The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two

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Last week I introduced the Blue Zones Challenge, a four week guide to creating a longer, better life. See Week One HERE. I’ve just completed the second week and I’m loving the positive effect this shift in lifestyle is having.

Read about the new activities in the Blue Zones Challenge Week Two and the changes I’m making.

The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two title meme

The Blue Zones Lifestyle

The Blue Zones lifestyle is based on the information gathered by Dan Buettner while studying regions in the world with the highest proportion of people who live to 100 years old. They are:

  • Sardinia, Italy – an island in the Mediterranean Sea
  • Ikaria, Greece – an Aegean island with the lowest rates of dementia
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Loma Linda, California – a community of Seventh Day Adventists who on average live ten years longer than other Americans

The challenge presents a shift in health practices that changes life for the better. It’s not just a diet or a fitness plan. Rather, it focuses on behavior, habits and environment.

The long term benefits of living a Blue Zones lifestyle include:

  • a longer, healthier life
  • more energy and increased strength
  • better sleep
  • weight loss and then weight maintenance
  • nurturing, supportive relationships
  • purpose
  • a better local community
The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two blue notenook
The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two – my blue notebook

The Next Seven Days

Week One focused on setting up my environment for success. The next three weeks include activities that build on each preceding week and expand the challenge. As with the first week, I recorded my weight, blood pressure and heart rate. All were lower than Week One.

Week Two Activities

Put walking shoes in an easily accessible place

There’s a continued emphasis on walking at least 30 minutes a day. When shoes are out in an easily seen place, I’m more likely to put them on and get my walk in.

Stop eating when 80% full

I continued to wear the blue bracelet this week. I’m getting a better feel for what 80% full feels like, plus my appetite has decreased. Truthfully, I never feel deprived.

Eat at least three Blue Zones meals, using included recipes

I chose three recipes out of the book: Dan’s Dal Palak, Breakfast Cookies and Gallo Pinto. All were easy to prepare, healthy and delicious. The cookies contained only four ingredients: bananas, oats, dark chocolate chips and applesauce.

The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two cookies
Blue Zones Recipe – breakfast cookies

Walk with my buddy at least once

Greg happily walked with me a couple of times this week.

Fill fruit bowl and leave on counter

This activity is a continuation from last week. I strive to eat at least a banana and an apple a day, along with a couple of mandarin oranges. The fruit smoothies every morning contain an assortment of frozen fruits. And I add fresh strawberries and blueberries to oatmeal bowls.

Limit work to 40 hours

This activity made me very aware of the time I spend working, especially on a computer or my phone.

Drink herbal tea

I do this one already. Herbal teas are rich in nutrients and antioxidants and I drink at least two cups a day. I alternate between green tea and peppermint.

Tape a reminder to car dashboard to park farther away from store

I love this idea. Having the reminder in my car works well as I’m pulling into a store parking lot. I have indeed parked as far from the door as I can, which contributes to my walking time.

The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two note
The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two – place a reminder in the car

Set a reminder to get up and move every hour

I love this activity too! The free StretchMinder app on my phone alerts me every hour, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, with the reminder to get up and move. Additionally, the app has three to five minute routines to ease tension in my upper body and breathe deeply. I’m so happy with tool!

The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two app
The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two – stretchminder app

This week included new activities and reminders to continue what I learned last week. I checked off these activities except for three. I did not have time to take public transportation to run an errand or participate in a walking meet up. Hopefully I can work these in during the next two weeks. And although I have recipes picked for the hosted meal, I’ve not done it yet.

The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two tea
The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two – drink herbal tea

Bonus Activities

These activities award extra points for doing them.

  • walk with buddy or a group (3 points each time)
  • volunteer for at least 30 minutes (3 points each time)
  • try Blue Zones recipes (1 point for each recipe)
  • complete other Blue Zones activities (2 points for each)
  • spend 30 minutes engaged in a hobby or passion ( 1 point each time)
The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two gallo pinto
Blue Zones recipe – Gallo Pinto

Daily Check In

This week included a list of daily check in items and the requirement to record all food eaten. Research shows that keeping track of what you are doing…and eating…helps with short and long term goals. It’s encouraging to see the progress and it helps with time and meal planning.

Daily check ins included eating a 100% whole foods plant based diet, consuming a cup of beans a day, walking and limiting screen time except when working. Points are awarded for these items or subtracted for eating meat, dairy, processed foods and sweeten beverages. The target is 12 points a day, with the bonus points from the activities above added in. My daily totals exceeded that.

Additionally, I recorded all food eaten daily. It wasn’t hard to keep track of these activities, in my blue notebook. I keep it handy so I can jot down meals and tick off activities throughout the day.

How I Did for Week Two

I continue to greatly appreciate this challenge. During the second week I learned to eat legumes and grains for breakfast and lunch and eat very lightly for supper. Typically that last meal of the day consists of veggies only.

Greg and I both like eating the Blue Zones way. And the lifestyle shifts are so beneficial. Health wise, I feel incredible. I’m leaner, more energetic and my joints are pain free and limber. I climbed stairs this week, with ease. That’s something I haven’t done without pain or stiffness in my legs, in 27 years.

And I love the simplicity of the nutritious, filling meals. I’m excited to try more Blue Zones recipes during Week Three.

I discovered this week that the Blue Zones Challenge book actually provides a year long challenge, if one desires to continue. Yes, I do want to continue. After the initial four week challenge, I’ll post occasional updates and insights, so you know how it’s going.

For now, watch for the Week Three update!

The Blue Zones Challenge Week Two me

 


 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

 

 

The Blue Zones Challenge Week One

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Have you heard of the Blue Zones? Doing research for a post about living longer…and healthier…I came across the books and studies by Dan Buettner. Working for National Geographic, with a grant from National Institute on Aging, Dan identified and studied the longest lived people on Earth.

