Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup
Black Bean Soup

Although this recipe calls for you to soak the black beans over night, you can also use canned (just make sure they’re organic). Either way you choose- you’re going to enjoy this fantastic Black Bean Soup! One of the added benefits of soaking fresh beans is using the liquid to flavor the the broth. The second is to limit the amount of extra ingredients that could be added. If you are looking for a plant-based alternative to your favorite soup, I got you covered. Make sure to give this one a try for your taco Tuesday nights, it will be the life of the fiesta!

Black Bean Soup

Yields 3-4 servings


4 cups black beans, soaked overnight

4 celery sticks, chopped,

1 cup minced onion

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 jalapeno pepper or habanero, optional

1-2 Tbsp. avocado oil

3 garlic cloves, chopped

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups freshly diced tomatoes

3 tsp. ground cumin

1-3/4 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. cilantro, optional

1-2 bay leaves

1 tsp. lime juice

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper


  1. In a pot, add the oil and onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and cook for an additional 2-3 minute or until translucent.
  2. Smash half of the black beans in a bowl. Add the whole and smashed beans to the pot, along with the broth, seasonings, and herbs. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes covered.
  3. Remove the bay leaf from the soup and add the lime juice. Give a good stir.
  4. Serve and top with your choice of garnishes (green onions, cheese of choice, sour cream of choice, tortilla chips).

Chef’s tip: If you want to kick things up even further, add some hot sauce to the soup till desired spice level is met.

Baked Enchiladas

Baked Enchiladas

Baked Enchiladas

This has been one of my favorite dishes to whip up ever since my friend introduced me to her tomatillo enchilada sauce. This version that I’ve created is tasty and easy for any weekday meal. Normally, you would see enchilada’s stuffed with either shredded chicken or beef, but not these! This recipe is mixed with mushrooms, black beans and a variety other flavorful plant-based ingredients. Be sure to show up to your next taco Tuesday in style with these enchiladas.

Baked Enchiladas

Yields 8 enchiladas 



8 flour tortillas

2 cups Vitacost black beans

1/2 cup corn

1/2 jalapeño, de-seeded and chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 (8 oz.) shitakii mushroom, chopped

1/2 cup salsa

1-2 Tbsp. vegetable broth, for sautéing 

1 tsp. fresh cilantro

1 tsp. fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


6 vine tomatoes + 1-1/2 cup filtered water

3 Tbsp. chili powder

1 cup vegetable broth

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

2 Tbsp. flour




  1. In a medium sauce pan on medium-high heat, add the tomatoes and 1-1/2 cup of filter water and cover half way with a lid.
  2. Cook for 15-20 minutes and pour into a blender, mixing until smooth.
  3. Return back to stove and reduce until you have 2 cups of sauce. Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
  4. Set aside until you are ready to pour over the enchiladas. 


  1. In a frying pan on medium heat, add onions and some vegetable broth for an oil-free approach. Use vegetable broth as needed to avoid sticking. Cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  2. Add the mushrooms and jalapeño next and sauté for additional 1-2 minutes. Then add in the salsa, seasonings and herbs, black beans, and corn. Mix until all has warmed through. Remove from heat. 
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Take your tortilla and scoop some of the mixture on to the center. Fold the sides in and flip the top over and roll. Place into a casserole dish and repeat until mixture is gone. Top with enchilada sauce.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling. 
  6. Serve with guacamole and salsa, or toppings of choice.


Chef’s tip: If you would like to make these a bit spicier, add some extra jalapeño into the enchilada sauce. 

Another “Neat” Taco

Another Neat Taco

Another Neat Taco

Fast and healthy meals don’t always have to be made from scratch, but that doesn’t mean they need to be completely store bought either. This taco “meat” is really neat! (pun intended) Why you may be wondering? Because it has all of the flavor and ingredients inside, all you need to do is add water and give it a good ol’ mix and voila- you are ready to go. You will be delighted to find out how great this Mexican style taco neat “meat” tastes! Don’t forget to kick it up a notch by adding a bunch of plant-based toppings like lettuce, guacamole, and mango salsa!

