The Beloved Bean

by HEAB on March 10, 2014

It’s been way too long!  I have several blog posts written in my head, but I’m just not on the computer much these days.  Nor am I on my yoga mat.  My yoga challenge simply did not happen.  I had such good intentions, even set my alarm everyday for 5 AM for a week straight…and then proceeded to shut it off  and sleep until I heard Hannah stir. I told myself I’d do it at night, and I did…twice (was sore for days!).  I was downloading longer flow-type classes, but simply wasn’t up for it by the time we got all the kids to bed.  Hmm, I thought, maybe some gentle yin-type yoga is just what I need.  So, I downloaded a few classes…and never did one.   Needless to say, January was not the month of enlightening yoga I’d hoped it would be, but I did learn plenty about my mind and body.  Yoga used to be a priority, but it’s not now.  I could make time for it, but I don’t want to.  I’m pretty sure I will someday, but for now, I’d rather spend the few quiet moments I have in the morning with a cup of coffee and email/news.  In the evening, I’d rather sit down to dinner with my husband and then perhaps read or work on craft projects.  The mat will always be there, and I hope to be back on it someday.

Where have I been?  Believe it or not, I’ve been back in the kitchen, experimenting with various recipes, trying to figure out how to feed a family of six.  We’ve been eating A LOT of beans – they’re inexpensive, easy, and so versatile.  About once or twice a week, I soak a pot of beans overnight or all morning and then cook them.  The cooked beans then go in the fridge for different recipes throughout the week.  The following are some of our favorites…

Cuban Black Beans

A friend brought us the above chicken dish after Hannah was born, and now we eat it at least once a week.  We’ve also served it for dinner parties with all the fixings for a taco salad bar.  So good!


Chicken Azteca


  • 1 – 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed (I use 2 cups of cooked beans)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 cup salsa (chunky)
  • 1 package cream cheese (we usually only use about 1/2  to 3/4 package)
  • 4 chicken breasts


  • Combine first 4 ingredients and 1/2 cup of the salsa in a crockpot.
  • Add chicken breasts and top with remaining salsa.
  • Cook on high 3-4 hours.
  • Remove chicken and chop or shred.
  • Add chicken back into crockpot with cream cheese.
  • Stir together, cook on high until cheese is melted.
  • Serve over rice and top with cheese.



Jenna’s Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Beans with Kale…Charlie likes to point out his bites.

Favorite bean recipe?





Cara (Twinthusiast) March 22, 2014 at 10:59 am

Hope everything is going well! We are big black bean fans — the girls’ fav way to eat them is mixed with quinoa and cheese. My friend just gave me another super easy recipe — she mixes red pasta sauce with chia seed and hemp seed and puts it over whole wheat pasta. Sounds weird but is actually quite tasty!

HEAB March 22, 2014 at 5:49 pm

My three eaters seem to get pickier by the day. Sometimes they’ll eat beans and other times, they won’t have anything to do with them. Same with rice. maybe I’d have better luck with quinoa…and cheese makes everything better in their eyes. 🙂

Jess March 21, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Love it when you blog! 🙂 Your priorities have completely changed and it is refreshing to read from a mum that it is really hard to have both the time, energy and desire to do the same things as pre babes. Those meals look amazing! My kids love beans but , my husband is crazy picky haha. Always someone right!?! I hope your little tribe is settling in nicely since you had Hannah, I cant imagine how you juggle it!

HEAB March 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Thanks Jess. I love blogging – miss it, but yep, my priorities have completely changed. I’ll get back to yoga and other pre-baby activities someday…I think.

Laughing about your picky hubby. My three eaters eat beans one day and throw them to the dogs the next. So unpredictable these kids. At least your husband is probably more consistent with his dislikes. 😉

Hannah is doing great – she’s the sweetest easiest babe ever. I think she senses she’s #4 and is taking it easy on me. We love her so much!

Health Bee March 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm

So glad to hear from you, Heather.

HEAB March 16, 2014 at 11:01 am

Thanks Health Bee!

