Nutrition Tips When You’re Sick

I don’t know about ya’ll but January and February is always a time when at the least, I get a head cold. I’m congested, lethargic, and don’t have an appetite. What are the important things to remember when you are sick to help your body fight and recover?

Before we get into this, I wanted to mention this is a generalization of topics to keep in mind when you’re not feeling your best. “Sick” can mean a lot of different illnesses, and some illnesses will require more than just paying attention to these topics. But as a good rule of thumb, these are things to always keep in mind when you’re not feeling 100%.

HYDRATION

Anytime I go to the doctor with a cold, allergies, or an infection the one thing all doctors say – drink plenty of fluids. Why?

All processes of your body need water. When you’re sick your body is working harder . If you have congestion, drainage, sweating off a fever you are more easily to become dehydrated. All of those take excess water. Then if you are taking medication – whether over the counter or prescribed, it works better when you are properly hydrated and body will be able to process it better. On top of that – your body needs a way to release anything that is toxic from your body and that mean through the kidneys as urine, or through your stool, which also is a process that takes a lot of water. If you’re dehydrated, you won’t be going to the bathroom.

What can you do? Drink water, mix in electrolyte drinks. Electrolytes help with fluid balance. These fluids would include sports drinks, broth, and herbal teas. However, the main two electrolytes are sodium and potassium, so if you have high blood pressure or heart disease, you can talk to your doctor about these, but to be safe, stick to water and herbal teas.

PROTEIN

Protein is important in your daily life and activities, but also plays an important role when you’re sick. Usually when your have a fever or head cold with drainage, you might not have much of an appetite. However, if you are to eat anything if you can keep it down, is to have something that is a good source of protein. Why?

When people first hear protein, you think muscle. Which is true – muscle is built from proteins, but pretty much everything else is structured with proteins as well, which includes your immune system. When your body is fighting off something – even if it’s allergies – it creates antibodies to do the fighting. Those antibodies are made from protein. If you are not taking in enough protein when your body is trying to fight, it will draw on the protein you have stored in your muscles. Your body is a resourceful machine. But losing muscle mass is not necessarily something that we want. To prevent this, if you can eat, try to make sure you are able to get some protein.

If you are not hungry at all, a tip is that you can grab a protein shake and sip on that next to your water or herbal tea.

FIBER

Fiber is something else that is important for a healthy body in general, but it specifically has to do with your digestive system. When you’re sick your body processes that don’t have to directly deal with your immune system and fighting, will slow down.

Then adding on top of that a better chance of you being dehydrated, taking medications that can affect your bowel movements, things can slow way down.

To keep a healthy gut, which is where a lot of our immune system is, we first need to make sure we are hydrated – always number one – but to also help move things along, we need fiber. This includes eating foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc.

Fiber traps water – so again, first and foremost is staying hydrated! It does this because it traps water to loosen stools. The soluble fiber helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. And Insoluble fiber adds bulk which helps move things along in your digestive track.

BOTTOM LINE

  1. HYDRATION: Constantly sip on something anytime you are awake enough to do it.
  2. PROTEIN: If you are able to eat, make sure there is protein sources included. If you are having a hard time and not feeling like eating, grab a small protein shake.
  3. FIBER: To help your gut stay healthy and keep things moving, water/hydration is still number one here too, but also fiber helps to feed the good bacteria and move things along in our digestive track.

RECIPES

How do these points translate into food and recipes? The number one sick food people think of is Chicken Noodle Soup. Broth = hydration, Chicken = protein, and Veggies = fiber!

Below are links to three of my soup recipes already on the blog to get you started!

I will also be posting a new video on my YouTube Channel with the information I’ve shared with you here, along with a video of the recipes! So if you haven’t already, click the link below to see my YouTube Channel! My first video will be posted tomorrow and if you are subscribed it will pop up on your feed tomorrow! EEK!

As always, keep finding your “beet”! Talk to y’all soon.

Advertisement

Chickpea Noodle Soup

We are starting to head into January and February and if there is any time of year I get sick, it’s during these months. Usually with some sort of a sinus infection/cold. And what meal always comes to mind when we’re sick? Chicken Noodle Soup! So I thought I’d share with you my vegetarian version: Chickpea Noodle Soup.

