Fiesta Black Bean Salad & Chia Seed Giveaway Winner!

Okay, so now you guys know that every morning I drink a green smoothie very much according to this recipe (found here): frozen fruit, raw greens, hemp seeds, filtered water, tofu, prunes, dates, flax meal and cacao powder. Although I used to also eat oatmeal or buckwheat groats on some mornings, I’m now drinking the green smoothie 90% of the time. I have two reasons: 1. I’ve cut way back on my grain consumption, especially when I developed hives last summer and 2. the green smoothie helps me get an additional serving of greens every day. So that’s breakfast. And, yes, sometimes I do throw in frozen broccoli to the smoothie, too, as seen in this picture:

For lunch, I try to eat my salad for the day and make it a big one. Even though many vegetables contain more protein than meat by weight, it takes a lot of vegetables to fill up my stomach, especially because I work out almost every morning for at least an hour. In fact, here’s a silly picture I took of my super buff arms (not really, I am still working on them, but yoga is totally helping in that regard):

To help aid with nutrition and satiety, I always include some whole food fats on my salad including a nut or avocado-based salad dressing and additional avocado, nuts or seeds on top of the salad. I also use this opportunity at lunch to get as many raw vegetables as possible, since I don’t often have any with dinner. So, I usually chop up a bell pepper or use shredded carrots or zucchini on top of the salad which I usually make with romaine lettuce or a spring mix. The last essential element is onion due to their cancer-fighting properties. At the risk of having bad breath later in the day, I usually mince at least 1/4 of a medium onion on top of my salad.

With all of those essential ingredients, I sometimes make themed salads. Yesterday’s theme was a Fiesta Black Bean Salad that included cilantro, chopped pepper, avocado and, of course, black beans. If I had had some salsa laying around, I would have put that on, too. Here’s what it looked like:

The recipe:

As I’ve mentioned before, dinner for me can range from a Vegetable and Bean Blended Soup to a Tofu Burger to a Peanut Butter Stir-Fry (for a list of all my recipes, click here or choose the “Recipes” tab from my home page). I should also note that I rarely cook two nights in a row, I try to make enough for leftovers so I cook at the most every other night.

Dinner last night was my stir-fry leftovers from Wednesday, with a little crumbled tempeh mixed in to help stretch the quantity. As you can see, I served it with some kiwi for dessert. I ended up having another half bowl of the stir-fry plus a baby Larabar afterwards as well.

Yesterday felt like another great food day where I was satisfied all day and thoroughly enjoyed every meal. Yay! Now onto the chia seed giveaway!!! Thanks to everyone for entering, I think this was my most popular giveaway yet. There were a total of 44 comments and the random number generator selected…

Comment #40…Bitt!!! (Bitt, I will e-mail you to let you know that you WON!!!).

Have a great day everyone!




  1. Mallory says

    I love your blog. Its so great.
    I was wondering how you plan out your meals and have enough time to cook, and shop and stuff. I always have trouble because i don’t have enough time or I cook something and it makes like 8 servings so I eat it for lunch and dinner for 4 days straight and that gets really boring. I am a student and am very busy. (aren’t we all?)
    Do you have any go-to meals that you make when you are low on time? Also, what kind of stuff is good to have in your pantry when you need a quick meal?
    Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Mallory, thanks so much for the message! Making healthy food fast is my biggest challenge and goal. If I could name one thing that helps me the most, it is planning ahead. This means everything from making sure my pantry is stocked with healthy options like canned beans to simply making sure I buy enough greens to get me through the week. Whenever I have time to cook, I multi-task by cooking beans in the pressure cooker, cooking rice in the rice cooker and washing and prepping veggies all at the same time. I have been known to get up two hours early just to prep foods. I won’t say that it is easy to balance life’s responsibilities with school PLUS making time to cook healthy meals, but I certainly don’t spend hours making gourmet food. The Vitamix is a great tool because if I am truly pressed for time and have nothing to cook, I’ll throw raw veggies in it with an avocado and I have a raw soup minutes later. The point is that I have a mindset that eating healthy foods is a priority and I don’t let anything compromise that goal. My health depends on it and I feel the consequences if I don’t eat right. That being said, food should be fun and delicious and not too much of a burden. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to rely on short cuts like canned beans or frozen fruits and veggies. Even a bag of frozen broccoli florets heated in the microwave with a creamy cashew sauce on top is absolutely decadent. Does this help answer your questions? I hope so. I understand where you are coming from but keep doing your best!

  2. Mallory says

    Thanks for the tips! I think they will help. Its very hard because I got to a private boarding school and there is a lot of academic pressure so I am almost always studying. Then I usually have no time to make or prepare meals so I just eat in the cafeteria, which is full of refined carbs, sugars, meat and cheese. Then I end up feeling low energy and just gross. People at school don’t really understand and they think I’m weird when I bring my own lunch of “strange food.” Also, have you ever done a detox? I really want to do this 21 day green smoothie detox. Thanks again for the tips (:

    • says

      Hi Mallory! You may want to consider using a pressure cooker. I have just started using one, and healthy meals can be made literally in minutes. I mean, I have cooked chopped butternut squash in less than 10 minutes in the pressure cooker. Stay tuned to my blog because I just bought a new pressure cooker cookbook that I will be using soon (it hasn’t arrived yet). I have never done a detox and I’m a little wary of that type of thing. I know a little bit about fasting and know it can be helpful for certain medical conditions. I personally don’t see any benefit to doing a smoothie detox, I would rather have a variety of healthy meals. I’m not a big rule-follower either so I don’t think I would want to do something like that for so long. What’s the purpose of wanting to do this smoothie detox, is it weight loss or something else?

