Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Another frigid week and another big pot of soup was made! This has all simple, easy to find ingredients that blend well together for a hearty meal.

Very much like my Three Bean Vegan Soup, despite the name there is so much more in this soup.  Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup ingredientsAlongside the Butternut Squash and Lentils and kale (I know everyone is saying that kale is so ‘2015’ but I still love it!), there are black beans and cannellini beans.

This is another soup that packs in the protein, vitamin c, iron and lots of vitamin a from the butternut squash.  Make some warm cornbread to go along with it and you have a satisfied mind, (warm) body and soul.

Feed the wellness in you!

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 9 cups of vegetable stock (Better than Bouillon is preferred)
  • 1/2 lb Chopped Kale
  • 1 lb of diced Butternut Squash
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Cannellini Beans
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Black Beans Beans
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Bring your stock to a boil and add the kale. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the butternut squash and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients, stir, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Let cool to desired temperature and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/butternut-squash-and-lentil-soup/

Smokey Beans with Sweet Plantain

Smokey Beans with Plantain 1

My love for cooking is derived from the variety and flavors of food that I grew up with in my household and from my extended family.  My paternal grandmother was an amazing cook as she traveled the world as an Ambassador’s wife and would explore those cultures in her cooking.  My maternal grandmother, my mother, aunts and cousins (and there are MANY across those last two categories) can all cook very well – no pressure.  They enjoy the planning, preparation, serving and delight in seeing their guests enjoy what they’ve created.  As I mentioned in other posts, I am a first generation American born to parents from the Caribbean.  My first love will always be ‘island’ spices and traditions from their preparation of cooking.

Plantain was a staple in meals during my childhood and treated as a side dish as you would have potatoes, yams or sweet potatoes.   Also known as plátanos, they are closely related to the fruit, banana.  Plantain can be prepared and cooked when green, and also when it is ripe which is signaled by it softening and turning yellow and black.

I  cook plantain once or twice a month – not too often as it is relatively high in calories.  The starch converts to sugar even more than a banana – but I do enjoy having it. Tremendously.  Plantain is nutritious and is a  great source of Vitamins A, C, B-6 and Potassium.   I fry plantain, boil it, boil and mash it, add to soups and stews; I use it numerous ways.  The addition of plantain to this dish I prepared is magic.

So let’s talk about my ‘oh so smokey beans’!  I use both kidney beans and black beans.  I find it interesting how various cultures use different beans in their dishes.  My father’s Haitian culture uses the kidney bean in rice as they do in Jamaica.  A Costa Rican family that lived on my block in Brooklyn used black beans in their dishes and that was my introduction to those beans as my mother never used them in her Vincentian upbringing.  I love both of these beans and they are used frequently in my vegetarian lifestyle.  Kidney beans are great for absorbing the flavors they are in.  As with all beans these are both very good sources of cholesterol-lowering fiber, iron and lots of protein.

My ingredients for this dish are simple but combined they provide several layers of flavor.  The garlic, liquid smoke and the paprika provide the great smokey flavor, yet the red peppers provide a nice sweet finish to the beans.  Paired with the unexpected soft, sweet plantain really makes this a side dish that is unique and appealing.

Feed the wellness in you!

Smokey Beans with Sweet Plantain

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of kidney beans
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 c onions
  • 5 sweet peppers, sliced and seeded
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbl tomato paste
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbl smoked paprika
  • 2 ripe plantains
  • 2 - 4 Tbl olive oil

Instructions

  1. Sautee the garlic, onions, sweet peppers in 1-2 tbl of olive oil.
  2. Add the beans and vegetable broth and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the remainder of the ingredients except for the plantains. Add 1 tsp of sea salt.
  4. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes stirring periodically then turn to low heat and leave covered with a slight crack so the dish does not create condensation/water.
  5. In another pan, heat 2 Tbl of olive oil and slice your plantain into discs as shown in the picture of the finished product.
  6. Place the discs in the pan and allow to get golden brown on both sides.
  7. Once done, place on paper towels to drain the oil.
  8. Add to the smokey beans. The beans should be a nice, smooth, consistency. Not too thick and not at all runny and loose.
  9. Remove from heat and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/smokey-beans-with-sweet-plantain/

Melting Pot Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Are you ready for some football?

It’s Super Bowl weekend, the parties are planned, gathering in front of the TV will begin and the trash talking will ensue all while noshing on party food – sliders, wings, pizza, dips, chips, and perhaps chili. I’ve always enjoyed chili because of its variety and ease of preparation. I’ve had a chili bar for  small to large gatherings and it’s an easy way of satisfying everyone. I’ll have different versions of chili with all the fixin’s laid out and you just help yourself to sour cream, cheese, jalapenos, nacho chips, green onions, cilantro, avocado and cornbread. That’s my list but I would love to hear yours!!

No matter what option I serve in addition to the vegetarian chili, everyone loves the veggie version just as much as they would one with meat. My version is an amalgamation of several chili dishes that I’ve made just without the meat.  I landed on the right combination to make you enjoy it as much as you would one with chicken or beef. I named it ‘Melting Pot Vegetarian Chili because all the ingredients work in harmony, it brings people together that wouldn’t normally eat a vegetarian version, and it is adeptly named as an homage to my hometown, Brooklyn NY. Let’s not minimize how nutritious this is – lots of vitamins, protein, fiber and so much more. And wait for it…the cooking directions are simple. You put all the ingredients in a crock pot on the low setting for 8 hours. Or try it on the stovetop on low heat for 4 hours. That’s it! It can cook faster on higher heat but I recommend slow cooking so all the flavors are infused. Try it out for a change.

Enjoy your weekend! Go Seattle! #RussellWilson

Melting Pot Vegetarian Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 -3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 15 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1 bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1 can Kidney Beans
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 pkg Lightlife Protein Crumbles
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Green Peppers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Unsweetened baking cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in your crock pot or a large soup pot.
  2. Reserve 1 cup of the vegetable stock and observe whether it is too thick or requires a bit more liquid.
  3. Stir well.
  4. If cooking in the crock pot leave on low heat for 6-8 hours.
  5. If cooking on the stove top leave on low heat for 4 hours.
  6. Check on it periodically to stir.
  7. Taste, add salt as desired.
  8. Enjoy with all the fixin's!!
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/melting-pot-vegetarian-chili/