Quinoa and Black Bean Taco Bake

A New Twist on Taco Tuesday!


Quinoa (keen-wah) is one food I’ve been trying to incorporate into our recipes for the last year.   I love the nutty flavor and rich nutrients in this super-food.

My Top 5 Reasons for Being Team Quinoa

1. High in protein — it has more protein compared to rice or wheat.
2. A good source of riboflavin — riboflavin helps reduce the frequency attacks in migraine sufferers by improving the energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells.
3. It only has 172 calories per ¼ cup dry quinoa.
4. Since it is not related to wheat or grain, it’s gluten-free. Millions are discovering they feel better and lose weight when they reduce gluten grains or at least wheat products.
5. It is a complex carbohydrate with low glycemic index. This is again good for weight management.




The ingredient list looks daunting, but don’t let that deter you.  There are a lot of spices and the rest of the ingredients are simple.

Quinoa Black Bean Taco Bake


Clint was a huge fan, having two bowls!   We paired it with Organic Blue Corn Chips and it was delicious.





Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes W/ Buttercream Frosting


I hate naps.


I’d rather walk around like a complete zombie and wish the time away until bedtime before lying down and taking an afternoon nap.

In lieu of an afternoon snooze session I will clean the house, read a book, catch up on some serious Facebook stalking…or, I”ll bake.

Last Sunday’s choice:  made from scratch chocolate cupcakes with butter cream frosting.  This isn’t your traditional chocolate cupcake with frosting either.  I threw in almond flavoring to add just a hint of almond without being too overpowering.  They were perfect.


Choc Cupcakes w.buttercream frosting


Step 1

Cream together the butter, sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, vanilla and almond flavoring and mix well.




Step 2

Add dry ingredients and mix, but not all at once.  I suggest half at a time unless you want flour all over.   Trust me.

Once dry ingredients are mixed well, add chocolate chips and stir.




Step 3

Bake in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.




Step 4

Time for the best part – the butter cream frosting (once cupcakes are cool).  Mix together butter, vanilla and almond extract, milk and powdered sugar.




Step 5

Top cupcakes with frosting using any method you prefer.  I used my Pampered Chef tool.  Love that thing.


Chocolate Cupcakes W/ Buttercream Frosting


Chocolate Cupcakes W/ Buttercream Frosting


Chocolate Cupcakes W/ Buttercream Frosting





Chicken Noodle Soup and Homemade Biscuits: Soup Sunday Recipe


Soup Sunday: Homemade Chicken and Noodles and Biscuits.  Today marks my first time EVER making biscuits from scratch and I have to admit, I was a little leery, but they turned out great!

Recipes Below.  Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Bag Baby Carrots (cut to preferred size or leave whole)
  • 4 ribs celery (cut to preferred size)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
  • 1Tbsp. Butter
  • Rotisserie Chicken (quick method) or 3 chicken breasts (extended method)
  • 16 oz. Frozen Egg Noodles
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Quick Method Prep:

Cut carrots, celery and onions to desired size.


Sunglasses.  Saving eyes from deadly onion vapors since 2013.

In a large pot over medium heat add olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, carrots, celery, basil and parsley and cook till the veggies soften.  Roughly 10 minutes.


While veggies are cooking, shred rotisserie chicken.  Discard any skin and fat.


Once the veggies are softened add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and add chicken and frozen noodles.


Allow to cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.  Season with salt and pepper according to taste.


** For the extended method, throw everything into a pot (except noodles) to cook on medium-high for several hours.  Shred chicken after cooked through, add back to pot, add noodles and cook for an additional 30 minutes to allow noodles to soften and soak up the multiple flavors.

Homemade Biscuits
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Salted Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
Preheat oven to 425°.
Mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Cut in the butter and mix with a fork. Add milk and stir to form dough into a soft ball. If too dry add extra milk 1 Tbsp. at a time if needed
Press dough out onto floured surface.  Use a circle cookie cutter or a small cup to cut biscuits.  I used a coffee mug.
Bake on greased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes. Brush melted butter on top of biscuits immediately after removing from oven.
Serve with Chicken Noodle Soup for a perfect home cooked comfort meal.
Other then making soup and biscuits, our Sunday has been pretty lazy.    Our security team spent a little time scanning the neighborhood.
but quickly succumbed to nap time…