Mar 18, 2009

Heddy's Black and Red Bean Soup

This fast and easy soup came out fabulously!

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetarian vegetable broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans canned red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with liquid
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic; cook and stir for a few minutes to release the flavors.
  3. Season with maple syrup, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper.
  4. Pour in the vegetable broth, black beans, 1 can of red beans, and corn. Bring to a boil.
  5. Combine the other can of red beans and the crushed tomatoes in the container of a large food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
  6. Pour the processed beans and tomatoes into the soup pot and stir to blend.
  7. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes. Then serve!
What We Do:
We used fire-roasted tomatoes and did not consider the soup spicy at all. We also used 4 vegetarian vegetable bouillon cubes with 4 cups of water as a broth substitute. You could make your own broth by cooking and straining veggies if you wanted. We left it on the stove simmering on very low heat all day, adding the celery toward the end. We'll add some barley next time for a full protein. We served it with some sweet cornbread.


Mar 15, 2009

Sweet Corn Tomalito (Corn Pudding)

Shown here with bean and cabbage tacos, this sweet corn pudding can be used as a side dish, a dessert, a breakfast, or a snack. Be sure to make extra as you'll probably have it for all of them!

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons milk or milk alternative

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter/margarine, corn flour, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. In a food processor or blender, blend one cup of the corn kernels with the water and cornmeal just until smooth. Stir into the corn flour mixture.
  3. Mix in the remaining corn, baking powder, salt, and milk until the batter is smooth. Pour into an 8x8 inch glass baking dish or the top pot of a double boiler and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  4. If using a double boiler, put an inch or so of water in the bottom pot and place the top pot above it. If using a glass baking dish, set it on top of a large saucepan of simmering water. Steam for 50 to 60 minutes, or until firm. Check the simmering water occasionally and refill if necessary.
  5. Stir pudding before serving to give it a consistent texture.
What We Do:
Smart Balance Light margarine with flax seed is non-hydrogenated, vegan, and soy-free so we used that. We used rice milk and it came out great, but now that we have the MimicCreme open, we'll use it. We also buy aluminum-free baking powder.

Bean and Cabbage Tacos

The Mister used to get these in Boquillas del Carmen, Coahuila, Mexico--the center of an international peace park that never reached fruition--where they sold three for a dollar and were cooked on a gas stove. The crossing between the village and Big Bend National Park was closed in May 2002 and it effectively destroyed the remote village's way of life. Please say a prayer for the few remaining villagers, many of whom were too old or frail to relocate, who now live disconnected from the sources of income, food, medicine, electricity, warmth, care, and friendship they've known for decades. They can see and speak over the border, but a single blanket handed to them is now illegal and the next closest legal crossing is hours away over dangerous terrain.

15 corn tortillas
1 can refried beans
1/3 small head of cabbage, shredded
Vegetable or canola oil

1. Pour a thin layer of oil in the bottom of your skillet and have it warming on medium heat.
2. Place a spoonful of refried beans in the middle of a corn tortilla.
2. Sprinkle some shredded cabbage on top of the beans.
3. Fold the corn tortilla like a taco and place it in the skillet. Turn when golden to cook the other side.
4. Place the heated tacos on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil.

What We Do:
The Mister likes the cabbage sprinkled in after frying while I prefer it be a little softer, which is gained by adding it before frying. The tacos are shown here with pico de gallo on top and sweet corn tomalito on the side.

Special Diet Considerations:
Most canned refried beans add animal lard to the beans. The fat-free varieties do not add this extra lard and are therefore usually vegan.

Cookie Dough

This stuff is delicious as batter and nearly half didn't make it into the oven. Great for keeping in the fridge to grab a spoonful when you're wanting something cold and sweet. And since there are no eggs, you don't have to worry about the raw batter making someone ill.

2-1/4 cup unsifted all purpose flour
1 cup softened (not melted) non-hydrogenated, vegan margarine
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 oz of vegan chocolate chips
5 oz of another cookie add-in like chopped pecans, coconut flakes or more chocolate

1. If you want to bake them into cookies, pre-heat the oven to 375F.
2. In a large bowl, cream the brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, applesauce and margarine until it has a still chunky but somewhat smooth texture.
3. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
4. Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir. When the combined ingredients are smooth and thick, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts (or other ingredients you desire to a total of about 10 oz).
5. If you want to use this as a raw dough (which I recommend) then cover the bowl and refrigerate it. Eat by the spoonful once chilled.
6. If you want to bake any of the dough into cookies, drop them on a greased cookie sheet and bake them for 10 minutes or when they are soft enough but solid enough to eat.
7. Remove from oven and place the cookies on a cooling rack.

What We Do:
While any applesauce will work, Santa Cruz' cherry applesauce gives it a distinctively delicious taste.

Special Diet Considerations:
We used Smart Balance Light margarine with flax oil as it is vegan and soy-free. The other Smart Balance margarines are not vegan, and many margarines contain soy, so watch the ingredients if it is of concern.


Mar 9, 2009

Time sure goes by fast...

Now that we're all in the Lenten Fast, it is a good time for the below video with Father Moses of Holy Resurrection Monastery on incorporating fasting into the Christian diet. The video includes sections on fasting when one has special diet considerations such as small children, non-fasting spouses, and medical needs.