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

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

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

Yummy Sauce


If you’re local to the Pacific Northwest, you likely know the wonder that is Café Yumm. They are famous for their lovely lemon curry sauce and layer it into rice, beans, tomatoes, avocados and other deliciousness to create a fast favorite. I tried my hand at recreating the Yumm sauce, and while it’s not an exact match, I’m happy to report that it is still delicious, healthy, and wonderful as a vegetable dip or for dressing meats. Continue reading

Radicchio and Granny Smith Apple Salad


Most bitter, peppery leaves and I don’t see eye to eye, particularly radicchio and arugula (sacrilege, I know). However, after experiencing killer radicchio salads from Tasty ‘n Sons and Nostrana, I decided to try creating my own version. It came out near to perfection. Try this lovely as a fish side dish or with a lemony main course. What would you pair it with? Continue reading

Animal Lovers Surprise – Vegan Chili


If you’re a carnivore like me, you may see the word “vegan” and snarl your lip a bit. It’s all right. We all come with our own judgements and assumptions about non-meat eaters, but I have to say, I’ve made this meat-free chili on many occasions, and often prefer it to its meat-full brethren. I recently participated in a friend’s annual Chili Cook Off, and while I did not win (womp, womp), my chili still received high marks. The biggest beauty is that the chili doesn’t take hours to cook (although it can if you want it to), so inside of an hour, you could be enjoying a delicious, nutrition-filled meal with the people you love. Really, is there a better way to live? Continue reading