CasserolesRecipesVeggie-Lover Dinners

Black Bean Vegetable Enchiladas


Talk about a party in your mouth! These black bean enchiladas should be called “kitchen sink” enchiladas because there’s a little bit of everything stuffed inside them! Topped with a homemade (mild) enchilada sauce and sharp cheddar cheese, these are sure not to disappoint! My six-year-old likes to pack the leftovers for his school lunch the next day. Enjoy!

Black Bean Vegetable Enchiladas

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword black bean enchilada
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 Enchiladas
Calories 270 kcal
Author heartysmarty


  • 24-28 Flour Tortillas
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded


  • 3 1/2 Cup Black Beans cooked and drained*
  • 3 small zucchini squash (3 1/2 Cups) chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato chopped
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers chopped
  • 1/2 large Yellow Onion chopped
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Double Recipe Enchilada Sauce See Instructions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9x13 pans.
  2. Chop all vegetables into pea-sized pieces. See my chopping tips to speed up this process. In a large, oiled skillet, sauté the sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat before adding the rest of the vegetables. Add the zucchini, bell peppers, and onion to the skillet and cover with a lid. Let the vegetables cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to add  a splash of water now and then to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Meanwhile, cook your flour tortillas if necessary. I use the uncooked variety for it’s additional flavor.
  4. Once the vegetables are crisp tender, add the black beans and frozen corn to the skillet. Mix in the lime juice, garlic salt, ground cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Now you are ready to start assembling the enchiladas. Pour about 1/2 cup of bean/vegetable mixture onto the center of a tortilla. Top with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese and roll it up like a burrito. Place 12 enchiladas in each pan. Top with enchilada sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Bake, covered with foil, at 350 degrees  minutes for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
  6. If 2 dozen enchiladas is too much for one night, leave the sauce off of one of the pans and cover it with plastic wrap AND tin foil.  Pour the enchilada sauce into an airtight container and freeze the enchiladas and the sauce separately for an easy meal later.

Recipe Notes

We like to eat our enchiladas with fresh peach salsa. Also, I use my Instant Pot (aff. link) to cook dry beans. If I didn't plan ahead, canned beans work just fine. However, cooking the beans from dry takes less than an hour in the Instant Pot and saves you some cash compared to the canned beans. Just sayin'.

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Gluten-FreeRecipesSauces and Dressings

Homemade (Mild) Enchilada Sauce


I will never buy canned enchilada sauce again. After realizing how easy it is to make my own sauce with even more flavor than the can, this is my go-to enchilada sauce!

Homemade (Mild) Enchilada Sauce

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Onion, chopped fine
2 cloves fresh Garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
15 oz. Tomato Sauce
1 Cup Chicken Stock = 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon (Affiliate link) mixed with 1 cup water


1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté the onions in olive oil. Add the garlic for the last 30 seconds of cooking.

2. Mix in the spices and cook them with the vegetables just long enough to release their flavors, about 15 seconds.

3. Decrease the temperature to low heat. Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Enchilada sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 10 days. Otherwise, it stores well in the freezer until ready to use.

Makes about 3 1/2 Cups Sauce.


This post contains affiliate links.

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Appetizers/ DipsGluten-FreeRecipesSides

Peach (or Mango) Salsa


We have been harvesting peaches off our tree left and right this week! This salsa is a great way to eat a lot of peaches. Use it as a topping on fish, burritos, and salads, or as a dip with chips or crackers. You can also substitue Mangoes for the Peaches for an equally delicious salsa. Think this looks like too much chopping? Check out the notes for my best kitchen hack for chopping all these veggies super fast. Enjoy!

Peach (or Mango) Salsa

A healthy, fresh, and delicious sweet salsa.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Peach Salsa
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 Cups
Calories 130 kcal
Author heartysmarty


  • 4 1/2 Cups Fresh Peaches (or Mangoes) chopped
  • 2 Avocados chopped
  • 2 Cups Red Bell Peppers chopped fine
  • 1 Small Jalapeno chopped fine
  • 1/4 Cup Green Onions chopped fine
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin


  1. Chop all produce and combine in a large bowl. (See notes for my chopping tips.)
  2. Mix in the juice and spices and stir to combine.
  3. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Recipe Notes

The only way I can get my children and husband to help me make this salsa is with my Vidalia Chop Wizard (affiliate link). I can chop 10 cups of salsa in 20 minutes flat with this baby! We have a tradition of making salsa for our neighbors every Christmas, and the task is only possible with this chopper. It is my very favorite tool in the kitchen. (Yep, even more than the Instant Pot--and that's saying something!) 

Featured Product

(Includes Affiliate Link)

 Vidalia Chop Wizard

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Berry Peachy Smoothie (With Natural Protein)


Perfect for a breakfast on-the-go, this smoothie is packed with healthy fats, natural protein, antioxidants, vitamins, calcium, iron, fiber, and probiotics to help you feel energized for the day. You will get your first full serving of vegetables and fruit for the day without much effort. The best part is that it tastes amazing too! Enjoy!