Ameena March 15, 2014 at 7:54 am

Yoga has to happen in the morning for me…or it doesn’t happen. And I only have one kid so I can imagine how hard it is for you to fit it in.

Love the combination of brown rice and black beans. I make the same thing for Maya and she loves it!

Have a great weekend Heather.

HEAB March 16, 2014 at 11:08 am

Hey Ameena,
Can Maya talk to my kids about her love of beans? One day they’ll eat them, and then next day, they end up on the floor. Grrr 🙁

Deadra March 14, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Heather! It’s so nice to see you back!
I have been having similar feelings about working out with extra babies roaming around my house lately. I need to cut myself some slack. I did sign up for another sprint tri though, but I DON’T have to finish it in record time. This was a good reminder. Oh and beans! My kids LOVE beans. I bought 5 lbs of marrow beans recently, they’re so yummy! They go well in so many dishes.

HEAB March 16, 2014 at 11:10 am

Marrow beans? Don’t think I’ve ever had those. Will google, and go you! That’s awesome you’re even thinking about doing a sprint tri. Takes a lot to fit in the training with three little ones running around. I’m impressed. 🙂

vanillasugarblog March 14, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Oh H I do love your family photos on Instagram.
AND I’m glad you kind of back on here too.
Lately I have been doing a lot of Chipotle bowls for dinner, not in the mood to make anything. This winter has drained me.
I’m hoping tomorrow I will have baking mojo back for one recipe….
Winter has lasted over 100 years here–I swear!

HEAB March 16, 2014 at 11:12 am

Hey Vanilla,
You know I love me some Chipotle. Still have yet to try your chips in the bag + hot sauce shake trick. Always forget every time I go.

This winter has drained us all – not sure how you East Coasters even survived (I’m a total wimp when it comes to cold weather!). It was bad enough down South, and I’m so ready to come out of hibernation!

Reba- Not So Perfect Life March 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm

I”m glad your back. SOmetimes the things we plan… just dont happen. And I”ve learend that we have to be ok with it. Just move on and focus harder next time!

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:32 am

Exactly. Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

the delicate place (@misathemeb) March 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm

i just usually sprinkle garbanzos over whatever i’m eating! alternately, i puree them with juice pulp to make ‘veggie’ falafel! don’t worry heab! your plate is most definitely full! we all have good intentions and i’m sure that you will find the time to do something that makes you feel good somewhere in the midst of that growing household! x

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:34 am

Mmm, love me some garbanzos, and Charlie loves hummus. Definitely need to throw a bag in my shopping cart next grocery store trip. We used to keep a stock of cooked chickpeas in the fridge, but I just got out of the habit. Thanks for the reminder, and I was soooo envious of the pics of you and Nate’s trip. Looked AMAZING!

lindsay March 11, 2014 at 10:11 pm

believe it or not i actually put rice and lentils in a rice cooker and BAM, dinner is ready with a fried egg on top. Simple, right? Love this dish. and uhh the fact that you even try to do yoga with 4 kids under the age of 5 amazes me. Super mom!

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:34 am

I believe it. Good call Lindsay. It was delicious. 🙂

Purelytwins March 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm

we need to give beans a try again and see how our stomachs due 🙂
this dish looks amazing, will have to make it for Gary as he loves dishes like this!!
glad you are doing well! hugs

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:35 am

Yes, yes, yes. Loving beans these days, and perhaps your bellies will cooperate this time around. Hope so, and I also hope Gary enjoys the dish. One of our faves! 🙂

Heather March 11, 2014 at 8:20 pm

So glad to hear from you! Your blog was always one of my favorites.
Our favorite bean recipe is a lentil and salmon salad- super easy! 1/2 bag lentils, 1 can of salmon, green onions, dill, and lemon juice.

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Thanks Heather, and your lentil salmon dish sounds easy and delicious. My kind of recipe! 🙂

kim March 11, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Hi Lady!

