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

 

 

 

 

Why I Eat Quinoa.

I eat quinoa in practically every meal. Truly.

I eat it because it’s easy. It takes me seconds to put on the stove and it cooks by itself while I’m making breakfast or dinner. Then, I just store the big batch of it for an instant meal when I’m ready.

I eat it because it’s versatile.  I can eat it warm, or cold. I can put it with my greek yogurt and fruit, or I can make it savory with eggs and spinach. I can replace noodles in my soups with it, thicken vegetable stews with it, and turn it into the base for a phenomenal salad with every vegetable imaginable.

I eat it because it satisfies my appetite. It is filling, sustaining… it satiates me for hours.

I eat it because it makes me feel amazing. I feel light, energized, CLEAN.

Yes, I eat it because it’s ‘healthy’… but ‘healthy’ is hard to swallow if ‘healthy’ brings burden and frustration and confusion. And that’s what most ‘healthy’ trends do these days: burden people with dos and don’ts, calorie counts and carbohydrate components. Most ‘healthy’ talk these days goes against real food and, instead, tangles our mind in the pit of nutritionism, categories, and diet trends.

Quinoa is simple; it’s ancient. It causes me no burden, frustration or confusion.

Eating quinoa is like pulling out my favorite pair of blue jeans and dressing up or dressing down depending on my mood. It’s one of nature’s true superfoods; it was fed to Inca warriors as they headed out to battle thousands of years ago… and it is a prized food of endurance athletes around the world today.

No, I may not be a warrior with armor on, and I may not be running an organized marathon this afternoon. But, as a partner to my husband, a mom of three, a business owner, and a woman who never takes one breath for granted- I am a runner, a warrior, an athlete… and my calling requires physical strength, mental focus, and endurance.

That’s why I eat quinoa.

So this world can keep its diet trends, calorie counts, nutritionism talk, and confusion… I’ll have none of it. Instead, I’ll stick with my best friend, quinoa… and, I’ll be free, and powerful, and fit… and ready to take on the world.

Anyone care to join me?

Rebel on,

-e.