Hi!  Happy 4th! 🙂

Hope you all had a great day! Mine went a little something like this:

– Morning hike – check

– Baked black beans recipe – check (and delicious!)

– Getting all of my things unpacked and organized – well……

Turns out it was a bigger project than I anticipated.  I unpacked a fair amount of things but a large chunk of the day was spent organizing my parents’ pantry and refrigerator just so I had a place to put my stuff!

My mom and I did a number on the kitchen.  The fridge and pantry needed some serious attention.  I’d have posted ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics but you wouldn’t believe me.  We threw away a bunch of old stuff and now there’s actually a semblance of order (a must for me).  I also stumbled upon this little guy…

…and he had friends.  Lots of them.  I ate one and then quickly relocated them to the back of the pantry, but I still know they’re there…

I paused late morning for lunch and to test out a couple recipes.

Here’s the recipe for the ‘baked’ black beans:

– 5 large medjool dates, chopped

– Sauteed in olive oil on medium-low heat for about 6-8 minutes

– Added 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (this will kind of cook out like when you add wine or liquor to a dish), turned heat to low

– Added 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

– Then I smashed them with potato masher

– At the last minute I mashed in about 1/2 tsp each cinnamon and agave

These ‘fakeout’ baked beans turned out pretty good! 🙂

Here’s the finished product:

I also made a mashed sweet potato recipe on the fly that ended up being really tasty!

– 1 large sweet potato, cooked and peeled (I microwaved for about 6 minutes on high wrapped inside a paper towel but you could definitely bake  the potato in the oven if you have more time)

– Added potato to a small pot on medium-low

– Added 1/4 c almond milk (you could use regular if you prefer), mashed with potato masher, cooking about 3 more minutes

– Stirred in 1 tsp cinnamon and agave and a pinch of salt

– Sprinkled in 1 tbsp chopped pecans and then ran through the mix with the potato masher one more time so all of the nuts became finely chopped

I served up my creations alongside a turkey burger with hummus and avocado and a small arugula and cucumber salad.

I may have gone back for second and third helpings of the beans and potato – I did have to test my recipes after all. 😉

My living space is still pretty much in shambles but I’m trying not to stress about it because

1. It’s not going to do me any good, and

2. See reason #1

I still have about a million things I could be doing but I think I’m just going to relax and watch the Bachelorette with my sister instead 🙂

See you in the morning!