Tasty Tuesday #7: Tempeh and Black Bean Taco Bowls

Good morning! I hope all of you are having a wonderful morning and a great week.🙂 It’s hot here in the windy city, so I got my run in early this morning. I am so happy I did, even though I have the day off work, because holy cow it’s getting humid! I had another good run this morning of 3 miles at 7:35 pace. 🙂 I have a ways to go before getting to where I was before my injury, but I am starting to feel more like my old self. I still have to build up my mileage slowly and continue my PT exercises, but at least my run pace is starting to come down as I get back into shape!

Now, for the real reason I am here…Tasty Tuesday! This week’s Tasty Tuesday is a taco recipe because I am a little too excited about Taco Tuesday! I know, I know I already shared a taco recipe with all of you last week….BUT tacos are so tasty and this recipe is different! I love both recipes, but these tacos are a little more filling than the black bean and quinoa ones from last week. Plus, I absolutely love meals in a bowl and anything that is made with black beans, if you guys could not tell.😛 These tempeh and black bean taco bowls are tasty, filling, full of protein, healthy, and last, but not least they are vegan. Bonus points for how quick they are to make! So do yourself a favor and make tacos tonight! I do have to confess that I made these last night…I could not wait for taco Tuesday! haha. I really want to make them again tonight because they are so delicious…. Without further ado here is the recipe!🙂

Tempeh and Black Bean Taco Bowls


Yield: 2-3 servings


1 packet taco seasoning (I used mild, but if you like things spicy I’d use medium or hot) 

1 cup rice of your choice (I used Jasmine rice)

1 package of tempeh (I used Lightlife original)

1 can of black beans drained and rinsed

1 cup of frozen peppers

canola oil (as needed)

Optional: red pepper flakes, salsa, pico de gallo, tortilla chips

1. Prepare the rice according to the directions on the package.


2. Mix the packet of taco seasoning with water, according to the package directions. Set aside.


3. Cut the tempeh into bite sized pieces.


4. Let the tempeh marinate in the taco seasoning mixture for 5-10 minutes.


5. Sauté the tempeh in canola oil and spoon some of the taco seasoning mixture into the frying pan for added flavor. Fry until the tempeh starts to brown ( ~ 10 minutes).


6.  In the meantime, sauté the peppers in canola oil. Add the drained and rinsed black beans once the peppers are almost fully cooked (~10 minutes.). Optional: for more flavor add some of the taco seasoning mixture to the pepper and black beans too.


7. Once everything is fully cooked, serve! Spoon the rice into bowls, add the tempeh, black bean/ pepper mixture, and any desired toppings (salsa,red pepper flakes, pico de gallo, etc). Mix it all together! If bowls aren’t your thing, serve in a warm tortilla! YUM!!🙂


I hope all of you have a great day and more importantly, a happy Taco Tuesday (am I the only one who thinks of the Lego movie?)!

Today’s question: Any fun plans this week or weekend? I’m going to Lollapalooza this weekend and I cannot wait!🙂

Weekly Workouts #2: July 20th-July 26th, 2015

Good afternoon and happy Sunday friends! I hope all of you had lovely weeks filled with fun, time in the sunshine, and some exercise.  I know I did!  Exercise-wise this week was a bit of roller coaster. It started out rough with a crappy four mile run, then a good run, then an okay run, then a wonderful bike ride, and finally best run I’ve had post injury. I think I am being too hard on myself with my runs. I was injured for 5 months, have only been allowed to run/walk or run for a month, and I just finished Physical Therapy a week ago, so of course I am going to be slow and feel out of shape. Sometimes, during a run, I forgot those things and wonder why 7:50 min/mile feels so hard, why my form feels off, and why four miles feels so far. I need to remember that patience and going slow (in terms of pace, miles per week, and number of runs per week) is important to prevent an injury relapse or a different injury.

Getting back into shape is going to take time and preventing an IT band injury relapse is going to  take dedication to my post- physical therapy strength exercises and to a slow return to running. I am up for this challenge! I need to remember that I am LUCKY to be running now. In March I would have given ANYTHING to be where I am today. I may not get back into shape, run my usual pace, find my running rhythm, or be able to race for a while. But I know I will eventually. I always do. Running is not always about the destination, sometimes it’s about the journey. I need to embrace my own  journey of getting back into shape and to be proud of how far I’ve come.🙂 I will be back to my old, running self in no time if I am patient and grateful.

Weekly Workouts #2: July 20th-July 26th, 2015

Monday July 20th: Rest day.

