black beans and corn

My problem with black beans is I buy a can, use maybe half of it, and then allow it to sit in my fridge until it’s disgusting. Yes, I could buy a bag of them and use it as needed, but that seems like a lot of work whenever I want black beans.

This week, I challenged myself to use the can in different ways.

Round one: salmon over a salad of mixed greens, red pepper, black beans, and corn.

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Round two: southwest bowl with chicken, brown rice, red pepper, broccoli, black beans, and corn.

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Round three: black beans and corn quesadilla.

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Round four: fried rice with sausage, zucchini, carrots, black beans, and corn.

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food, a collection

Thanks to my inconsistency, I have a weird assortment of food pictures on my phone at any given time. Sometimes I don’t take one because the meal doesn’t look particularly flattering or camera-ready, but usually it’s because I dive in and forget.

I’ve still got quite a few to share:

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Food Made Delicious

This week’s meals kick off with a bowl of stove top oats. It has been quite cold inside now, though outside it may still be warm. I’m definitely ready for the chilly weather and my warm meals and affinity for wearing sweatshirts and sweaters proves this. This bowl of oats included a tablespoon of maple peanut butter, cinnamon pecans, and blueberries among the usual ingredients. Not too sweet and very satisfying.

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I was craving eggs of the scrambled variety, so I whipped up two with a dollop of milk and then topped it with cheese. This was enjoyed with a dark picture of assorted fruits and a grilled slice of my homemade zucchini bread! Instead of oil, I used apple sauce and subbed whole wheat flour for the white kind. It was so moist and yummy.

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Up next came my favorite, go-to pancake recipe. These are topped with peanut butter (of course), jelly, and toasted coconut and served with fresh, beautiful berries.

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Another oatmeal day included chocolate peanut butter, blueberries, strawberries, and banana. Again topped with a swirl of jelly and toasted coconut. I can’t get enough!

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Peanut butter toast was on the menu one day, the usual served with a healing bowl of fresh fruit. Simple, yet delightful.

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When my college roommate came to visit this weekend, I knew what I needed to serve, pumpkin anything. I decided on the French toast recipe I developed last week. For my bread, I chose one piece of whole wheat sour dough and another cinnamon raisin. Unpictured are the strawberries, raspberries, and grapes I devoured on the side. Obviously these were enjoyed with my usual topping.

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I ended my breakfasts for the week with two eggs over easy, with a little cheese, buttered toast with jam, and a side of fruit.

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My first lunch was a bit of a stir fry fail. I get too over enthusiastic about vegetables so I couldn’t finish it all, and the salmon and chickpeas I used were past their freshness and I had tone at around them! The whole wheat bow tie pasta was the best part!

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Since I had eaten eggs for breakfast, I was missing my peanut butter fix, so for lunch I decided on a peanut buttered English muffin and veggie sticks with hummus. Light, filling, and so good!

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Leftovers always make for am easy, great lunch. This includes whole wheat spaghetti, shrimp, and a variety of veggies mixed with homemade marinara sauced and topped with cheese.

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Leftover pizza in general is the best gift. I quickly chopped up a healthy salad to accompany my slices and loved my meal.

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Oh, this is awkward. Another day, another pizza lunch. Again served with salad and again enjoyed with immense fervor.

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Okay, this is getting embarrassing. At the very least, this version is homemade and much healthier. And I served it with carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes so that’s not quite a salad. Don’t judge me.

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Phew, my last lunch was a chicken kebab salad enjoyed out with my siblings. I saved face there. For now at least.

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My first dinner this week was some steak tossed with peppers and mushrooms and topped with cheese. I opted for some tortilla chips instead of a flour tortilla, threw on some sour cream, and enjoyed a side of spinach and cabbage.

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Whole wheat spaghetti, shrimp, and veggies came next with a Caesar salad, which I had been craving for some reason. I love this colorful, delicious dish!

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The next night, my sister and her fiancé came over for dinner so we ordered pizza and I made a huge salad. This week we got suckered into the Roosevelt special on PBS, which was excellent, but it’s hard to watch something on a weeknight that’s two hours long with no commercial breaks! Conversation was limited that night.

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To offset all that pizza floating about, we had grilled chicken over a salad the next night. I had to eat this quickly in order to get to kickball, but it was light and yummy fuel for the game. Of course it was enjoyed with a side of toast.

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I went out on Friday with my friends Stephanie and Katie to a Greek place. The service was not great, but the food was fantastic! This was a beef kebab with peppers, rice, and a big Greek salad. Hummus and pita enjoyed on the side.