These people lived in regions in the world that Dan dubbed the “blue zones”…so named because he circled those areas on the map with a blue marker. And what he discovered were commonalities among those who frequently lived at least a decade longer than other people.

Dan’s recent book offers a four week guide to a longer, better life, inspired by the world’s longest lived people. And while I’ll still write a post on best foods for longevity…at some point…what I discovered reading Dan’s books and gathering info propelled me into shifts that are making a difference in my life. I gladly accepted the four week challenge and I’m documenting my journey to share with you.

This is the Blue Zones Challenge week one.

The Blue Zones Challenge Week One title meme

Four Weeks to a Better, Happier, Less Stressed Life

The challenge presents a way to look at health that changes life for the better. It’s not just a diet or a fitness plan. Rather, if focuses on behavior, habits and environment.

The long term benefits of living a Blue Zones lifestyle include:

  • living a longer, healthier life
  • more energy, improved strength and increased health
  • better sleep
  • weight loss and then weight maintenance
  • nurturing supportive relationships
  • discovering purpose
  • creating a better local community

The Blue Zones lifestyle is based on the information gathered while studying regions with the highest proportion of people who live to 100 years old. They are:

  • Sardinia, Italy – an island in the Mediterranean Sea
  • Ikaria, Greece – an Aegean island with the lowest rates of dementia
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Loma Linda, California – a community of Seventh Day Adventists who on average live ten years longer than other Americans

Blue Zones Power 9

The lifestyle habits of the world’s longest lived people:

  • move naturally
  • live with purpose
  • downshift – destress
  • 80 percent rule – stop eating when 80% full
  • plant based diet
  • wine – one glass a day or herbal tea
  • faith
  • families first
  • social circles
The Blue Zones Challenge Week One fruit bowl
The Blue Zones Challenge Week One – keep fruit out where it’s easily accessible

The Blue Zones Challenge Goals

The goals for the four week challenge:

  • learn the secrets of the world’s longest living people
  • set up environment so that healthy choices are easy
  • upgrade social network
  • consume a whole foods plant based diet that is low sugar

Following are the activities for week one, setting up for success. This week is crucial for the success of the rest of the challenge. The Blue Zones lifestyle is created for sustainability. Setting up the home, social circle and schedule makes living this way a joy, rather than a chore.

Step 1: Test Yourself

The challenge begins with three online tests, Vitality, Happiness and Purpose, to get a beginning baseline. I took all three tests and recorded my results. If you know me and my journey, you’ll know I scored high in all three. There’s a whole section on finding your purpose and living it, that I loved.

Step 2: Find a Blue Zones Buddy

Greg agreed to be my Blue Zones Buddy, which is good since we share space! He has accompanied me on my plant based lifestyle and healing journeys. So I’m grateful he’s willing to do the four week Blue Zones challenge with me as well. It makes meal preparation easier.

Step 3: Set Up Home for Better Health

In the kitchen:

  • post the lists of FOUR ALWAYS, FOUR TO AVOID foods
  • post the FOOD GUIDELINES
  • stock up on the ALWAYS foods and other plant based foods
  • remove any AVOID foods
  • keep a bowl of fruit out where it’s accessible

The always list includes 100% whole grains, nuts, beans and fruits/veggies.

Since we are already plant based, this was an easy process. However, we are eating differently too so I stocked up on grains such as quinoa, brown rice and oats and legumes such as chickpeas, black eyes peas and red beans, nuts and fruits and veggies.

The avoid list includes sweet beverages, salty snacks, packaged sweets and processed meats and foods.

Rest of the house:

  • keep walking/running shoes out and ready to use
  • set up a place in the home with pillows on the floor for reading, writing or relaxing
  • place a scale in a convenient location for daily weighing
  • record starting weight, blood pressure and heart rate

Walking is an important daily component of the challenge.

Sitting on the floor improves posture and core strength. Getting down on the floor and back up also strengthens legs and builds stamina.

I am not a fan of daily weigh ins, however, Dan points out that those who weigh daily maintain their weight much better than those who never weigh.

The Blue Zones Challenge Week One guidelines
Always and Avoid food lists and guidelines, hanging on my fridge.
The Blue Zones Challenge Week One bracelet
The Blue Zones Challenge Week One – wear a blue bracelet to remind you to eat until 80% full

Step 4: Wear a Blue Bracelet Daily

The purpose of the bracelet, or any other blue jewelry, is to remind the wearer to eat until 80% full. If that sounds hard to gauge, think of it as feeling satisfied, but not full. Or when you “save room for dessert” after a meal. Don’t overeat, in other words.

Optional Steps

  • purchase a pressure cooker, also called an Instant Pot (I have one)
  • buy glass or reusable plastic containers for food prep and leftovers (have them)
  • do a mapping exercise of your neighborhood to identify places within walking or biking distance. Include cafés, grocery stores, coffee shops, parks etc.

I love the neighborhood mapping idea. I’m still working on mapping mine out. I’ve already discovered a wonderful neighborhood coffee shop that serves hot tea and healthy snacks. See my review of Zinc Coffee Shop HERE.

The Blue Zones Challenge Week One neighborhood
Zinc Coffee Shop in my neighborhood.

How I Did for Week One

I created a blue notebook for tracking my progress. The Blue Zones book, which I purchased via Amazon HERE, has space to record your progress however I decided not to write in the book. That way I can loan it out to others.

When I choose to participate in a challenge or make a change, I go all in. So my notebook has notes and results and places to record weight, blood pressure, heart rate and activities.

Meals

I didn’t find it difficult to eat the Blue Zones way.

Breakfast is the largest meal. Greg and I drink celery juice and a fruit smoothie and then enjoy a bowl of oatmeal with berries, walnuts and chia seeds OR a bowl of rice and beans. Eating more in the morning keeps us full longer and provides lots of energy.

Lunch is smaller. We typically have a chopped veggie salad topped with chickpeas and sugar free dressing. Or we might have a baked potato or sweet potato and veggies.

