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This chili soup recipe is VERY flexible. Today I made it with the veggies I noted, but on other occasions I’ve included cabbage, cauliflower and/or kale. I’ve also had success using a package of soy chorizo for the meaty component (be aware that different brands are more or less spicy). Of course, you can omit the meatless meats if you need to make it gluten free. Substitute some mushrooms instead! Feel free to use what you have or what you like. According to my palate, this is “medium” spicy. It has tons o’ flava!
NOTE: Use a very large soup pot. My largest pot (8 quart) was full to within 2 inches of the top.
CHOP/SET ASIDE THESE VEGGIES:
1 green or red pepper
2 large carrots
2 celery stalks
6 cloves garlic (mince)
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 pkg (12 oz) frozen corn
COMBINE THESE LIQUIDS:
~5 cups veggie broth or water
28 oz can crushed tomato with basil
14 1/4 oz can diced tomato (no added salt)
15 oz can tomato sauce (no added salt)
2 T tamari
SET ASIDE THESE VEGGIE MEATS:
*Note: 3 cups dry beans yields about 6 cups cooked
COMBINE THESE SEASONINGS:
2 T brown sugar (organic)
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 T basil
1 T nutritional yeast
1/2 T smoked paprika
1/2 T coriander
1/2 T oregano
1 t taco seasoning blend
1/2 t salt
1/4 t chipotle
1/4 t garlic powder
4 t salt free broth powder + 1 cube broth (omit if using liquid broth)
Saute the veggies (except the frozen corn) and the seasonings in 1/2 T coconut oil for several minutes (medium heat). Gradually add everything else. Simmer until the potatoes are done, about an hour. Portion in pint size jars and freeze. Makes…a LOT! (about 13 1/2 pints)
A few years ago, I bought some Orca beans from the CSA in Wenatchee, WA. Then they just sat in my pantry…
Finally I decided to use them. When they cooked up, the water turned black and the beans turned brown! I found out that Orca beans are an heirloom variety from Mexico, rare in the U.S. (No wonder they remind me of pinto beans).
Purcell Mountain Farms’ website has a fascinating, long list of beans for purchase. There are some really interesting names on that list! Eye of the Goat Beans, Marrow Beans, Tongues of Fire Beans…these sound exactly like what a vegan witch would add to her cauldron of animal-free stew. Ah, the abundance! (Where do you get your protein?)
I didn’t make soup or stew. I decided to make up a triple batch of hummus using my Orca beans instead of garbanzo beans. Two cups dry beans yielded about 3 pints cooked.
To make 1 batch of hummus, puree:
1 pint cooked beans
Juice of 1 lemon
2 T tahini (sesame butter)
1 T olive oil
2 minced cloves garlic
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t turmeric
1-2 T water (if needed to thin)
Portion and freeze in 1/2 to 1 cup canning jars.
Don’t let your freezer run out of hummus!
Monday, May 14, 2012
Today I was rollerblading on a paved trail near my house. The side of the path had been freshly mowed. There, I saw about 5 dead baby possums who must have been killed by the mower. There was no blood, and the bodies were intact. I think they were crushed.
Seeing them made me think about all the animals killed during the production of food crops: field mice, moles, rabbits and others, who unknowingly get in the way of the farm machinery.
Some people like to use the fact that “animals die in the harvesting of plants” as an argument to discredit a vegan’s decision to leave animals off her plate. I respond: Should I go back to eating animals because I can’t help the small mammals who meet their untimely deaths out in the farm fields?
If I can’t help it that a bird got killed by my car while driving, does it mean that I should go back to eating chickens? No. I don’t want to kill either bird: not a sparrow by accident or a chicken on purpose. I want to cause as little harm as humanly possible.
Animals who are killed for food don’t just magically grow big and plump without eating. Animals who are intentionally killed are fed plants first. The two main “animal feed” crops in animal agriculture are corn and soybeans. A high percentage are genetically modified and heavily sprayed with pesticides.
Animals eat plants and then people eat the animals. More animal death is caused by eating animals than by simply eating plants directly. Eat organic, non-GMO plants whenever possible.
What about “grass-fed” animals, you ask? The fact is, grass-fed livestock are rarely 100% grass-fed. Pastured livestock are raised on grassy pastures, but their diet is supplemented with grains, especially in colder climates. Pastured cows, bison, pigs, turkeys and chickens are typically at least partially grain-fed even when they’re called “free-range,” “organic,” “heirloom,” and “heritage.”
In addition, numerous animals– wild horses, badgers, black bears, bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, wolves, opossum, raccoons, skunks, beavers, nutrias, porcupines, prairie dogs, black birds, cattle egrets, and starlings– are killed for the purpose of “protecting” ranchers’ interests (i.e. their livestock, their livelihood.)
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS) has been tasked to “help people resolve wildlife damage to a wide variety of resources.” (In this case, “resources” means cattle. The cattle are physically protected up until the time they are slaughtered.) Wildlife Services (WS) uses the following methods of “resolution”: poisoning, trapping, snaring, denning (denning = pouring kerosene into a den, setting fire to it, and burning young animals alive), shooting, and aerial gunning.
Back to my point.
Yes, even in the “best case scenario,” a certain percentage of animals will be killed through not so pain-free methods: Animals are hit by cars, bugs get squashed, critters are unfortunate victims of combine harvesters and lawnmowers, and animals are routinely consumed by other animals.
I highly doubt that people routinely go into grocery stores thinking– while picking up pork chops– “Well I couldn’t save that possum from being killed by the mower, so I might as well be the reason this pig had to die.”
That’s not how it works. People typically select animal products because 1) animal products taste good, 2) people are accustomed to buying animal products, and 3) people may mistakenly believe that animal products are essential to a healthy diet.
I think that people who use the “animals die in the harvesting of plants” line of reasoning are simply looking for an excuse to continue consuming animals without feeling a sense of guilt.
Bottom line: it all comes down to daily choices. We can choose to cause animals unnecessary pain and suffering or we can choose to try our best not to cause harm.
When shopping for food, we can all choose fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. We can strive to choose whole, organic, non-GMO foods. We can all avoid animal products– including, but not limited to– chickens, pigs, cows, fishes, eggs, milk and cheese.
Go! Get yourself a copy of Dreena Burton’s latest cookbook, “Let Them Eat Vegan.” You won’t be disappointed. I love the way Dreena cooks and bakes. Her creations have the perfect balance of healthy and delicious. She uses primarily whole plant ingredients, plenty of beans/legumes, minimal added fats and “just enough” sweetener. Eat all you want because there’s zero guilt!
The first recipe I tried was the Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burgers on page 136. At first I wasn’t sure that the burgers would hold together, but after I let the patties sit for about an hour they held up just fine in the pan. I cooked 2 and refrigerated the other 4 patties (between layers of parchment paper in a storage container.) Now I know that oats are a secret ingredient for vegan burger success! I’ve used gluten flour before, but I’ve never used oats. Oats work great– I think they’re my new favorite cooking ingredient! The “resting” time must allow the oats to soak up moisture and this helps bind the burger.
For Burger Night #1 we had a side salad with a creamy horseradish dressing and some roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, celery and onion.
For Burger Night #2 I made the Raw-nch Dressing on page 47. I didn’t have fresh parsley so I used kale instead. It worked. The dressing made for a great romaine lettuce dip and burger sauce. We made some homemade potato chips!
I’m looking forward to making more out of Let Them Eat Vegan!