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Another big salad for dinner before the ghost tour I mentioned in my last post. This included grilled chicken over mixed greens, veggies, peanuts, and a few tortilla strips which I handed off the majority to Stephanie. Very flavorful. For some reason, the peanuts were my favorite part…

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My meals were topped off this week with a perfectly grilled cheeseburger on an English muffin, broccoli, and the sweetest, freshest corn picked up from a farm. I also had a couple of chips for the salt factor.

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Another great week of eating!

Mindful Eating, Good Food Takes Time

The big thing about food and eating that I think we do bring a lot of times is we cut quality options in favor of convenience. I get that there are simply never enough hours in the day, but eating and cooking should be enjoyable processes. I would say most of my meals don’t take up more than twenty minutes at a time and there are always ways in which to plan ahead of time! This is one facet of my life where mindfulness and care has really worked.

Here’s what I ate this week!

I started my week off with some delicious pancakes topped with toasted coconut because I can and it appears more indulgent that way.

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Since I worked the polls and had to be up bright and early, I prepared a batch of baked oats for both my mom and myself. This recipe includes pumpkin purée, maple peanut butter, cinnamon pecans, pumpkin spice, dates, and mashed banana. It was rich, gooey, filling, and energizing the next day heated up!

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To add to the pumpkin festivities, I threw some pumpkin purée into a mixture of egg whites, milk, and pumpkin spice, drenched two pieces of my favorite whole wheat sour dough bread and grilled them up for some fancy French toast. On their own they were divine.

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But with some chocolate peanut butter, jelly, and toasted coconut on top, they were another level.

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More oatmeal, this time of the stove top variety with my regular peanut butter and jelly and more toasted coconut. It’s kind of a thing now. I love hot oatmeal on a cool morning.

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Here we have more pancakes, but not my usual recipe. I researched online and found a great whole wheat and oat pancake concoction and of course topped them with more peanut butter, jelly, and coconut. I’m still learning the quirks of the new stove top, but the browning didn’t affect the taste!

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Toast topped with peanut butter never goes wrong, especially if you need a quick, portable breakfast as I did on Saturday. Filling, healthy, and energizing, especially when accompanied with fruit.

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I ended my week with two over easy eggs with some toast topped with butter and jelly and a big bowl of fruit. Divine.

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Lunches this week included many fancy salads. This one includes chickpeas, tons of fresh produce, cinnamon pecans, and a side of leftover zucchini fries and a piece of toast. I’m loving the new salad bowls!

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I had to create something fast, healthy, and delicious on Tuesday and thanks to leftovers, I was up for the challenge. Chickpeas, mushrooms, and peppers over brown rice and a side of more zucchini fries and asparagus.

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Another salad quickly, though lovingly tossed together with fresh vegetables and feta cheese and a cup of Chobani coconut yogurt and some chopped up pecans.

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Unknowing that pizza was also going to be dinner, I thought I would try something other than a salad and grilled myself an English muffin pizza with sauce and cheese, broccoli, summer squash, and zucchini on the side as well as some cheezits.

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A leftover piece of pizza and a big salad was in order for Friday. I’m not sure there is a better food combination than pizza and salad. Oh wait, peanut butter and jelly…. Peanut butter and chocolate….

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On Saturday, I met up with some of my family for a lunch outing. Fried seafood is not my thing, but I did enjoy a nice burger and a couple of fries. The buttered, grilled roll makes the difference! An amazing peanut butter Oreo ice cream cone pretty much completed my eating for the day, but I forgot to snap a picture!

Lunch was a bit strange on Sunday because I ate it in different parts. First was a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with chopped banana and blueberries as well as a cup of yogurt. After my workout I had a big salad and a bowl of popcorn.

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For dinners, I had lemon chicken smothered in mushrooms, brown spinach rice, and asparagus.

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Whole wheat vegetable lasagna with some marinara and chicken sausage on top and sautéed spinach on the side was perfect after a long day.

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Next came a piece of steak covered in peppers with a baked potato with a dollop of butter and sour cream, and some grilled broccoli, summer squash, and zucchini.

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Girls night included take out pizza, a toasted ravioli, and a chicken wing. I also had some leftover broccoli, which I forced myself to eat before enjoying another slice of pizza.

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Chipotle honey BBQ salmon with a piece of Mexican street corn and grilled zucchini and summer squash was enjoyed at a restaurant with my parents. It was hard to opt for the veggies instead of rice or beans, but since I enjoy chips and salsa more, I knew it was the right choice.

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After that sizable lunch on Saturday, I wasn’t feeling a full fledged dinner. Instead I had some popcorn with my cousin Mikey who tried to teach me how to play this video game thing that I’m still confused by.

On Sunday, since my eating had been so spaced out, I was craving peanut butter and jelly on toast for dinner and went for it. Sometimes you gotta have what’s calling to you!

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Though I missed one this week, we have to admit that I’m getting way better at remembering to snap pictures before I dig into my meals!

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