Recipe Repeat & Meatless Monday: Vegan Crock Pot Refried Beans


We went out for create-your-own stir fry followed by a create-your-own yogurt creation on Saturday night with our friend and her 4-year-old. Other than coloring Care Bears with her, it was fun to see her create her masterpieces to eat.

Before we got up from the table to create our stir fry, she was encouraged by her mom, “Let’s make healthy choices, okay!”

She returned with nothing green in her bowl and nothing in sight other than meat, noodles, rice, and the roti bread the serve the stir fry with. She was in carb with a little red meat heaven — her favorite.


As we were getting up to leave dinner and head down the street to the yogurt shop, I offered a piece of broccoli from my dinner so she could earn her yogurt dessert. She ran the broccoli through her teeth, removing hardly any of the “leaves” and allowing most of the broccoli floret to crumble onto the table beneath. It was cute.

She claimed the broccoli was spicy. After Mr. Prevention reheated the leftovers yesterday…that may very well have been true (to a 4-year-old), though I certainly didn’t think so at the time. Hearsay, children and dogs are more sensitive to both temperature and heat.


The same would hold true for adapting a recipe like this one. I used 2 jalapenos – seeds and all. And while I don’t think I like things overly spicy, my cooking class attendees would say otherwise. So, adapt this one to suit your heat preferences.

Outside of the jalapenos, this recipe is a complete no-brainer. And that is not a typo…these beans cook on HIGH for 10 hours. This is the kind of recipe the working woman loves to see. Ten hours on high is the perfect crock pot recipe to not have to worry about while you’re away all day long….hence the reason it is reappearing on the blog. This super healthy, gluten-free, vegan refried bean recipe is a real keeper. Do try them and see for yourself! While it makes a lot, the leftovers freeze beautifully!


Vegan Crock Pot Refried Beans
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 jalapenos, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  1. Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on HIGH for ~10 hours.
  2. If there is quite a bit of liquid remaining, use a ladle to remove some of the liquid to reserve. Using an immersion blender, blend smooth or semi-smooth to desired consistency, adding back the liquid as needed.
  3. Note: I removed no liquid and had somewhat thin beans, which is how we prefer them. This will vary from crock pot to crock pot, however. The second time, I made the beans in a larger crock pot and added some water to the beans, in addition to the 8 cups of water/broth...worked great!
Recipe adapted from Queen Bee Coupons
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 79 Fat: 0.06 Carbohydrates: 17.5 Sugar: 2.0 Sodium: 259 Fiber: 4.4 Protein: 5.6 Cholesterol: 0

 I missed hockey on account of all the crazy weather in the midwest yesterday and so it’s off to the gym this morning! Have a good week :)

Be well,


4th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #6 – 3 Bean Sweet Potato Chili + Weekly Menu


I’m slowly transitioning back into reality. I’ve been MIA the past few days because we took a short vacation back to Cabo San Lucas. Same resort, same wonderful experience. Except this time, I wore sunscreen and I’m not coming back a bright red, painful mess. I learned my lesson once — the hard way, the very hard way. Michigan sun is not the same as the Mexican sun. I mean it is, but not really…you know what I mean.

Mr. Prevention snapped me back to reality as we were heading to the airport to head home when he said, “Yep, we’re leaving 85 and sunny for 5 months of frigid cold and snow.” I must remember to remind myself that Michigan summers are worth enduring the winters for.


I’m trying to think of the best thing I ate this week, but it’s tough. There’s nothing that passed my lips this week that I didn’t like. Herein lies a problem – I’m such a foodie. I do think that fish tacos, banana ice cream, and real quesadillas and refried beans top the list, however.

But honestly, there’s nothing better than a strawberry margarita, a great book, a stunning view, and the sun warming you from the inside out. It’s probably not surprising to share that I blew the resort a kiss from our oceanview room as I stood oh-so-sad reminiscing over the short stay before heading to the lobby to checkout. I had a moment.


I did workout — 2 of the 3 days we were vacationing and not traveling. I’ll call that a victory.

