black bean soup (hearty, vegan, gluten free, whole30)

vegan black bean soup

Soups are made for winter and winter is made for soups. AmIright? This vegan black bean soup is no exception.

Filling and hearty, it’s perfect for warming up on a chilly day. (And as a freeze baby, I’m always trying to find ways to stay warm in the winter. LOL)

It also packs a hefty dose of protein. Although all plants have protein, if you eat an exclusive plant-based diet, you need to be a little more intentional about consuming your recommended daily requirement. It’s not hard, but it does take a little more thought. It’s one of the many reasons why I love this soup!

Personally, I feel beans and lentils are the protein darlings of plant-based eaters. Not only do they contain high amounts of protein, they’re also low in fat which makes them an essential building block of a smart plant-based diet. (Curious about what else is part of a balanced plant-based diet, too? Check it out here.)

The quantities for the black bean soup recipe below make a very large pot (think at least 10-12 servings) for two reasons:

  1. So you have leftovers which saves you having to figure out what to make yet. again.
  2. I believe in making larger quantities of foods that freeze well (this one does) to save me time down the road. I’m confident you’ll appreciate this time saver too!

Cooking tips: Since soups (and stews) tend to improve in flavor over time, I highly recommend you make it at least 1-2 days ahead of time. Also, if you need to watch your salt intake, increase the seasonings and reduce the salt even more. Typically, I find doubling the herbs and spices helps me reduce the sodium. To reduce the fat content, saute in water or veggie stock instead of oil.

Black Bean Soup

  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 10-12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 5 T chili powder
  • 3 T cumin
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 7 cups water
  • 1-28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 8-15 oz cans (or 12 cups) cooked black beans
  • 4.5 cups frozen corn (organic is recommended)

Saute onions and garlic in veggie broth or water. Add celery and carrots and saute another 5 minutes or until the veggies start to soften, adding more water if needed. Add spices and continue to saute over low heat. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, puree the beans (all but one cup) with the tomatoes. You’ll need to do this in several batches. Aim to blend about 3 cups of beans with about 1/4/-1/3 cup of tomatoes. Add to the soup along with the remaining cup of beans and the corn. Simmer over low heat to let the flavors combine.

Black Bean Soup
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

Warm and filling this vegan black bean soup packs a powerful plant-protein punch and is hearty enough even for meat-eaters.

Course: Main Course
Keyword: vegan black bean soup
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • 2 large onions diced
  • 10-12 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 4 carrots diced
  • 5 T chili powder
  • 3 T cumin
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 7 cups water
  • 1-28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 8-15 oz cans or 12 cups cooked black beans
  • 4.5 cups frozen corn organic is recommended
Instructions
  1. Saute onions and garlic in veggie broth or water. Add celery and carrots and saute another 5 minutes or until the veggies start to soften, adding more water if needed. Add spices and continue to saute over low heat. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, puree the beans (all but one cup) with the tomatoes. You’ll need to do this in several batches. Aim to blend about 3 cups of beans with about 1/4/-1/3 cup of tomatoes. Add to the soup along with the remaining cup of beans and the corn. Simmer over low heat to let the flavors combine.
Recipe Notes

See post for notes and tips

If you’re looking for other soup recipe inspirations, then try these:

easy party appetizer: vegan rainbow black bean dip

easy party appetizer
Jump to Recipe

With 2018 quickly drawing to a close (how is that possible?!), I want to end the year on a high note with an easy party appetizer. Use it on New Year’s, for the Big Game, for Cinco de Mayo or just because. In fact, I often prepare it as a main meal.

 

That’s when I know I’ve hit on an especially good recipe… when I want to make – and eat – it over and over and over again!

 

It’s why I featured in my 28 Day Sugar Detox program. Plus it’s an example of how party foods can be fun and healthy. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser and you can make it ahead of time.

 

Because that’s my mission.

 

I want you to feel excited about foods that taste yummy, fuel your body to carry out your mission and are easy to prepare.

