Homemade Black Bean Soup

It’s still almost 90 degrees right now, but I’ve got fall on my mind!  I’m hot all the time (thanks, pregnancy), so I am dreaming about cooler temperatures.  I remember with my first pregnancy that I didn’t even need to wear a jacket outside during the winter–I was so comfortable!  Sweating it out during the summer is not my jam.

With fall on my mind, I’ve been craving cool weather comfort foods, especially soups.  I’ve been looking for some soups I can make that are going to be filling, give me some veggies, and have nutrition that I need for my growing human, and this black bean soup takes the cake!

Beans especially are a pregnancy staple for me because of the fiber.  I had some awful digestion/constipation issues with my first pregnancy that were the WORST, so anything I can do this time to avoid that is something I’m going to try!  Even if you’re not pregnant, beans are a great source of fiber and protein!  I paired this with some cottage cheese for extra protein.

This was much easier to make than I had imagined, and it is very flavorful for being so simple.  The only tweak I’ll make the next time I make a batch is to add some spice–some red pepper flakes, chili powder, or even some hot sauce would put this over the top.  I recommend adding some spice in from the get-go, but if you’re not into spicy foods, make it as written first.  You can always add some heat in later!

One quick tip–if you use an immersion blender to puree the soup, make sure you get the onion and pepper!  Those veggies sunk to the bottom of my pot and I didn’t realize that my immersion blender wasn’t picking them up.  It was fine and tasted great, but wasn’t the consistency I was looking for.

This is going to be a winter staple for me during this pregnancy and beyond!  I topped mine with cilantro and some cheddar cheese, but you could do some plain greek yogurt or sour cream as well.

Enjoy!

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Homemade Black Bean Soup (from Fixate)

2 tsp. olive oil

½ cup chopped bell pepper (approx. 2⁄3 medium)

½ cup chopped onion (approx. 2⁄3 medium)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups canned black beans, drained, rinsed

½ tsp. ground cumin ½ tsp. ground smoked paprika

¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

2 cups low-sodium organic vegetable broth

2 tsp. cornstarch (preferably GMO-free) + 2 tsp. water (combine to make a slurry)

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish; optional)

 

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add beans, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and broth. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Add cornstarch mixture. Bring to a gentle boil; gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute, or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.

Add vinegar. Puree using an immersion blender until you reach desired consistency.

Divide evenly between four serving bowls. Top each with ½ tsp. cilantro and cheese or sour cream, whatever floats your boat!

For my container people, 1 cup of this soup equals 1/2 green, 1 yellow, and 1/2 a tsp.  Makes about 4 servings.

Pregnancy = A Long Hiatus + My Healthy Pregnancy Plan

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Well, after a loooong break from blogging, I’m feeling ready to get back into it!

I’m officially in my second trimester now, which means that I’m feeling mostly like myself again, other than needing to pee about every 10 seconds and bumping my growing belly into people on accident.  #oops

The first trimester was a whole new experience for me.  This is my second pregnancy, so while you’d think I’d know exactly what to expect, I really don’t!  Not only has it been 5 YEARS since I was last pregnant, but this pregnancy has been completely different than my first time around.  5 years ago, I didn’t have any kids at home and didn’t work from home at all, and I spent all of my first trimester at home alone on summer break from my teaching job.  It was AMAZING.  This time, I am home full time with my 4 year old and my work-from-home jobs.  I was lucky to not be super sick, but the tiredness was beyond anything I remember from the first time around.  I mean, SO TIRED.  Like, I need to lay down all freaking day and sleep for a million hours tired.  Luckily, that has passed and I’m feeling much better.  I’ve also been getting really dizzy, which I didn’t have at all with my first pregnancy, and while it’s getting better, it’s really forced me to change my normal routine even more than the fatigue.

I wasn’t able to work out at all during my first tri because the dizziness was so severe–and I really miss it!!!  I gave myself a complete “health pass” for my first tri because I really just needed to survive.  I couldn’t deal with the mental energy to meal plan and meal prep like I normally do, so I just gave myself a pass.  Now that I’m in my second tri, I am getting back into my prenatal workouts and eating healthy.

My first pregnancy was extremely unhealthy–think no working out at all and eating multiple milkshakes per week–and not only did I gain an unhealthy amount of weight, but I also just felt terrible the whole time.  During this pregnancy, I am so thankful and excited that I have gained the resources and skills over the past 3 years to know exactly how to have a healthy pregnancy, and I plan on doing just that!

So, my plan is to focus on my choices and my behaviors; I want to focus on how I feel rather than what I way.  If I’m staying active, eating healthy, and feeling good, I’m not going to worry about what the scale says.  If I’m feeling bad and making poor choices, I’ll know that I need to adjust–not because of what the scale says, but because of how I feel.

I will say that one pleasant surprise so far this pregnancy is that my depression and anxiety haven’t been as severe as I had feared.  The hormonal shift of pregnancy the first time around was very difficult on my mental health, although I didn’t realize that’s what was happening at the time.  This time around has been much better so far, thanks to the winning combination of a different pregnancy, regular therapy, and medication.  #winning

I’m excited to share this journey with you and continue to share my favorite recipes and health tips!