crock pot black bean and quinoa soup

I am happy to say a dear friend of mine is back from summer vacation!

My crock pot!

Oh, how I’ve missed you!

 I love how you can throw a bunch of ingredients in it, turn it on and forget about it!  Nothing is better than walking into the house after a long day and having a warm meal ready and waiting for you!

A few weeks ago I saw a crock pot recipe floating around Pinterest for black bean soup with quinoa and I have been craving it ever since!  I didn’t have all the ingredients, so winged it a little….ok, a lot!  The original recipe called for dried chipotle peppers and coriander powder, which I didn’t have.  This soup was wonderful without, but I bet both ingredients would taste great!  I cut back on the amount of bell pepper because I don’t like cooked peppers all that much!  I also added carrots to up the veggie content.  I loved how the cinnamon stick created a rich flavor…it really spiced it up!

black bean and quinoa soup ~vegan, gluten free~ Healthy crock pot recipe!

Crock Pot Black Bean and Quinoa Soup

1 pound of dried black beans, rinsed and picked over

2/3 cup uncooked quinoa

1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes

2 carrots, chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 dried cinnamon stick

1-2 teaspoons chili powder (depending on your “hot” tolerance!)

1 teaspoon cumin

4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

3 cups water

sea salt and pepper to taste

fresh cilantro

sliced avocado

-Throw all the ingredients in the crock pot.

-Cook on low for 6-8 hours on or high for 4-5 hours (until beans are tender).

-Top with cilantro and sliced avocado.


Could it be any easier???

black bean and quinoa soup ~vegan, gluten free~ Healthy crock pot recipe!

lemony quinoa salad with asparagus, peas and fresh mint

Even though summer is coming to an end, it’s still hot and humid out there!  I’m sitting here writing with the windows open and the fan on, dreaming of crisp fall nights, warm soups and hot cocoa!  I don’t know about you, but it was a long and busy summer for my family…bring on the fall!

For now, here is a light and refreshing quinoa recipe perfect for dinner on a warm night.

lemony quinoa salad with asparagus, peas and fresh mint ~vegan, gluten free~

Lemony Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Peas and Fresh Mint

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon zest

6-10 fresh mint leaves, chopped

sea salt and pepper to taste

-Steam asparagus until tender crisp and cool.

-In a large bowl mix together cooked quinoa,  asparagus and peas.

-Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Pour over quinoa mixture and stir well until combined.

-Add salt and pepper to taste.

-Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!

sweet summer fruit and basil salad

It’s one of the last weeks here on the cape to get sweet strawberries at the farmers’ market…get them while they last!

I got these beauties from Lucas, owner of Halcyon Farm in Brewster, MA.

sweet summer fruit and basil salad

This salad combines summertime fruits with baby kale, fresh basil, quinoa and goat cheese for a delicious and refreshing meal

…perfect for after a day at the beach!

Sweet Summer Fruit and Basil Salad 

1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled

1 cup watermelon, cubed

1 cup strawberries, sliced

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly shredded

goat cheese, crumbled

2-3 large handfuls of baby kale


6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

juice from 2 lemons

1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped

1-2 tablespoons honey (depending on taste)

salt and pepper

sweet summer fruit and basil salad

-Combine quinoa, watermelon, strawberries, almonds and basil in a large bowl.

-Whisk together salad dressing ingredients, tasting and adding honey, salt and pepper as needed.

-Drizzle salad dressing over watermelon/strawberry mixture, tossing to coat.

-Place baby kale on a serving plate, top with watermelon/strawberry mixture and top with crumbled goat cheese.


sweet summer fruit and basil salad

Get out there and support your local farmers’ markets!!!  

Food that travels the least amount of distance from farm to fork is the healthiest to eat!