Now – one rule is that if I’m sick, I don’t feel like cooking, so it better be simple, quick, and easy. If I do have a small amount of energy to cook something so I don’t have to heat up a canned soup, then this is one of the ones I’ll make. And to be honest – I might even “cheat” and get the frozen chopped carrot/celery/onion mixture so the prep work is basically nothing. But if you can and feel like chopping the vegetables fresh, do so.

Low Sodium or Regular Broth?

I will talk more about the salt content in my video next week, but unless you have a heart issue and/or having to take blood pressure medication, salt can be important when you are sick. It helps your body to stay hydrated since it helps your cells holds onto fluid. When you’re sick this can be an important part of your diet since dehydration is the number one concern with any sickness. I mean – when do you not hear the doctor say “drink plenty of fluids”?

Depending on your personal situation, using regular broth verses a low-sodium version might be needed when you’re sick and especially if this might be the only meal you eat in a day. However – if you do have heart disease and/or taking medication for high blood pressure, then the low-sodium option would be better to use.

Video Coming Next Week

To go with the post yesterday about the new A Different Beet You Tube Channel, this will be part of my first video along with two other soups already on the blog for easy soups when you’re sick.

Until then… enjoy the recipe!

Chickpea Noodle Soup

  • Servings: 4 main or 6 side
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (should be 1 regular size carton)
  • 1 pkg cooked udon noodles
  • Salt and Pepper, if desired
  • Lemon juice to top

Directions

  1. In a medium pot heat oil on medium high heat. Add in chopped onion, carrots, and celery and cook until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add poultry seasoning and stir to combine and toast about 1 minute.
  3. Add in chickpeas, broth and cooked udon noodles.
  4. Let simmer for about 15 minutes and it’s ready to serve.
  5. Top with salt and pepper if needed and/or lemon juice.

First YouTube Video Coming!

I keep going back and forth on whether I’m excited or anxious about this, but if I have to at least try it out right?

My first YouTube Video will be coming out Wednesday January 6, 2021!

I can’t believe it. I’m still new to recording, video editing, and “finding my own different beet” with this, but I hope ya’ll will enjoy seeing the process as I try new things. You will see the camera being bumped, and I’m sure there will be moments my words don’t match up with the speed of the video when I’m walking you through a recipe, but I know I’m not a professional at this.

I wanted to give you all a heads up with what that means for the blog and my schedule for blog posts as well as video posts.

Post Schedule

For the blog, I’ve been posting twice a month, on average every other week. This schedule will remain almost the same.

For the YouTube Channel, I’m going to do my best at posting a new video twice a month on Wednesdays. On average, every other week.

The two schedules will coincide with each other.

  • The video on Wednesdays will incorporate both some nutrition/wellness information with a recipe that will go along with the information.
  • The Tuesday before the video, I will be posting on the blog a post about what the video will be about and a short preview of the nutrition or wellness information.
  • And so make sure the recipes are also found on the blog, the recipe that will be part of the video will be posted on Wednesday, the same day as the video.

So just about every other week, on Tuesday I’ll post on the blog a preview and short version of the information on the upcoming YouTube Video, and on that Wednesday I will be posting a nutrition video on the You Tube Channel that will also have a specific recipe(s), and posting the actual recipe on the blog that same day.

Whew!

Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with this schedule as I’ve already have some things prepared for the beginning of 2021!

As always I’m grateful to all of you supporting my interest in nutrition, recipes, and well – all things food related!

YouTube Channel Link

If you’d like to subscribe to the link or to go to the homepage of the You Tube Channel, check it out here!

Healthy Mindset for 2021

Are you ready to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021?

To be honest 2020 definitely had it’s negatives, but it taught me a lot about myself and also helped me to slow down and change up my routine. If it wasn’t for 2020, I wouldn’t of set the different goals I did, and probably would have not been able to go about them the same way as I did this year. But I’m also about moving on and going forward, so let’s start 2021 with a healthy mindset when it comes to making and accomplishing goals.

These are somethings I’ve learned myself, but also somethings I have to remind myself of. We can be so goal, deadline, and numbers driven that we forget why we are setting the goals to begin with.

#1 – Write down WHY you have a certain goal.

We might have a goal in mind and even write down what that goal is, but it’s important to remember WHY we want to accomplish or work towards that goal. If there is not a clear reason behind why we want to accomplish a goal, there’s nothing to keep motivating us, and eventually it’s not “worth it”.