Tuesday July 21st: Warm up: clams, band walks (side steps and forward), and 5 minutes walking. 4 mile run at 8:04 min/ mile. It was a hot day and my legs felt heavy and I felt lethargic. Not a good run.😦 Cool down: walking, stretches with the stretch out strap, foam rolling, and 3X30 sec planks (front, right side, and left side).

Wednesday July 22nd: Warm up: same as Tuesday. 3 mile run at 8:14 min/mile. Felt pretty good on this evening run after work, even though it was slow.:/ Cool down: walking, stretches, foam rolling, and 2X 1 min front planks.

Thursday July 23rd: Rest day.

Friday July 24th: Warm up: The usual PT exercises plus walking. 3 mile run at 7:56 min/mile. Even though it was very hot and humid on this run I felt pretty good! Cool down: Walking, stretches, and foam rolling.

Saturday July 25th: 16 mile bike ride. I paced my boyfriend on the bike and carried water for him on his long run.  This was hands down my favorite workout of the week! It was a beautiful day and got to see some parts of the Lakeshore Trail I had not seen before. I of snapped a few pictures of my lovely views (see below). I am inspired by my boyfriend’s dedication as he trains for the Chicago Marathon this fall. He is also fast, but probably doesn’t want me to brag here.😉 I am one proud girlfriend and am glad we both love to run and stay active together!🙂


Sunday July 26th (today): Warm up: the usual. 3 mile run at 7:37 min/mile. I am finally running a bit faster and feeling closer to my old self.🙂 This was a good run and it felt effortless! Cool down: walking, stretches, foam rolling, and planks (3×1 min. front planks and 3x 30 sec. right and left side planks)

Totals: 13 miles running + 16 miles biking

I hope all of you have a wonderful Sunday! I am looking forward to some time to relax and read before the work week starts again tomorrow.

What books are you currently reading this summer and recommend? I just finished Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and I highly recommend it! I loved it because it was unpredictable! Today, I  just started Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and hope it’s as interesting as Dark Places. I can tell it will be a quick read though, so I’d love some recommendations!

Black Bean and Quinoa Taco Bowls

Good evening friends! Here in the windy city, the weather is dreadful.:/ I even got poured on my way home from work.😦 I hope all of you are experiencing better weather, though! I thought sharing a new recipe would be just the the thing to brighten up this dreary evening. It is a black bean recipe (of course)! With a blog called Black Bean Queen, I really have not been living up to my name.😛 This recipe makes up for my lack of black bean recipe posts, I promise!

Last night after work was one of those nights where my boyfriend and I were lazy, indecisive, and hungry.  I asked my boyfriend: “What do you want to make for dinner?”  He said: “I don’t know, what do you want to make?” Then I said “I asked you first…” Then he said “Maybe we should go out to eat”. Me: “No, we have plenty of food here and we need to save our money…” I could not take our indecisiveness any longer. I’m sure we are not the only ones!! After along day of work or class,  I often wish I could snap my fingers and have a tasty and nourishing meal appear. Last night, I took that as a challenge to make something new, fast, and simple.

I had a serious taco craving last night, so I looked around the apartment for random taco-like ingredients. This recipe is a random assortment of ingredients that, luckily, came together really nicely. These black bean and quinoa taco bowls are quick to make, simple, nourishing, and delicious. Honestly, they were the bomb.com!  My boyfriend LOVED them! He even said to me “I think these might become a regular in our meal rotation now!” I hope all of you like them too!🙂

Black Bean and Quinoa Taco Bowls


Yield: 2-3 servings (2 if you live with a very hungry runner  or 2😉 )


1 cup of quinoa & 2 cups of water

~1 Tablespoon canola oil

1 cup frozen peppers

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 packet of taco seasoning ( I used mild)

Optional: red pepper flakes and salsa

1. Measure and rinse the quinoa with a mesh sieve. Do not skip the rinsing step as quinoa is coated in a bitter substance called saponin.


2. Bring the rinsed quinoa to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook until all the water is absorbed and white rings are visible within the quinoa, this will be approximately 15-20 minutes.

3. Put ~1 Tablespoon of canola oil into a separate saucepan and start sautéing the frozen peppers. Once the peppers are nearly cooked, add the canned of black beans and cook for another three or so minutes.


4. Prepare the taco seasoning  as indicated on the packet (usually you just add some water and mix). Add 0.5- 1 whole packet of taco seasoning to the quinoa, once all the water has been absorbed. (I only added half of the taco packet). Let simmer for another 2-3 minutes.