      • Mallory says

        How much does a pressure cooker cost? I want to do a detox cause I have IBS (at least that is what i’ve be diagnosed with recently) so I have abdominal pain, bloating, cramps and bowel problems every day. I was thinking that a green smoothie detox might help. I also wouldn’t mind losing some weight either.

        • says

          Hi Mallory! Pressure cookers are fairly inexpensive, they have been around for a long time. Mine was less than $100 and I use an electric version, the stove top versions are even cheaper, around $50 I think. Have you ever looked into using a high-quality probiotic like one called VSL#3? I believe it has been proven through scientific studies to treat IBS. Here is the website: I haven’t done any research or reading about doing a smoothie detox for IBS, I would just make sure you do your research before you try something like that. Good luck and keep me updated on how you are doing!

          • Mallory says

            Is a pressure cooker like a crockpot? Yeah I take probiotics and aloe vera capsules. They help, but I still have the symptoms most of the time. Thanks for the link though, maybe I will try that kind. Thanks for your help.

  3. Amanda says


    I love reading what you write every day. I especially love that you DO write every day. It’s kind of my relaxation technique at the end of the day (or when procrastinating something else) to check the food blogs I like. Sometimes people don’t write for a few days or a week, and that makes me sad.

    I’m curious as to what your techniques are (if you have any) for eating three meals a day, and not seeming to snack much in between. I’m just gathering this info from your “what I ate” posts, maybe you do snack and I just don’t see it. Anyway, I’ve always been a big snacker & tend to get hungry every few hours… I’m trying to transition into eating three meals a day with maybe one snack somewhere in there. Between breakfast and lunch there isn’t usually a problem but I find that I get hungry 5 hours or less after eating lunch and it’s too early to eat dinner.

    Do you think it’s important to eat a certain number of meals, spaced out, without snacking in between? Or is this just a matter of preference? I just read Eat to Live & it seems that Fuhrman stresses eating meals with no snacking. I’m curious as to how you feel about this and how you handle it.

    • says

      Hi Amanda! Thanks so much for the message, it means a lot to me. Stopping snacking was a HUGE change for me, I was always taught that eating snacks was an okay thing to do. Once I started eating whole foods without a lot of sugar and stopped having caffeine, I lost the urge to eat again between lunch and dinner. This change also helped me develop a good appetite for dinner all the while eliminating consuming excess calories and helping me lose excess weight. It’s tough, I’m not gonna lie, but it’s doable for sure. The other change was to eat dinner a little earlier, so now I eat breakfast around 8 a.m., lunch around noon and dinner no later than 6 p.m. I think this routine is pretty ideal for me. Dr. Fuhrman says the most important thing is to eat when hungry, but I find that I am hungry generally at these times of day. Good luck!!!

  4. Paula says

    I love the salad, it looks so yummy. I’ve never thought of using asparagus in a salad, but I will now. I like your no stress eating plan. Keep it simple. I love your blog as it is really inspiring me to get my diet closer to the Eat to Live diet.

  5. Robyn :) says

    The salad looks great, Carrie! I like Romaine and Spring mix lettuce as well. I am not a fan of iceberg, lol. Unless it is mixed with something heartier. I LOVE onions, but they give me heartburn so I can only have a very small amount.

    I found out yesterday that I have really high cholesterol so I am needing to make BIG changes to my diet. I will be referring to your recipes quite a bit. I stocked up on some beans tonight, too 🙂 Are there any beans that should be avoided? Besides refried? And baked. I got a variety to try to see what I like.

    And I know I have asked you before, but where in the store do I find tempeh?

    • says

      Hi Robyn! Don’t worry, you can change your health, it is within your control and it’s never too late. I would try to look for low-sodium or no-salt added beans or just cook them from scratch yourself. Dr. Fuhrman wrote a book specifically about lowering cholesterol, it’s called Cholesterol Protection for Life. You can find it here: or on Amazon. Tempeh is usually found near the tofu, but you might have to go to a health food market to find it. Don’t worry if the color is not uniform when you open it, it’s a fermented food so that can cause discoloration, as long as you consume it by the expiration date. You can do this, Robyn, I believe in you!!!

  6. Robyn :) says

    That was a fast reply! Thank you for the book recommendation. I am planning on trying to find Eat To Live at the library.

    I did not even think of looking for noncanned beans! Doh! But I will start with the cans to figure out what I like. I did try to go for the low sodium ones.

    Our Hyvee grocery store has a healthfood section, so they should have tempeh. If not, I am planning a trip to Whole Foods next week.

    Thank you for the encouragement 🙂

  7. says

    I just found your blog and am SO glad I did! It looks like we have very similar food philosophies. If my day doesn’t start with a big green smoothie, I don’t feel right! Can’t wait to check our more of your recipes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *