Running from a cold, eating Chipotle-Black Bean Soup

Hello, hello!

So, remember Tuesday when I ran really fast, unpacked loads of boxes and was really, really tired by the time I was making dinner?


Well, I woke up yesterday feeling a lot less tired but, as the day progressed, I was not feeling good at all.

Scratchy and sore throat, congestion, fatigue.


sick puppy

So, I tried to take it easy.  I didn’t do too much – except bake bread and make some really awesome Chipotle-Black Bean Soup.

But, hey, cooking isn’t hard work like unpacking boxes! And, I totally didn’t do any of that yesterday at all.

But, it’s hard to NOT want to make stuff in my awesome and cozy kitchen.


I totally love it so much!

Anyway, I drank plenty of water and some echinacea complete care tea and just rested my bod.


This morning?


Not better.

But, I decided I would still run (after a MAJOR argument with my lazy side) because I’m not running a fever and maybe I could sweat it out.

Welp. Fate intervened and I discovered that I’m missing a pair of running capris.

Not cold enough for full tights (for me, that’s weather below 32 degrees) and definitely not shorts weather (has to be over 50 degrees).

And, I decided that I’m not gross enough to wear a dirty pair so, I started the laundry and decided today would be a rest day with loads of fluid and Emergen-C consumption.

I’m also thinking some Hot and Sour soup would be a good thing. 🙂

I’ll cover some slow and easy miles tomorrow (probably not 8) and then hit my 16-miler on Saturday.

Now, I just need to figure out where that other pair of capris went.  Have you seen them?  How exactly could they just disappear?!

question mark


Anywho, let’s talk about that soup.

I absolutely love black bean soup.


And, you know how I feel about cooking things that take hours and make the house smell good.


I was browsing my Cooking Light Reader Favorites cookbook and saw the recipe for the black bean soup.

I have dried black beans!!!  And, dried peppers!!  Jackpot!!!

This soup was totally worth the time it took to cook.

Although, honestly, active time is barely anything.  The hardest part is waiting for it to cook because it smells So. Darned. Amazing. that you’re going to want to eat it before the beans are done.

Wait for it. Trust me.


The recipe calls for a dried chipotle chile which I didn’t have. I had dried Guajillo peppers so I used 2 of those instead and added 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper.

So. Delicious.


Chipotle-Black Bean Soup
Makes 4 servings

1 cup dried black beans (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 dried chipotle chile
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15.75-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained

2 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
Cooking spray
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

1. To prepare soup, sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain.

2. Combine 1/2 cup boiling water and chipotle chile in a bowl; let stand 15 minutes or until soft. Drain, seed, and chop.

3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Add beans, chipotle chile, 2 cups water, oregano, cumin, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 hours or until beans are soft. Place 1 cup of soup in a blender; process until smooth. Return to pan. Stir in pepper and tomatoes; cook until thoroughly heated.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. To prepare toppings, place tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly coat tortilla strips with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until toasted. (Honestly, I skipped this part and we used tortilla chips. Lazy me won that argument.)

6. Ladle soup into each of 4 bowls; top with tortilla strips, yogurt, and cheese.

Calories 276; Fat 3.7g (saturated 1.2g, mono 1.4g, poly 0.7g); Protein 15.8g; Carbs 42.7g; Fiber 7.9g; Sodium 769mg

Questions: What are your go-to remedies when you’re not feeling well? How do you determine if you’re going to workout or rest when you’re under the weather?

– jennifer

It’s taco night!

Ah, taco night. Who doesn’t love taco night? Regardless of what night you make your family dance with joy, have I got a recipe for you to try! Put down that packet and makes these easy and delicious “from scratch” tacos. These are perfect for “Taco Tuesday” or your next football party. Hey, the Super Bowl is right around the corner – you could be the star of that party! Spicy but not causing anyone to breathe fire, these tacos are meaty, flavorful, fabulous, and certainly won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Enjoy!


Spicy Chipotle Beef Tacos
serves 8-10

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups finely diced onion
1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeno
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle in adobo
2 cups tomato puree
1 bottle amber beer of your preference
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 bunch cilantro,  chopped

Heat a large skillet over moderately high heat.  Add vegetable oil and continue heating until oil just begins to smoke.  Add ground beef and cook until it is cooked through and has released allof its excess juices.  Transfer meat to a strainer, reserving juices.  Return skillet to heat and add 1 tablespoon of the reserved juice.  Adf onion and cook for 1 minute. Add jalapeno and garlic and cook for one minute more.  Add drained meat to pan along with spices and chipotle.  Cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add tomato, beer, lime juice,  salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.  Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.


Serve immediately with accompaniments – cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced onion,  diced tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, and shredded lettuce,  if desired.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

As temperatures turn cooler, food thoughts turn more and more to soup, stews, and chilis. Well, at least mine do anyway. 🙂 So, when I saw this recipe and I saw that the temps were going to drop into the upper 30s (I live in Florida! Crazy!), I knew I had to try it.  The added bonus is that it only takes about 40-45 minutes to come together so this makes it feasible for a weeknight dinner, too!  Hearty black beans, yummy sweet potatoes, and smoky chipotle all in one pot. This is one vegetarian chili worth trying!


Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups water
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Add beans, tomatoes, and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Makes 4 servings (about 2 cups)
Per serving: 318 calories; 8g fat (1g sat, 5g mono); 0mg cholesterol; 54g carbohydrates; 0g added sugars; 12g protein; 15g fiber; 547mg sodium; 1040mg potassium