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It’s time for a new soup flavor!  This delectable Italian-flavored soup is mildly spicy.  Adjust the black pepper and crushed red pepper amounts to your own liking…Enjoy!

Italian Lentil Soup (NSNG)

Italian Lentil Soup (NSNG)

INGREDIENTS

1 T coconut oil

6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 broccoli stems, chopped
1/2 cauliflower, chopped
20 crimini mushrooms, sliced

dash garlic powder
dash celery salt
1/4 t ground rosemary (use a mortar and pestle)
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 t thyme
1 t oregano
1 t fennel
1 t parsley
1 t basil
1 t sage
4 t Vegebase broth powder
1 T nutritional yeast

1 C lentils, rinsed
28 oz can organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes
5 C water

ASSEMBLY:

Put the coconut oil in your soup pot.  Saute the vegetables with the spices over medium heat for several minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Simmer covered for about an hour, until the lentils are cooked.  Portion in 1/2 to 1 pint glass wide mouth freezer jars.  Makes about 8 1/2 pints.

(NSNG = No Sugar No Grains)

Well, I finally got around to creating a couple Plant Powered No Sugar No Grains (NSNG) burger recipes…

  • Basic White Bean & Seed Burgers
  • Curry Patties

For these 2 new recipes, I used my usual “burger formula,” except I substituted 1/4 cup ground flax seeds and 1/4 cup chia seeds for the 1/2 cup oat flour that I used before.

Here are my 3 previous gluten free burger recipes.  If you want to make these NSNG, then just make the same substitution…

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Basic Burger Ingredients

Basic White Bean & Seed Burger Ingredients

BASIC WHITE BEAN & SEED BURGERS

1/4 C sunflower seeds, ground
1/4 C chia seeds
1/4 C ground flax seeds

dash celery salt
dash garlic powder
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t dried parsley
1 t dried chives
1 t nutritional yeast

15 oz can rinsed white beans OR 1 pint homemade cooked white beans
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 C chopped onion
1/4 C chopped carrot
1 T tahini
1 t vegan Worcestershire OR tamari
1/4 t liquid smoke
1/4 t Tabasco

Coconut oil or Villa Cappelli olive oil (for cooking the patties)
Parchment paper (for forming the patties)

ASSEMBLY:

1. Use a food processor to grind the seeds into a powder.

2. Combine the ground seeds and dry spices in a large mixing bowl.

3. Use the same food processor to puree the beans, vegetables and wet ingredients.

4. Add the wet puree to the mixing bowl and stir.

5. Spread the burger batter evenly in the bottom of the bowl.  Use a knife to make 6 even portions.

Divide the burger batter into 6 portions.

Divide the burger batter into 6 portions.

6. Spoon out each portion onto a large piece of parchment paper.

Drop burger batter portions onto a large piece of parchment paper.

Drop burger batter portions onto a large piece of parchment paper.

7. Flatten and form the patties with the spoon.  There’s no need to get your hands dirty!

Flatten and form the 6 patties.

Flatten and form the 6 patties.

8. You should be able to cook these right away, but I typically refrigerate for 30-60 minutes, to allow the seeds to fully absorb the moisture.

9. Cook with oil over medium heat.  Flip over every few minutes until the burger patties are nicely browned.

This one was cooked in Villa Cappelli olive oil.

This one was cooked in Villa Cappelli olive oil.

10. Serve.  Have fun with your food!

Burger Man

Burger Man

11. The “raw” patties can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for several months.  Store the patties on the parchment paper.  To cook from frozen, simply thaw the patties on the counter for about 15 minutes before cooking.

Storage method for freezing the patties.

Storage method for freezing the patties.

