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Pura Vida!


Make meals and memories with recipes from your favorite destinations.

Traveling, seeing new places, experiencing other cultures, eating delicious foods. These are a few of my favorite things!

As a family, we want to focus on experiences over things. We love adventure and the outdoors — it nourishes the mind, the body and the soul. From jumping into a more than chilly cenoté in Mexico to seeing our first born scoop his first handful of sand on the white beaches of Florida, I want to take all of the memories and bottle them up to save. My husband and I have a pact to visit all 50 states together. We even recently bought a national parks passport for our 16 month-old son.

Next to traveling, cooking is another favorite past time of ours. We like to take our dining experiences from near and far, and recreate the flavors in our own kitchen. From Moroccan to Indian and German to Spanish-inspired dishes — we love it all. And we love to eat it all! There is nothing like an evening at home cooking together.

One of our most memorable vacations thus far was our honeymoon to Costa Rica. The lush and tropical beauty, the wildlife, the food — my gosh, the food — pura vida! We drove across the beautiful country, stopping at bodegas and visiting the cloud forest, volcanoes and the beach. We visited springs, swam in creeks and zip-lined hundreds of feet over the rainforest. Costa Rica is known for its love of black beans and rice — and for almost every meal of the day. 

Our take on this signature Costa Rican dish is the vegetarian Costa Rican bean bowl. This dish, robust in flavor, is incredibly easy to make and approximately one hour for prep time and cooking, which makes for a great meal for after school or after work, and you can still eat dinner before 9 p.m.

Bonus: We get freezer meals from one pot! Extra bonus: The dish offers a decent amount of protein, and our son loves beans!

Every time we make this dish, I think back to our honeymoon and the experiences we have had since then. So turn up the music; grab a cold beverage; and make memories with your family, while you make this meal.

Vegetarian Cost Rican Bean Bowl Ingredients

2 8-oz. cans of Blue Runner black beans
1 1-qt. carton of Latin-style bean soup
3 medium-sized limes
2 c. pico de gallo
1 avocado, sliced and diced
1 c. shredded cheese (we use cheddar, but feel free to use an alternative cheese)
½ c. sour cream
¾ c. cilantro, chopped
1 box cilantro lime Zatarain’s rice
Salt and pepper


1. Sauté 1 cup of the pico de gallo in olive oil.
2. Add the carton of bean soup and the two cans of beans to the pot.
3. Squeeze the juice from one lime into a ramekin, and pour into the pot.
4. Salt and pepper the bean soup to your taste, while cooking on medium to high heat for approximately 35 minutes, uncovered.
5. While the bean soup cooks on the stove, cook the rice using the instructions on the box; add a splash of lime to the rice once ready.
6. Dish out a generous scoop of rice into a bowl and add the bean soup on top.
7. Garnish with additional pico de gallo, a scoop of sour cream, a small handful of cheddar cheese, cilantro, and the sliced and diced avocado.
8. Cut the remaining limes into wedges, and squeeze a dash on your dish.
9. Grab a spoon; dig in; and enjoy!

This recipe makes 8-10 servings of bean soup. But, you will need to make some more rice. The soup also goes very well with white rice. Delicioso!