Healthy Meat-Free Creamy Shells & Black Beans

I’ve always been a really healthy eater. Except lately. For some reason I’ve gone a little crazy and I think it took the pictures of me from Mother’s Day (aka pudgy gut) to give me a quick reminder that I need to get back on track! So this week, I have been trying to:

#1) Eat healthy
#2) No (or 1 small low-calorie :) desserts
#3) Go to bed early so I can get up early and exercise
#4) Quit eating so dang late at night! STOP! Put that cookie down!! ;D

So in order to put #1 into effect, I’ve been pulling out old recipes and searching new ones to find a yummy solution to a healthy family dinner. I found this recipe over at The Way The Cookie Crumbles (LOVE that blog name!) and I adapted it a little to fit what I had in my pantry and what I know my family likes. It was acutally pretty dang tasty! It’s meat-free, which is a nice change from the ordinary. Nobody even noticed there was no turkey or chicken in it – although you could definitely add some if you wanted! The recipe contains whole grain pasta, which is high in fiber, and Greek yogurt, which is high in protein. Go figure! It filled my kids up so fast, I was amazed!

HEALTHY MEAT-FREE CREAMY SHELLS & BLACK BEANS (adapted from The Way The Cookie Crumbles):

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 1 red pepper, chopped small 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt + more for taste
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped small
  • 1 Tbsp. ground chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne (more if you like heat)
  • 1 box dry whole grain pasta (I used Barilla 13.25 oz box of whole grain shells)
  • 1 (28 oz) can petite-diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (30 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (6 oz) container Greek yogurt
  • chopped cilantro, for serving
  • 1 avocado, diced for serving

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When warm, add the onion, red pepper, and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta, petite diced tomatoes with juices, water and black beans. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering, stirring occasionally until the pasta is tender – about 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now, in a small bowl, pour out your Greek yogurt and stir in about half of the simmering pasta mixture into it. Now stir this tempered yogurt mixture into the rest of the skillet. Cover and simmer over low heat until heated though, 2-3 minutes.

Serve in bowls and sprinkle with cilantro and avocado. ENJOY!!



    • says

      I’m your newest follower, Sara! Love your blog and am excited to keep up with everything you’re doing! So happy you found me! My newest goal is to do at least one weeknight meal without meat. :) Have a great weekend!

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