overnight. (I put them in a large pot, with the lid on, in the fridge).
When you’re ready to begin making the soup, drain the beans, keeping at least 1 cup of the soaking liquid.
Heat a large pot on the stove. Add the olive oil, then the onion, garlic and peppers. Cook them for about 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly soft.
Add the black beans and stir to warm them. Add the tomatoes – liquid too, the soaking water and the chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 1.5-2 hours, or until the beans are soft. Stir occasionally. Season with the cumin, salt, and pepper.
(This step is optional, but I promise it’s worth it! It gives the soup a great consistency.) Puree 3 ladle-fulls, about 1 3/4 cup of the soup, in a blender or food processor, then add it back into the pot.
Serve warm with avocado, tomato, sour cream, shredded cheese, and salsa. Cilantro would also be a great addition!
A few tips to keep it clean:
- I used raw milk cheddar from Trader Joe’s
- I buy Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica that does not have added sugar or preservatives. And it tastes great, and is very inexpensive!
- I suggest organic full-fat sour cream.
- I also suggest organic or home-grown tomatoes. Conventional tomatoes are exposed to many pesticides.
- Organic, free range chicken or chicken broth is the healthiest option. You can make your own as well.