 

Here’s the breakdown in rainbow technicolor:

  • Red: Cherry tomatoes (antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K + potassium)
  • Orange: Peppers (antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, K1 + potassium)
  • Yellow: Corn (vitamin C, folate, thiamin, phosphorus + magnesium)
  • Light Green: Cilantro (antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, K, calcium, iron, potassium + magnesium_
  • Dark Green: Kale (antioxidants, vitamins A, B6, C, K, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium + potassium – did someone say superfood?)
  • “Blue:” Black beans (antioxidants, vitamin B1, copper, manganese, phosphorus, protein, magnesium + iron)
  • Purple: Red onion (antioxidants, vitamins B1, B6, C, copper, dietary fiber, manganese phosphorus, potassium, folate)
  • White: Garlic (vitamins B1, B6, C, manganese, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and calcium)

 

Serving suggestions

  • I love serving this with organic blue corn chips. Organic, because no GMO is the way to go. And blue because it complements the dip’s bright colors nicely.
  • Start by arranging the dip in a rainbow color wheel before setting it on the table as bright centerpiece. Then mix once most of the guests arrive.
  • Use a white bowl or platter to help the colors of the dip pop.
  • While you can mix the entire dip up to a day ahead of time, you also have the option of making the dressing separately and mixing it just before serving.

 

 

vegan rainbow black bean dip

 

Easy Party Appetizer: Vegan Rainbow Black Bean Dip
Prep Time
20 mins
 

This vegan black bean dip is an easy party appetizer that is a crowd pleaser and can be made ahead of time.

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced orange peppers
  • 1 cup organic corn
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1.5 cups chopped kale
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 3 cup black beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4-1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Mix lime juice, cumin and salt in a small bowl or jar. Mix up remaining ingredients in a bowl. Either add dressing and mix immediately or store separately and mix just before serving.

    See post for serving suggestions.

 

Hunting for other easy party appetizers that are chock full of the nutrients your body needs to shine? Try these ones:

 

 

vegan scalloped potatoes (easy, dairy free, gluten free)

vegan scalloped potatoes

 

With Thanksgiving coming up fast, here’s one of my favorite side dishes that’s an alternative to the traditional mashed potatoes: vegan scalloped potatoes.

Even though there isn’t bit of dairy to be found, they taste very close to the original. In fact, when one of my young nephews tried it, he said he, “really liked these cheesy potatoes.” Total vegan recipe win!! Did I let him in on the dairy-free secret? Nope.

But I’m sharing it with you. Let me know what you think!

 

vegan scalloped potatoes

 

Vegan Scalloped Potatoes (printable version below)

6 medium potatoes, thinly sliced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 3/4 cup unsweetened organic soy milk (see tips for more)

1 cup original hummus

1 T nutritional yeast

3/4-1 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

 

  1. Add garlic cloves, soy milk, hummus, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to a medium saucepan. Stir gently over medium-high heat until well-combined.
  2. In a greased casserole or baking dish (see tips for what I use), add a single layer of potatoes, then onions and repeat until all the potatoes and onions are gone, making sure you end with the potatoes. For a more finished look, place the final layer of potatoes in a spiral pattern starting on the outside of the dish and working inward and slightly overlapping each potato.
  3. Pour the sauce over top, cover the dish with foil and bake, covered, in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 

 

Recipe tips:
  • Onions, garlic and hummus are the key to bringing the cheesy flavor out in these vegan scalloped potatoes. My go to brand of hummus is Sabra so if you use another brand, you may have to adjust for flavor.
  • While you can slice the potatoes and onions by hand, makes it much quicker and easier to use a food processor to slice them (here’s the one I use). Or you could use a mandolin. I usually pluck out the best pieces and save them for the top for a prettier look.
  • I prefer using avocado oil for greasing the casserole or baking dish because it’s better for high heat cooking. If you can’t find avocado oil in your local grocery store, try this one.
  • I use unsweetened organic soy milk in this recipe because I think it gives the best flavor. While soy is a controversial ingredient, I personally don’t have a problem with it, especially since I use it sparingly. If you try another non-dairy milk, you may need to adjust for taste.
  • Though I love these in a round or oval casserole dish for looks, any shallow baking dish will do.

