Monthly Archives: November 2012

Black Bean And Pureed Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

This is packed with flavor and healthy ingredients.  The pureed roasted red bell peppers, pico de gallo and the tomatilla salsa verde add a whole other dimension to it.  It’s one of the best black bean soups I have ever had, which makes it really hard to stop eating! : )


I had made pico de gallo and tomatillo salsa verde for some other meals and had left overs so I made up this soup which was perfect for the cold weather we have been having.  It is good the way it is but I do like to add some cheese on top!


Recipe – 10 to 12 servings

  • 5 Cups Black Bean Broth (water of Beans)
  • 4 Cups Homemade Black Beans
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeno
  • 1/2 Cup Corn
  • 1 Cup Pico De Gallo
  • 1 Cup Tomatillo Salsa Verde
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt or to taste


Make the Homemade Black Beans and then measure the beans and bean broth and add to a large pot

Roast all the Peppers

Add all peppers in a food processor except the yellow pepper, puree and add to the black beans

Dice the yellow bell peppers and add to the black beans along with the pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa verde, corn and all spices

 Black beans are high in cholesterol lowering dietary fiber, 1 cup of cooked beans provides you with over 1/2 of your daily requirements and reduces blood cholesterol that helps prevent heart disease.   The fiber supports the digestive tract and the colon, which helps constipation, diverticulitis and other gastrointestinal disorders.  They also maintain normal blood sugar levels, helping to prevent diabetes.   Black beans are a very good meat substitute because of their 15 grams of protein in 1 cup and contain only trace amounts of saturated fat and no cholesterol.  They contain phytochemicals, substances found only in plant foods that help fight cancer and other chronic diseases.  They increase energy with the good amounts of iron in them and have more antioxidant activity than other types of beans. They neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.  Black beans are also rich in B vitamins, Folate, potassium (helps regulate your blood pressure and heart rate), magnesium, calcium (builds and maintains bones) and other heart-healthy nutrients.

Bell Peppers are matured green bell peppers and have more nutrition as they mature.  They are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin.  Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.

How to Roast Peppers

Roasted peppers add a wonderful flavor to all kinds dishes.  Use them in sauces, soups, salsas, tapas, dips and whatever you can come up with.



Roast peppers of your choice on the stove top at medium high heat

A gas stove is best but it will also work on electric

Char peppers on all sides turning with tongs When good and charred steam for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut so the steam wont escape


Rinse the peppers and rub off the burnt parts, it is ok to leave a little

Slice in half and remove the seeds and stem

They are ready to slice, dice or puree!

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Rare and Unusual Succulents in Cambria, CA

While in Cambria, we came across this amazing gem of a shop.  They have Succulents of all kinds, most I bet you have never seen before!


The shop is located through another shop called The Garden Shed in the back.  While talking to the owner Nick Wilkinson, ( who was very helpful and extremely informative )  we realized he was a friend of a friend!  Small world!!!


Store mascot


Plants in an old sink is only one of their cool displays


Love the old tractor with all the drift wood


Vintage signs are everywhere





Robby had this red wagon when he was a kid




Cool fountain


Crazy spiral leaves



Lemon Lime Vinaigrette

This is a delightfully refreshing vinaigrette bursting with flavor!



Recipe: Approx. 1 Cup

  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar (you can substitute Plain Champagne Vinegar)
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoons Lime zest
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Shallots
  • 1 Large clove Garlic or 2 small cloves
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt


Grate the lime peel then add to a jar

Mince the shallot and garlic then add to jar along with the vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil and salt

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Maple Caramelized Walnuts

These are sooo easy to make and incredibly addictive!  Add to salads or just eat them for a healthy sweet snack.


Recipe – 2 Cups

  • 2 Cups Raw Walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup (Mildly sweet)
  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup (Medium Sweet)
  • 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup (Sweet)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt


Add everything in a saute pan and turn on stove to med heat

Stir the whole time

In about 3 minutes they will start to get sticky and when all moisture is gone turn off heat

Spread on parchment paper or a baking sheet and separate as best you can.  Wait a few minutes till hardened and they are ready.

There are 3 different measurements for the maple syrup depending on how sweet you want them.

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Eagle Castle Winery

Eagle Castle Winery has an extraordinary tasting room with a view from their terraces overlooking the Santa Lucia Mountains of Paso Robles.



The tasting room was built to replicate a European castle, with a moat


The Estate vineyard is three years into a four-year plan to becoming Organically Certified



Tasting Room



This sparkling wine is really nice and refreshing

I am usually not into Chardonnay’s but theirs is a nice crisp Chardonnay without the overly oaky flavors.

3090 Anderson Road Paso Robles, Ca 93446

Homemade Everything Tostadas

You cannot imagine how incredible these tostadas are!  The difference of canned beans, store bought pico de gallo and making it fresh is no comparison!!!

Mi Rancho is a hand crafted Organic Corn Tortilla Company.  For three generations they have been crafting tortillas the traditional way.  You can taste the difference.  If you can’t find them, request that your local store carry them.


Start by making the Homemade Black Beans and Pico De Gallo. (I like to make these the day before)

Make the Guacamole a la Robby, shred the cheese, chop the lettuce and mince the purple cabbage

Add a 1/8th inch of olive oil into skillet on med-high heat. Make sure it’s hot before putting in the corn tortillas

Turn every so often and when they float they are ready

Place onto a couple of sheets of paper towels

Blot out excess oil on tortillas. Then layer on the black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo, purple cabbage and lime.


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