5. Serve and Eat!


My boyfriend added red pepper flakes to his to make them spicier (I am a wimp and only like mild taco seasoning :P). I topped my bowl with salsa and it was amazing!

I am sure they would be wonderful in a whole wheat tortilla or eaten as a “dip” with tortilla chips acting as scoops. The toppings and ways to eat these bowls are endless!🙂

Have a wonderful evening friends! Fingers crossed that tomorrow is my very last Physical Therapy appointment, so I can say I am officially over my injury!

What is your favorite quick, healthy, and easy weeknight dinner lately? I’d have to say ginger and soy tofu stir fry is my favorite, but these black bean and quinoa taco bowls may be serious contenders!🙂

Weekly Workouts #1: July 6th-July 12th, 2015

Good morning! I have the day off of work and should be working on my finals for my summer class…So naturally, I decided to procrastinate and blog instead.😛

Anyway, now that I am FINALLY healthy and running again, I thought I would do my first ever weekly workouts post. Even though I am running slower and much less than in the past, I am just happy to be running. Period. I am not training for anything particular since I am just finishing up my injury rehabilitation. I’ve only been running for a couple weeks, after a five month injury and I still have to take several rest/non-running days a week. I know I need to be patient. I thought weekly workout posts would be a fun way to document my progress and connect with other runners, though!

I think documenting your workouts is a great practice. You can see where you may have gone wrong in your training and also relive your favorite races and moments. I bought the Believe training journal by pro runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettingan-Dumas back in January for the purpose of documenting my runs. Now that I am running three+ days per week, I can finally use it.


(I was one of the lucky few who got a journal autographed by Lauren Fleshman.🙂 )

I love this training journal because you can set weekly goals (THIS WEEK’S FOCUS) and each week has a new aspect of your training to comment and focus on. I also like that it does Monday-Sunday as a running “week”. That’s what we did in college too.  I aim to document my workouts/runs both in the training journal and here.🙂


(I have TERRIBLE handwriting. I feel bad for my future students…Thankfully, there are SMART boards and PowerPoints for those of us who are blessed wonderful handwriting.😉 )

Without further ado, here are last week’s workouts and runs for Weekly Workouts #1!

Weekly Workouts #1: July 6-July 12, 2015

Monday July 6th: Rest day.

Tuesday July 7th: Warm up: PT exercises (band walks and clams) and five minutes of walking. 3.65 miles. Felt some tightness in my glutes and not the best run. Cool down: walking, stretches with the Stretch out Strap, and foam rolling.


Wednesday July 8th: Rest day.

Thursday July 9th: Warm: up with PT exercises (band walks and clams) and five minutes of walking. 3 miles. I felt much better on this run than Tuesday. Cool down: walking, stretches, and foam rolling.


Friday July 10th: Physical Therapy appointment. MY PT said next week should be my last appointment. I will probably be doing glute and core exercises for life though, haha.

Saturday July 11th: 14 mile bike ride at an easy pace. My boyfriend is training for the Chicago marathon, so I biked to pace him and keep him company.🙂

Sunday July 12th: Warm up: PT exercises and walking. It was hot out, but I felt pretty good on this run. 3 miles. I’m slowly feeling like my old self again. Cool down: walking, stretches, and foam rolling.


Totals: 9.65 miles + 14 miles of biking

I have a lovely 3-4 miler planned for today. First, I should probably work on my summer class finals, since they are due Friday.😛 Have a wonderful morning everyone!🙂

Do any of you use a running journal or app to track your workouts? If so, what do you use? What kind of workouts do you have planned for today?

Happy blogiversary, my return to running, and 11 things I learned after a 5 month injury

WOW! Hello friends! It’s been a long time…I NEVER thought 2015 would be my longest hiatus from running (or blogging). But all that matters is that I am back now!!🙂

Happy Blogiversary!

Since I’ve been gone, this blog turned one! On June 28, 2014, this blog started as a place for running, healthy tips, vegetarian recipes, and random musings from my life to all come together in one place. I’d like to think that over a year later, that is still the case. So, I am going to throw it back to my very first blog post to celebrate Black Bean Queen turning one.

Moving forward, I hope to focus even more on running  on the blog.  This post in particular is a special running update. I have not posted much about running here, because in the year I’ve had this blog I have spent over half of that time injured.😦

My five month IT band/lower back injury

Let’s travel back in time to the winter of 2014/2015…I noticed some pain near my right knee in late December, so I took a few days off. I thought it was weird because I had been running pain free since August After some rest and stretching, it seemed to be okay so I resumed running, but I was cautious. I kept my mileage extremely low, cross trained, and noticed some twinges now and again, but nothing that alarmed me.