 

And if you’re looking for other potato side dish ideas for a holiday dinner, you might like these: smashed potatoes & roasted broccoli  or jeweled sweet potatoes.

 

Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

This easy side dish is a vegan take on a classic...cheesy but without the cheese!

Course: Side Dish
Keyword: gluten free, vegan scalloped potatoes, vegan side dish
Servings: 8
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • 6 medium potatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 3/4 cup unsweetened organic soy milk see post for more info
  • 1 cup original hummus
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 3/4-1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add garlic cloves, soy milk, hummus, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to a medium saucepan. Stir gently over medium-high heat until well-combined.
  2. In a greased casserole or baking dish (see post for what I use), add a single layer of potatoes, then onions and repeat until all the potatoes and onions are gone, making sure you end with the potatoes. For a more finished look, place the final layer of potatoes in a spiral pattern starting on the outside of the dish and working inward and slightly overlapping each potato.

  3. Pour the sauce over top, cover the dish with foil and bake, covered, in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

 

 

 

rainbow plate with roasted chickpeas and citrus garlic tahini sauce (vegan, gluten free)

 

As a food blogger, I want to believe that everyone will absolutely love what I create and share. One hundred percent. All the time.

This, of course, is not realistic…as my family frequently reminds me.

Take this rainbow plate, for example. Yum, right?!

Except if you don’t like red peppers, sweet potato, chickpeas, kale and/or eggplant, roasted, seasoned or dressed but not disguised in a soup or sauce. Since I happen to love all these veggies, this is a plate I want to dive into on repeat. I was hoping my family would want to do the same.

My youngest, however, “didn’t like that dinner” and it was like pulling teeth to get my other three to finish (they ate their favorite veggies first, but that is different for each of them)). Even my husband didn’t give it glowing reviews, because, well, right now I’m the only die-hard veggie lover in my family.

But despite the ho-hum, yuck reviews from my dearest ones, I’m still sharing this rainbow plate because I loved it and I know there are other veggie-lovers out there that will love it too.

It’s simple to make and balanced with protein from the chickpeas plus it gives you all the vitamins and antioxidants your body is really craving. It’s simply dressed with a citrus garlic tahini sauce (more protein +tang) and the veggies could be roasted up on the weekend to prep for a busy week ahead.

If you absolutely dislike one or more of the veggies I’ve included on this plate, just switch it up for a different vegetable of the same color. Because that’s the beauty of cooking and recipe sharing.

 

rainbow plate with roasted chickpeas
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

An easy, delicious way to "eat all the colors," this rainbow plate combines roasted veggies with raw kale to give you all the nutrients and is dressed with a tangy garlic tahini sauce.

Course: Entree, Main Course
Servings: 2 people
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
For the Rainbow Plate
  • 1-2 red pepper, cut in strips
  • 2 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 2 15-oz can chickpeas
  • kale, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
For the Citrus Garlic-Tahini Dressing
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
Instructions
For the veggies:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 as you prepare the veggies. Add sweet potato and eggplant cubes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the chickpeas by combining them in a bowl with the seasonings and toss to coat well. Spread on a baking sheet.

  3. When the sweet potatoes have cooked for 15 minutes, remove from oven and rotate for even cooking. Add the eggplant and red peppers to the baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired and return to the oven for another 25-30 minutes or until all the veggies are tender and roasted.

  4. At the same time, add the pan of chickpeas to a different rack in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until they are slightly crispy. It's helpful to stir them a couple times during baking for even crisping.

For the dressing:
  1. While the veggies are roasting, mix all the dressing ingredients in a blender or small food processor, blending until thoroughly combined. Dressing can be stored in an air tight jar in the fridge for one week.

To assemble the rainbow plate:
  1. Add veggies and chickpeas in rainbow order to each plate, using as much kale as desired. Drizzle dressing over each serving.