You might want to have the goal of exercising 3 times a week. Why? Is it to become stronger? To get tone, or stay toned? Is it for overall health? Sleeping better? Stress management? How will doing this improve your quality of life, and how will you see yourself progressing?

Which brings us to the next point…

#2 – Realize what progression looks like.

Let’s face it – personal goals, especially with health is an ongoing progression, not a one and done goal. Just because you might not have reached a certain goal, doesn’t mean you haven’t progressed to accomplishing your goal. Here is some questions you can ask yourself.

  • Do I have more energy than before?
  • Am I sleeping better on a regular basis?
  • Are everyday chores easier?
  • Am I able to handle more stress (physical or emotional) than before?
  • Are the changes in my eating patterns easier for me to stick to?

Any progression is progress. If you are making changes for your overall health, then health progression can show itself in a lot of smaller ways that might not be the way you’re looking for it to change. But acknowledging a seemingly small progressions is important.

#3 – Be realistic.

I’m positive that this will be on any “goal” list. It’s important to be honest with yourself and what you will do. I know for me, I’d love to say that I’ll workout and keep to a vigorous schedule each week… but that’s not me.

I love walking, hiking, pilates, and some weights here and there, even jogging…but pushing myself to get “my pump on”, running each week, or something that requires a lot of explosive energy… I’m not going to consistently do because I don’t enjoy it. I’ll do it here and there to change things up a bit. It has it’s place. If I do it, then that’s a bonus to the regular schedule I know I can keep up.

Be realistic with yourself. And if you work on what you know you can accomplish and you can consistently keep it up, then challenge yourself to see if you can set records, or lift a little more, or run a little further, or take your workouts to the next level, or having fruits and vegetables be a part of every meal and not just one or two. You know you. You know what you are comfortable with and when you’re ready to challenge yourself to take it a step further.

Hope you are all staying safe! I’ll talk to you all in a few weeks with some exciting news!

Easy Coconut Curry Sauce

Nothing says comfort food on a rainy day like a curry dish. Every time – no matter the season – if it’s raining, Thai or Indian food always comes to my mind.

This recipe came about because my mother had introduced me to this coconut curry veggie stir fry packet that already had the ingredients, you just had to throw it in a pan and steam for 5-10 minutes. Easy as that!

Then I thought – well if I already had veggies that needed to be used in the fridge, the only thing I’d be lacking is the coconut curry. The whole point of the already prepared package is because it’s easy, so the curry sauce needed to be as simple as can be.

To be honest, I’m a newb when it comes to curry recipes. The day I make my own curry blend of spices I would feel like a master chef.

If you are like me and want a simple sauce you can easily whip up to toss any leftover veggies in the fridge with to make a quick side or meal – then here you go!

Simple Coconut Curry Sauce

  • Servings: 1 1/2 cup of sauce
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 14oz can lite coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3-4 Tbsp curry powder

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. If adding to a stir fry, when adding fresh veggies, add in the sauce so the sauce and veggies can warm up and cook together.

I recommend that the curry simmer for a good 5 minutes or so to cook the garlic and onion. If you are wanting to use it on top of something cold, like a salad, then cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes in a skillet with the oil before adding it to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.

Also for a stir fry/vegetable curry, adding some peanuts or cashews gives it a good crunch. If you need to stay away from nuts and seeds, try toasted coconut chips.

Carrot Coconut Cupcakes with Maple Icing

There are cupcakes I like to be airy and fluffy, and then there are cupcakes that I want everything but the kitchen sink in. These are one of those cupcakes!

So this recipe came about when it was my parents anniversary. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen a preview pic of these cupcakes when I first made them. Each year I like to do something for my parents anniversary, and there is usually a homemade dessert in there.

Their anniversary is in July so the usual is a vanilla cake – almost like a pound cake – with coconut whipped cream and fresh berries. The cake is delicious and perfect for summer! But I wanted to do something a little different. One of my Dad’s favorite desserts is German Chocolate Cake. So that’s what got me thinking coconut. Mom had been talking about zucchini/carrot muffins, so that’s where the carrot part came in. My parents have been trying to lessen the amount of sugar, so it didn’t want a heavy super sugar filled frosting, so then the idea of a light maple glaze drizzle came in – and there you have it! Carrot Coconut Cupcakes with Maple Icing!