Life happens, you know? I have not been to yoga or done yoga in a LONG time. My brain cannot shut off long enough to enjoy like I used to. Someday…If you want a super quick VERY effective workout…try
LOVE! I have been doing daily. Designed for busy mom’s. Only 10-60 mins, very fun and very effective! Going to try a few of your yummy recipes! Hope all is well!!

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:37 am

Hi Kim,
Hope all is well with you – think of you often. Thanks for the Barre3 tip. A 10 minute workout? Perfect! 🙂

Sarah March 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm

You know I am so down with the beans. Roasted chickpeas!!!! On salad, in tacos, you name it, we love ’em.

So wonderful to hear from you 🙂

lindsay March 11, 2014 at 10:12 pm

and wonderful to hear from you BOTH! <3

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:37 am

Thanks Sarah. Always wonderful to hear from YOU! 🙂

kirsten March 11, 2014 at 10:04 am
HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:38 am

Falafels? Tahini sauce? I will definitely be trying those. Thanks! 🙂

Marcia@Frugal Healthy Simple March 11, 2014 at 10:01 am

Wow, this looks delish! I love crockpot meals. I am totally going to do that chicken dish (but on low 9 hours while I’m at work).

I totally get you on choosing coffee over yoga. I was really sick last fall – stressed out, not sleeping, ended up with a bad case of bronchitis. So I decided to chill out. I started taking time off work (used up all my vacation time for sick days and mental health days and school holidays), and I ended each evening with a cup of herbal tea and some crocheting or knitting.

It really did the trick. I do need to get back into yoga though! Hard to get up early when my 20-month old still wakes up 1-3 nights a week and just…yells.

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:41 am

Ugh, so sorry you had a rough fall. Stress and lack of sleep can do a lot of damage, and I’m glad you took some time off to give your mind and body a break. Yoga will always be there (hard lesson for me to learn!). For now, just sleep…when the babe isn’t yelling.

Emily March 11, 2014 at 9:51 am

Those all look so yummy!!! Will be on the list for next week for sure. :):) LOVE reading blog posts from you! xoxo

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:42 am

Hi Emily,
Love YOU 🙂

Carrie March 11, 2014 at 7:27 am

Such a fun surprise to see a HEAB post in my reader this morning… 🙂 our two favorite bean recipes are a throw-together one, and a slow-cooker one. The first was created by my sister – we call it “Beans & Corn & Rice”. Take a cup of brown rice and cook it up, then mix (most of it) with a rinsed can of kidney beans and a drained can of corn (or frozen). Then add as much salsa as looks good to you, top with shredded cheese and heat in a moderate oven for 20-25 minutes. (It’s one of those “the whole is way better than the sum of the parts” things.) Our second favorite is an oldie from Everyday Food: I never can believe that the pintos will cook from dry, but they do! Great taco fixings, or just on top of brown rice.

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 8:46 am

Hi Carrie,

Loving any sort of bean-centric Mexican flavored dish these days, and these sound just about perfect. I’m dreaming of your sister’s recipe atop a plate of tortilla chips, and that’s awesome the dried pinto beans will cook in the 2nd recipe without soaking + cooking first. Will save me some time. Thank you!

Melissa March 11, 2014 at 6:59 am

So glad to see you post! I completely understand! We all have to find balance in our lives and at times that means not doing things we used to cherish… It is not that we wouldn’t like to, it is not as important to us during this season. I was an avid runner, who feels much like you. After our third there are just other things I would rather do right now. I started yoga consistently about two months ago and love it… I practice during nap time… But I also find if I miss nap time and wait for my hubby to get home I tend not to do it… I also would much rather spend time with him then alone on my mat. Due to a recent running injury ( he is ok just needs to rest his foot) he has been doing yoga with me ( insert evil laugh here) lol! We are vegetarians so beans are HUGE for us… I also use dried and cook ahead of time for the week… If I remember. My fave recipe is for Chickpeas Chana Marsala. If you want a database of inexpensive bean dishes check out and look under legumes category in the recipes… You can find all sorts of great dishes there!