 

south-of-the-border party dip (vegan, oil free, added sugar free)

 

I could happily eat Mexican-style foods most days of the week. It’s one of the few cuisines that easily adapts to a plant-based diet without extraordinary effort or feeling like something is missing. Meat- and cheese-lovers might disagree, but as a former meat- and cheese-lover, this is my story and I’m sticking to it.

While this dip is made for the party scene, I also love it as a main, side or lunch any day of the week. It’s best when eaten within the first day, but can hold up in the fridge for a couple of days, although the avocado isn’t too happy about that.

This south-of-the-border party dip was inspired by one shared at a friend’s, but I “beefed” the recipe up with the addition of chickpeas plus a couple south-of-the-border ingredients: jalapenos and jicama.

 

 

 

If you’ve never tried jicama (pronounced hee-cama), it’s a root vegetable that has a pleasant crunchy texture and the flavor reminds me of apples, although not as sweet or pungent. To prepare it, all you do is peel it and slice as desired – for this recipe, I diced it. See the “Shop the Recipe” guide under the recipe for where you can find it.

This is a recipe where you can play with the ratios of ingredients and choose what to include and what to leave out, but of course, I recommend trying the whole kit and caboodle first as suggested in the recipe below. Since most of my family like foods on the mild side, I kept the jalapeno peppers to a minimum – really just enough to hint at some heat, but if you like things spicy, you’ll want to toss in more.

 

South-of-the-Border Party Dip
Prep Time
15 mins
 

A hearty, refreshing dip that is easy to pull together especially for large gatherings or when you want to whip up a quick meal.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 12-14 green onions, diced
  • 1-1.5 cups corn kernals
  • 1-1.5 cups diced cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • 1 cup, packed cilantro
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced fine (optional)
  • 3/4-1 cup jicama, diced (optional)
Dressing Ingredients
  • 2-3 T veggie stock
  • 1-2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. With the exception of the avocado, add all the dip ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Add the avocado just before serving, coating it with extra lime juice to slow the browning.

  2. Combine the dressing ingredients, pour over the dip and stir to coat.

Serve with organic tortilla chips or combine it with lettuce for a hearty salad.

     

     

     

    (contains affiliate links which help fund this blog at no cost to you 🙂 )

    • I used Eden Organics black beans and chickpeas for this recipe. I love that they are unsalted! If you can’t find them in your local store, you can get them here.
    • I always buy my corn organically because of GMOs in conventional corn. I get mine in bulk at BJs (a wholesale club), but Trader Joe’s also carries it. You also could look for the Woodstock brand in your local grocery store if they cater to an organic market. If you aren’t a member of BJs and want to check it out, use this link to sign up for a BJs membership and we’ll both get $25!
    • I bought my jicama at Whole Foods, but you could also look for it at Mexican grocery stores or larger grocery stores with an expanded selection of fruits and veggies may carry it.

    warming indian mulligatawny soup (vegan, dairy free, oil free, no added sugar, gluten free)

    As someone who prefers to use medication as an absolute last resort, I’m always on the lookout for food and recipes that give the body a fighting chance against infection before medication is needed.

    And this warming Indian mulligatawny soup is just what the homeopathic doctor ordered.

    Chock full of spices, vegetables and a kick of plant-based protein from red lentils, this soup comes together easily even if the ingredient list looks intimidating. Actually, it’s exactly because of all these ingredients (which are mostly spices) that makes this soup an excellent meal especially during cold and flu season.

    For example:

    • Ginger strengthens the immune system, helps with digestion and helps with respiratory health
    • Turmeric and cinnamon are antioxidants and anti inflammatory
    • Cardamon helps with digestion problems
    • Thyme soothes sore throats and coughs and also helps with digestion

     

     

    One of the reasons I also love this soup is that it’s one of the few soup recipes my husband also enjoys.  Without meats and cheese, he jokingly refers to most soups as “tea with vegetables” i.e. they don’t feel filling enough. The kids, on the other hand give it a mixed review. LOL

    This warming Indian mulligatawny soup is a plant-based and oil-free version of a recipe from The Wanderlust Kitchen and I’m grateful for the friend who passed it along. While the rice isn’t strictly necessary, it rounds out the recipe as a hearty meal. Quinoa would also work well as substitute.

