We are two individuals, sister-in-laws, and friends who are striving to thrive and be our personal best as well as making our surroundings a better place to live! Connected by faith, family, friendship, photos, and writing, we just want to share our journey with you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Delicious Black Bean Wrap with a little ZING!

HEY!!!! It's been a long time and I've missed my happy, carefree blogging days! Battling 24/7 nausea, an online chemistry course, being a full-time mama to my beautiful 2 year old and supporting my hubby in his first year of med-school has kept me needless to say BUSY! But have faith, I haven't forgotten my dreams of blogging and sharing my passions and thoughts to those who care to listen!!!! Please be patient during this crazy time in my life and know that one day I'll be blogging more routinely!!!

Tonight I want to share a recipe with you that my whole family LOVES! It's so easy and healthy and DELICIOUS! The recipe is from one of my favourite vegan cookbooks is called REFRESH, by Ruth Tal. I bought it at INDIGO (in Winnipeg), but I'm certain you can find it many places....and don't be afraid to check-out your local library!!! I went to our local library with Noah this morning and have always just gravitated to the kids section (plus I have a zillion books of my own to read at home before getting any new books), but I suddenly found myself wondering if there were vegan cookbooks at the library!!!! I was so pleasantly surprised!!! They were easy to find, and I ended up checking out three books!!! So with new cookbooks, I'm sure I will be inspired to branch out and try some new recipes!

Anyways, I wanted to share with you this recipe for black bean wraps (or burritos as they call it in the REFRESH cookbook). I had to tweak the recipe which is originally quite spicy to meet my son's tastebuds but you can really just add and substitute anything that you fancy! I also have been inspired by my dear friend Amy who is visiting from her current hometown, China, to try using more vegan and gluten-free recipes as her youngest daughter and her are sensitive to gluten. It turns out that many people are that don't even know it! I have been so nauseated in this pregnancy that I have tried using less foods containing gluten in hopes that it might help!!! I usually use my favorite Ezekiel wraps by Food for Life but have taken to trying these new brown rice wraps that are gluten-free that Amy showed me (also made by Food for Life). They are softer which I love and have a delicious flavour but be warned that if you add salsa to your wrap (as I do), there will be some serious liquid-leaking messes! So have a damp cloth handy to wipe up your mess!!!! *Maybe not a meal to eat in front of a new love interest...actually, maybe it's the perfect meal to eat in front of someone you like because hey, eventually they'll see you at your 'finest' so they should be able to laugh at your messy face and find it endearing!!!! Maybe this is the trick to a make-or-break deal!!!

All kidding aside, here is the lovely, delicious, leftover-friendly Black Bean Wrap (recipe inspired from the REFRESH cookbook):

Serves 4 (I usually feed Noah, Dan and myself and have leftovers for 2 more wraps)

Your favorite wraps (I love wraps made by FOOD FOR LIFE, such as the Ezekiel wraps and the gluten-free brown-rice wraps)


2 tomatoes diced
1/2 cucumber chopped into small pieces
1/2 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 avocadoes sliced and cubed
2 cups of spinach
sprouts (to garnish) - I use broccoli sprouts or alfalfa sprouts usually but any will do!
Salsa (I use Simply Organic - medium salsa)


Make the black bean filling first (method and ingredients listed below)!
Once that is complete:
1) Heat tortillas on a grill or in the oven
2) Spread a generous layer of the black bean filling over the middle of the tortillas
3) Sprinkle with the tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, and avocado. Then add salsa to your liking and finish off by adding the spinach and sprouts.
4) Roll the tortilla, tucking in the bottom part to prevent leaking! Repeat for each serving!

Black Bean Filling:


4 tbsp. of olive oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. of cumin
1 tsp. of cayenne pepper (I just add this after I have made the filling so that Noah can have his without)!
2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar
pinch of sea salt
1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed!


Heat the oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the remaining ingredients except the black beans. Simmer for 5 minutes. While that is cooking, you can puree the black beans in a food processor as suggested in the REFRESH cookbook but Dan, Noah and I have discovered that we love the beans just the way they are (and it's less mess *bonus), so we just add the beans to the mixture. Stir until heated through!
Add to the wraps and ENJOY!

Below are pictures of Dan using the leftover black bean filling to make a wrap with spinach and hemp hearts! MMM! So many possibilities!!!!