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Hi Melissa,
Love that you and your husband are doing yoga together…maybe he’ll love some of the strength and flexibility gains and continue with his practice after his injury heals…maybe? 😉 Anyway, thank you for understanding me and for your encouragement. So good to hear from others going through the same types of experiences, and thank you for the tip. Going to check out some of their recipes. Take care, and if it’s nap time for you right now, hope you’re enjoying a sun salutation right about now.

Susan March 11, 2014 at 5:42 am

Hey Heather! So happy to see a blog post. This was excellent and I can’t wait to try out these new recipes. The easiest dish we make at our house is: chicken breast, salsa, corn + black beans in the crockpot. Cooked all day then served over rice or in whole wheat tortillas! We never tire of it.

Take care and enjoy spring. Warmer days are on the way 🙂

HEAB March 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Hi Susan,
Thank you and YES, I never tire of Mexican type dishes either. Any meal where I can use a tortilla chip as a spoon makes me happy. 🙂

Megan March 11, 2014 at 4:59 am

So great to hear from you again, Heather!

The bean recipes look delicious. Question for you – how do you always find the best recipes? Do you go to trusted sites and look for inspiration that way? I appreciate any insight you could share!

Favorite bean recipe is a slow cooker one for black bean and butternut squash chili. . this is one of our favorites in my house:

HEAB March 12, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Hi Megan,
Thank you and as far as recipes go, I usually just google what I’m looking for, like “black beans and rice” and then look at the first few hits that come up and read the reviews. That’s how I’ve found some of our favorite recipes. I also get a lot of recipes from friends, and I love Smitten Kitchen ( and Skinny Taste ( has some good recipes as well.

Thanks for the black bean recipe. Going to try it soon with sweet potatoes . 🙂

Tabitha March 11, 2014 at 1:44 am

Lovely to see you pop in again and wonderful to see that your life is so full and that you just have different priorities now.

HEAB March 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Thanks Tabitha. Hope to pop in more often. 🙂

Ellen March 11, 2014 at 12:49 am

Great to see your post. Heather! Glad you and the kiddos are doing well.

HEAB March 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Thanks Ellen. 🙂

Cherie March 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Good to hear from ya Heather! I wish I could get my gang to eat beans. These look great, but if I make them I’d end up eating most of it myself….not a good thing, lol!

Hope everyone is healthy and happy!

HEAB March 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm

One day my kids will eat beans, and they next day they won’t touch them. Go figure. Oh well, more for me and Chris. 😉

Natalie March 10, 2014 at 9:04 pm

I love this post with a recipe that I can’t wait to try… and can totally relate. Running has taken a back seat for me, something that used to be a priority, but I’d prefer to be doing things like researching fun school lunches and recipes I can make for my kids or edit pictures of them. 🙂 Glad all is well!

HEAB March 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm

I know, right? I finally realized that the things that were so important pre-kids just aren’t that important to me now, and that’s okay. Maybe they will be again someday, and maybe they won’t. For now, I’m happy to be at story time or doing an art project with my kids. 🙂

Debra March 10, 2014 at 8:26 pm

I’m always eager to read your blog. You’re honesty is so refreshing. Hope your kiddos are well. They’re blessed to have you as their mommy!

HEAB March 12, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Thanks Debra. 🙂

Tracy March 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Yay! So happy to see a post from you, Heather! I almost emailed you just to say “hi” but knew you’d post when you had the time 🙂

Yes, you’re right, your yoga mat will always be there! That’s one of the best things about yoga. It is and always will be there when you’re ready! You’ll enjoy it so much more when you are ready.

I make a salsa chicken similar to your recipe but love the idea of adding cream cheese. I’ll try that next time for sure. My favorite bean “recipe” is good old hummus! I make at least a couple batches a week.

So great to hear from you!

HEAB March 12, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Hi Tracy,
Good to be back. 🙂

I tried recreating the chicken my friend brought me after googling a few crockpot chicken recipes with no luck. Finally emailed her for the exact recipe, and the cream cheese was my missing ingredient. Takes the recipe to a whole new level. So delicious! Hope you enjoy it.

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