Black Bean Fiesta Soup


Ahhhh, soup season. When the rains come in Portland, all I want is warm comfort food and soup is at the top of the list. Especially when I’m tired at the end of the day and need a fast, delicious meal (without opting for the nth time to order delivery), this black bean soup feeds my stomach and soup every time. The best part? Nearly all the ingredients are typical pantry staples, which means easy, affordable, and the perfect fail safe meal when all other inspiration leaves you. Plus it reheats well!

I’ve only made this soup using dairy cream cheese, but have been tempted to scope out a couple of vegan options. If you have a good vegan cream cheese brand or recipe you recommend, send it my way and I’ll give it a go! If you don’t have any cheese (dairy or otherwise), leave it out and you’ve got a delicious tortilla soup. Chicken leftovers? Shred it up and add it in for a simple leftover makeover. Play around with it and let me know what modifications are your favorite!

Black Bean Fiesta Soup

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 4 oz can of diced green chilis (or 1 jalapeño, minced)
  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 8 oz can corn, drained (make sure to check there’s no added salt or sugar!)
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup water

Taco seasonings mixture (modified from

  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed Red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasonings mix
  • 1 tsp Salt to taste

Optional Toppers

  • Avocado, slided
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Tortilla chips (the soup doubles great as a dip, just leave out the 1/4 water for a thicker consistency)


  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring olive oil to medium-low heat and add in onions.
  2. Sauté until opaque, then add in chilis (or jalapeño), stirring frequently.
  3. Once the aromatics have sweated for a few minutes, add in 1 tbsp of your seasonings and sauté until fragrant.
  4. Stir in corn, tomatoes, black beans, and water, then let simmer for ~10-15 min.
  5. Stir in cream cheese quickly to prevent curdling and add more water if you prefer a thinner soup.
  6. Taste, add in more taco seasoning and/or salt, then let it rest for another 5-10 min before adding your (optional) toppers and enjoy your easy, delicious meal!

Saucy, Saucy Quarantine


Well, 2020 came in hot and has made a lasting impression, particularly on my cooking game. While I kicked at-home chef-ing into high gear the first 10 weeks of quarantine, I’ve added in more take out and periodic fasting into my regimen. Now it’s winter and along with it is a recommitment to all things wholesome cooking.

It’s no secret that sauces are life for me, and being able to change up my recipe favorites by throwing in some different flavor profiles has made this whole quarantine thing much more tolerable. Kind of. If you’re feeling the need to change up your meal routine, I happily present to you some of my all time favorite go to sauces, plus a few photos of my favorite meals since March 13. Continue reading

Journeying to SW USA


To celebrate a good friend’s birthday, she wanted “to go on an adventure.” I thought that may have meant a long hike or day trip to the mountain, so naturally I signed up. I quickly learned when she said adventure, she meant “Adventure is out there!,” and a trip would ensue. I couldn’t be more grateful to join her on this journey. Continue reading

Salmon Wellington


If you’re looking for a “WOW” dish that doesn’t require a terrible amount of prep time, I present you with the Salmon Wellington. This thing is as delicious as it is easy to make, and what a crowd pleaser! Props to Tasty for inspiring this bad boy. My version has even fewer steps (and less veggies), but treat the recipe as a base and see what concoctions you create! Continue reading

Veggie Egg Soufflés


How many weekday mornings have I run out of the house without a decent breakfast? Ok, let’s me honest, it’s pretty much all of them. Even when I try to prepare meals ahead of time, it’s rare that I have any food before I arrive at my desk. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new chapter! Continue reading

Greens Soup



A few weekends ago, I was running errands while blasting Splendid Table on NPR (because it’s just how I do), when Sally Swift introduced Anna Thomas, and she started speaking about a “medicinal green soup.” I’ll be honest with you, I immediately scrunched my face and almost turned the radio off hearing those three worlds used together. As you can tell from previous entries, I’m a big fan of vegetables and kale in particular, but a straight up greens-based soup is never what I would describe as medicinal, wholesome, or comfort food. Thank you, Anna. I stand corrected. Continue reading

Simple, Clean Lentil Soup


It’s the start of a new year, and I imagine many are going full steam ahead toward the clean, healthy eating trend… well, for at least the next two weeks. It wasn’t my intention to jump on prototypical beginning of year food train, but I felt like a wholesome delicious soup for dinner, so here we are. Continue reading

The Versatile Blogger Award



Wow! I’m so grateful to my friend Heidi Altree, of The Fit Frequent Flier, for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Heidi and I met while working at a Portland-based SaaS company, and while she is much more (frequently) active than I am, we bonded over a love of the outdoors and great food.

I am that person who is constantly posting food photos from dinner experiments, and My Favorite -Ings was born out of friends asking me for those recipes. Continue reading

Fruit Nut Bars


I don’t mind admitting it, I’ve become somewhat of a pro when it comes to packing my hiking snacks. Something sweet, something salty, punch of protein, and carbs to keep the tank full and fuel to burn. You can expect I’ll have some Babybel cheese, energy bites, beef jerky, and now, fruit nut bars.

The beautiful thing about these snacks is how incredibly easy they are to make and in short order. Using the base recipe of three ingredients (dried fruit, nuts, and chia seeds), you can easily modify the snack using a variety of fruits, keeping it new and refreshing. Continue reading

Summer Cherry Salsa


Whoever thought up the idea of salsa should be knighted. Seriously. Salsa is one of those side dishes that can step up your main dish’s game, or be a palatable introduction to your dinner party. With summer officially here, cherries are in season and an amazing sweet-meets-tart contribution to your meal plan. Filled with antioxidants and inflammation inhibitors, cherries offer multiple health benefits, particularly for those with arthritis, diabetes, insomnia, family history of cancer, and/or high blood pressure. Continue reading