Last Minute Dinner Idea: Kale, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Quinoa Soup

Contrary to popular belief, I’m often totally unprepared for dinner. Take last night, for example. At about 5:30 I was talking to my man on his drive home when he asked the typical question every man asks after a long day at work, “So, what’s for dinner?”

“Not sure yet,” I responded. “I was just figuring that out.”

He laughed. “It’s crazy, isn’t it? It just keeps happening… every single night. We just don’t stop needing to eat!”

Yep – every night. There is no rest for the weary.

BUT – while I am not always totally sure what I’ll be making, I am always very confident that I have the right things on hand to create something healthy, filling, and satisfying. This is where our ‘staples’ come in.

You can probably see from the recipes I post that much of what I cook is made of pretty simple ingredients: quinoa, leafy greens and other vegetables, beans, eggs, fruit, herbs. Some meats, lots of fish (although I haven’t posted many of these yet). You’ll also see a lot of olive oil, coconut milk, greek yogurt, and spices of various sorts.

We like simple.

We like clean.

I like ingredients that can be mixed and matched and it won’t take me two pages of directions to explain the recipe to my girlfriends.

So, here’s one of those types of recipes for you – one that you can throw together and have served in less than 30 minutes: Kale, Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Quinoa Soup. (You should know: I was a inspired by a recipe I had seen on Oh She Glows.)

Kale, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Quinoa Soup: Instant Dinner!

Kale, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Quinoa Soup: Instant Dinner!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (NOTE: you can also use a small shallot for a lighter flavor)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and mashed
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and cut into bite sized pieces (NOTE: when you use kale, you want to trim off the bottom half of the stems and discard them)
  • 3 palm sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks (I used WHITE sweet potatoes… but you could also use other varieties, I’m sure)
  • 2 cups of broth
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cans of organic black beans, drained and rinsed (NOTE: canned beans are gold to a mama. Be sure when you buy them there are no preservatives; the label should simply say “beans, water” (and maybe “salt”)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 1/2 cups pre-cooked quinoa (You know: gotta ALWAYS have the precooked quinoa on hand when you’re cooking with me!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • To Garnish: fresh avocado, cherry tomatos, cilantro, and jalapeño
  1. Heat a soup pot and add olive oil. When hot, add diced onion and garlic. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
  2. After about a minute or two (when onion is translucent), add in chopped kale. Saute the kale for about two minutes, tossing occassionally so that all leaves have been fully coated in oil.
  3. Add in the diced sweet potato and cumin. Stir entire mixture to coat. Add in the broth and the water; turn heat up to medium high and bring to a rapid boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium, cover, and let simmer for about 5 minutes. (This is a great time to prepare your garnishes.)
  4. After 5 minutes, check your potatoes for tenderness with a fork. (If they are still too firm to pierce with a fork, allow to simmer another couple of minutes. NOTE: you want the potatoes soft, but not mushy.) Once tender, add in your black beans, cooked quinoa, a little salt and a little pepper, and stir to mix completely.
  5. DONE!
A Beautifully Simple Soup

A Beautifully Simple Soup

TO SERVE: Ladle out the soup into bowls and then time for the magic to happen: with garnishes. The soup is amazing by itself – but it goes to a whole new level when you top it with fresh chopped cilantro, halved cherry tomatoes, diced fresh avocado, and (if you have it) diced fresh jalapeños.

The Magic is in the Garnishes...

The Magic is in the Garnishes…

Isn’t that easy? The best part is, like I said at the beginning, it’s made with things you can always keep as a ‘staple’ in your home. Because remember: if we can be sure of anything, it is this: we need to eat every night! And, with a recipe like this in hand, there’s never an excuse to ‘not be prepared’ with something that will power up you and your tribe up for greatness.

Let me know if you make it!

I’m thrilled you’re here with me…

Rebel on,
Elisha

 

 

 

 

Power Up: A Quinoa Tuna Lettuce Wrap

Whew!

Yesterday we celebrated my big girl’s 12th birthday.

Twelve. She is TWELVE. Oh, how this girl has captured my heart! I look at her today and she is a mini-me. Dark skin; dark, curly hair; deep emerald green eyes. I am in awe at God’s hand – how He weaves to create such uniqueness from the inside out.

My little girl is the same today as she was on the day she was born:

  • She’s got her own agenda. (Her due date was January 1st – she arrived on January 15th.)
  • She’s strong. (She fought hard to stay in the warmth of my belly and made me work for over 18 hours before she finally made her appearance.)
  • She’s opinionated. (She cried for three days straight in the hospital, just to be sure we knew she was tired of people messing with her.)
  • She loves her mama. (The only thing that could quiet her in the hospital was laying skin to skin against my chest.)

Anyway, this year she wanted nothing more than a room makeover. She’s been talking about it for months, and for months we’ve been saying, “yeah, right”. What she didn’t know, however, is that for months I’ve been ‘collecting’. I’ve been buying little things here and there as I found them on sale so that we could do what’s she’s been dreaming about in one fell swoop. (I mean, a pre-teen girl has real tastes!)

The result?

Before...

Before…

After...

After…

She is beyond thrilled.

Let me tell you, though: it was work for 8 straight hours! I left to take the kids to school at 7:30am and my man got straight to work. Painting, vacuuming, dusting; she has a pig collection of dozens of tiny little pieces and that alone took 30 minutes to clean and organize. In the midst of the work, however, I made something that was so yummy – so filling – so perfect to power us for our mission, I just have to share it:

A quinoa tuna lettuce wrap:

Quinoa Tuna Lettuce Wrap

Here’s what you do:

For the salad: Using a large bowl, add 1 cup of quinoa, 1 can of tuna, a handful of cherry tomatoes (chopped into quarters), 2 diced green onions, salt and pepper to taste, and a small drizzle of olive oil. Stir it all together and then squeeze the juice of 1 large lemon over the mixture. (NOTE: Lemon is the KEY.)

To make the wrap: use large, washed green or red leaf lettuce. Spoon enough of the tuna salad into the leaf so that you can roll it up. If you like it spicy, top the salad with some crushed chili peppers – and enjoy! (You can also just eat this out of a bowl if you don’t have the lettuce.)

 

Gorgeous salad!

Gorgeous salad!

Light. Tart. Savory. The perfect meal to keep you running through your day.

Thanks for being here with me…

Rebel on,
Elisha