Favorite Meatless Monday Recipe

I made an awesome recipe for dinner tonight and I am super excited to share it with you. It’s actually one of my favorite recipes and I’ve made it dozens of times. But first I want to share a secret and a story with you.

Recipe Review

A Dietitian’s Secret

First, my secret, I may be a dietitian but… are you ready for this?! I. Am. A. Clumsy. Cook. Dietitians are not chefs. We don’t have any formal cooking training. I make cooking mistakes all the time! I’ll be sharing them periodically on my blog, and today I have an epic story to share! As a dietitian, the only formal training I had on cooking was a cooking/science lab in college that taught me about chemical reactions during cooking and fancy words such a “saute” and “the maillard reaction”. You want to know what it didn’t teach me?

Recipe Review

Things You Don’t Learn in Dietitian Programs

It didn’t teach me how to season foods to give them ultimate flavor. I also didn’t learn to pair different types of food for the best presentation or flavor profiles. It didn’t teach me what types of wine go best with what types of meats/fish/poultry (I’m feeling kind of ripped off right now, really…). It also didn’t teach me how to care for cooking injuries.

Yes. Cooking injuries. I have scars y’all. Multiple. Burns, cuts, bruises – they can all happen while cooking! My kitchen has become a war zone. I have several serious and yet also hilarious cooking mishap stories. So today I thought I would share one with you.

A Story for Laughs and Life Lessons

I was working on this epic recipe tonight that I’m about to share with you. Breezing through the recipe, I had chopped the peppers, jalapenos, and cilantro without a drop of blood. I had sauteed the veggies, opened, rinsed, and drained the black beans and was still in one piece. Also, I had started the quinoa in the rice cooker and preheated the oven. I was almost home free without any type of injury.

Almost. Until… that pivotal moment when I went to rub my itchy eye. Without a second thought I reached up and rubbed the corner of my left eye with a single finger. It only took about half a second to realize I had 1.) made a grave mistake and 2.) remember that I had CHOPPED JALAPENOS WITHOUT WASHING MY HANDS AFTER!

Recipe Review

Life Lesson #1:

Wash your dang hands after touching jalapenos and any other hot pepper! Seriously y’all.  Want to know what it feels like to set your eyeball on fire? Touch it with jalapeno juice. Want to know what it feels like to want to rip your eyeball out of its socket so the pain will stop? Touch it with jalapeno laced appendages.  Want to know what it feels like to have your nose run because you had hot peppers in your eye instead of your mouth? Touch it with jalapeno fingers. *Side Note: Your nose literally runs like it does when you eat spicy salsa when you get spicy eyeball. So not only were my eyes watering like crazy, my nose was also dripping snot… Let me tell you how sexy it was not.*  If you would like to avoid these feelings and are good with taking my word for how horrible of an experience this was – WASH YOUR HANDS after messing with hot peppers. Twice just to make sure. It will be worth it, I promise.

The story continues…

So my family, husband, 2 kids, and mother-in-law, are sitting at the kitchen table playing a board game while I’m making dinner and witness me briskly walk (because I’m already afraid of running in socks on my hardwood floors) out of the kitchen saying “I’ll be back I just got jalapeno juice in my eye”. My loving husband follows me into the bathroom with our 5 year old on his shoulders where I am vigorously trying to wash my eye out in the sink and asks me if there is anything he can do to help. Yes actually, “take our child out of here so I don’t say bad words in front of her” was all I could muster out at the moment. He quickly retreated. After wiping my eyes and blowing my nose and still feeling no relief I called down the hallway “google how to get jalapeno juice out of my eye!”. By the way, I realize its not juice but actually oils from the pepper that got in my eye – that is entirely beside the point when your eyeball is literally burning.

Life Lesson #2:

If perhaps you forget life lesson #1, it’s important to at least remember life lesson #2: The best remedy for calming down pepper spiced eyeballs? Soak a paper towel in milk and hold it over your eye for several seconds. It was that simple.  I was in pure agony for what felt like eternity (y’all might want to think about what hell really feels like if you don’t know where you’re going when you die!) because in reality it lasted less than 5 minutes.  Maybe 8 – I wasn’t exactly checking the clock. But it felt like forever and it hurt like hell. Literally. I imagine that’s how it would feel to have your eyes burn out of their sockets. In my humble opinion, I don’t think you really ever want to experience that. But alas, to each their own.