Supper is the smallest meal. It consists of a bowl of rice or quinoa and beans. Snacks include an apple or other fruit, nuts (two handfuls a day) or one slice of authentic sourdough bread. I tried a bakery in my neighborhood for the first time, that produces old world style sourdough bread without sugar. Watch for a review of this amazing place soon. Dan recommends sourdough bread as the best for health.

The Blue Zones Challenge Week One breakfast oats
The Blue Zones Challenge Week One – breakfast oats
The Blue Zone Challenge Week One breakfast beans
Or beans and rice for breakfast. This is also what we ate for supper some nights.

The Other Activities

I walked every day, always in my own neighborhood. As I walk, I’m mapping out crucial places to visit such as a park, a place to pick up fresh produce and cafés.

The blue bracelet stays on my wrist all day, as a reminder to stop eating before I am full. I’ve weighed daily, sat on the floor daily, although twice I’ve done that activity right before bed.

I’m drinking water or herbal teas. I’m not a wine drinker. However, Dan suggests herbal teas if wine isn’t your thing.

And I’m tracking my progress in my blue notebook. This evening I’ll complete the final section for day seven: three big wins from the week, lessons I’ve learned, gratitudes and my thoughts.

The Blue Zones Challenge Week One lunch
The Blue Zones Challenge Week One – lunch
The Blue Zones Challenge Week One fruit
A typical snack…or one night, supper.

Results After a Week

Greg and I chatted about the week today. We both love the simplicity of eating this way and find the larger breakfasts helpful. In fact, Greg said this has been his favorite way of eating plant based. Neither of us has experienced hunger or cravings.

We both slept better this week, lost weight and felt more energetic. And we feel lighter, leaner and stronger.

I’ve also noticed that doing the challenge seems to empower me to tackle other things with more purpose. Not only did I super-clean the refrigerator while stocking it with lots of healthy foods, I powered through writing blog and social media posts and working on some big ideas and projects. For me there’s a connection between doing one thing well and then performing well in other areas. I love it.

I’m looking forward to the Blues Zones Challenge Week Two! Watch for an update next week as I continue to make shifts in my lifestyle. And check out the Blue Zones website HERE for more info and wonderful ideas.

The Blue Zones Challenge Week One floor
The Blue Zones Challenge Week One – sitting on the floor for tea time

 


 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa

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Looking for a simple, hearty recipe featuring whole foods and the superfood quinoa? Look no further. I have just the recipe for you!

Vegan burrito bowl with quinoa comes together in under 30 minutes plus it is versatile and highly nutritious. Loaded with protein packing black beans and fresh veggies along with amazing quinoa, you’ll turn to this recipe again and again for a savory meal.

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa title meme

Superfood Quinoa Benefits

Although technically a seed, quinoa is typically grown as a grain crop. Quinoa comes in red, black and white varieties.  It is gluten free, high in protein and one of the few plant based foods that provides all nine essential amino acids that the body needs.

Additionally, quinoa is high in fiber, magnesium, vitamins B and E, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc and antioxidants.

The seed’s antioxidants help calm inflammation throughout the body and provide anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-depressant properties. There are so many other health benefits from including quinoa in the diet that I wrote a post about it. Check it out HERE.

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa

The need to use an avocado before it passed its prime inspired this easy recipe. With basic pantry items, I created a filling bowl of goodness without the extra calories, meat and dairy products that a traditional burrito brings.

Although I didn’t prepare the vegan burrito bowl with quinoa in one pan…I used two…I think that’s a possibility, making clean up quicker and easier.

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa

journeywithhealthyme
Quick and filling burrito bowl featuring superfood quinoa
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked black beans may use 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn may use half a can of corn
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, in juice. Do not drain.
  • 2 tsp Mexican seasoning may use cumin or chili powder
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce, for bowl
  • 1 avocado, diced, for bowl

Instructions
 

  • Combine 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • White quinoa cooks, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking for 2 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and bell peppers, stir frying until veggies are almost tender. Add frozen corn, diced tomatoes in juice, black beans and seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is done.
  • When quinoa is done, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and add to veggie mixture. Mix well. Season with sea salt and black pepper, if desired.
  • In a bowl, spoon in burrito mixture, shredded lettuce and diced avocado. Add additional toppings, if desired.
    Makes approximately 6 servings. Store leftovers in covered container in fridge.
Keyword Burrito Bowl, quinoa, Vegan

 

Tips for Creating Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa

Pick up quinoa at your favorite grocery store or order HERE. I usually add a drizzle of olive oil to the quinoa pot, before reducing heat and simmering.

Add additional veggies to mixture, if desired. Summer squash, zucchini, broccoli or cauliflower are good choices. Don’t like mushrooms? Leave them out.

To create a one pot meal, add a half cup of vegetable broth and the uncooked quinoa after adding black beans, diced tomatoes with juice, corn and seasoning. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir well and serve.

I use Frontier Co-op Mexican Fiesta Seasoning with chilis, tomato and cumin. You can use cumin or chili seasoning instead. If you’d like extra heat, add crushed red pepper flakes before serving or a diced jalapeno when stir frying veggies.

In my bowl, I included shredded lettuce and diced avocado. Use salsa, guacamole, sliced green onions, vegan cheese, shredded cabbage, black olives or toppings of choice. Add small tortilla chips if you aren’t limiting sodium.

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa mixture
Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa – veggie and quinoa mixture

Enjoying My Burrito Bowl

I love the blend of flavors in this burrito bowl. With plenty of leftovers, it’s a “cook once, eat twice”…or more…recipe that freezes well, making a quick heat and serve meal after a busy day.

Quinoa is one of my favorite foods right now. I never tire of trying new recipes with it as my base. (You might like this Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl as well.)

I’m excited to share that I’m about to begin a new health adventure as I participate in the Blue Zones 4 Week Challenge. Watch for upcoming posts about the challenge. Since whole grains play a vital role in the Blue Zones meals, I’ll be eating quinoa several times a week.

