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

Beer, donuts & Pork Patties with Plum Sauce and Napa Cabbage

Hello! Happy Friday!

Yesterday was such a long day! Up at 3:30am for Crossfit, physical therapy at 10:00am, plus a full, ridiculously busy day at work. I was totally ready to go home at 5:00! But, I didn’t – ended up going to one of our favorite local joints to have someone else make dinner for a change. I had the blackened catfish. I should have had the burger. Oh well, at least I can always rely on my old pal, Stella. 🙂


Happy National Donut Day! Did you celebrate today? I did! I haven’t had a donut in almost 2 years – not kidding! – and I was definitely ready. Also tried my first iced coffee this morning. I got the hazelnut flavor. It was pretty tasty! I can see why people enjoy them so much.


I got a Bavarian cream donut. Those were my favorite when I was growing up. I can’t remember the last time I had one of those. It was definitely worth the wait! And, in the grand scheme of things, relatively harmless as an occasional treat. One is only 270 calories with 15 grams of fat (7 saturated). Compare that to their cinnamon cake donut (340 calories/22g fat with 10 saturated) and that’s a major win! (In case you’re interested, Dunkin Donuts provides nutrition information on their website.) If you’re a glazed fan, those are decent too but I always want more than one. Then, that becomes not so decent. :/ Anyway, with my banana, my morning snack/treat was pretty decent today. 🙂

Donuts? Yes or No?
What’s your favorite kind?

So, what’s on your menu for dinner tonight? Tried out a new “burger” recipe the other night. Pork Patties with Plum Sauce served with some Napa Cabbage Slaw. Definitely not your traditional burger – no buns, hon! 🙂 Seasoned with Asian seasonings like ginger, sherry, and garlic and rounded out with some cooked bulgur, these patties are lighter than you would expect. The plum sauce was SUPER easy and was supremely delicious. And Thing 2 is a fan of Napa cabbage so the salad/slaw was a win, too. Seriously, if you’ve never tried Napa cabbage, you should use it in place of lettuce in your next salad. It has a great flavor that marries so well with other vegetables and it stands up to dressing without getting all wilty and soggy (yuck).

You can grill the patties or cook them inside in a skillet or a grill pan. The perfect follow-up to this meal? Grilled pineapple for dessert! Om nom nom!


Have you ever grilled fruit for dessert?
If you haven’t, you totally should give it a try. It’s fabulous!


Pork Patties with Plum Sauce and Napa Cabbage
serves 6

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped plums (about 1/2 pound)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup uncooked bulgur
1 1/2 pounds ground pork, 80% lean
1 cup diagonally cut green onions, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
6 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage (about 1/2 large head)
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Place plum mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

2. Combine 1 cup boiling water and bulgur in a medium bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain well. Combine bulgur, pork, 1/2 cup onions, 1/4 cup cilantro, sherry, garlic, ginger, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Divide pork mixture into 12 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in center of each patty. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 6 patties to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat with remaining 6 patties.

3. Combine remaining onions, remaining cilantro, remaining salt, cabbage, vinegar, and oil; toss gently to coat. Serve patties with slaw; drizzle with plum sauce.

Per serving (2 patties, 1 cup slaw, 2 tablespoons sauce):
Calories 296; Fat 10.8g (saturated 4.1g, monounsaturated 4.3g, polyunsaturated 1.5g); Protein 25.4g; Carbs 24.1g; Fiber 4.2g; Sodium 724mg
Recipe from Cooking Light, June 2012

– jennifer

Confessions, Shopping Mishaps and Chili-Cheese Mac

So, I have a confession. I have been doing something really flipping stupid less than smart. I’ve been running and crossfitting through an injury. Not my ribs. Yes, I have another owie.


I’m not sure how it happened but I did something to my left leg. It’s been at least 3 weeks now. Okay, maybe 3 1/2. I either strained my sartorius muscle or my hip flexor. I’m limpy and my leg is weak and often requires physical assistance in moving (meaning I have to physically pick my leg up and move it – like when I’m trying to get out of the car.)

Yes, it hurts when I run….at least when I start and then it feels fine until I stop. Explain that! Seems to me that I have 2 choices – I can either never stop running or I can rest it so I’m not forced to stop for longer than necessary.


The good news is that skipping CrossFit yesterday and not running this morning (sadness) have been the right thing to do. My leg is starting to feel better and I don’t have to pick it up to move it. Now, I just have to wait it out and not come back too soon.


How do you handle being limited by an injury?


So, on Mother’s Day, my sailor and thing 1 (soon to be a sailor, too!) covered the grocery shopping for me. Sweet gift, right? Yep, until I realized that I ended up with 3 pounds of ground sirloin instead of 3 pounds of top sirloin.


Clearly, I’ll be doing the shopping from now on. A devious plan to ensure that I do? Perhaps, but, that’s okay. I’ve got it covered, thankyouverymuch! I happen to have that big book o’ recipes with loads of ideas in it. We’ve done tacos and then I found this recipe for Chili-Cheese Mac. Healthy, light, tasty AND kid-friendly comfort food. In the middle of the week, no less! What a delicious screw-up. Om nom nom! Now, I just have 3/4 pound left …. what to make, what to make?

What’s your favorite way to use up ground sirloin?


Chili-Cheese Mac
Serves 6

1 teaspoon canola oil
3/4 pound ground round
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 cup water
1 (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup fat-free milk
4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
4 1/2 ounces finely shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add beef and next four ingredients; cook 3 minutes. Add broth, water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in macaroni; cover and cook 10 minutes or until macaroni is done.

2. Heat milk and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar. Add cheese sauce to macaroni mixture; toss well to coat.


Per serving:
Calories 342; Fat 12.3g (saturated 6g, polyunsaturated 1.1g, monounsaturated 3.7g); Protein 25.7g; Carbs 32.7g; Fiber 1.8g; Sodium 652mg; Cholesterol 60mg

Recipe from Cooking Light, February 2012

– jennifer