Black Bean & Mushroom Enchiladas

A while ago, Brandi posted this recipe for Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup. I immediately thought about my all-time favorite Chicken Enchiladas and I knew that next time I made them, I wanted to make the cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup at home. Well, I never got around to making them until last week, and seeing as we’re in the middle of veggie month, I had to make a few modifications….but it all worked out!

Instead of chicken enchiladas, I made a black bean and mushroom enchiladas. I started by making the cream of mushroom soup. I made a few changes to Brandi’s recipe…here’s the recipe I used:



Cream of Mushroom Soup

6 oz. portobello mushrooms, diced
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp flour
1 can (12 oz) fat free evaporated milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


1. Add mushrooms to a pan with 1 Tbsp of oil and cook until browned. Remove from the pan.
2. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and flour and whisk together.
3. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat and let cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened.



The original recipe had 12 oz of mushrooms. Clearly I had no idea how many mushrooms that was…and I felt like 6 oz was enough once I started chopping.

Next, since I was on such a homemade kick, I decided to tackle homemade enchilada sauce. I’d been thinking about trying to make this at home for a while now because the canned versions have so much salt. I looked at this recipe and this recipe and ended up with a mixture of the two.



Homemade Enchilada Sauce

1 1/2 c water
8 oz no-salt added tomato sauce
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp flour
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix the flour oil and chili powder together in a sauce pan.
2. Add the water, tomato sauce and the remaining spices and whisk until smooth.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened



The sauce was good, but next time I’d probably only use 2 Tbsp chili powder since the flavor can be a little overwhelming and I’d add a bit more cayenne.

Once both of those were prepared, I was ready to make the enchiladas.



Black Bean & Mushroom Enchiladas

2 cups black beans, cooked
1 c red pepper, diced
1 c brown rice
1 1/2 c chopped Portobello mushrooms
1 1/2 c Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 c low-fat Mexican cheese, divided
5 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 c enchilada sauce

1. Mix  all of the ingredients except 1/4 c cheese in a large bowl.
2. Pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
3. Portion the mixture into the tortillas and roll up. Place seam side down in the pan.
4. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.



Just ignore my sad looking tortillas…I had some trouble with the tortillas sticking together. Also ignore the fact that there are only 4 enchiladas in a smaller pan. I had some trouble with the tortillas sticking together.

So there ya have it, friends. About as homemade as enchiladas can get. Maybe I’ll even make my own tortillas next time!




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Foodie Penpals!

Hi Friends!

Allie and I have been working diligently this weekend to get Foodie Penpals up and running and we’re so excited to share the details with you.

Here’s how it’s gonna work:

-On the 1st of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact each other and get mailing addresses and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! I realize it probably won’t take 2 weeks for you to get your goodies, but this will ensure we can have everyone publish their post on the same day.

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. *US Residents only please at this time- hopefully we can expand soon!*

So that’s the deal, friends. If you’re interested, email me at thelean[email protected] by August 15th. In the email please include:

-your full name
-your email address
-your blog name (if applicable)

The first penpal matches will be sent September 1st. Please only sign up if you truly intend to participate. We don’t want anyone to not receive a box!

Side note: If anyone likes designing buttons and wants to make one for foodie penpals, let me know!

Please help spread the word if you know of any other bloggers/readers that might be interested! The more the merrier 🙂


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Black Bean Guacamole

Recently, I cooked up a whole bag of black beans to restock my freezer supply. Usually I try to undercook them just a bit because when I add them to different dishes, they tend to cook a bit more.

However, I accidentally overcooked this batch a little bit. They’ll still be fine, and I still put most of them in the freezer…but I decided that since they were a bit mushy, they might be good in a dip.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of black beans by themselves. So I didn’t want to make just a plain old black bean dip because I knew I wouldn’t like the flavor. I had an avocado that was nice and ripe and I found myself wondering what a mix of those two flavors would taste like.

I put some beans in the food processor, added an avocado, a little bit of Greek yogurt and the juice of one lemon and gave it a whirl. I made mine pretty smooth, but you could achieve a similar, yet chunkier, result by simply mashing the beans and avocado by hand and then mixing in the yogurt and juice.

Since I do prefer a chunky guacamole, I added some red onion and tomato to the mix for some texture.

I also added some cayenne pepper for a little extra kick!

It turned out great! The avocado flavor definitely covers up the black bean flavor and adding the beans and yogurt help boost the amount of protein! Protein and healthy fats? Yes please!

Printable recipe below- quantities are estimated since I didn’t measure anything!

Black Bean Guacamole

by Lindsay L

Prep Time: 5 min

Keywords: food processor appetizer snack healthy low-sodium vegetarian greek yogurt black beans avocado


  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 c black beans, cooked
  • 2 Tbsp plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c red onion, diced
  • 1/4 c tomato, diced
  • optional- cilantro


In a food processor, combine the avocado, black beans, yogurt and lemon juice. Pulse until desired level of chunkiness is achieved.

Transfer to a small bowl and add the tomatoes, onion and red pepper. Stir to combine.


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Eating this with some Food Should Taste Good jalapeno chips was pretty much the best thing ever! By the way, have you entered my Food Should Taste Good giveaway for your chance to win five bags of chips?!

What’s your favorite way to eat guacamole? Mine is probably on a chicken and guac panini! YUM!



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Homemade Lean Pockets

Last week I got an email from a reader (Hi Erica!!!) about homemade lean pockets. These have been on my to-make list pretty much since I started this blog and I’ve just never gotten around to making them.

I considered this to be the perfect opportunity!

Best of all, they’re super easy. I decided to use my go-to whole wheat pizza dough recipe for the crust. It’s not 100% whole wheat, but it’s 2/3rds…which is pretty good in my book.