——————————————–

Curry Patty Ingredients

Curry Patty Ingredients

CURRY PATTIES

1/4 C sunflower seeds, ground
1/4 C chia seeds
1/4 C ground flax seeds

dash celery salt
dash pepper
dash garlic powder
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t ground turmeric
1/2 t Garam Masala blend
1/2 t yellow curry powder blend
1 T unsweetened finely shredded coconut

15 oz can rinsed white beans OR 1 pint homemade cooked white beans
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 C chopped onion
1/4 C chopped celery
1 T peanut butter
1 t ginger juice

Coconut oil or olive oil (for cooking the patties)
Parchment paper (for forming the patties)

ASSEMBLY:
Use the same method as described above.
Curry patty with a very simple sauce made of tomato sauce, red curry paste and coconut oil.

Curry patty with a very simple sauce made of tomato sauce, red curry paste and coconut milk.

Cooked Herbed Quinoa

Cooked Herbed Quinoa

Here is a simple, “back-to-basics” recipe.  Herbed quinoa is one of my staple items that I always have in my extra freezer.

I eat this about once a week.  I like eating it cold in a salad, soaked in a tangy dressing of fresh squeezed lemon juice and Villa Cappelli olive oil.  So refreshing!

Note:  I cook up a double batch every time I cook quinoa.  I use 1 medium saucepan for each batch, but you could probably just double the recipe using a large saucepan.

STEP ONE

Rinse your measured quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Use 1 cup for a single batch and 2 cups for a double batch.

Quinoa is technically a seed, but cooks up like a grain.  It's often called a "pseudo-grain."

Quinoa is technically a seed, but it cooks up like a grain. It’s called a “pseudo-grain.”

Two sizes of fine mesh strainers

Two sizes of fine mesh strainers

STEP TWO

For every cup of quinoa seed, add 2 cups of water to your saucepan(s).  Set the stove to medium heat while you get out your herbs…

STEP THREE

Unload your spice rack!  Sprinkle anything and everything into the water:

Veggie broth powder (I like Vegebase)
Dried onion flakes
Garlic powder
Celery salt/sea salt
Black pepper/lemon pepper
Thyme
Sage
Basil
Parsley
Chives
Smoked paprika
Turmeric (makes it a pretty yellow)
Nutritional yeast

Herbed quinoa simmering

Herbed quinoa simmering

STEP FOUR

Simmer (covered) on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes to evaporate any excess moisture.

Double batch of Herbed Quinoa

Double batch of Herbed Quinoa

STEP FIVE

Portion in 1/2 cup glass freezer jam jars.  Makes about 6 1/2 servings for a single batch and 13 servings for a double batch.  Freeze.

Herbed Quinoa portioned in 1/2 cup jars.

Herbed Quinoa portioned in 1/2 cup jars.

(NSNG = No Sugar No Grains)

——————————————-

Interesting facts about QUINOA:
(all were taken directly from Wikipedia)