I hope you enjoy this vegan burrito bowl with quinoa. Let me know in the comments if you try the recipe. And please share your favorite quinoa recipes with me!

Vegan Burrito Bowl with Quinoa ready to eat

 

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Easy Teriyaki Noodles and Veggies

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If there’s one food I could enjoy several times a week…if not every day…it’s Asian noodles. I love them with a little teriyaki. Served with stir fried veggies they are amazing. Combine those teriyaki noodles with veggies and yes, plate those up for me right now, please!

This easy teriyaki noodles with veggies recipe comes together so quickly, for a fast and filling meal. Keep a box of noodles or pasta in the pantry and some fresh veggies in the fridge and you can make this meal in minutes whenever you want.

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies title meme

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies

The only thing I love more than Asian noodles is making them myself at home. With a few pantry items, I can indulge my noodles craving any time.

Noodles are versatile too. Eat them plain. Add veggies of choice. Stir fry them for extra flavor.

Use this recipe as a springboard for your own creative recipe.

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies sesame seeds

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies

journeywithhealthyme
Asian style noodles with teriyaki sauce and stir fried veggies
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3/4 cup baby carrots or shredded carrots
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 10 ounces uncooked gluten free soba noodles or spaghetti
  • sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, cook noodles according to package directions or to desired level of tenderness.
  • While noodles cook, sauté chopped onions and minced garlic in a large non stick skillet, in olive oil for three minutes.
  • Add broccoli and cauliflower florets and baby carrots. Stir fry over medium high heat until veggies are crisp tender. Stir in teriyaki sauce, coating veggies. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for five minutes.
  • When noodles are done, drain well and immediately add to skillet with veggies. Turn heat up to medium and stir fry noodles and veggies, mixing well, for two minutes. Serve immediately. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
Keyword Asian Noodles, Teriyaki Noodles

 

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies stir fry
Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies – stir fry with teriyaki sauce
Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies pan
Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies – adding cooked noodles

Tips for Making Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies

If you aren’t gluten sensitive, use regular soba noodles. Can’t find soba noodles? Substitute regular spaghetti. I cooked the soba noodles for about five and a half minutes. Check after five minutes, so you don’t overcook. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil into the boiling water when adding the noodles, to prevent them from sticking together.

Use your veggies of choice, if desired, instead of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. Sliced mushrooms, snow peas, kale, cubed sweet potatoes or green peppers are suggestions. I tend to use whatever veggies I have on hand.

Also, use your favorite purchased sauce or make your own teriyaki, peanut or Asian sauce. (Watch for an upcoming post on making your own sauces.)

Add diced green onions, sesame seeds, chopped sunflower seeds, peanuts or cilantro for garnish. Or add a squeeze of lime juice or a few drops of hot sauce.

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies sesame seeds
Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies and sesame seeds.

Love My Noodles

I love that I can easily whip up these delicious noodles whenever I want, instead of visiting a restaurant. They make a great inexpensive and yet nutritious lunch or dinner meal. I’m looking forward to experimenting with different sauce and veggie combinations with the noodles.

If you enjoy Asian noodles too, let me know what you think of this recipe. And try my Vegan Ramen Noodles recipe for another go to meal of mine.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy noodles? Share your recipe with me by leaving a link in the comments.

Easy Teriyaki Noodles with Veggies ready to eat

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Try These Superfoods in 2022

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March’s National Nutrition Month is the perfect time to raise the nutritional value of your meals. One way to do that is by choosing foods that are considered nutritionally dense and contain powerful antioxidants.

To give your body the best fuel possible, try these superfoods in 2022.

Try These Superfoods in 2022 title meme

What is a Superfood?

By definition, a superfood is one that is rich in compounds, such as antioxidants, fiber and fatty acids. And a superfood is nutrient dense, supplying maximum levels of vitamins and minerals to the body.

When talking about superfoods, there is an emphasis on plant based foods as they provide a variety of health benefits. This is proving to be especially true during a pandemic, as we learn the importance of a strong immune system. In the next year, embracing food as medicine is one step toward improving immunity and increasing overall health and wellness.

Try These Superfoods in 2022

These superfood status foods provide health benefits along with powerful nutrients.

Wild Blueberries

Although domestic blueberries provide some benefits, the Maine wild blueberry is the real superstar superfood. Wild blueberries possess extremely high levels of antioxidants, bringing healing to any damaged part of the body. These little powerhouses blueberries eradicate heavy metals and other toxins from the body. They are a powerful brain food and amazing at restoring the liver. Antioxidants protect cells against damage from free radicals, protecting the body against diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Try adding frozen wild blueberries, available in the freezer section at the grocery store, to smoothies, pancakes, smoothie bowls, oatmeal and chia pudding. Or simply add thawed wild blueberries to a bowl of sliced strawberries, raspberries and blackberries for a naturally sweet dessert.

Avocados

By providing an excellent source of healthy omega-6 fatty acids, avocados help heal the brain and central nervous system. They contain antioxidants and other nutrients that improve bone health, eye health and skin health while lowering cholesterol. Avocados are easy to digest, making them helpful for soothing and healing the digestive tract. They have anti-inflammatory properties that behave like aspirin, without thinning out the blood. This reduces narrowing and swelling in the linings of the stomach and intestines.

Try adding chopped avocado to salads, mashing for avocado toast or simple guacamole or blending with your morning smoothie.

Try These Superfoods in 2022 avocado
Try These Superfoods in 2022 – avocados

Exotic Fruit

This year, try something a bit out of the ordinary such as exotic fruit.

Acai – pronounced ah-sigh-ee, this berry grows in South America. These blueberry sized berries are rich in fiber and antioxidants that improve brain health. Use in smoothies and smoothie bowls or add dried acai berries to homemade granola.

Dragon fruit – this prickly looking fruit grows on cactus in Central and South America. Scoop out the bright pink or white flesh, which is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and add to fruit salads and smoothies or eat alone. Dragon fruit helps keep gut bacteria healthy, boosts immunity and improves cardiovascular health.