Natural Protein Berry Peachy Smoothie

Skip the expensive protein powders and get 16 grams of protein from natural ingredients in this tasty smoothie.

Course Breakfast, Drinks
Keyword Natural, Protein, Smoothie
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 217 kcal


  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Plain, Non-fat Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Medium Peaches fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 Cup Cucumber mostly peeled
  • 1 Cup spinach packed
  • 1 Cup Blueberries frozen
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Flax seed


  1. Add ingredients in the order listed above. 

  2. Blend until smooth. 

  3. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

I often use kefir instead of Greek Yogurt for the added digestive benefits of probiotics. It tastes just as great.

Featured Product

(Includes Affiliate Link)

 Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender

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FeaturedLifestyle EatingNutrition Education

Spiteful Extra Scoops- Keeping the Food Police Out of Your Marriage


Are you trying to become your spouse’s personal nutrition consultant?

You may not even realize the damage you are doing to your spouse’s relationship with food when you make comments about their eating habits. In  Intuitive Eating, (2012) (aff. link) Evelyn Tribole describes a predisposition which her clients call the “Forget You” Diet. When spouses make condescending comments or suggestions to their partner’s food choices, it elicits a feeling of “forget you!” The partner then eats more than they normally would, just because their freedom with food has been violated and they rebel against the suggested restriction.clip_image002

Photo circa 2008 (We are getting old!!)

My husband calls this the “Eat-out-of-spite” diet. Early in our marriage, or maybe even our engagement, I distinctly remember a time when we were enjoying dessert together. It was ice cream—our favorite. When he finished his portion and started into the carton to scoop more ice cream for himself, I said something like, “You really aren’t going to eat more, are you?!” With that he took two or three additional scoops and spitefully ate more than he would have otherwise, just to show me that he was the boss of his ice cream portions. What a Rookie-Wife mistake that was!  It has been over eight years since that incident (and I am sure many others similar to it) and I am still trying to rescind those statements. It is hard to take back words which should never have been said!

I promised myself I would stop making comments about what and how much my husband ate. However, I had not completely made peace with his food choices. Sometimes, in an attempt to save him from overeating, I would eat extra portions of food even if I was not hungry. Now, what good did that do for either of us?! Other times, I stopped making some of his favorite dishes or desserts because they were too fattening in my eyes. I determined to only serve the most nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods as possible. What happened as a result? He ate his comfort foods while he was on work trips because he knew there would be none served at home. Poor guy! It must be hard to be married to a dietitian sometimes!  The “eat-out-of-spite” diet continued even though I was trying not to say anything about his food choices. However, what I was doing spoke louder than words.  And my actions were not fair. Who gave me the food police badge allowing me to approve and disapprove of what my sweet husband was eating?! In reality, he is quite the disciplined exerciser and eats a pretty balanced diet. Because I had my own problems with letting myself indulge in favorite foods, I took my self-depriving frustrations out on him. IMG_20160711_170827209_HDR

So, what can you do to help your spouse make healthier food choices, without eliciting the “Eat-out-of-spite-diet” in them? Here’s my advice (for what it is worth): Do the same which you would for any other guest at your table. You may offer plenty of food options at each meal. Involve them in your meal-planning, and let them choose some of the meals you will prepare. When eating out, you choose your food and let them choose theirs. Leave the rest up to them. Hands off! No comments. No suggestions. Let your spouse decide which dishes and how much of each they will eat. Then, enjoy the time you have with each other together. You just might be surprised to find your spouse eating much less once you finally let go of trying to micromanage their dinner plate!

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Hearty No-Bake Cookie Protein Bites


I try hard not to spike my overly sensitive blood sugar, but sometimes a girl just has to have a pick-me-up treat in the middle of a hectic day! So, I altered a typical “No-Bake Cookie” recipe into a treat that won’t make me crash 30 minutes after eating it. Even though it is made of whole ingredients it is pretty rich, so I always have to wash it down with a glass of almond milk. Enjoy!

Hearty No-Bake Cookie Protein Bites

Course Snack
Keyword Protein Balls
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 18 Bites
Author heartysmarty


  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Milk or Almond Milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt optional
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 3 Cups Old Fashioned Oats


  1. Add cocoa, butter, milk, and salt to a medium saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring constantly.   

  2. Boil for just 60 seconds, remove from heat and add honey, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir until dissolved.

  3. Add oats and stir to combine. Let chill for 5-10 minutes.

  4. Roll cookie mix into golfball-sized bites. 

Recipe Notes

These can be frozen for up to 3 months or refrigerated for 2 weeks in an air-tight container.

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Lifestyle EatingNutrition Education

Eating Healthy In College: Part 2


In Eating Healthy in College: Part 1, I discussed some techniques to eating healthy with limited time, space, and money. I showed you some ideas of foods to stock your pantry, fridge and freezer with. Now, I will offer some meal ideas using the foods from that first post.



Breakfast options:

WW bagel, avo, tomato, canadian bacon, fried egg

Berry Smoothie and toast

Hot Rice Cereal

Hearty Whole Wheat Pancakes

  • Breakfast Burritos– Make the whole recipe and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge to be warmed for breakfast through out the week.

