Smoky Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream

Smoky black bean soup

Spring may be upon us, but for me that means long hours at work, and not a whole lot of time to cook. In fact, I’m lucky if I have a moment to myself between getting home and my head hitting the pillow, so while everyone else is starting to grill up a storm, I’m spending my weekends making meals that yield a ton of leftovers that reheat well. Such is the life of someone working in financial services during tax season!

Smoky black bean soup

This soup fits the bill of both easy to make in massive batches, and perfect for leftovers. All the ingredients are staples in my pantry, so while it might take some planning (especially with dried beans), once I have the pot on the stove, I know I’ll have lots to feed myself and the kids on crunch nights when I don’t have a lot of time after a long day in the office.

Smoky black bean soup

Smoky Black Bean Soup

1 lb dried black beans (or 3 15oz cans)
Olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
12 oz flavourful sausage {I used moose salami}
1 small head of garlic, minced
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 Tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup beer or white wine
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
salt & pepper

Soak black beans overnight. Drain, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 45-60 minutes, until just tender. {Or skip this step completely and use 3 15oz cans of black beans!}

Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil and cook onion and carrots until onions are translucent and carrots are tender about 8-10 minutes. Add sausage and cook a few more minutes, until sausage is browned. Add garlic and chipotle peppers, stir and cook for another 30 seconds. Add spices, stir to coat. Deglaze your pot with a generous splash of beer or white wine.

Pour in the rest of the beer, crushed tomatoes, and chicken stock, and add beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook over low heat for 30 minutes.

Partially blend with an immersion blender to thicken the soup. Season with salt & pepper to taste, and serve with a dollop of avocado cream {recipe below}.

Avocado Cream

1 avocado
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 Tbsp greek yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp lime juice

Mash the avocado, and whisk in remaining ingredients. Make immediately before serving, as it will discolour a little over time {but that doesn’t affect the taste!}

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Mornings are busy for me. Even though I’m not usually the one that gets the kids up and ready for daycare, I’m still always busy. Making lunches, getting things together. Breakfast is one of the last things on my mind, and to be perfectly honest, I usually don’t even feel like eating first thing in the morning. That makes for bad habits, where I subsist entirely on strong black coffee at work and go most of my day without eating. Bad, bad, bad.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

I recently discovered the wonders of steel cut oats. I’ve never been a porridge person, the texture is just all kinds of wrong in my opinion. But steel cut oats are different. Chewier. Heartier. Less glue-like. The downside, they take much, much longer to cook. But I’ve found a way around that! On the weekend I make a huge pot of steel cut oats, cooking them to perfect unseasoned perfection. I freeze it in muffin tins, and two ‘pucks’ are the perfect breakfast. Pop two in the microwave with a splash of water, and voila – hot oats, ready for whatever you want to add. Perfect to pack in my purse for breakfast at my desk.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

These banana bread oats feature some of my favourite mix-ins, and it really does taste like banana bread for breakfast! Minus the guilt of eating baked goods first thing in the morning, of course.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Banana Bread Oatmeal

2/3 cup cooked steel cut oats
1/2 banana, mashed
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Smoothie

Strawberry banana yogurt smoothie

My inspiration for this month was breakfast. I am not normally a breakfast person. Mornings are not my thing. I’m the kind of person that groggily rolls out of bed and stumbles to the bathroom, cursing the entire time. I’m barely human for several hours after waking, no matter how well I slept. So breakfast inspiration? Haha. Coffee. That’s my breakfast. The kids are lucky if they get cereal!

Strawberry banana yogurt smoothie

I’ve been making smoothies a lot lately, though. Green smoothies. protein smoothies, fruit smoothies. This smoothie strongly reminds me of the ever-popular Yop in my childhood. I saw it again in the grocery store recently, and I was aghast at all the sugar and garbage in it. And the price? I wanted to faint. I knew the kids would love it, but really, how hard could it be to make it myself at home? The answer: not hard at all. A blender and some fruit is all I needed. If this isn’t sweet enough you could add a little honey, but my kids love it just the way it is. And both my brain and my wallet feel good about giving it to them.

Strawberry banana yogurt smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 banana
1 cup milk
1 cup greek yogurt

Combine fruit, milk and yogurt in a blender. Blend until smooth and serve. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a couple days.

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

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