Siracha Honey Lime Chicken & Black Bean Pasta with Creamy Cilantro Avocado Sauce

Confession time….

I am writing this post just so I won’t forget this recipe. There are no frills and no pictures, and I’m okay with that. Whew! I’m glad I got that all out on the table. Now we can move on without pretense. 😉

A few days ago, I was given a few varieties of pastas to try made by Tolerant Foods. What makes their products unique is that their pastas are made from one ingredient, beans or legumes! Rich in protein and fiber, these appeared to be an excellent substitute for gluten and carbohydrate laden traditional pastas. Tolerant Foods pastas are also free of all of the major allergens, non-GMO, and organic. It all looked good on paper, but the proof would be in the taste and texture.


First, I decided to try the Black Bean Rotini. Instead of approaching this rotini like I would a more traditional pasta, I decided to focus on what flavors were inherent compliments to black beans. After all, this rotini only had one ingredient, black beans. It was highly unlikely that it would taste like something else. So, what goes with black beans? How about lime, chicken, and Siracha? Yes, yes, and yes, please!

Packed with intense, rich flavor and staggering nutritional value, this recipe is one I plan on duplicating again and again. Winner!

Siracha Honey Lime Chicken & Black Bean Pasta with Creamy Cilantro Avocado Sauce

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)


  • 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • 4 Tblsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or GF Soy Sauce)
  • 2 Tblsp Honey
  • 4 tsp Coconut Oil, melted, divided
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Siracha
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp chopped, fresh Cilantro, divided
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Limes
  • 1/2 yellow Onion, sliced
  • 1 small Green Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 1 large leaf Green Kale, chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small Avocado
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup warm Water
  • 6 oz Tolerant Foods Black Bean Rotini


  1. Place chicken in a shallow dish with a lid.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the Bragg’s, Honey, 1 Tblsp Coconut Oil, 2 Tblsp chopped Cilantro, Siracha, Red Pepper Flakes, and Garlic Powder. Pour evenly over the chicken.
  3. Squeeze the juice of two limes over the chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  4. Once chicken has marinated, begin by boiling water and preparing the pasta according to package instructions.
  5. Meanwhile, melt 1 tsp Coconut Oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute’ the onions, peppers, and kale until onions are translucent and kale is wilted. Scoop into a bowl and set aside.
  6. Return the skillet to high heat and add the Chicken and Marinade. Bring to a low boil and cook, turning the chicken occasionally, until cooked through. After marinade is reduced by about half, add half of a chopped tomato.
  7. Once chicken is cooked through, remove to a dish and set aside.
  8. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes begin to breakdown.
  9. While the tomatoes are cooking, make the creamy cilantro avocado sauce by placing 1/4 cup Cilantro, 1 Avocado (pitted), Salt & Pepper, and the juice of 1/2 a lime in a food processor. Process until roughly chopped. Slowly add 1/4 to 1/3 cup hot water until sauce is thick and smooth.
  10. Add roughly 1/2 of the Cilantro Avocado Sauce to the tomatoes in the skillet and cook until heated through.
  11. To serve, separate the cooked black bean pasta into two bowls and top with sauteed vegetables, chicken, and the warmed mixture of tomatoes and creamy Cilantro Avocado sauce. Bon Appetit!

Vegan BBQ Stuffed Acorn Squash

Hello strangers!

It has been over a month since I last updated this blog. I seem to have reached the point where I feel like most of my dinners are variations on already posted recipes. I suppose that is bound to happen when you have close to 600 recipes posted, but it still makes me feel utterly unimaginative.

The holidays were filled with travel and family. I was able to spend an entire week with GF Guy and Dickens! It was beyond heavenly!

Here is a little peek into the last month….

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THEN it was back to reality. Work has been wonderful and busy. I have been jetting back and forth between San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland each week and planning my travels well into March. To tell the truth, I love my busy, jet set life! I am a transient person, by nature. Traveling for work keeps my wanderlust in check. It’s hard to believe I have been living in the same city for a year and a half. My how time flies!