In early February, I agreed to do a 5k in late February with my boyfriend. During the last half mile of the 5k race I noticed a sharp pain in my right knee and I pushed past it to finish the race (mistake #1). I could barely walk or run a cool down with my boyfriend without pain. I still stubbornly tried to go for a run the day after the race. I didn’t even make a mile before the sharp pain in my knee returned. I knew right then and there that I reinjured my IT band. I also noticed lower back pain after the run, which was something I’ve mistake never had before.



I knew  I was in really bad shape, yet I was positive I could fix my injuries myself (mistake #2). For the next month I stopped running, but I tried everything I could think of. I foam rolled, did yoga, and all the old PT exercises that I could remember. Nothing was working. I knew I was a far away from running healthy and pain free as I had ever been in my life. Finally, at the end of March I swallowed my pride and sought help from a physical therapist (finally good choice #1).

My physical therapy experience

My physical therapist is wonderful. When she first assessed me in March, she was surprised I was even able to walk somewhat pain free. My glutes and hips were very weak and my running form was somewhat poor as a result of the injuries. All the years of college running and only barely healing my previous injuries caught up to me.  This IT-band/ lower back injury was the result of all my misalignments, weaknesses, and past injuries all in one. I remember thinking to myself, how would I ever get better???? While it was a relapse of my prior injuries, it was also my fault I got injured.:/ I got lazy about my strength work. Core, glute, and hip strength are key to staying strong and injury free, especially in a society where we spend over half of our day sitting.

So, since the end of March I have been going to PT 1-2 times per week to aggressively  strengthen my glutes, hips, and core in order to realign everything, run strong, and correct my running form. Next week is likely my last week, though, as long as my measurements and strength tests go well.

In between sessions I do select exercises at home. In June, I started a four week, three times per week return to running program. In week one I started at 0.5 min of running, 4 min of walking x 6 and week four had me at three thirty minute runs. I completed the return to running program and now I am slowly building the distance of my runs and the amount of runs per week. I am at four runs per week now.

Now for fun, I did a list of  the 10 things I learned from this injury and hopefully it provides some inspiration and laughs for anyone out there who has had a running injury!🙂

11 things I learned after nearly 4 months of physical therapy


2. Trust yourself, but trust the experts more.

3. Hard work. Just like you need to run various speeds and terrain to be a great runner, you need to do various strength and rehabilitation exercises to overcome an injury.

4. Do not skip your PT exercises at home. They will know!😛

5. One minute of running is better than the zero minutes of running you will get if you try to return to running to soon. This will always be a tough one for me…

6. It takes a lot of glute strength for dogs to pee…I learned this after my PT added the fire hydrant move to my physical therapy routine. I look like a dog taking a leak and my butt is on fire all in the same move.

7. Bird dog is not nearly as easy as it looks if you are doing it correctly. I am still working on this one. I will be for life… How do the elites make it look so easy??

8. When in doubt do another set of clamshells and bridges. Glute strength is key for all runners. I will be strengthening my glutes for life…. but hey if I get to keep running injury free, that’s a fair price!

10. Change your goals and focus on the positive. So running the Chicago Marathon is off the table for me this year…but now my goal is to be able to do long runs by October. I am still working toward a goal that will make me happy, but is realistic.

11-1 million. PATIENCE AND TRUST IN THE PROCESS. After two months of PT I was unsure if I would ever be done and allowed to run. Now, four months later I am running, slowing building up my mileage, and I’m pain free!

Later today, I will be going for a beautiful run and I could not be happier or more grateful!  It’s tough for me to run slow now, but I am trusting the process. I just want to continue to run and I know that the speed, workouts, and races will come later when I am stronger. This injury has reminded me why I love running in the first place. Outside of competition, running is a time to breathe in fresh air, forget my worries, do something healthy for my body, and enjoy nature. Have a happy Sunday everyone.🙂

Have any of you struggled with the same injury on and off for a while? Did you finally heal? What did you learn from your injury? I’d love to hear your stories too!