Breakfast Burritos

  • Toasted Whole Wheat English Muffins topped with red bell pepper eggs and/or mashed avocados with a tomato slab.

Breakfast English Muffins

  • Cold cereal with nuts and fruit



Lunch options:

Tuna Mix with Veggies and Crackers

  • Baked potato with broccoli, cheese, Greek Yogurt, green onions

Baked potato

  • Hearty Quinoa Salad– You can make this salad out of your brown jasmine rice instead of the quinoa if needed.

Quinoa Salad


  • Greek yogurt mixed with honey, fruit, and nuts

yogurt fruit nuts

hummus and veggie snack

  • Ants on a Log- Celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins.

ants on a log

  • Cottage cheese with grapes or cherry tomatoes

snack cottage cheese and tomatoes

  • Cliff or Luna Bar
  • Apples and/or carrots with peanut butter


  • Stir fry with cashews over brown jasmine rice

stir fry with cashews and jasmine rice

Chili Cheese potato

Tuna mix lettce wrap

  • Chicken Caesar Salad (or any other bagged mix) with garlic cheese bread
  • Grilled or baked chicken with steamed veggie mix


Happy Studying!!

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Meals for OneRecipesSandwiches & Wraps

Avocado Panini with Red Pepper Hummus


This panini is full of fresh flavors that speak to all your hungry senses. Use my Hearty Roasted Red Pepper Hummus instead of cheese and mayo to satisfy your craving for a dairy-free lunch. Enjoy!

Avocado Panini with Red Pepper Hummus

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword hummus, panini, vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 people


  • 2 Slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 Avocado sliced
  • 1/2 Vine-Ripe tomato sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons Red Pepper Hummus
  • 4 leaves spinach


  1. Spread hummus on both slices of bread. Layer one slice of bread with avocadoes, tomatoes, and spinach. Top with second slice of bread. Grill in panini press for 1-3 minutes.

Tomato-avocado-hummus panini on grill

If you are like me, you don’t own a panini press. (Maybe Santa will bring me one this year for Christmas.) Until then, I improvise with anything flat and heavy. I literally press my sandwich between my electric griddle and a large cooking pot!

panini press

Get creative! You could press your sandwich using a skillet with a 5 pound weight inside—whatever it takes. Flip your sandwich half-way through the cooking process so it is cooked evenly through. Viola! There’s your panini-pressless-panini-maker!

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Appetizers/ DipsGluten-FreeMeals for OneRecipesSandwiches & Wraps

Hearty Tuna Sandwich Mix


This tuna sandwich has a flavorful and nutritious twist that appeals to all ages. For my anti-sandwich eaters, I serve the mix as a dip with crackers, and they love to pack it in their lunchbox on school days. I like to eat it as a lettuce wrap with a big romaine or green lettuce leaf. Enjoy!

Hearty Tuna Sandwich Mix

A healthy mix of tuna and vegetables for sandwiches, wraps or dip.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy tuna
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 110 kcal
Author heartysmarty


  • 2- 5 oz. Cans Tuna in water
  • 3/4 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup Real Mayonnaise
  • 2 Cups celery chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper chopped (1 1/2 Cups)
  • 2 Dill pickle spears chopped (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley minced (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons green onions chopped


  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve as a sandwich or as a dip with crackers.

  2. Refrigerate for up to 3 days in an airtight container. 

Hearty Tuna sandwich

Great on toasted whole wheat bread, bagels, or English muffins!

Tuna Mix with Veggies and Crackers

Delicious as a meal or an appetizer when served as a dip with crackers and veggies!

Tuna mix lettce wrap

For a gluten-free option, wrap the mix in a lettuce leaf!

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Gluten-FreeRecipesVeggie-Lover Dinners

EASY Balsamic Chicken and Glazed Vegetables


The selling point of this chicken is the balsamic sauce—it’s savory and sweet and delicious! You will love the way it flavors the chicken and veggies, but you will also love dipping some crusty bread in the drizzle left over on your plate. This recipe is an adaptation from Better Homes and Gardens at I tweaked a few things in order to make it fit the needs of my family.

EASY Balsamic Chicken and Glazed Vegetables

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword balsamic chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author heartysmarty


  • 2 Pounds chicken breasts tenders
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil


  • 1/3 Cup Italian bottled dressing
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey


  • 4 medium Carrots julienned
  • 2 Cups Green Beans Fresh or frozen
  • 1 large red bell peppers sliced


  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid. Shake until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stove-top skillet on medium high heat. Place chicken tenders in the oil and cook chicken for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Pour half the dressing over the tenders. Turn to coat with dressing. Remove from skillet, cover and keep warm.
  3. Add carrots to skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes and then add zucchini. Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender or about 5-6 minutes. Add tomatoes for last 1 minute. Transfer vegetables to serving dish.
  4. Give the remaining dressing another few shakes and pour into the skillet. Heat until warmed through and then use it as a drizzle upon serving the chicken and veggies.
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