In other news, I have been vegan for almost an entire month. (minus 1 evening where my options were gluten or fish…. obviously, I chose the fish…) I work for a company that sells both gluten-free and vegan products. In an effort to educate everyone at the company on a vegan diet, and in an exercise to develop empathy for what those with dietary restrictions  must face on a daily basis, we have all adopted a vegan diet for the month of January. At first, I thought I would have a difficult time forgoing meat, fish, and honey. However, I am happy to report that I have had no problems! I have felt energized and focused this entire month. So much, in fact, that I am considering adopting a vegan lifestyle. I can’t promise anything. I’m already difficult to feed when I go visit friends and relatives, but we shall see….

For now, I will be vegan until February 1st. My focus during this month’s vegan challenge has been on eating whole foods. No processed meat alternatives for this girl! My diet has consisted heavily of fresh produce, beans, quinoa, and brown rice. In my humble opinion, this is the best way to approach a vegan diet. Food as nature intended is the recipe for a healthy diet. The below recipe is just that. Enjoy!

Vegan BBQ Stuffed Acorn Squash

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)



  • 1 small-medium Acorn Squash
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Water
  • 5-6 Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups Green Kale, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Great Northern White Beans, cooked
  • 3 Tblsp Gluten Free, Vegan BBQ Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Daiya Vegan Cheddar Style Cheese Shreds


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut Acorn Squash in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon remove and discard the seeds and strings.
  3. Place squash in a baking dish, cut side down. Pour water around the squash until about 1/4 inch deep.
  4. Place squash in the oven and cook 35-40 minutes, until soft to the touch.
  5. Remove squash from the oven, and place face up on a plate to cool slightly. Discard the cooking water.
  6. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  7. Saute the mushrooms in the olive oil until they begin to sweat. Add the onion and saute 2-3 minutes, until translucent.
  8. Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  9. Deglaze the pan with 1 tsp water.
  10. Add the chopped tomatoes and kale to the pan, and saute until kale begins to wilt.
  11. Next add the cooked beans and BBQ sauce and cook until heated through.
  12. Remove the kale mixture from the heat and spoon evenly into the cooked acorn squash halves.
  13. Top each squash half with 1/8 cup of Daiya Vegan Cheddar Cheese Shreds.
  14. Place squash in the oven under the broiler and cook 3-4 minutes until the Daiya Vegan Cheese begins to melt.
  15. Enjoy!

Smoked Pumpkin Risotto

This afternoon, it was 50 degrees and sunny. Tonight, it is 21 degrees and snowing.


Not that I mind. In fact, it worked out beautifully. I was able to run all of my errands which included:

  1. Having 2 tires patched due to slow leaks caused by running over nails. (I don’t know how that happened….)
  2. Shipping a Christmas gift to my Aunt & Uncle.
  3. Grocery shopping.
  4. Picking up packages that were delivered while I was out of town.
  5. Stopping by the office to tie up some loose ends from the week.
  6. ………

You get the idea. I accomplished everything on my list, practiced my Spanish for 2 hours (I’m trying to teach myself), and still had time to experiment with a new recipe. By the time the snow started, I was curled up on my couch with a piping hot bowl of risotto and a glass of red wine. A lovely reward for a productive day.

I started by roasting rustic Shiitake mushrooms with fresh rosemary and thyme and finished with a sprinkling of Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Cheese. Perfection!

Smoked Pumpkin Risotto

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)



  • 2.5 oz sliced Shiitake Musthrooms
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh Thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Smoked Sundried Tomatoes, julienned
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 3 sprigs fresh Thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh Sage, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry White Wine
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock, warmed
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 large handfuls Baby Kale
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tblsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 2 Tblsp Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Shreds


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Gently toss until evenly coated. Place in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast in 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Drizzle 1 tsp EVOO in a large saucepan and heat over medium low heat.
  4. Saute onion until translucent. Add garlic and sundried tomatoes and saute until fragrant.
  5. Pour the rice into the saucepan and toast for 1 minutes.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook until absorbed.
  7. Add the fresh herbs.
  8. Add 1/3 cup warm chicken stock and stir until absorbed. Continue adding stock 1/3 cup at a time, stirring until absorbed before adding another 1/3 cup stock. Repeat until rice is cooked and broth is absorbed.
  9. Stir in the pumpkin puree and stir until smooth.
  10. Stir in the baby kale and cook until wilted.
  11. Remove from heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and Daiya. Stir until evenly combined.
  12. Serve immediately.

