Vegetarian Update {with Black Bean & Quinoa Recipe}

It's been about 5 months now since I first became a vegetarian {technically a pescatarian...are you guys sick me using that word yet?}

I'm still pleasantly surprised with myself that I've kept it up for this long. It's not that I didn't think I could, but I am just surprised as to how easy the transition has been. A LOT easier than most of you may think. I wanted to give an update on what I'm currently eating or tips/tricks I've found that has worked for me, in case anyone is interested in trying this lifestyle.

Here are some of my eating habits & things I've learned:

~I'm still eating seafood - once or twice a week. Sometimes only once.

~I rarely eat eggs anymore. I didn't mean to give them up..it just happened naturally. I think I've ate foods containing eggs less than 10 times in the past 5 months.

~Beans are my best friend - particularly black beans but I enjoy them all...garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc.

~Being a vegetarian DOESN'T mean you have to make pasta every night. You can still have  a low-carb diet.

~Despite popular belief...I still am full and satisfied after every meal! :)

~Not eating meat isn't something I have to now "think about" not having. At the beginning- I had to try hard to come up with meals and make sure I wasn't eating any meat. Now-making meals comes naturally and I don't miss it or have any cravings.

~I enjoy salads that are the size of my face. Gimme every vegetable on that sucker, please!

Here are some health benefits I've experienced since making the switch:

~Absolutely zero headaches (used to get them frequently) or stomach aches.

~Increased energy (no BLAH! feeling)

~My weight doesn't fluctuate like it used to (partly due to my overeating on weekends...and even when I miss workouts)

~My anxiety has gone down a lot...I didn't have bad anxiety to begin with, but when I would get worked up or have some anxiety, I would get a red rash on my neck and chest...those = GONE. Not too sure what this could be caused by, but just something I've noticed.

*I'm just speaking for me here...we all know I'm not some super smart doctor or nutritionist (although I would love to be one) so these are just my experiences and beliefs.

I'm currently loving all of the "Amy's" products: Here are 2 good options I eat either for lunch or dinner.

Alright, y'all. Ya, I went there.

I have an amazing recipe to share. There should be no excuses not to try this one, unless you don't like black beans.

I found this recipe and it is absolutely perfect for many reasons. 1. I make a big batch of this on Sunday and will use the leftovers for lunch during the week, or for a side dish at dinner. It is PERFECT. 2. It's easy, tasty, and fills me up ohh sooo well. Ok, that's 2 reasons, but 2 very big reasons to love it. :)

Seriously, I recommend trying this recipe even if you aren't a vegetarian. It's a wonderful alternative and will leave you wanting more!!

(This recipe does say it's a "chili", but I don't really think of it as that because I make sure all the liquid is absorbed..you can eat this cold too.)

Adapted from www.vegetariantimes.com

Black Bean and Quinoa Chili

1 cups rinsed and drained quinoa
2 cups water
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup chopped celery
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 tomatoes, cored and diced
1 cup diced carrots
Two 16-oz. cans black beans, drained
One 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. dried parsley (2 Tbs. fresh)
1 Tbs. dried oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
4 green onions, chopped (optional)

I added 1 can of corn as well.

Combine quinoa and water in saucepan, cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large, non-stick pan; add onion, bell pepper, celery and jalapeño. Sauté 7 minutes over medium heat. Stir in fresh tomatoes and carrots; sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in beans, crushed tomatoes, and seasonings; cook about 25 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in quinoa; cook 5 minutes more.

Ladle chili into bowls and top with green onions if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Tomorrow I'm thinking about sharing some of my favorite work out exercises as of recently... but only if that would interest some of you, so LET ME KNOW if you would like to see any! :)

Hope you enjoy the recipe!



  1. Wow - can't belive all the benefits. That is so awesome that you are keeping up with this way of life. I honestly don't think I would be able to do it, but great job! I gotta try that black bean burrito, that looks yum :)

  2. one of my goals before I turn 30 is to not eat meat for a month - I have a feeling that month might turn into 6 months after reading this post... who knows, even longer maybe?! AND I love Amy's products!

  3. Yay! You should totally post some of your workouts.. I'm training for a triathlon right now, so I'm always looking for different workouts.. I have the attention span of a gnat! :)

    I just started a yeast free diet.. so I'm getting into way way more veggies than ever before. The recipe you posted is going to have to be one I try out!

  4. Yes-please share the workouts you enjoy! The benefits of being a vegetarian you listed might've convinced be a little bit more to try this. Hmmmm?

  5. Oh, I am so glad you posted this! I'm always looking for GOOD vegetarian recipes and this will definitely be one I'll have to try! What's weird is that I also have noticed how I'm eating eggs less and less since I've gone pescatrian! I would love to see some of your favorite workout exercises too!

  6. I need to try those Amy's products. I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't eat a TON of meat either. My boyfriend doesn't get how I can have a meal without meat, but once you adjust..you are totally right. Your body really doesn't NEED it often at all. Good for you with the switch! Sounds like you are doing great. :)

  7. My New Year's Resolution for 2009 was to give up meat so I didn't eat any for a full year. Unfortunately I didn't plan it out well and was eating a lot of Mexican and Italian food and gained 10 lbs :( After a year I incorporated chicken and fish back into my diet. Good for you! It's tough but worth it. Although I do crave a cheeseburger now and then ;)

  8. I'm with you girlfriend- I love and kind of beans and especially quinoa!!

  9. I've been a "mostly veg" since junior high. I don't eat seafood or eggs but I sometimes eat chicken. I love black beans and I LOVE Amy's. Try the Mexican bowl. It is so good!! I'll have to try this recipe you posted but first I will have to figure out what quinoa is!! haha

  10. Good job girl! I am so impressed! I really should try to make the transition...I was a vegetarian for 2 years when I was a teenager but eventually gave in, I just crave meat sometimes.

    The same thing happens to me when I get anxious...I get a super weird red rash on my chest! So strange!!!

  11. Welp I love black beans and quinoa so this is on my yes list! Stopping by from Jenna's blog. You have a fab little home over here!

  12. I think I could do this. I eat a lot of chicken, but not much meat, but really if I could still eat fish I'd be okay. I love beans, and I eat a lot of whole grains. That's so great that you've been doing this and have had these positive results.

    I'm a really anxious person; why do you think that it has helped your anxiety? To have a decrease in anxiety I would happily try this...

  13. I'm vegetarian (pescatarian)too, have been for over a year now...and I agree I just feel better! Love Amy's products and I will have to try your recipe, looks yummy!

  14. This looks wonderful! Thanks for the recipe. A vendor at my local farmer's market sells black bean and goat cheese tamales. They are to.die.for!

  15. I have recently decided to go pescatarian and am so glad to hear how well it's working for you and all the benefits you're seeing :) Can't wait to try the chili recipe tomorrow!! :)

  16. Love black beans, and all beans, but especially black beans. They are so hard to find in New Zealand, so when I come across them I stock up! Will have to try this receipe, would make a great lunch! And the Amy's burrito reminds me of when I had my wisdom teeth out, I stocked up on these beforehand and they were so tasty yet easy to eat, I miss them too. Mmm food.


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