Black Rice Lima Bean Bowl

This bowl is bursting with bright green and orange colors! The dish is a perfect meal because it is vegan and a complete protein with black rice and black beans included. Whole grains are even present because black rice is a 100% whole grain product! The flavors blend beautifully together! The black rice offers an earthy element, the black bean filling offers cumin scented sweet potatoes, and the lima beans offer a colorful, chewy texture.

Black Rice Lima Bean Bowl

Servings: 1 bowl

1/2 cup sweet potato black bean enchilada filling
1/3 cup black rice
1/3 cup lima beans
Salt and pepper

In the bowl, place the filling, black rice, and lima beans. Either heat the dish in the microwave for 2 minutes or on the stove for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Black Rice Lima Bean Bowl


Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

These healthy enchiladas are vegan, although you can add cheese if you want, and great to keep during the week for quick meals. They provide a good source of vegetables from kale, sweet potatoes, and onion. The sweet-potato black bean filling is also versatile, not just to make enchiladas. It can be used as a side, a dip for chips, or served with rice. The unique ingredient in this recipe is soy sauce, which gives all the flavors an extra push without having that strong soy sauce taste.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

Yields about 12 enchiladas
There will be leftover filling

2 sweet potatoes, medium to large (or 3 smaller)
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 large kale leaves, chopped
2 cans (15-oz each) black beans, drained
4 TB low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Corn or whole wheat tortillas
Enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cook sweet potatoes separately by either steaming in the microwave for 10 minutes or roasting in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Remove skin and mash the potatoes when they are soft and set aside until ready to use.

Heat 2 TB vegetable broth in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until soft. Add the coriander and cumin. Next, add the rest of the vegetable broth, kale, black beans, soy sauce, and mashed sweet potatoes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and soft. Season with salt.

In a pan, place a thin layer of the enchilada sauce on the bottom. Place 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture on each tortilla (or whatever feels right), roll up, and place seam side down in the pan. Fill up the entire pan and cover the top lightly with enchilada sauce. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

If you have leftover sweet potato-black bean mixture, keep in the fridge to make more enchiladas later. Also, it can be great for other meal uses, like my Black Rice Lima Bean Bowl!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

Pimento Cheese Spread

This red-orange hue colorful mixture is perfect to make and store in the fridge for awhile.  I use it for quick lunches or as a cracker spread for snacks and if I have guests over.  The flavor components include: garlic, peppers, and creamy cream cheese!  It’s definitely my go-to quick meal.

Pimento Cheese Spread

Makes about 2 cups, a pint jar full

3 TB pimentos
1/4 cup plain yogurt
4 oz Neufchâtel cream cheese
2 cups mozzarella
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Stir the pimentos and yogurt or puree them till smooth
Mix the cream cheese and mozzarella, you can also use a different cheese or a couple different ones.
Add the pimento mixture to the cream cheese and mozz
Finally add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder

*I like to use all mozzarella to cut back on the fat and blend the pimentos so they aren’t chunky

Pimento Cheese Spread

Pimento Cheese Spread

Stir-Fry Noodles

Stir-Fry Noodles

1 serving

1-2 large carrots or handful of baby carrots
1/4 head of broccoli or handful of frozen
1 fresh garlic
1 chicken breast
1 serving chinese or japanese noodles, fresh or dry (4 oz)
Stir-fry sauce, teriyaki sauce, or soy sauce
Olive or canola oil

-Cut your chicken in bite sized pieces and bake in oven or on stove top
-Stir fry your vegetables in a little oil with garlic (you could use the chicken pan for all those yummy chx drippings), you may need to add a little water and cover so the veg can soften
-Cook your noodles in boiling water until soft

-When everything is ready, add all together and mix in sauce, however much tastes good!  I love stir-fry sauce because it has more concentrated flavor and is thick like BBQ sauce.

This dish also makes GREAT leftovers

*usually a serving of chinese or japanese noodles is 4 oz, if you don’t have a scale use 1-2 handfuls of the noodles

Jerk Marinade

I love this Caribbean marinade!  Full complex flavor for the perfect star of a Caribbean themed menu. This is great to marinade chicken or mix with rice.

Jerk Marinade - The Kitchen Bistro


  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 Scallions (green onions)
  • 3 fresh garlic or 2 TB garlic powder
  • 1 TB Dried thyme
  • 1.5 tsp Ground sage
  • 1 TB Ground allspice
  • 3/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (or none)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup White vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
I make this full batch either chopped up finely or whizzed in a blender.
I usually just omit the cayenne pepper because the regular black pepper makes the marinade already spicy, a nice kick!  This is great to keep in the freezer which I do.

Use 4-6 chx breasts for the full batch or at your leisure, however much you desire
If marinating chicken, let sit for half a day – full day for maximum flavor
I like Jerk Chicken Sandwiches with toasted ciabatta bread, cheese, mayo, lettuce, and the marinated roasted chicken
Roasted chx – 350 degrees, 20 min, a semi thin piece (I cut a chicken breast in half long ways, like butterflying but cutting through)

Mix with brown rice for Caribbean flavor

This is also great to make big batches of and stick in the fridge or freezer in personal bags to have at your command
A lot of times I find myself not having every single one of these spices on hand at the same time; the marinade will still taste good

Jerk Chicken - The Kitchen Bistro

Minestrone Soup

The first time I made this soup was for Christmas.  This soup is perfect for a blistery wintery day to warm up with.  The parmesan cheese adds for a nice saltiness along with the chard adding a nice earthy element to the dish.  Pair this soupe with crusty charred French bread!

1-2 TB olive oil, for bottom of pan
1 onion, chopped
2 big carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
6 slices turkey bacon, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound kale or swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves torn
2 russet potato, peeled, cubed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium vegetable broth
Salt and pepper

Heat oil; add onion, carrot,  celery, garlic, turkey bacon; soften for 5 min
Add swiss chard & potato; cover and let wilt for 5-10 min
Add tomatoes & rosemary
Blend 3/4 cup of beans & 1/4 cup broth; add to pot
Add broth
Simmer pot till potatoes are tender; about 20 min
Add in whole beans; finally season
Serve with parmesan cheese
Minestrone Soup - The Kitchen Bistro
Minestrone Soup - The Kitchen Bistro
 Minestrone Soup - The Kitchen Bistro

Lentil Tacos

These tacos are perfect for vegetarians, hearty like regular taco meat

Lentil Tacos - The Kitchen Bistro

1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup dried lentils

1 TB chili powder & 1 tsp dried oregano
1-2 TB taco seasoning

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup salsa
Taco fixin’s

Soften onion & garlic in a little oil
Add lentils & seasoning
Add broth, bring to boil, reduce to simmer (BTB, RTS)
about 30-40 min on stovetop

When all done, add salsa & enjoy