Black Bean Hawaiian Chili



I woke up this morning to snow, four inches of beautiful, untouched, smooth, quiet snow. Living in Richmond, Virginia, we don’t see a lot of snow. Growing up in Florida, we did not see a lot of snow either. Thus, although I’m almost 22, I still get giddy about this beautiful blanket whenever I head north.

On cold snowy days like today, nothing really feels better than a nice cup of hot chocolate or cider, and some soup! Based on the weather channel, it looks like the entire country is under a cold front. I know that in Kansas today, we are reaching -9˚. That is significantly colder than I ever need to be.

Thus, if you’re at home reading this right now, I highly suggest you stay where you are, don’t even bother changing out of your pajamas, and whip up this soup. Your entire house will smell delicious, and you can curl up next to your favorite window with a bowl of this delicious soup to enjoy the snow from inside. I can just picture the comfort now!

Here’s to the little joys in life- like freshly fallen snow and delicious homemade soup.

Happy Sunday friends!



  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 2 16-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water plus bouillon cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder (or other pure, mild chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano (optional)
  • Generous grating of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 pound yellow squash or zucchini*
  • 2 cups crushed pineapple and juice


  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until light brown.
  2. Once the onion is light brown, add the bell pepper and jalapeno, cooking for about two minutes (or until soft).
  3. Stir in the garlic and allow to cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes, beans, broth, and seasonings- omitting the squash and pineapple. Stir well and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, rinse, trim, and cut the squash into small cubes.
  6. Add the squash, pineapple, and pineapple juice to the pot. Increase the heat slightly, and cover. Simmer until the squash is fork tender.
  7. Adjust seasonings as desired, and enjoy!



Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 6 Servings, easily doubled
  • To make this recipe more like a soup and less like chili, add more broth.
  • Decrease the amount of broth to make a thick taco filling or chip dip!
  • To speed up the cooking process of the onions in step 1, add a pinch of baking soda!
  • I used all yellow squash in this recipe, but you can easily substitute some of the squash for zucchini, or replace it all with zucchini, depending on your preference.
  • Source: Fat Free Vegan 
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (recipe links found below):

Homemade Roasted Butternut Squash Soup



Alright people, I’m going to be honest. I’m obsessed with this recipe. In the past I have stayed away from creamy soups, because I assumed they were chalk-full of whole milk and additional fat that completely works against the benefits of the vegetables. However, I am a changed person now. This recipe is so simple, and is full of whole natural foods that you are going to love!

I owe my new appreciation for butternut squash soup to my cousin Lindsey.  A few weeks ago I was traveling by myself, so I stopped to spend the night with Lindsey and her family. As is the case with southern tradition and family hospitality, Lindsey prepared a scrumptious dinner for my arrival and then waited to eat until I arrived (which was much past the dinner hour, mind you).

As we all gathered around the table, Lindsey and I got to talking about the ingredients in her soup, and she shocked me with house simple and naturally healthy her recipe was.  Thus, when I got back home from my trip, I immediately purchased a butternut squash, found my own recipe, and got cooking!

It’s the little things that remind us how blessed we are.

Thank you God for warm homemade food, family, road trips, and a place at the table.

Here’s to you and yours.

Love, a rented kitchen




  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 32 oz.  vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, or sprinkled goat cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚ F and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Peel, de-seed, and dice the squash into roughly 1-inch cubes. For step-by-step photo instructions on how to cut a butternut squash, click here.
  3. Peel and dice the onion into roughly 1-inch pieces.
  4. Arrange the squash and onion on the covered baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, and generously sprinkle with ground pepper and salt. (I suggest using a brush to make sure the oil is evenly dispersed over and under all of the veggies, or else the vegetables will stick to the baking pan!)
  5. Roast for 45-50 minutes until the squash is lightly golden and fork tender.
  6. Once the vegetables are done roasting, bring the vegetable broth to simmer in a large pot.  Add the roasted veggies to the pot.
  7. In bathes, puree the roasted vegetables and broth together in an immersion blender or food processor. Continue this process until all of the broth and vegetables have been blended together, into a nice creamy consistency.
  8. Optional: Serve warm and top with a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg, and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Enjoy!




Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Slightly adapted from Lick My Spoon 
  • Like this recipe from ‘a rented kitchen’? Try these other delicious dishes below!

Vegetable Wonton Soup


Alright, I owe you all an apology. It has been so long, way waaaay too long, since I last updated this blog, and I truly feel terrible. You would think that since a girl has to eat, there would also be plenty of recipes in stock to post, however life got a little crazy this summer and my stockpile depleted before my eyes. Woops.

If you were curious (I’m assuming that you are), I moved last week from my first ever kitchen, into a new rented kitchen.  This process has been both overwhelming and awesome.  For starters, my new kitchen is much bigger (YAY!), and because I’m moving in with three other girls, there’s a plethora of new equipment and utensils to play with (Double YAY!).  The downside about my new kitchen is there is no dishwasher, and finding places to store all four of my roommates and I’s kitchen tools is quite an overwhelming task.