Golden berries – these berries from South America contain antioxidants and fatty acids that help lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Eat golden berries as you do cherries or add them to fruit salads.

Green Tea

Green tea is full of antioxidants, including polyphenols and catechins. These compounds protect cells and molecules from free radicals that damage the body and cause diseases. This soothing tea reduces inflammation throughout the body, protects the skin against harmful UV radiation and fights skin cancer by repairing DNA. It also protects the brain’s neurons and improves memory, making it helpful in preventing dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

In addition, green tea supports the immune system, prevents infections and aids in weight loss by boosting metabolism and eliminating fat from the body. This tea reduces the risk for diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels and lowers bad cholesterol.

Drink a cup of hot green tea daily, brew, chill and serve over ice or try this powerful turmeric green tea recipe.

Try These Superfoods in 2022 green tea
Try These Superfoods in 2022 – green tea

Nuts

Nuts add protein, fiber and rich nutrients to the diet. Try pistachios, which are high in antioxidants that keep eyes healthy and protect against cancer and heart disease. Or choose almonds that provide healthy fats, protein and a fat soluble antioxidant that protects cells against oxidative damage while supporting the immune system and improving heart health.

Eat a small handful of nuts daily. Eat alone, add to homemade granola or sprinkle on oatmeal or salads.

Quinoa

This ancient grain that’s actually a seed is loaded with fiber, nutrients and all nine essential amino acids that the body needs. Quinoa’s antioxidants help calm inflammation throughout the body and provide anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-depressant properties. It’s high fiber content reduces the risks for constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diverticulosis. Plus quinoa’s high iron content supports blood health, energy and cell function, connective tissue health and muscle metabolism.

Cook quinoa in the same way as rice and add to veggie bowls, cover with stir fried veggies, use in tacos or add to a breakfast bowl with berries.

Try These Superfoods in 2022 quinoa
Try These Superfoods in 2022 – quinoa

Kale

Dark leafy greens are excellent sources of protein and antioxidants. Kale is especially beneficial with its high fiber and folate content, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C and K. This dark leafy green boosts immunity along with eye and bone health, aids in the prevention of chronic disease and improves blood clotting. Plus kale contains folate, a B vitamin that is key for brain development.

Add chopped kale to salads, include in veggie bowls or try this delicious navy beans, brown rice and kale recipe.

Chia Seeds

These little seeds deliver big health benefits. Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein, vitamins E and B complex, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. They are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than any other food and especially beneficial for chronic inflammation, heart disease, brain function, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Chia seeds also combat diabetes by helping to stabilize and control blood sugar levels.

Add chia seeds to smoothie and oatmeal bowls, salads and smoothies. Or create chia pudding for breakfast or a simple dessert.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Their orange flesh is packed with carotenoids. Those phytochemicals are powerful, drawing radiation from the body and protecting against skin, breast, reproductive, stomach, intestinal, esophageal and rectal cancers.

Sweet potatoes are also wonderful for the digestive system. They promote productive bacteria in the stomach, small intestine and colon, while starving out unproductive bacteria and mold. They enhance the body’s production of B12. And they help to prevent megacolon, an expansion of the large intestine due to bacteria, and alleviate narrowing of the intestinal tract due to chronic inflammation.

Enjoy baked sweet potatoes or cube and add to stir fries, roast in the oven or try these yummy sweet potato and black bean tacos.

Which Superfoods Will You Try in 2022?

These superfoods are easy to add to the diet. It’s fun to create delicious, highly nutritious meals using these foods. And the benefits to health are incredible.

Which superfoods caught your interest? And will you try them this month or this year?

Try These Superfoods in 2022 sweet potato
Try These Superfoods in 2022 – sweet potatoes

 


 

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I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

Celebrate a World of Flavors

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March is National Nutrition Month, a yearly campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dieticians. The campaign encourages everyone to learn more about making nutritious food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits.

The National Nutrition Month theme for 2022 is Celebrate a World of Flavors. This month celebrate flavors from cultures around the world while also nourishing the body and appreciating diversity. It’s a great time to expand your tastes by trying new foods.

I’m here to help you celebrate with a selection of vegan recipes inspired by different cultures.

Celebrate a World of Flavors

Celebrate a World of Flavors

Check out this round up of recipes. Click on each link for the recipe.

Asian Inspired

These Asian inspired dishes rely on lots of veggies for flavor and nutritional value. And the Thai Welcome Tea is a fun hot drink.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Vegan Ramen Noodles

Nori Rolls with Spicy Tahini Sauce

Thai Welcome Tea

Celebrate a World of Flavors ramen
Celebrate a World of Flavors – vegan ramen noodles

Mexican Inspired

Add some spice to liven up flavors with these Mexican inspired recipes.

Mexican Bowl

Tortilla Soup

Six Easy Salsa Recipes

Best Vegan Chili Recipes

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Celebrate a World of Flavors tacos
Celebrate a World of Flavors – sweet potato and black bean tacos

Indian Inspire

I love curry recipes, savory with fragrant spices. Try one of these dishes inspired by India.

Madras Curried Lentils

Curried Chickpeas

Aloo Matar

Aloo Matar Soup

Sweet & Savory Curry

Celebrate a World of Flavors aloo matar soup
Celebrate a World of Flavors – Aloo Matar Soup

Middle Eastern Inspired

These easy hummus recipes bring a taste of the Middle East to your meals.

Black Bean Hummus

Easy Classic Hummus

Mediterranean Inspired

These tasty salads combines the flavors of chickpeas or pasta with fresh veggies.

Chickpea Salad

Gluten Free Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Celebrate a World of Flavors
Celebrate a World of Flavors – Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Hungarian Inspired

Try this vegan version of a classic dish that originates in Hungary.

Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash

Italian Inspired

From freshly made pesto to vegan lasagna, these recipes draw their inspiration from Italy.

