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Husband and I came to a consensus at lunch this afternoon: we could eat Mexican inspired flavors every day. Even after tacos and quesadillas earlier, this was the perfect way to end the day. The bit of cocoa, spice and hearty texture made for a wonderfully comforting meal, and the avocado garnish brightened it up and balanced it to perfection. I’m in love! I must admit we were running a little late with dinner and I cheated on the tortillas crispies with tortilla strips – but next time I’m making them myself, for sure! And cooking the beans too – I bet the flavor will have even more punch.

Black Bean & Butternut Soup
via sprouted kitchen

1 Tbsp. coconut or extra virgin olive oil (I used avocado oil)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 a small head of cabbage, chopped (heaping 2 cups)
3 cups cubed butternut squash (sweet potato would be good too)
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cocoa powder
pinch of chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
2 cups cooked, black beans (about one can, rinsed and drained)
salt to taste

avocado, for garnish
cilantro, for garnish

// tortilla crispies //
3 corn tortillas
scant 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt

In a heavy bottomed pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until just beginning to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, cabbage, squash and broth. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, cover the pot and cook for about 15-20 minutes for the vegetables to cook.
Add the spices and the beans and stir. Let everything continue to cook another ten minutes for the flavors to blend. Salt to taste. To thicken the soup, run just a bit of the soup through a blender or food processor, and add it back in to the pot. Or a sprinkle of cornmeal will help thicken it as well. Or do a few pulses with an immersion blender. Whatever works for you!

For the tortilla crispies, preheat the oven to 375′. Stack them and slice into thin matchsticks. Spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, sprinkle the salt and toss gently to coat. Spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes until they are light brown and crispy, giving the pan a shake halfway through.

Garnish each bowl with some diced avocado, a handful of chopped cilantro and some of the tortilla crispies.

You may have noticed my lack of posting last week;  I was so sick. And thankfully my loving husband picked up the slack on dinners. This little dish was posted as ‘Fuel to Ride,’ and it was the perfect way to replenish my sickly, starving self. Tasty too. Next time I make this, now that my health is on the mend, I think I’ll go for a double batch. It’s filling, but I could eat these leftovers for days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love anything with a fried egg on top.

Quinoa with Edamame, Parm and Egg
via these peas are hollow

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup shelled, cooked edamame
1 oz shaved parmigiano reggiano
2 extra-large eggs
4 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for frying the eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

In a bowl, mix together the quinoa and edamame, and toss with teaspoons of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat another tablespoon or so of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Fry the egg until whites are set, but yolk is still runny (this will make a nice little sauce for your quinoa). Season egg with salt and pepper.
Shave the cheese with a vegetable peeler to get the big shavings. Sprinkle the cheese over the quinoa and top with the hot fried egg. Serve with the sliced avocado, drizzled with a bit of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

I have a new favorite! This is the perfect weeknight meal. Delicious, super quick and healthy too! While being a huge pesto fan, I hardly get around to making it for myself. And although pesto is incredibly tasty, it’s not exactly the most healthy sauce on earth. Enter creamy avocado sauce.
The avocado replaces most of the olive oil, and other than that it’s packed with greens and a just bit of jalapeño for bite. It’s rich, creamy and feels incredibly indulgent, but it’s not! You could even omit the parmesan at the end to really keep it healthy. With this level of taste, you don’t need it.

Creamy Avocado Pasta
via bliss blog

1 medium ripe avocado
1/2 lime
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small jalapeño, finely diced
1/4 cup packed basil, chopped
1 cup spinach
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan (optional)
12 oz. spaghetti

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Put the cup of spinach in the bottom of a serving bowl and place the spaghetti on top for a few minutes to wilt the spinach.
While the pasta is cooking make the avocado sauce. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the avocado and place in a food processor. Add the basil, juice from the 1/2 lime, garlic, jalapeño, salt and wilted spinach. Blend until smooth.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss everything together, adding a little cooking water to loosen the sauce as needed. Top with the grated parmesan and serve.