Simple Sunday #4: Guilt-free chocolate chip cookies

Some days you don’t just want chocolate, you NEED chocolate. Today was one of those days! My goal was to make a cookie that not only satisfied my chocolate craving, but was also relatively healthy. Since my IT band injury a month ago I’ve been focusing on eating less and healthier, since I can’t run and to aid in my recovery. I REALLY miss running, so hopefully after a few more weeks of PT I can run again.😦

Well, after searching my vegetarian cookbooks, Instagram, and Pinterest for inspiration I found myself on Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog. She is the queen of healthy, vegan desserts. It was there that I found a great recipe: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/04/27/worlds-healthiest-chocolate-chip-cookies/ . I have made a few modifications to the original, but she gets all the credit for an amazing recipe. I was skeptical to try an egg and butter-free cookie, but I was pleasantly surprised! They were delicious!  Plus at 80 calories per cookie you don’t have to feel guilty about eating one (or two or more😉 )! So without further ado, roll up your sleeves and let’s get to baking this guilt free, quick, and easy cookie!

Guilt-free chocolate chip cookies


Yield: 9 cookies

Nutritional analysis: see below



1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

dash of salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons cane sugar (I used Trader Joe’s, which is vegan)

2 tablespoons (or more) semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli are vegan)


1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Mix the all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, expect for the chocolate chips.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture. I recommend adding the almond milk tablespoon by tablespoon.

4. Roll the dough into 9 balls and place on the greased baking sheet.


5. Press the chocolate chips into the dough balls.  (NOTE: You may want to use more or less than 2 tablespoons, which is fine! Just know that the nutritional analysis below was performed for cookies with 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips!)


6. Bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden brown.

7. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

8. Enjoy one (or a few)!😉


NOTE: The chocolate chips here are not melted because the only chocolate chips I had at my apartment were the frozen ones my boyfriend and I use as a topping for Greek Yogurt. If they were room temperature chips they would have melted in the oven!

Nutritional Analysis (from MyFitnessPal): Calories: 81; Fat: 2.6 g (0.7 saturated); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 57.2 mg; Potassium: 5.6 mg; Carbohydrates: 13.4 g; Fiber: 0.7 g; Protein: 1.2 g

What is your favorite type of cookie? It’s hard for me to chose one…but if I have to, I’d say any type of peanut butter cookie. Have a great night everyone!🙂

Simple Sunday #3: Baked dark chocolate and peanut butter oatmeal

Hello friends! I know it’s waaaaaaaay past breakfast/brunch, but I wanted to share a tasty recipe I made this morning anyway.  You won’t believe it’s vegan!! Yes, I know it’s already past five o’clock…That’s what happens when it’s Daylight’s Savings and you lose an hour… You’ll want to make it tomorrow, though. Guaranteed. Or perhaps for dinner tonight. Breakfast for dinner is NOM! Plus this recipe makes enough for leftovers later in the week!🙂

So I found this recipe where I find many of my ideas…Pinterest. As usual, I was wasting time there a few days ago and I came across a baked oatmeal recipe that seemed easy enough. The recipe had me at chocolate and sold me at peanut butter, so of course I pinned it!😛 We all know that you actually only make a fraction of the things you pin… BUT, then, this morning my boyfriend suggested we make something new for breakfast. I agreed, but since I was feeling lazy due to “losing” an hour of sleep, I wanted to make something easy and low maintenance.  I knew that this was the morning to try baked oatmeal. My boyfriend and I both loved it.🙂

Here’s the link to the original recipe that I found on Pinterest : http://laurenkellynutrition.com/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-baked-oatmeal/. The only changes/modifications I made to the recipe was omitting the mashed banana and salt. So the above website gets all the credit for this amazing recipe, I just wanted to share anyway! : )

As long as you use non-dairy chocolate chips and milk this recipe is vegan! I used Ghirardelli, but as a note only the semi-sweet chips are vegan. The dark chocolate ones are not.

Baked dark chocolate and peanut butter oatmeal

Yield: 6 servings

Nutritional analysis: See below



2 cups organic oatmeal

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1/4 cup organic maple syrup

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (can use semi-sweet or any other kind too)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a glass baking dish.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. It may be easier to add the dark chocolate chips last since peanut butter can be tough to stir.

3. Put the mixture into the greased baking dish.

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Let the baked oatmeal cool for a few minutes and then cut into 6 slices.


6. Enjoy the chocolatey peanut butter goodness for breakfast (or anytime of day)!!🙂 I highly recommend pairing the oatmeal with a large, cold glass of almond milk and/or a cup o’ joe! Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.


Also, here’s the nutritional analysis of the recipe for those interested. I used MyFitnessPal. It’s 321 calories/serving:


Question of the day: What is your favorite way to eat oatmeal? Before today my favorite was just regular oatmeal, made in the microwave, topped with berries and/or peanut butter, but now I think I’m a baked oatmeal fan!