Basil Pesto

Spinach Lasagna

British & Scottish Inspired

Vegan shepherd pie and haggis rely on lots of veggies and lentils for their rich flavors. And the sweet treats from Scotland are excellent with a cup of hot tea.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Haggis

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Healthy Blueberry Scone

Celebrate a World of Flavors shepherds pie
Celebrate a World of Flavors – shepherd’s pie

Additional Ways to Celebrate a World of Flavors

Enjoy celebrating all month with these activities:

  • visit cultural restaurants in your city to enjoy a variety of foods
  • study cultural food traditions
  • have a potluck dinner where everyone brings foods inspired by different countries
  • read nutrition books and look through cookbooks for recipes to try
  • create art inspired by your favorite cultural foods
  • have a family meal with your favorite cultural foods
  • create a recipe inspired by another culture
  • try a new cultural food
  • do a virtual cooking demonstration
  • donate food to a local food pantry or shelter
  • take a classic cultural recipe and give it a healthy twist

Favorite Cultural Meal

Did you find a new recipe to try this month, during National Nutrition Month? Which one will you try first? I hope you enjoy a variety of healthy foods in March to celebrate a world of flavors!

I’m always looking for new vegan recipes to try. If you have a favorite cultural meal that is vegan and preferably gluten free, share in the comments  below!

Celebrate a World of Flavors graphic

Seasonings from Amazon:

 


 

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Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

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I love quinoa. This superfood, which is actually a seed rather than a grain, is one of the world’s most popular health foods. It’s versatile, easy to prepare and delicious.

Learn a bit about quinoa and then try this super easy recipe to create a quinoa and broccoli bowl.

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl title meme

Superfood Status

Although quinoa is a seed, it is grown as a grain crop. Cultivated in South America for thousands of years, the superfood only recently became a health food trend in the US.

Quinoa is gluten free, high in protein and one of the few plant based foods that provides all nine essential amino acids that the body needs.

Additionally, quinoa is high in fiber, magnesium, vitamins B and E, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc and antioxidants.

Quinoa’s antioxidants help calm inflammation throughout the body and provide anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-depressant properties.

Find out more about quinoa…and check out several other recipes…HERE.

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

I recently made incredibly yummy sweet potato and black bean tacos that contained quinoa. I still had a cup of dried quinoa left in the package that I wanted to use. So…ta da…I created a super easy bowl for dinner tonight.

Bowls…also called Buddha Bowls or grain bowls…and a fun and healthy way to get plenty of veggies. And they take minutes to prepare.

Here’s the recipe:

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

journeywithhealthyme
A super easy bowl for a quick meal.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli and cauliflower florets
  • sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder to taste

Instructions
 

Cooking the Quinoa

  • Add 1 cup of dried quinoa to medium sized sauce pan along with 2 cups of water. Stir in 2 teaspoons of olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder and sea salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow quinoa to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork. Makes two cups of cooked quinoa for recipe.

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

  • While quinoa cooks, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large, non stick skillet. Add onions, celery, peppers and garlic. Stir fry over medium high heat until onions soften.
  • Add broccoli and cauliflower florets. Sprinkle with additional onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper, if desired. Continue cooking and stirring until veggies are crisp tender.
  • Add cooked quinoa. Stir to combine and serve immediately in bowls. Makes 4 servings.
Keyword broccoli, Buddha bowl, quinoa

 

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl onion mix
Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl – onion mix
Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl stir fry
Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl – stir frying veggies

Tips for Creating Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

Bowls are such a versatile way to create a delicious and healthy meal. You can add any combination of veggies and grains…or in this case, seeds. Follow these tips for a tasty bowl.

Try cooking quinoa with vegetable broth instead of water, for a richer flavor. You can even make your own veggie broth from vegetable scraps. Add other herbs or spices such as cumin, turmeric, basil, thyme or Italian seasoning to the quinoa while it cooks. I seem to add garlic and onion powder to almost everything!

And change out the broccoli and cauliflower for any other veggie combo. Try cut up asparagus and halved Brussels sprouts, carrots, sliced mushrooms or kale.

To make this recipe super easy, used frozen chopped onions, celery and peppers and a bag of fresh already cut up broccoli and cauliflower. I keep these on hand for quick meals. And you can purchase minced garlic in a jar.

Don’t have quinoa on hand? Sub cooked brown rice instead.

And you can also include sliced avocado, cooked chickpeas, a green salad, sliced tomatoes or other raw veggies to your bowl as well. Bowls are a great way to use leftover veggies, a few carrots or the last of the beans.

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl skillet
Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl – ready to eat

Ready to Eat in About 30 Minutes

In half an hour, my quinoa and broccoli bowl was ready to eat.

It was delicious and filling. I love the combination of broccoli, cauliflower and quinoa however, I enjoy other veggie combos as well.

Store any leftovers in the fridge and you have another meal ready to warm up the next day.

Do you like quinoa? I’d love to know if you have a favorite quinoa recipe. Share it or a link in the comments below!

Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

Order quinoa from Amazon by clicking on photo below:

 

 

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Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Packets

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

I have an Ambassador relationship with Squeeze Dried. All opinions are my own.

As you know, my health and wellbeing is extremely important to me. Healthy at every age is more than a tagline for me…it’s a lifestyle and a crucial component of my belief system.

Therefore, I love when a product comes to me that helps me improve health AND does so in an easy to use, convenient way. I’ve enjoyed using Squeeze Dried drink mix packets for a couple of years now. And now, they offer a wonderful variety pack with their five drink mix flavors in one handy box!

Check out why I appreciate this company so much. And pick up your discount code at the end of the post.

Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Packets title meme

The Story Behind Squeeze Dried

The company began in 2017, with the creation of an apple cider vinegar drink mix for everyone to enjoy.

Why?