Indian-Spiced Halibut Curry

Well, hello!…

It’s been 3 weeks since we last shared a kitchen together. If your life has been anything like mine, it has been a bustle of holiday activity. I visited GF Guy for a week in Oklahoma. (And, yes, he LOVED the Banana Bread.) Then, I booked a last minute flight to Florida to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my family. After having to say goodbye to GF Guy, and not having seen them in months, a trip home was necessary, for both my soul and my sanity!


My sisters are now gluten-free, as well, so our Thanksgiving meal was a GF smorgasbord of deliciousness. We used the new Glutino Stuffing Mix to make our stuffing this year, and, according to the gluten-eaters in the house, it tasted better than regular, “gluten-full” stuffing!


Score one for Glutino!

Beyond the main meal, my mom stocked up on every flavor of Udi’s Muffins she could find at her local grocery store. We had Blueberry Muffins and Double Chocolate Muffins and Cinnamon Rolls that were devoured by everyone from my dad to my 16 month old nephew as we played board games and decorated the family Christmas Tree. I was only there for 30 hours, but it was 30 hours of bliss.

Last week was spent driving around Idaho. This week, I will be in California. Next week, Portland is on the calendar. But, for now, I am home.

I took in a Christmas parade…


…decorated my tree…


… and spent some time with dear friends. I love being home. Especially since it gives me the opportunity to cook!

I started cooking without much forethought as to the end result. This caused a near panic attack during which I poured broth into the pan, threw on the lid, and just walked away, praying that the end result would be delicious. Guess what? IT WAS!

Indian-Spiced Halibut Curry

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)



  • 3/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/3 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Curry Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Mustard Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • pinch of Cloves
  • pinch of Ginger
  • 1 tsp Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread
  • 1/4 Yellow Onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Roma Tomato, chopped
  • 2 Tblsp Water
  • 1/4 tsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Green Kale & Carrots
  • 1 Halibut Filet, about 1/3 lb
  • 8 oz Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Tblsp Tofutti Non-Hydrogenated Better Than Sour Cream


  1. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, curry, mustard, cinnamon, cloves, & ginger. Set aside.
  2. Heat coconut spread in a large skillet over medium heat until melted.
  3. Add spice mixture and stir to combine. Cook 10-15 seconds until fragrant.
  4. Add the sliced onions and cook 2-3 minutes.
  5. Next, the mushrooms go into the pan with the onions. Allow to cook until mushrooms begin to sweat.
  6. Add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  7. Add the chopped tomato, water, and brown sugar and cook another minute.
  8. Add the chopped kale and cook 2 minutes until kale begins to wilt.
  9. Move ingredients to the sides of the pan, creating a center space in which to place the fish, skin side down.
  10. Pour the broth around the fish.
  11. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook 6-8 minutes, until fish is opaque.
  12. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream.
  13. Serve over rice.

Pumpkin Green Monster Smoothie

With fall in the air, pumpkin has been fore front on my mind.

image source

…Who am I kidding? When is pumpkin NOT on the fore front of my mind?! I am obsessed with pumpkin year round!

Fall is just an excuse to consume even more pumpkin than usual! Take, for instance, my latest smoothie creation. An autumnal take on a Green Monster, if you will. From kale to chia seeds, this power house breakfast smoothie will fuel you through your morning and nourish you body and soul.

Pumpkin Green Monster Smoothie

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)


  • 1 handful Red Kale
  • 1/2 frozen Banana
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 tsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Process until smooth.