  • As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach, and tumbleweeds.
  • The name is derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa or occasionally “Qin-wah.”
  • It originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru.
  • It was domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding 5,200 to 7,000 years ago.
  • The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or “mother of all grains”, and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using “golden implements”.
  • Protein content is very high for a pseudo-cereal (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. Quinoa’s protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats.
  • Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein.  Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron.  Quinoa is also a source of calcium.
  • Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.
  • Quinoa may be germinated in its raw form to boost its nutritional value.  Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content.  In fact, quinoa has a notably short germination period:  Only 2–4 hours resting in a glass of clean water is enough to make it sprout.  This process, besides its nutritional enhancements, softens the seeds, making them suitable to be added to salads and other cold foods.
  • Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.  High levels of oxalic acid in the leaves and stems are found in all species of the Chenopodium genus.
  • Due to quinoa’s natural coating of bitter-tasting saponins, the plant is unpopular with birds and therefore requires minimal protection during cultivation.  After harvest, the seeds are typically processed to remove this coating.
  • The toxicity category rating of quinoa saponins treats them as mild eye and respiratory irritants and as a low gastrointestinal irritant.  The saponin is a toxic glycoside, a main contributor to its hemolytic effects when combined directly with blood cells.  The risks associated with quinoa are minimal, provided it is properly prepared and leaves are not eaten to excess.
  • In South America, quinoa saponin has many uses outside of consumption, which includes detergent for clothing and washing, and as an antiseptic for skin injuries.
  • Quinoa is grown from coastal regions (Chile) to over 4,000 m (13,120 ft) in the Andes near the equator.  Most of the cultivars are grown between 2,500 m and 4,000 m.
  • Depending on the variety, quinoa’s optimal growing conditions are in cool climates with temperatures that range from 25°F/−3°C during the night, to near 95°F/35°C during the day.  Rainfall conditions are highly variable between the different cultivars, ranging from 300 to 1,000 mm during growing season.
  • Quinoa does best in sandy, well-drained soils with a low nutrient content, moderate salinity, and a soil pH of 6 to 8.5.
  • Quinoa is usually harvested by hand and rarely by machine, because the extremely variable maturity periods of native quinoas complicates mechanization. Harvest needs to be precisely timed to avoid high seed losses from shattering, and different panicles on the same plant mature at different times. Handling involves threshing the seedheads and winnowing the seed to remove the husk. Before storage, the seeds need to be dried in order to avoid germination.
  • Quinoa has become increasingly popular in the United States, Europe, China and Japan where the crop is not typically grown, increasing crop value.  Between 2006 and early 2013 quinoa crop prices have tripled.
  • The popularity of quinoa in non-indigenous regions has raised concerns over food security.  Due to continued widespread poverty in regions where quinoa is produced, and because few other crops are compatible with the soil and climate in these regions, it is suggested that the inflated price of quinoa disrupts local access to food supplies.  However, anthropologist Pablo Laguna has noted that farmers tend to save quinoa for personal consumption, and consumption of the grain in nearby cities has been traditionally lower. According to Laguna, the net benefit of increased revenue for farmers outweighs the costs, saying that it is “very good news for small, indigenous farmers”.
  • The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa” in recognition of ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations, through knowledge and practices of living in harmony with nature. The objective is to draw the world’s attention on the role that quinoa plays in providing food security, nutrition and poverty eradication, in support of achieving Millennium Development Goals.
Quinoa, uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,539 kJ (368 kcal)
Carbohydrates 64 g
- Starch
52 g
- Dietary Fiber
7 g
Fat 6 g
- polyunsaturated 
3.3 g
Protein 14 g
- Tryptophan 0.167 g
- Threonine 0.421 g
- Isoleucine 0.504 g
- Leucine 0.840 g
- Lysine 0.766 g
- Methionine 0.309 g
- Cystine 0.203 g
- Phenylalanine 0.593 g
- Tyrosine 0.267 g
- Valine 0.594 g
- Arginine 1.091 g
- Histidine 0.407 g
- Alanine
0.588 g
- Aspartic acid 1.134 g
- Glutamic acid 1.865 g
- Glycine 0.694 g
- Proline 0.773 g
- Serine 0.567 g
Water 13 g
Thiamine (Vit B1) 0.36 mg (31%)
Riboflavin (Vit B2)
0.32 mg (27%)
Vitamin B6
0.5 mg (38%)
Folate (Vit B9) 184 μg (46%)
Calcium 36 mg (4%)
Iron 4.6 mg (35%)
Magnesium 197 mg (55%)
Phosphorus 457 mg (65%)
Potassium 563 mg (12%)
Zinc 3.1 mg (33%)
Percentages are roughly approximated
from US recommendations for adults.
Source:  USDA Nutrient Database
Bird-Friendly White Bean Burger (GF) with barbecue sauce.

Bird-Friendly White Bean Burger (GF) with barbecue sauce.

Well, this is #3 in my bean burger series.  When I discover a formula that works, I go with it!

Burger #1 had a Mexican flavor.  Burger #2 had an Italian quality.