The CEO’s wife started every morning with a shot concoction containing apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and ginger. While that’s a healthy combination, most people can’t drink such a potent mix. In 2017 Squeeze Dried successfully created a tasty apple cider vinegar drink that anyone could enjoy.

Three years later, Squeeze Dried combined other superfoods into other great tasting drinks.

Their secret?

The ingredients in their drink mixes are freeze dried and then ground into a concentrated powder. They combine ingredients into packets, for a perfect blend of superfoods. Simply tear open a packet and add contents to 6 – 8 ounces of cold or hot water, shake or stir and drink!

The packets are easy to store, tote and share. And they currently come in five different flavors, with more blends expected in 2022.

Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Packets easy to tote
Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Packets are easy to tote.

The Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Flavors

Check out these five delicious Squeeze Dried blends. Each packet is low calorie…10 calories or less…and does not contain any added sugar. Choose one…or all of them.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This powerful cleansing blend contains apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger, lemon and probiotics.

Turmeric Citrus

Try this nutrient rich blend with turmeric, curcumin, ginger, orange and black pepper to improve heart health, burn fat, fight inflammation and ease arthritis symptoms.

Mermaid Lemonade

It tastes as fun as it sounds. This delicious blend of spirulina, blue green algae, lemon and prebiotics improves heart health and supports a healthy digestive system.

Evergreen

This was the first Squeeze Dried drink that I tried. I love it still. It’s a blend of celery, chlorella, spinach, spirulina, matcha and green apple. This drink detoxes, strengthens bones and improves digestive health.

Beets

This tasty mix is a blend of beets, raspberry, apple, ginger and cranberry. Each fiber packed serving boosts the immune system, fights inflammation, increases blood flow and helps regulate blood pressure.

Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Packets evergreen
Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Packets – Evergreen blend

My Experience with Squeeze Dried

I love these convenient packets for the following reasons:

  • each blend tastes amazing
  • easy to tote in my purse, backpack or pocket
  • promotes healing
  • helps maintain a healthy body
  • simple to add to cold or hot water
  • great way to introduce superfoods to children
  • variety
  • wonderful way to increase hydration
  • I can now order a variety pack, which makes it easy to enjoy each blend
  • vegan, non GMO and dairy free

The packets are easy to add to a glass of cold water or try a blend as a tea by pouring into a cup of hot water. One of my favorite ways to gain the benefits from the blends is to add a packet to my morning smoothie. I especially love the beets blend mixed into my banana, pineapple, strawberry and mango smoothie. The cranberry adds a delicious hint of tartness to the smoothie.

Another tasty treat is to create an iced herbal tea, such as lemon balm or hibiscus, and add the beets or mermaid lemonade packet. Yum!

Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Packets on the go
A morning smoothie on the go with the beets blend.

Get Your Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Packets

Check out the company website HERE and pick out your drink mix packets to try.

Can’t decide which blend to start with? Squeeze Dried has you covered! They now offer a handy Variety Pack with 25 packets, five each of the five blends listed above.

Whichever blend or blends you choose, use the code 20VARIETY to save 20% at checkout.

And let me know which blend you try! I highly recommend each one.

Healthy at every age? Yes, with the help of amazing products like Squeeze Dried.

Squeeze Dried Drink Mix variety pack
Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Packets – Variety Pack

 

Mix your drinks in these shaker bottles from Amazon:

 

Squeeze Dried Drink Mix Packets - shaker bottles Click photo to order

 

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

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February is National Sweet Potato Month, with the 22nd designated as Cook a Sweet Potato Day. This hearty root vegetable is so versatile, you could create a different sweet potato recipe every day of the month.

One large, lone sweet potato in my veggie bin inspired me to create something new, delicious and filling. I came up with Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos. They turned out SO well. Grab the recipe and tips for making this easy dish below.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos title meme

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes were cultivated and consumed in Peru long before the white potato was in Ireland. Christopher Columbus toted the vegetable back to Europe where it was given the name “sweet potato” due to its taste. The vegetable forms the basis for several tasty Thanksgiving side dishes. However, don’t just enjoy this nutritious potato during the holidays.

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. The fiber is both soluble and insoluble, meaning you feel full longer and blood glucose levels don’t spike as they do with refined sugars. Sweet potatoes provide potassium, magnesium and beta carotenes. They help regulate blood pressure and metabolism, improve vision and promote productive bacteria in the gut. Sweet potatoes also support the production of vitamin B12 in the body and help prevent skin, breast, reproductive, stomach, intestinal, esophageal and rectal cancers.

Those are powerful reasons to include sweet potatoes regularly in the diet.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

I decided to use my remaining sweet potato in a highly nutritious filling for tacos. And I love pairing sweet potato with black beans, which I had on hand. Checking my pantry, I also found quinoa, lentils and an onion.

This recipe came together quickly. I made it up as I went along, however it’s simple to duplicate.

I drizzled a yummy lemon tahini sauce on my tacos. Recipe included below. Add salsa or whatever sauce you want.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with lemon tahini sauce

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

journeywithhealthyme
This savory dish combines sweet potatoes, black beans, lentils and quinoa for a hearty taco filling.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10 tacos

Ingredients
  

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 cups cooked brown or green lentils
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minces
  • 4 tsp chili or taco seasoning
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth, as needed
  • 10 taco sized gluten free tortillas

Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Instructions
 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

  • Cook lentils and quinoa according to package directions so that you have 2 cups cooked of each.
  • Add olive oil to large, non stick skillet. Heat over medium heat. Add diced onion, garlic and cubed sweet potato, stirring and cooking until sweet potatoes are almost tender. Add water or vegetable broth to prevent sticking, if necessary.
  • Add black beans, lentils, quinoa and taco or chili seasoning. Stir to combine, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Prepare lemon tahini sauce while taco fillings simmer or add sauce of choice.

Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in blender and blend well until sauce is smooth. While finishing tacos, pop sauce into refrigerator to chill and thicken slightly.