Favorite Meatless Monday Recipe

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake by Two Peas & Their Pod.

Recipe Review

Photo source: Two Peas & Their Pod


All-In-One Anti-Inflammatory Recipe

Why do I love this recipe so much? Even after I nearly lost my eye making it? It has all the food groups in one place minus fruit.  Protein, healthy starch, and non-starchy vegetables in a beautiful array of vibrant shades with all the anti-inflammatory rainbow colors. Learn more about the red, yellow, and orange anti-inflammatory colors that this dish contains. It can be hard to find a healthy casserole recipe that is a complete meal and also fits the anti-inflammatory meal plan. This recipe is also high in fiber! A great anti-inflammatory nutrient that most American’s don’t get enough of in their daily diet. Look at these beautiful colors!

recipe review

Due to the jalapeno fiasco this is the only picture I managed to snap.

Perfect Recipe for Sharing

This is my go to dish for potlucks and families who need a meal cooked for them. I’ve cooked it several times for new moms who’s last thought is what they are going to be cooking for dinner. It freezes well – just combine and place into a freezer safe casserole dish prior to baking!  When you want to eat it, bake as directed. It’s easy to double the recipe and feed large crowds or have several days of leftovers for healthy lunches. It also doesn’t take a ton of work but tastes like you spent hours slaving over it. It’s amazing!

Budget Friendly Recipe

I love how budget friendly this recipe is. I broke down the cost below so you could see for yourself. Prices (except fresh produce) were obtained from Walmart.com because it’s easy to search for grocery costs there and they’re available all over the country. Produce are averages in my area. I did not include cost of spices. It’s hard to find such a healthy recipe of under $1.50 per person! I paired it with baby carrots and cuties for sides so our total meal was less than $2 a person! Great option for those budget conscious families.

  • Quinoa $8.22 for 32oz = $1.64 for 1 cup
  • 2 cans black beans $0.625 each if bought in 4 pack = $1.25
  • Red Enchilada Sauce 28oz can = $2.98
  • Bell Peppers $1 each = $2.00
  • Jalapeno pepper $1/lb = $0.25
  • Onion $0.50 = $0.50
  • Can Corn $0.50 = $0.50
  • Cilantro $0.50 = $0.25
  • Shredded Mexican Cheese $7.97 32oz/8 cups = $1.98
  • TOTAL per Recipe:  $11.35
  • Cost per serving (makes 8 servings): $1.42

Healthy Recipe Facts

Nutrition Facts below are per serving and based on making 8 servings from the recipe. We easily made 8 servings out of the recipe. We had 2 kids and 3 adults eat and had about 1/3 of the recipe leftover.

  • Calories 357.3
  • Total Fat 13.0 g
  • Saturated Fat 6.1 g
  • Sodium 495.6 mg
  • Potassium 372.3 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 45.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber 9.7 g
  • Protein 16.8 g

Plus it contains good amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Folate, and Riboflavin. Overall this dish is a great healthy choice! It would be suitable for diabetics and those needed to watch their sodium intake as long as you use no salt added canned black beans or dried beans. This recipe definitely gets two thumbs up from this dietitian. I would recommend it to pretty much everyone!

recipe review

Easily Adjust Recipe to Your Preferences and Needs

You can mix and match ingredients very easily in this recipe. Any color and type of pepper would work well depending on your flavor preferences, what’s on sale that week, and how badly you want to avoid jalapeno juice in your eye! You can add a lot of different vegetables to increase the nutrients from the original recipe. Consider adding tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, green onions, or your other favorite veggies. You can also choose a different whole grain if you forgot to purchase quinoa. It would easily be adaptable to brown rice and I also think a whole grain pasta would work well. You can leave out the cheese if you are dairy free. Those that need to avoid gluten can happily consume this as the recipe is already gluten free. If you struggle with IBS you can sub the black beans for canned lentils (lower in FODMAPS) and chose green onions instead of regular onions. It’s low in calories so can be great for weight loss as well.

Honestly I just can’t think of reason not to eat this! It’s amazing. If you haven’t yet, head over to Two Peas & Their Pod and check it out.

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