Dan being a goof! Looks as if this wrap is incredibly sketchy but...

He loves it!!!!


  1. HI - this recipe looks so good. taco-like wraps are my fav. I was just wondering about the Refresh cookbook you were talking about. I tend to only like cookbooks with lots of pics, as I like to see what I am about to create. Does it have lots of pis? Or do either of you have any vegan cookbook recommendations with pics? Thanks! : ) Glad to see you both blogging again!

  2. I'm definitely with you on the pictures in cookbooks, they make all the difference! The problem is, sometimes the best-looking vegan cookbooks don't have pictures with each recipe but looks like such amazing recipes, so I often get them anyways. From the cookbooks I have:

    The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Gourdreau: This book has pictures every 2-3 recipes. The recipes are really neat though, they're centered on the idea of entertaining. So the recipes are lots of creative ones that you may serve other dinner guests (including a holiday section!)

    Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Moskowitz and Romero: This book also has pictures every 2-3 recipes. It's nothing amazingly special, but there are some fantastic cookie recipe. If you know you want to make cookies, but aren't sure what kind, than this is your book. Everything from decadent ones, to difficult ones, to healthy ones, to not-so healthy ones...

    The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone: This books has pictures every 3-4 recipes. This book is both a book and a cookbook. A lot of the book is reading about the vegan lifestyle and Alicia's experience with it. There are some great recipes though and they're sectioned in "Flirt", "Vegan" and "Superhero" (all recipes are vegan, just to different degrees)... a must have!

    Easy Vegan published by Ryland Peters & Small: This one has pictures with every recipe! This book is exactly what it states... easy vegan. The recipes aren't super detailed or 'out there', but they are tasty and definitely easy. There are a few you might have come up with on your own (salads...), but also a lot of things I wouldn't put together or I would need a recipe for. There are salads, soups, stews, main dishes, desserts and drinks!

    The Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier: This book has no pictures with his recipes (it looks like a paperback book). It is a mix of a book on being a vegan triathlete (which he is, but also applicable to those of us... me!... who aren't), a diet plan and recipes. The recipes are really great though and he speaks a lot about nutrition as well (which is super important for vegans or non-vegans!)

    So these are all of my books. I know Jay has The Thrive Diet and The Kind Diet, but she also has a lot more, so hopefully she can let you know about them!! Hope this helps!!

  3. Hi there!

    The REFRESH book has a handful of mouth-watering, excellently photographed pictures which really drew my attention to the book in the first place. I understand how amazing it is to have pictures to look at and you just feel so drawn to a recipe because of the pictures!!! I get that! I also have found though that some of my favorite recipes have come from books that aren't just giant picture-books! For example, my favorite Alica Silverstone recipes are the quinoa with basil and pinenuts, the scarlet roasted veggies and the espresso chocoloate brownie (which my family calls a cake), and none of those recipes came with pictures...looking at the title and the ingredients list is something that inspires me....I also can be deterred by books that are too complicated and not realistic for everyday living! I don't have endless hours to spend in the kitchen!!!

    What I LOVE about the REFRESH cookbook is that it's separated into the following sections:
    Sandwiches and Wraps
    Veggie Burgers
    Rice Bowls
    Sauces and Marinades
    Spreads and Fillings
    and then so many Juices and Smoothies!

    The recipe book isn't clunky, takes up little space and I love the texture of the pages! They are smooth and easy to wipe if you spill some stuff on it (something that happens a lot since Noah is often helping me in the kitchen)! The REFRESH cookbook also has the best recipe for vegan pancakes that I have ever had!!! Dan also loves the chocolate brownie cookies and Noah and I are going to try baking the banana muffins from this cookbook this afternoon, so I'll let you know how those turned out (sugar-free and vegan)!!!!

    My favourite cookbooks (top 3) would have to be The Kind Diet, The Thrive Diet (no pictures sadly as Ally mentioned above but really healthy recipes and super informative), and the REFRESH...I also love the Eat Clean Cookbooks by Tosca Reno (NOT a vegan cookbook, but many vegan-friendly recipes and a lot of pictures)....

    If I am unsure by a recipe, I will also google stuff and have been happy to find many amazing recipes from other bloggers, etc (many with pictures)...that's how I stumbled upon the recipe that I now use for vegan chocolate cake (Noah's favourite for his birthday cake)!!!

    Hope this helps a little!