It never fails, though. As good as vacation is — and as glorious as it is to just enjoy the finer things of life…in slight excess for a few days — I’m always anxious to return to healthy cooking. And my bed. And Lily. Of course, Lily.

Whether you’re reintroducing lots of veggies and fiber into your diet after a vacation like me, or you’re looking for a super healthy, vegan chili recipe…this one is for you. It tops the charts when it comes to good-for-you food. Just what I need!


5.0 from 1 reviews
3 Bean Sweet Potato Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ¾ Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cups low-sodium veggie stock
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute 2-3 minutes or until softened slightly. Add potatoes and cook an additional 6-8 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika; saute an additional 30 seconds. Add the veggie stock and all the beans and tomatoes; cook 5-10 minutes. Add corn, pepper, and salt, and cook an additional 20-30 minutes.
Recipe from and submitted by My Whole Food Life
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 218 Fat: 2.4 Carbohydrates: 42.1 Sugar: 9.2 Sodium: 312 Fiber: 11.2 Protein: 10.1 Cholesterol: 0

 Weekly Menu: November 10th – 14th

Back to reality. :(

Be well,


Rustic Tuscan-Style Sausage Soup


One of my biggest pet peeves in life is when someone says they’re going to do something and then they don’t. Even if it’s something little – text me later, finish a project by the end of the week, call me on their lunch break, send me an email as soon as they get back to their office, meet me for coffee…on time. If I tell someone I’m going to do something — I do it. And if I don’t, I feel really, really, really bad because I simply forgot.

But then there’s the empty words of things people (or myself) say that you know will never come to fruition.


Like after a bad break-up when you promise to keep in touch. Truth is, things are never the same and a friendship never comes about.

Or when you buy the candy ONLY for Trick-or-Treaters and you swear that if there’s any leftover, you’ll just take it to work. Except a week later, you’re surrounded in fun size candy wrappers for the 7th straight night.

Or when you go on vacation and take workout clothes for every day you’re away, swearing you’ll work hard at not coming back up 5 pounds from all the margaritas and desserts you enjoyed.

Or when you think in your head, “I can play in a 10pm hockey game, get home at midnight, and get up at 5am for the gym, too.” Yeah, it aint gunna happen.


And when your husband jokes for the better part of a decade that he’s going to shave his head bald because his hairline is receding, you never believe him. That is, until you come home from work on a Monday (i.e. yesterday) to find him totally and completely bald. FACT.

Sometimes, people surprise you…and sometimes pleasantly so. Like when your coworker raves about a soup she made and promises to bring you the recipe…and then she does. The very next day (i.e. this recipe). #sogood


5.0 from 2 reviews
Rustic Tuscan-Style Sausage Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 sweet Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ Tbsp dried basil
  • 8 oz dry whole wheat shell pasta
  • 5 oz fresh spinach
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, or to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break the sausage into pieces, cooking it until browned, about 5-6 minutes.
  2. To the pot, add the carrots and onion and saute for 5-6 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, and basil; turn the heat up to high and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in the pasta and cook for 7-9 minutes or until al dente.
  4. Stir in the spinach and black pepper; cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve hot.
Recipe from Pin Cookie
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ~2 cups Calories: 410 Fat: 8.4 Carbohydrates: 56.2 Sugar: 6.4 Sodium: 691 Fiber: 11.2 Protein: 27.2 Cholesterol: 42

 Have a super day!

Be well,


20-Minute Loaded Chicken Noodle Soup


My little brother — you know, the one who didn’t eat anything other than meat and cheese on his tacos until the age of 18 — he made HOMEMADE sushi rolls the other day. Yep, he and his girlfriend not only made sushi, but they recorded doing so on video which was promptly uploaded to Facebook to be shared.

I “liked” the video. I mean, I’m seriously, seriously impressed. He was even able to share that the sushi rice was able to be found at their local Chicagoland grocer. My little brother went to the grocery store looking for sushi rice? Still trying to envision that one…


Oh my, little brother of mine….you’ve come so, so far.