     

    warming indian mulligatawny soup
    Prep Time
    25 mins
    Cook Time
    30 mins
    Total Time
    55 mins
     
    Course: Entree, Soup
    Cuisine: Indian
    Servings: 6
    Author: Andrea Anderson
    Ingredients
    • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
    • 1 carrot
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 small apples, diced
    • 1 14.5 can diced tomatoes
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 1 tsp powdered ginger
    • 1.5 T curry powder
    • 1.5 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 tsp turmeric
    • 1/4 tsp cardamom
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1 tsp salt
    • freshly ground pepper
    • 3 cups water
    • 1/2 cup red lentils, uncooked
    • 1 14 oz can full fat coconut milk
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilatro, chopped
    Instructions
    1. Add a little water to cover the bottom of a large soup or stock pot and saute the onions, garlic and carrots over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except the fresh cilantro and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are cooked thoroughly.

    2. Add fresh cilantro and serve over rice or quinoa if desired.

     

    easy black bean dip (vegan, dairy free, gluten free)

     

    I have a gift for you today…an incredibly easy recipe for you to make and I bet you have all of the ingredients in your pantry. It’s been one of my favorites for years and is inspired by a recipe I found on the Whole Foods recipe site before I even made the transition to a plant-based diet: Black bean dip.

    Although the “dip” word would make you think this is appetizer-only, I love making it for our main meal with a side of raw veggies and hummus! All of the “meaty” plant-based protein coming from the beans makes it hearty enough for that.

    Because this black bean dip is quick and simple to pull together, I love saving it for Sundays (my low key cooking or no-cooking day) and for times when I’m up to my ears in life and/or have been cooking up a storm. You know, kind of like what will happen this weekend.

     

     

    This black bean dip is made of only six ingredients and can be served with the traditional tortilla chips or you could try it with my sweet potato rounds if you have a little more time. Guacamole is an excellent side kick. You can get my basic guac recipe here or my new favorite spicy version here.

    Because this recipe is so easy going, I rarely measure the ingredients when I’m whipping it up, but I’ve included suggested measurements for you here. It’s a recipe that works well for experimenting to adapt to your tastes, but if you do so, start with my suggestions and go slowly from there.

    Bonus: You can make it a day ahead of time which also gives the flavors time to develop, though you might want to add a little extra salsa on the re-heating.

     

    Easy Black Bean Dip
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    15 mins
     

    This six-ingredient is simple to whip up and works well as an appetizer or main dish.

    Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Servings: 6
    Author: Andrea Anderson
    Ingredients
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 cup black beans, cooked
    • 3/4 cup salsa
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • cilantro for garnish (optional)
    • torrilla chips for serving
    • guacamole on the side (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Add garlic and onion to a medium saucepan with a little bit of water and saute over high heat until the onion is translucent, adding more water if needed to prevent burning.

    2. Reduce to medium-high heat and add in remaining ingredients. Mash beans slightly for a chunkier dip and more thoroughly for a smoother dip. Cook until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and heated through.

    3. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla chips and/or sweet potato rounds and a side of guacamole, if desired.

     

     

     

     

    his ‘n hers secret ingredient vegan black bean chili

     

    Before I adopted a plant-based diet, there were some dishes that I never made with meat. Like pasta sauce (here’s my go to recipe). And chili.

    Not sure why, but for some reason, I never liked the addition of meat in these dishes. However, once I went all in on the vegan eating, I knew I had to pay more attention to my protein sources.

