Vegan fiesta dinner

so tonight we are cooking in Jenni’s kitchen and in honor of her “at home” vegan lifestyle we made an entirely vegan meal.  On tonight’s menu: homemade limeade, fiesta salad, black bean soup and the same strawberry jam that I posted the other day.  

I was at work earlier today and I had a jonesing for some beans, yes I know I’m weird.  So I messaged Jenni and said woman, we are making Black bean soup.  Well not exactly like that but you know technicalities. 


Upon hearing Kristina’s request for tonight’s cooking adventure, I set off to the downstairs Publix to gather the ingredients. Since the original soup recipe called for 4 cans of black beans, and the salad and additional 2 cans, I decided to put my rice cooker to good use and use dried beans instead.

Quick note about rice cookers: They are NOT only for rice! While I have a modest rice cooker from CVS, it is a wonderful addition to my kitchen appliance family.

The general conversion for dried beans to canned is

1 cup dry = 2.5 cups cooked

1.5 cooked = 1 can.

Somewhere in there is a math problem…I ended up using 3 cups of dried beans, and ended up with more or less (ok more) what the recpies required. 

The cooked beans taste better than the canned version, contain no sodium, and are cheaper…they just take longer…about 55 minutes per patch, and my poor little rice cooker could only hold a cup and a half at a time. Thankfully this was done while Kristina was at work, so she did not have to bemoan the process.

I would not bemoan the process, thank you. I am currently sticking my tongue out at Jenni, protesting her statement of my bemoaning.  I only complained because the last time she made beans on the stove they were crunchy, BUT the rice cooker made them soft&happy and fit for my tummy. 

The beans cooked while I cleaned. Kristina showed up and we started our adventure! 

First order of business: Limeade

  • 3 limes (rolled on a flat surface first to separate the juice from the rind)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water
  • ice and water to fill ____ a container

Step 1: put 1/2 cup of water on stove to boil.

Step 2: juice limes

Step 3: place limes and some ice into carafe 

Step 4: once the water is boiling, add sugar slowly until all is dissolved

Step 5: add sugar and water mixture to carafe (I used a funnel) and fill the rest with cold water.

Step 6: shake and enjoy!

Verdict on limeade:

Kristina: Yummy!

Jenni: Even better than my homemade lemonade (which is the same thing…but with lemons)


So, if you lot have been following us you’ll know I posted the other day a recipe for Vegan Strawberry Jam, if not go back and check it out. :]  That is where you will find the recipe.  But, quick note instead of Chia Seeds, we used milled flax seeds, apparently they are interchangeable.  Oh and fun new tip for ya’ll, you know how pesky it is to cut the leaves off of every single strawberry before you use them? so, Jenni showed me this cool new way she found on Pinterest. So, you just take a straw any kind shall do and poke it through the bottom part up into the strawberry and push the leaves off, it takes a few stabs but IT WORKS!!! Oh holy day!!! I made all sorts of inappropriate jokes about such activities that I will spare your fragile, delicate eyes. 

and now we are back with Jenni to explain the salad and dinner, peacccce out. 


Soup and Salad go together. It is a simple fact of life. For tonight’s dinner we paired a festive fiesta salad with a more traditional black bean soup.

The salad is off of a pinterest link, more specifically Prevention online magazine as one of the “12 Hunger Fighting Power Salads”


  • 2 ears of corn
  • 2 ‘cans’ of beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onions
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • lettuce leaves
  • we added a mango!
    1. In a large bowl, combine the corn, beans, parsley, onions, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, garlic, and honey or brown sugar. Let the salad marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or in the fridge. 
    2. Arrange the lettuce leaves on the salad plates; spoon the salad over the lettuce.

    The mangos were a wonderful addition. I even ate the onions! (I have a strong aversion to onions as my mother can tell you!)


    Now for the soup. Kristina sent me a soup recipe from titled “Vegan Black Bean Soup”, and as an “at home vegan” I was thrilled! (At home vegan: I am vegan when I am home. I do my best to not use any animal ingredients! I do, however, eat when others cook for me or when out with friends at a place where vegan food is hard to come by! I know many full on vegans will scoff or even be offended by my terminology…but I do not really care!)

    We ate this while waiting for the soup. 

    Kristina: Yummy in the tummy.

    Jenni: Awesome!


    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, chopped
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 pinch black pepper
    • 4 cups vegetable broth
    • 4 (15 ounce) cans black beans
    • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
    • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

    We made some adjustments, using 3 small stalks of celery instead of the 1 suggested, 3 carrots instead of the two, vegetable bullion instead of broth, 2 ears of fresh cooked corn, cayenne pepper instead of chili powder, and 2 10-ounce cans of tomatoes (one with hot chiles, one medium). Oh and we put in red pepper flakes.

    First you sauté the garlic, onions, celery, and carrots in the oil for about five minutes. You then follow with the spices (1 minute), and then add the broth (or in our case, bullion and water), the corn and half of the black beans.

    This should be set to boil (we forgot this part…it still turned out alright).

    While the mixture is cooking, you blend the remaining beans and the tomatoes in a blender. I am so happy to own a NInja power blender, I seriously love that thing! Once blended, the new mixture goes into the pot of hopefully boiling liquid and vegetables and cooks. 

    The website said this should take 15 minutes…35 minutes later ours was done!

    We scooped our mixture into bowls…second injury of this blog goes to Kristina, who in her desire to taste our creation burnt her tongue. (Thats what she gets for sticking it out at me earlier)


    Kristina: It is kinda spicy…

    Jenni: It isn’t very soupy…


    We put the now refrigerated jam on toasted bagels, and oh goodness…soooo good…


    Kristina: So good I would like to smear it on Ryan Gosling 

    Jenni: I want to make an entire blog about what I could eat this jam with…


    And that concludes tonight’s post! Happy Cooking!


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