Now, burger #3 has seasonings that most people associate with poultry (i.e. dead chickens and dead turkeys.)

In December 2008, I was newly vegan but the rest of my family was still eating animals.  My niece was 4 years old.  While preparing dinner for Christmas, my sister made a comment about the “bird” in the oven.  A few hours later, my little niece sat down to eat and said,

“But mommy, I don’t want to eat a bird.”

I’ll never forget that.  Fortunately, that was the last turkey that my niece had to eat.  My family no longer cooks birds.  We have Vegan Holiday Meals

Here is a savory burger that you can enjoy without causing chickens and turkeys to die.

I’d like to stop seeing the chicken trucks regularly, when I drive to work.

Bird-Friendly White Bean Burgers (GF)

Bird-Friendly White Bean Burgers (GF)

WET INGREDIENTS

2 C (or 1- 15 oz can) white beans (Cannellini (white kidney) or Great Northern beans)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/3 C chopped onion
1/3 C chopped celery
2 T tahini
1 T tamari (GF)

DRY INGREDIENTS

1/2 C oat flour (GF)
1/4 C ground sunflower seeds
1 T nutritional yeast
1 t EACH:  dried parsley, thyme & sage
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t EACH:  ground *rosemary, celery salt & black pepper
dash garlic powder

(*I grind dried rosemary to a fine powder using a coffee grinder)

ASSEMBLY

Use a small food processor to puree the wet ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the wet puree with the dry ingredients.

Divide the burger “dough” into 4 balls or 4 portions.  You can do this right in the bowl using a spoon, or you can pour a drop of olive oil on your hands to handle the balls manually.

The burger dough will be very sticky and soft- don’t panic!  Create 4 patties (see the other burger recipes for pictures of this phase).  If you want to keep your hands clean, just spoon the dough balls right onto parchment paper and flatten them there.

Refrigerate the patties on parchment for at least 30-60 minutes before cooking.  The time will allow the excess moisture to soak into the oats, which will bind the burgers.    Trust me!

Cook the patties on medium heat in a saute pan using the oil of your choice (I use coconut oil).  It should take about 10 minutes per side.  Shake the pan periodically to make sure they aren’t sticking.

Try these with some barbecue sauce or mushroom gravy.

Thank YOU for caring about birds of all kinds.

Kauai Chicken - May 8, 2011

Kauai Chicken – May 8, 2011

Italian Cannellini Bean Burgers - IMG_2228

WET INGREDIENTS:

1-2 cloves garlic, minced
chopped onion (~1/4 to 1/3 cup)
chopped red pepper (~1/4 to 1/3 cup)
1- 15 oz can organic Cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed & drained
1 T tahini
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 t capers

DRY INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C ground sunflower seeds
1/2 C oat flour (GF)
dash garlic powder
dash salt
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t fennel (crushed with mortar & pestle)
1 t dried basil
1 t Italian seasoning blend
1 T nutritional yeast

ASSEMBLY:

Use a small food processor to puree the wet ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the wet puree with the dry ingredients.

Divide the burger “dough” into 4 balls.  Pour a drop of olive oil on your hands to handle it easier.  The burger dough will be sticky and soft– don’t panic!!  Create 4 patties.  You can just drop the ball right onto parchment paper and then flatten into a patty.

Refrigerate the patties on parchment paper for at least 30-60 minutes before cooking.  The time will allow the excess moisture to soak into the oats, which will bind the burgers.  Trust me!

Italian Cannellini Bean Burgers - IMG_2220

Cook the patties on medium heat in a saute pan using the oil of your choice (I use coconut oil).  It should take about 10 minutes per side.  Shake the pan periodically to make sure they aren’t sticking.

Italian Cannellini Bean Burgers - IMG_2225

Serve these burgers with a dollop of spaghetti sauce.  If you want to dress it up more, add vegan cheese, kalamata olives, and fresh basil.

THANK YOU for not eating animals.

Cows - IMG_9373

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

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