In the midst of all this transition, I haven’t had much time to cook, let alone learn where we’re storing all our new equipment, or if it’s even unpacked yet.  Regardless, I am determined to get back into the kitchen and deliver some fun new recipes ASAP.

This recipe is actually a dish I made over Christmas break this year, when I first made baked vegetable wontons.  The pictures don’t do this soup justice, because I am telling you, wonton soup is fantastic.

If you haven’t tried wonton soup before or are looking for a good vegetarian recipe, look no further! This recipe is so worth trying something new.

The other plus about soup? It stores well, in case you happen to be going through a period of transition, like moving. I speak from experience.  Eat up, and I’ll be back soon!



  • 2 cups finely minced cabbage
  • 1 bunch of scallions, minced (plus ½ bunch chopped for the soup topping)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely minced
  • 3 large white button mushrooms, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 70 wonton wrappers
  • Bowl of water, for sealing the wrappers
  • Vegetable stock (1 cup per bowl of soup)
  • Fresh baby spinach


  1. In a large bowl, combine the minced vegetables and spices (cabbage, 1 bunch of scallions, carrot, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper). Toss well to mix.
  2. Assemble the wontons one at a time, by laying a wonton wrapper on a clean surface so that one point is facing you (a diamond shape). Place ½- 1 teaspoon of filling in the center the wonton wrapper.
  3. Using a pastry brush, wipe the outer four edges of the wrapper with a dab of water.
  4. Fold the corner closest to you over the filling to meet the top corner- creating a triangle. Press the edges together all the way down the wrapper.
  5. Fold the two outer points together, tucking one point under the other.
  6. In a large pot, heat your vegetable stock.  Once hot, add the wontons, without overcrowding the pot.
  7. Let the wontons cook until they bob to the surface.
  8. While the wontons cook, place a few spinach leaves in the bottom of each soup bowl, and ladle the hot soup on top (this process allows the spinach to wilt beautifully!)
  9. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and enjoy!


Baked Vegatable Wontons

Baked Vegatable Wontons

Notes and Tips!:

  • Slightly adapted from: In Jeannie’s Kitchen
  • If you’re hungry for classic baked Vegetable Wontons, check out my recipe here!
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen’ below!:

Vegan Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili with homemade tortilla chips

It is officially fall, which means all I want is scarves, excessive amounts of hot chocolate, all things pumpkin flavored and scented, and nice warm soup!

I have never made a soup.  This recipe was my first, and I’ll admit I was kind of nervous about it! For a few minutes I was worried the soup would not thicken up, but fortunately everything went splendidly and tasted even better.  Then after it was all said and done I had scrumptious leftovers for the rest of the week and only one pot to clean! Huzzah!

Over the course of the next several months, I would expect more soups to be coming your way if I were you! It’s officially fall, and this recipe is officially a new favorite. Hope you like it!

Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
(I used yellow, but any would work!)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
One 6 oz can tomato paste
  • Two 15 oz (or one 29 oz) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 32 oz vegetable stock
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • Avocado slices, chopped cilantro for garnish  (optional)

Homemade Tortilla Chip Ingredients:

  • 1 whole-wheat tortilla (makes 6 chips)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and garlic powder to taste

Soup Directions:

  1. Preheat a large heavy soup pot with the oil over medium heat with
  2. Add the onions to the hot pan and cook for about 10 minutes, or until they are soft and begin to brown.
  3. Once the onions are soft and beginning to brown, add the garlic to the pot and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Measure out your spice ingredients- chili powder, cumin, and oregano- in a small bowl and mix.
  5. Add the spices and tomato paste to the pot and cook for another 2 minutes- stirring constantly.
  6. Add the beans, vegetable stock, sweet potato chunks, and salt and pepper to the pot. Cook for another 5 minutes, then add in the quinoa.
  7. Once the quinoa has been added, cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until the quinoa and potatoes are soft and cooked through, and the chili has thickened.  Stir frequently.
  8. Garnish with avocado slices, warm tortilla chips, and chopped cilantro (if desired).

Homemade Tortilla Chip Directions:

  1. Once the quinoa has been added to the soup, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with a light layer of no-stick cooking spray
  3. On a cutting board, use a pizza cutter to slice a tortilla into 6 triangles.
  4. Brush a thin layer of olive oil on the top of each triangle and arrange on a baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle with garlic powder and salt (or other spices as desired).
  6. Bake for 5 minutes, or until crispy and light brown. Enjoy!

Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 6 hearty bowls
  • If the chili gets too thick for your liking, just add a little bit of water!
  • Will keep well stored in an airtight refrigerated container for several days.
  • There is a lot of cumin and chili powder in this recipe, but do not be worry- it is too spicy! I personally am not a spicy fan and actually found this quite mild. If you do want to spice things up again, try adding more cilantro, a dash of lime juice to your bowl, or more cumin!
  • Source: Milk Free Mom
  • If you like this recipe, check out my Homemade Wheat Thins, Quinoa Burgers, and Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Quesadillas!