I wasn’t too sure how these were going to come out and how soft they were going to be since baking has a lot of science involved, but it worked out! And since the flavors compliment more of the fall season, I waited until now to share it with y’all. So if you want a dessert that you can claim as “healthy”, try these guys out!

Carrot Coconut Cupcakes with Maple Icing

  • Servings: 10-12 cupcakes
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (or 1/2 cup rolled oats ground in a blender)
  • 1 cup sugar (for my parents I did 1/2 unbleached sugar and 1/2 natural substitute)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • MAPLE ICING
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (you can also make you own by blending 1 cup sugar (or substitute) and 1 tbsp corn starch or arrowroot powder)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbsp water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl mix your dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, oat flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients: carrots, coconut, pecans, cranberries, vegetable oil, and eggs.
  4. In the large bowl of dried ingredients, pour in the wet mixture and combine. Don’t over mix.
  5. Line a muffin/cupcake tin with liners and fill the cups 3/4 full. They will be dense and won’t rise too much, but they will a little.
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Or a few crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted in the center. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, make the maple icing: Mix together right before icing since the glaze will harden. Mix the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and 1-2 tbsp water – one at a time to get the consistency you want. Once cupcakes are out of the oven, if your glaze has hardened just add another few drops of water and stir until you have the right consistency. Drizzle over top of the cupcakes. Let them sit for a few minutes to let the glaze firm up a little.
  8. You can top it off with any leftover ingredients like the pecans, shredded coconut, shredded carrots, dried cranberries, etc.

Roasted Vegetable Chili with Whole Wheat Biscuits

I don’t know about ya’ll but I love one sheet or pan meals. And chili is definitely a one-pot meal. However – usually chili recipes are to feed an army, and although chili is better the day after, we personally don’t eat a lot of leftovers after a day or so in the fridge. A recipe that makes 10-12 servings just isn’t for us on a regular basis.

I got the idea for this recipe when I saw chili with cornbread on a sheet pan and I just never thought of putting chili on a pan and baking it before! Plus roasted vegetables are my jam and combining freshly roasted vegetables and adding the beans and tomatoes to it to make a full chili recipe enough for a few bowls, not a huge pot, and easy clean up. Awesome!

Now for the biscuits, I’m sure making these with corn flour instead of whole wheat flour would probably be the way to go, but for me, whole wheat is better than corn. So do what you want, corn or wheat, but the wheat biscuits were good. My husband and almost finished off the whole pan.

Let’s get into the recipe!

Roasted Vegetable Chili with Whole Wheat Biscuits

  • Servings: 3-4 Main Dishes
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped (I used frozen, about 12oz bag)
  • 3 jalapenos, chopped (seeds removed if you want mild, more seeds the more heat)
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt, if desired
  • 15 oz can black beans, undrained
  • 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese shreds or cotija cheese, optional

WHOLE WHEAT BISCUITS

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter, or earth balance
  • 2/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler on high.
  2. In a gallon size freezer bag, put chopped butternut squash, jalapenos, zucchini, onion, vegetable oil, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Toss the bag around until everything is coated.
  3. I used parchment paper for easy cleanup, but the chili stays moist, so you don’t need to cover it or grease the pan if you don’t want to. Pour the coated vegetables on a large baking sheet and broil for 7-10 minutes.
  4. Make the drop biscuits. Combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, and salt. Add in cold butter and use your hands to incorporate into the flour mixture until it is crumbly. About 3-4 minutes. Add almond milk and apple cider vinegar and combine.
  5. When roasted vegetables are done, turn off broiler and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Add to the roasted vegetable pan your undrained beans, fire roasted diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir slowly to combine.
  7. Drop your biscuits, it should make 6-8 biscuits. And drop around the top of the chili.
  8. Once oven is preheated, add to oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. After 20 minutes, sprinkle the 1 cup of Mexican shreds or cotija over everything and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
  10. Let cool for a few minutes before digging in!

Chai Baked Apples with Honey Yogurt

Nothing smells like fall to me more than chai and baked apples, so why not bring the two together?

Let me first tell you my thought process as I was in the spice aisle to get what I needed for the chai spices. I was there for like 15 minutes I’m sure. You might be able to find a blend of chai spices, but I was unable to find anything unless I ordered it. Or if I did find it, it was with black tea or had a sweetener, etc. Not just the spices to make chai spice.