Creating Tacos

  • To create tacos, add very small amount of olive oil to small non stick skillet. Warm taco sized tortillas, a minute or less on each side so that they puff slightly and brown.
    Fold warm tortillas to form taco shells. Add sweet potato and black bean filling. Add taco toppings of choice. I simply used chopped avocado. Drizzle with lemon tahini sauce or salsa. Makes 10 -12 tacos.
Keyword Black Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Tacos
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos saute
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos – onions, garlic and sweet potato

Tips for Making Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

These tips make this recipe easy.

Use one large or two medium sized sweet potatoes. I peeled mine but leave the skin on for a more rustic dish.

Make a little extra quinoa and lentils for use in other recipes. I always prefer to cook once and eat twice!

I use either non GMO white corn taco sized tortillas or gluten free flour ones. Use your preference, if you are not gluten sensitive.

You can add chili seasoning, taco seasoning or create your own spice mixture. I like this lower sodium taco seasoning. If you like a spicier taco filling, increase the amount of seasoning. I didn’t want the seasoning to overpower the sweet potato mixture. Four teaspoons was perfect for my tastes.

Add taco toppings of choice. I used a chopped avocado. Shredded cabbage makes a tasty and different taco topping. Use the toppings you like best.

And I love lemon tahini sauce or vegan garlic aioli. Tahini is sesame seed paste. Get it HERE.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos filling
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos – filling

Enjoy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

These tacos turned exactly as I hoped they would! They are full of flavor and the inclusion of lentils and quinoa give the mixture a “meat” like texture. I’ll make these again and add that finely shredded cabbage as a topping next time.

Try these sweet potato and black bean tacos for Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday or for a fun, healthy meal any time. The filling actually makes a great stand alone meal as well. Skip the tortillas and make it a sweet potato, black bean, lentils, quinoa bowl with sliced avocado, tomatoes and non GMO corn chips. Don’t forget to add your favorite sauce!

What’s your go to meatless taco filling?

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with lemon tahini sauce
Sweet potato and black bean tacos with lemon tahini sauce.

 

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Six Winter Soup Recipes

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January is National Soup Month, which is perfect, isn’t it? A bowl of steaming hot soup is the perfect antidote for those chilly, overcast days of winter.

Celebrate all month with your favorite soups. Start a meal with a cup of soup or make a hearty stew the main course. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen. Or create your own soup recipe to share with others.

Need some soup inspiration? Try one of these six winter soup recipes!

Six Winter Soup Recipes title meme

Six Winter Soup Recipes

Is there any food more nurturing and nourishing than a bowl of homemade soup? Truly, I feel I can live solely on soup! It’s such a versatile meal as well. Use the following recipes to inspire your next pot of soup.

Click underlined title links for recipes.

Easy Vegan Tortilla Soup

Before embracing a plant based lifestyle, I loved chicken tortilla soup. However, I discovered this yummy vegan tortilla soup and I don’t miss the chicken one bit!

The richly flavored soup comes together in minutes and uses items commonly found in the pantry. Canned goods speed up the cooking process, lentils add protein and heartiness and canned coconut milk makes the soup creamy. And no worries, the coconut milk does not add coconut flavor to the soup.

In less than 30 minutes, this soup is ready to eat. Add non GMO corn tortilla chips and top with shredded vegan cheese if desired.

Six Winter Soup Recipes tortilla
Six Winter Soup Recipes – vegan tortilla soup

Vegan Pot Pie Soup

Although I no longer eat traditional pot pie, this crustless version provides the same comfort! Rich with veggies, a creamy, thick broth and a DIY seasoning blend, this soup makes a great Sunday brunch meal or a special treat for guests.

Plus pot pie soup is a great way to use up leftover veggies, fresh or cooked. Simply chop or dice and add them to the broth.

Six Winter Soup Recipes pot pie
Six Winter Soup Recipes – vegan pot pie

Aloo Matar Soup

If you enjoy the Indian dish aloo matar, you’ll love this soup version. I made up this recipe, as one of my birthday activities when I turned 62. (What’s that all about? Check out the most recent birthday activities HERE.)

This soup makes a delicious meal, robust with potatoes, peas, tomatoes, garam masala and curry. I love it!

Six Winter Soup Recipes aloo matar
Six Winter Soup Recipes – aloo matar

Easy Vegetable Noodle Soup

Looking for a nourishing, health boosting soup to replace traditional chicken and noodle soup? This is it. When I feel a bit under the weather, this is my go to soup. It soothes stuffy heads, sore throats and body aches and pains. And thanks to using a pressure pot, it’s ready to eat in under 30 minutes.

If you are gluten sensitive, like I am, use brown rice noodles. Not sure if gluten is affecting you negatively? Read the symptoms of gluten intolerance HERE.

Six Winter Soup Recipes vegetable noodle
Six Winter Soup Recipes – vegetable noodle

Quick Bean Chili

Winter time and chili just naturally go together. Those spicy seasonings help to warm us up and they have health benefits as well.

This quick bean chili comes together in a flash. It’s perfect for those evenings when the day has been full and busy. Having recipes available that quickly provide a hot meal lessens the likelihood of grabbing fast food on the way home.

Use canned beans, instead of dried, to save time. This is a moderately spicy chili. Adjust the heat level by adding or reducing the cayenne pepper. And use a small vegetable chopper to make quick work of prepping veggies.

Six Winter Soup Recipes chili
Six Winter Soup Recipes – quick bean chili

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

This colorful, hearty stew cooks up quickly using a pressure pot or it’s easily prepared on the stove top. Substitute canned black beans for dried, if cooking on the stove.

This sweet and savory soup is full of nutrients that help protect body. It’s the perfect meal for a cold winter night.

What’s Your Favorite Soup?

What’s your go to soup for frosty winter nights? I’m always looking for new vegan soup recipes, to enjoy in January…and the rest of the year as well. Share a link to your favorite soup in the comments below!

Six Winter Soup Recipes stew
Six Winter Soup Recipes – black bean and sweet potato stew

 

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