Honestly, though…these sushi rolls looked pretty killer. A little on the girth-y side, but delicious nonetheless. Plus, there was avocado and cucumber in the rolls (2 green foods!!), and my brother patted the rice smoothly against the seaweed sheets in a expert fashion rather effortlessly, I must say.

I was quick to request homemade sushi from him…to which he happily obliged. I think he takes any and every opportunity to show off his culinary skills and so long as my taste buds and stomach are on the receiving end of that, I’m all for it.


I, on the other hand, have reverted back to oldie but goodie recipes. A recipe that probably shouldn’t work as well as it does. You just don’t see soups made like this — basically, simmering the veggies, not sauteing first. It’s half lazy and half genius.

You see, your broth takes on all the flavors of the ingredients while reducing the amount of time and the effort in babysitting the pot. In short, it’s nearly impossible to mess up this recipe. You throw everything in a pot and let it go — easy peasy. The real beauty of the soup, however, is in that it is packed with all the good stuff – veggies, chicken, and of course, noodles. There’s lots of goodies in every bite.


4.5 from 2 reviews
Loaded Chicken Noodle Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 64 oz low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb (5-6 whole) carrots, finely diced
  • 3 large celery stalks, finely diced
  • 4 cups (6 oz) dry egg noodles
  • 14 oz rotisserie chicken (skin removed)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  1. Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Add the noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes, until partially cooked.
  3. Add the chicken and black pepper; cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cups Calories: 296 Fat: 3.2 Carbohydrates: 36.5 Sugar: 5.5 Sodium: 229 Fiber: 4.3 Protein: 27.8 Cholesterol: 98

 It’s getting closer to Friday! :-D

Be well,


4th Annual Chili Contest – Entry #5: Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili + Weekly Menu


I use my morning and evening commutes as a time to catch up with friends and family. Last week, I caught up with my friend, Christin, from Ohio. She was the social worker at the dialysis clinic I worked at and we became close friends. As someone who was always trying to balance the desire to drop a few pounds while keeping her inner foodie satisfied, Christin and I instantly bonded. We were both blonde and alike in so many ways. It was eerie at times, even.

We were so much alike…except when it came to our college teams of choice.


Christin was a die hard Ohio State fan and I…an Illinois fan. When it came to sports, she and I were like oil and water. And come fall, there were some fighting words exchanged a time or two and given the fact that my team typically loses, it was a very sore subject.

What we did agree on with regard to football was the snacks. She and Mr. Prevention love Buffalo Chicken Dip more than anyone else I know. Not that that’s surprising…the stuff is dangerously addicting but doesn’t exactly offer much in the way of nutrition.


As week 5 of the chili contest approached, Heather’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili seemed like the PERFECT game time chili meal. It was like chili met Buffalo Chicken Dip and they created this heavenly bowl of spicy comfort food.

By using some veggies, lean chicken breast, and reduced fat dairy, the nutrition stats on this bowl of yummy goodness is not going to cause detriment to the scale.


At under 300 calories per serving, this one will be tough to beat on all accounts!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 (15 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 8 oz ⅓ less fat cream cheese, cut into large chunks
  • ¼ cup (1 oz) part-skim sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 slices uncured bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, and garlic and saute for 5-7 minutes or until tender and onion is translucent.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan and add in the chicken. Cook the chicken until no longer pink. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and paprika and allow to cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, cannellini beans, and corn. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Add in the cream cheese and cheese and stir until completely melted, about 5 minutes. Serve chili hot, topped with a teaspoon of bacon crumbles.
Recipe submitted by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks, originally from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1¼ cups Calories: 282 Fat: 10.5 Carbohydrates: 25.5 Sugar: 5.8 Sodium: 463 Fiber: 5.3 Protein: 21.8 Cholesterol: 52

 Weekly Menu: October 27th – 31st

Finishing up my cookbook today…I hope! Woooo!!! :-d

Be well,