The timing on this was also perfect because it gave me the opportunity to try the grilled thick crust pizza I have been pondering.

I made a big batch of dough using this recipe:

Homemade Lean Pockets


by Lindsay L

Keywords: bake sandwich entree healthy vegetarian black beans vegetables

Ingredients (6 pockets)

  • 1 1/2 c warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 c white whole wheat flour
  • 1 c AP flour
  • diced veggies, meat, cheese, beans for filling


1. Put the water in a big bowl and stir in the yeast and salt.

2. Add the flour and stir until combined. No kneading required.

3. Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

4. Divide dough into six portions. Roll each piece out into a rectangle.

5. Top with desired fillings and fold the sides in, pinching to create tight seams.

6. Place seam side down on a baking sheet, cut two slits in the top of each pocket and bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.


You can leave the dough in a covered bowl in the fridge for a week or so if you’re not ready to use it right away!

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Anyways, since I was just testing out this whole lean pockets idea, I only made one. You’ll have to excuse the horrible pictures. Next time I won’t try to photograph white dough on a white counter.

Moving on….I decided to make a mexican themed lean pocket for the hubby’s lunch. I broke off a piece of dough about the size of a baseball and rolled it out pretty thin on the counter. I knew it might puff up while baking and I didn’t want this to be all crust and no filling. You’ll want to roll the dough into a roughly rectangular shape.

Then I chopped up 1/2 a leftover chicken breast and placed it down the middle of the dough. I added some onion, green pepper and black beans and topped everything off with half a slice of reduced fat pepper jack cheese. Then I folded both edges of the dough towards the middle and pinched the seams together tightly. I did the same thing with the ends. I flipped the pocket over and placed it seem side down on a silpat covered baking sheet.

To avoid a lean pocket explosion in my oven, I cut two small holes in the top to let steam escape and baked the pocket at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.

The hubby inhaled his lean pocket and promptly asked where his next one was! I consider that a success.

The cheese stayed inside…probably because I used a healthy amount! And the bottom browned but didn’t burn.

Even though I only made one of these, you could easily make a big batch and store them in the fridge for a few days, or even freeze some and thaw them out later. To pack them in a lunch box, let them cool all the way, then wrap in foil or saran wrap and place in a ziploc bag. Remove the wrapping and heat in the microwave when ready to eat!

The filling possibilities are endless! Just make sure to add lots of veggies and don’t go overboard with the cheeses and sauces!




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Balsamic Grilled Veggies

One of my absolute favorite things about summer is making kabobs on the grill. There’s something about cutting up all of the vegetables that I find very therapeutic. And I love threading them onto the skewers and picking out what pattern they’re going to go in.

Ok, so I may be a little weird….but that’s ok 🙂

Usually I just put my veggies on plain, drizzle them with olive oil and toss them on the grill. Last night I wanted to change things up a bit, so I decided to make a little marinade.

Of course we were so busy yesterday that I didn’t even think about marinating the veggies until it was already dinner time and the hubby was getting ready to light the grill. Even though I knew I only had about 1/2 an hour, I was still confident I could whip up a quick marinade and give them a good 20 minute soak.

I started by dicing my veggies. Last night’s mix included zucchini, yellow squash, red/yellow/green bell peppers, onion and asparagus. *Side note, this was my first time including asparagus on my kabobs and it was awesome. Cooks perfectly along with the rest of the veggies! After dicing the veggies, I put them in a large tupperware container and added 1/2 c balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic and lots of black pepper.

After putting the lid on and shaking things up, I realized that a ziploc bag would have been a much better choice… I transferred them to avoid a balsamic disaster! Every few minutes I tossed the bag around to help coat the veggies.

Just before the grill was ready, I dumped all the veggies back into the container and threaded them onto the skewers.

Then I gave them all a nice little sprinkle of McCormick’s Grill Seasoning for some added flavor.

Then I turned them over to the grill master!

Balsamic Grilled Veggies

by Lindsay L

Keywords: grill side healthy vegetarian vegetables summer spring


  • 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • black pepper
  • mixed veggies


Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Place veggies in a large ziploc bag.

Pour in the marinage and mix well.

Marinate at least 30 min.

Place veggies on skewers and grill to desired doneness.

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While he was busy arranging his hamburgers and the veggies on the grill, I quickly sliced some potatoes, microwaved and seasoned them and popped them on my grill plate to accompany the veggies!

The veggies had great flavor even after just a quick marinade. If you’re good at planning ahead, give them an even longer soak for a deeper flavor!



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Loaded Spinach Salad

This, my friends, is TBS.

The. Best. Salad.


Actually, it’s so good that I’ve eaten it for dinner two nights in a row. That’s right. The exact same salad. And quite honestly, I’ll probably eat it again tonight. What can I say…I’m a creature of habit. In fact, if it weren’t for my hubby, I wouldn’t have a food blog…because I’d just eat the same four things over and over…and no one wants to see that. So for his sake (and yours!) I usually try to get a little more creative in the kitchen.

BUT since the hubby has been busy with work for the past few nights, I’ve allowed myself the indulgence of repetitive eating 🙂

So let’s build this salad, shall we?

Start with about 2 cups of baby spinach. Add 1/2 c quinoa. Then pile on the toppings. This should include, but is not limited to:
-red peppers
-red onions (forgot these the first night!)
-roasted sweet potato

Top with sesame ginger dressing and dig in!

Lather, rinse, repeat for night 2!

I enjoyed the other half of my red pepper and the other half of my apple on the side each night! Protein, veggies and fruit- oh my! There’s not a single thing about this salad that I don’t LOVE 🙂

So tell me, what’s your absolute favorite salad topping?



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