Chai spice blend usually consists of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and black or white pepper – which gives it the kick. Sometimes nutmeg makes it in there, sometimes not.

Some of these spices I use a lot as a dried spice like cinnamon and black pepper. But cloves very rarely, and nutmeg only with pumpkin pie usually, and ginger I get fresh ginger root, not necessarily powdered. So I didn’t want to buy all of these individual spices and then have them go bad and take up room in my spice cabinet. And the fact that good spices are expensive when you’re buying more than just a few, was not appealing to me, but I really wanted to try my idea out.

Then I had a revelation. (By the way, I thought this was perfectly accurate of what happened in the spice aisle. Revelation: a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way.) Pumpkin Spice that you can find EVERYWHERE is cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger. All I had to do was add cardamom and if I wanted the heat, black pepper. Easy peasy. I was telling my husband, my mom, and now ya’ll about this fact, which I’m sure might not be a new idea for some of ya’ll, but it is for me.

I’m sure some of the ratios might be off, and if you have all of the spices needed to make your own chai spice, then be my guest! But this was a simple solution to what I needed. So basically these “chai” baked apples, is pumpkin spice + cardamom. I’m sure to all the chai spice lovers this is a huge “no-no”, but I’m simple and I got the flavor I’m looking for. So why not?

Now – onto the recipe! I paired this with unsweetened yogurt and a little honey. Since I’m not a huge sweet fan and baked apples are sweet enough, having the cool tart yogurt with it was perfect for me, but if you want a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, go for it, but I like the plain unsweetened yogurt with mine.

Enjoy!

Chai Baked Apples with Honey Yogurt

  • Servings: 6-8 servings
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 6-7 medium apples, mix and match, sliced evenly
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 3 T arrow root or corn starch
  • Sprinkle of salt if desired
  • 1 cup unsweetened yogurt of choice
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to bake at 350 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9×13 pan with a small amount of vegetable oil.
  2. Put sliced apples, lemon juice, vegetable oil, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, cardamom, arrowroot or corn starch, and salt in a gallon size bag. Toss until apples are evenly coated.
  3. Throw the apples in the baking pan and cover. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. Take the yogurt and drizzle with honey, or mix in the honey with the yogurt.
  6. Let apples cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Avocado Cream

I think I found my new favorite vegetable to stuff. I mean, bell peppers are okay, but I like to use them for flavor, not as the main part of my dish. Mushrooms are good too, but they can be watery. And then there’s squash, which I love, but I usually don’t want squash when it’s hot outside or humid. I save stuffed squash for cold crisp days and in Texas there is not a lot of those. So now I’m on to using poblano peppers.

Now I did look up traditional stuff poblano peppers and I thought it was interesting that they use raisins or something sweet mixed in, kind of like dried cranberries in stuffed squash. But I’m not a raisin person and I decided to play it safe.

Originally when I made this recipe I didn’t have the avocado cream. I wasn’t sure if it was going to need it or not. But I should know, you always need avocado cream. So you’ll see some pictures with and without the avocado cream. Before I go any further, below is the link to my avocado cream which uses yogurt instead, and you can even use fat free Greek yogurt to increase the protein and have only the fat found in the avocado. Either way, here’s the recipe!

Now! For those that do not use poblano peppers, these are not hot peppers. They are not even as hot as jalapenos. However, they do hold some heat in the seeds and where the seeds are held inside the pepper. When you clean out the pepper and remove the seeds and the area where the seeds are held (I don’t know what to call it), you can wear gloves or just make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face, etc. I had a paper cut on my finger and it slowly started to burn until the whole area was red and irritated. It’s not super hot, but it will cause irritation, and you definitely don’t want to rub your face if you have it on your hands.

That being said – the actual pepper, especially after roasting it, does not have much heat if any. I don’t mind spicy things here and there, but I’m definitely not a spicy person and I had no problem eating them.

One last thing to add – I am allergic to corn and the recipe needed a pop of color so I added a yellow bell pepper to the recipe. Corn goes much better, but that was my substitute and it did work well and tasted good, plus it had that extra color. There is instructions if you use either the yellow bell pepper or the frozen corn kernels.

Now on to the recipe! Enjoy it! It’s another recipe that scratches my vegetarian Tex Mex itch.

Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Avocado Cream

  • Servings: 4-6 Main Servings
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (or you can use 1 cup frozen corn)
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 15oz cans pinto beans, drained (or 3 cups cooked)
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 poblano peppers, seeds removed and cut 1/2 long ways
  • Cojita cheese
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Avocado Cream

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan on medium heat. Add onion and yellow bell pepper (if using corn, wait until later) cook until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and toast for about 1 minute.
  3. Add in quinoa dry and toast the quinoa for a minute or two.
  4. Add in vegetable broth and let simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through, turning the heat to low. (If using frozen corn, throw in the 1 cup frozen corn once the quinoa is cooked).
  5. While the quinoa is simmering, get the poblano peppers ready. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and get rid of any seeds on the inside, unless you want it to be spicier. Place them on a baking sheet. I lined my sheet with parchment paper, and I also had to use 2 baking sheets.
  6. Once quinoa is cooked through, (and if you are using corn stir it in) take quinoa off the heat. Stir in the diced tomatoes, pinto beans, pepitas, and seasoning – smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, and cumin.
  7. Fill in the poblano peppers as much as you can. Once all are full, stick them in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then I switched my baking sheets around and baked for another 10 minutes. If adding cojita cheese, I added it and stuck it in for another 5 minutes. It won’t melt, but it will bake onto the quinoa mixture and some parts might brown a little.
  8. Once baked, take out of the oven and let sit for a good 5 minutes or so. Plate it and top with lime juice, cilantro, more cheese or avocado cream.

Chimichurri Black Bean Wraps

Have you ever had chimichurri sauce? My first experience with this sauce/marinade was when I was first going plant based and a followed a recipe for chimichurri black bean street tacos. I’ve been in love ever since!

Chimichurri is originally from Argentina. It’s usually a cold green sauce for grilled meats but I’ve also seen it as a marinade. There is also a red version that I’m interested in trying one of these days. Either way it is a delicious zesty fresh herb and vinegar sauce. If you would rather have chicken in this recipe instead of the black beans, by all means substitute it. Chimichurri sauce is good on any protein source. I’ve made pork chops, chicken, and beans to go with chimichurri sauce before. All are delicious!

This is one of the ways that I like to use it, which is in a cold wrap. It’s simple, quick and easy to put together. This recipe as-is with a wheat tortilla is more carbohydrate dense, but with changing out the wrap and using lettuce or using the recipe on top of a salad would balance it out a little more. And then obviously if you were to change out the black beans for a more protein dense source like chicken or baked tofu, there would be more protein. Make it your own!

There are plenty of other ingredients you can add to this, but I personally just like the sauteed onion and zucchini mixture with the beans. If there’s something else you would add, let me know in the comments below.

On to the recipe!

Chimichurri Black Bean Wraps

Ingredients

1 cup Parsley, fresh (chopped) 1 cup Cilantro (coriander) (chopped) 1/4 cup Olive oil 4 tbsp Red wine vinegar 2 clove(s) Garlic 1 tsp Oregano, dried 1/2 tsp Cumin (ground, plus more for vegetables) 1/4 tsp Salt (plus more for vegetables, if desired) 2 can (15oz) Black beans, canned (drained and rinsed, or 3 cups cooked) 1 cup chopped Tomato 1 tbsp Olive oil 1 medium Zucchini (chopped) 1 small White onion (sliced) 4 large tortilla(s) Wheat flour tortilla

Directions

  1. Prepare your chimichurri sauce. In a blender, blend together parsley, cilantro, 1/4 cup olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, dried oregano, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt. Blend until smooth. Keep in the fridge in an air tight container. 2. In a skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil and heat on medium high heat. Add in sliced onion and zucchini. Cook until it starts to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle cumin and salt and pepper if desired. 3. To make the wrap, grab tortillas or a large green leaf like lettuce or swiss chard. Spread a large spoonful of chimichurri sauce, add a few spoonfuls of black beans and some of the sauteed onion and zucchini mixture, and top with the chopped tomatoes. Roll up the wrap and enjoy immediately. For Meal Prep: Once the onion and zucchini mixture is cool, mix in the black beans and tomatoes in an air tight storage container. I keep the chimichurri sauce separate in the fridge. Assemble the wrap when ready to eat.

Macro Balance

Recipe as is:

  • 53% Carbohydrates
  • 13% Protein
  • 34% Fat