Another Neat Taco

Yields 8 tacos


1 pouch Neat Foods Mexican-Style

1/2 cup water

1 small onion, diced

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/2 cup cooked white rice

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 lime, squeezed 

1 tsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped



Mango salsa



  1. Using a bowl, pour the contents of the pouch into a bowl and mix with water. Set aside.
  2. Heat a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil and onion, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the neat Mexican style “meat” to the pan, breaking it up into crumbles as if browns, roughly 10-12 minutes.
  4. In another bowl, add the rice, minced cilantro, salt, and lime juice and mix (season to taste).
  5. In either a hard or soft shell, place some of the rice, followed by taco meat, lettuce, salsa, and guacamole (or with whatever toppings you’d like). 


Chef’s tip: if you would like to spice up the neat Mexican style mix, add 1-2 tsp. siracha. 

Tomatillo Sauce

Tomatillo Sauce

This quick and easy sauce is a must have in the fridge! All you need is a blender and some fresh plant-based ingredients to create this flavorful sauce to top any enchilada, taco, arepa, or whatever you choose. The next time you are at the store and you spot those green tomatoes with an outer husk (and you are questioning what they are) don’t be afraid to grab some and make this. You will be delightfully surprised at how delicious this is!

Tomatillo Sauce

Yields 2 cups


1/2 cup vegetable broth

10 tomatillo, husk removed

Half of a medium red pepper

Half of a medium orange pepper

1 cup oyster mushrooms

1/2 tsp. cumin 

1 clove of garlic

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. siracha 

Pinch of Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt

Pinch of Spicely Organics Black Ground Pepper


  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine all above ingredients and turn to medium-high heat. Once liquid has come to a rolling boil, turn to medium-low heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until tomatillos are tender.
  2. In a Vitamix blender, pour the hot mixture carefully into the blender and blend for 1 minute or until mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour sauce into a mason jar and serve or allow to cool and store in the refrigerator.

Chef’s tip: To spice this sauce up from a mild/medium heat profile, add half of a jalapeño pepper to the blender (seeds will make it more hot).

Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers

Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers

Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers

Did someone say fiesta? Mexican stuffed peppers are a vibrant and fun way to add a little kick to any dinner. Normally a taco night is filled with lots of beef and taco shells (or tortillas) and not so much veggies! With this recipe, you will get the same flavor just in a healthier way. The best part about this option is if you are wanting to wrap it up in a burrito style-fashion, you can totally cut it up and do that too. This recipe is truly universal and a great alternative to any taco night fiesta!

Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers

Yields 4 stuffed peppers


4 bell peppers

1 cup Vitacost Black Beans – Non- GMO and Gluten Free

2 cup cooked Vitacost Certified Organic Quinoa – Non-GMO

1 large vine tomatoes, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 cup fresh corn

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp fresh. cilantro

2 tsp. Vitacost Certified Organic Ground Cumin

1 Tbsp. Badia Chili Powder



  1. In a frying pan, on medium- heat olive oil with onions and garlic until transparent. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix together your black beans, diced tomato’s, sautéed onion and garlic, corn, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and quinoa.
  3. Add mixture evenly to the insides of the bell peppers. Place into oven and cook for 20 minutes or until browning on outside of peppers.
  4. Serve warm with guacamole and salsa on the side or with an Ancho Chili sauce.


Chef’s tip: You can add the tomatoes inside of the stuffed peppers or you can just add salsa to the top with guacamole once cooked.


Na-Cho Average Cheese Dip

Nacho Cheese

If you knew that this was made out of potatoes, carrots, and no cheese- you would be shocked! This finger licking good nacho sauce is a great addition to your taco night or to satisfy any cheese craving. By simply blending up a few ingredients, you have a plant-based dip to make a wide variety of meals or appetizers. Make sure to check out my nacho cheese fries or my nachos recipe for some extra ideas.

Nacho Cheese

Yield 16 oz.


1/2 cup filtered water, for boiling

2 cups russet potatoes, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

1/2 cup filtered water

1/3 cup avocado oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2 tsp. Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Pinch of smoked paprika


  1. In a small pot with 1/2 cup water, boil the potatoes and carrots until fork tender. Drain and place into a blender.
  2. In the blender, combine the remaining  ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Serve either hot or cold

Chef’s tip: Add a jalapeño and diced tomatoes for the best queso dip