     

    Let’s pause a minute on this while I clear up the myth that you can’t get “enough” protein on a plant-based diet…

    • First, all plants have protein, though some have more than others (think nuts, legumes, beans, lentils).
    • Secondly, our bodies don’t store protein and will eliminate the excess or turn it into fat.
    • Therefore, there’s absolutely no point in consuming more than your body will use for that day. For example, 1 cup of cooked, chopped chicken has about 43 grams of protein. That’s only 3 grams shy of the recommended daily requirement for the average woman. So unless our lady eats almost nothing else the rest of the day, she’ll be consuming way more protein than is needed.
    • By comparison, I reach a third of my daily requirements with a thoughtful, 100% plant-based breakfast. Combine that with lunch, dinner and snacks, I rarely have an issue meeting my daily requirements unless I’ve skimped on the nuts and beans.

     

    Which brings me to this secret-ingredient vegan black bean chili.

     

     

    Beans are excellent sources of plant-based protein, but I wanted to dot my protein “i’s” and “t’s” in this dish and add a little more. Plus I wanted to give the appearance that meat was present to appeal to meat eaters. Like my husband.

    So what’s the secret ingredient in this secret-ingredient vegan black bean chili? Walnuts! Finely chopping the walnuts with some garlic and onion powders and sage in a food processor or blender makes it look like I’ve added ground meat into my chili. Genius, right?!

    But wait, there’s a second secret ingredient too…chocolate!

    It may sound weird, but trust me on this. The chocolate tangos with the chili powder to deepen the flavor, plus it’s a superfood that has won many a woman’s heart so of course it needs to go there.

    And there you have it. The his ‘n hers secret ingredient vegan black bean chili.

    Let’s get cooking!

     

    5 from 1 vote
    his 'n hers secret ingredient vegan black bean chili
    Prep Time
    25 mins
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Total Time
    1 hr 25 mins
     

    This protein-packed chili has two secret ingredients to appeal both to him and to her.

    Course: Entree
    Author: Andrea Anderson
    Ingredients
    • 3 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup veggie stock
    • 4.5-6 cups black beans
    • 2 large onion, chopped
    • 1 red pepper, diced
    • 1 green pepper, diced
    • 7-8 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 4 Tbsp chili powder
    • 3 tsp cocoa powder
    • 4 tsp oregano
    • 3 tsp salt
    • 4 tsp cumin
    • 1 cup walnuts
    • 3-4 dashes onion powder
    • 3-4 dashes garlic powder
    • 1-2 dashes ground sage
    Instructions
    1. If you're cooking your own black beans, do so according to package directions. I usually soak mine in cold water overnight, rinse then add to a fresh pot of boiling water and boil for about 115-20 minutes. Then I turn off the heat and soak for several more hours.

    2. If you want the walnuts more tender, soak them for 30 minutes in water that been just boiled.

    3. Add the onion, garlic and peppers to a large stock pot along with the veggie stock over high heat. Saute about 5 minutes or until the veggies start to become tender.

    4. Add tomatoes and spices. (Hint: I like using the 1 cup of water to rinse out the cans and add it into the chili pot - it helps prevent waste that way!)

    5. Add cooked beans.

    6. For the walnuts, add to a food processor or blender along with garlic and onion powders and sage and pulse until the walnuts are finely chopped. Then add to the chili.

    7. Bring the chili to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about one hour to let the flavors develop.

    Recipe Notes

    RECIPE NOTES: This chili tastes even better on the second and third day as the spices work themselves through. It also freezes well!

     

     

     

    (contains affiliate links which help fund this blog at no cost to you 🙂 )

     

     

     

    basic vegetable stock (vegan, sodium free, soy free)

    Besides creating healthy yummy recipes, there are two things I love to do that go along with creating healthy yummy recipes: finding ways to save money and reducing waste.

    This basic vegetable stock manages all three.

    How? Glad you asked.

    The genius of this vegetable stock is it’s simplicity…just save your scraps of onion, garlic, carrot, celery and wilted bits of fresh herbs, freeze them, then turn them into a flavorful stock. No hard and fast recipe needed, but here are a few helpful tips:

    • A higher ratio of onions and garlic will produce a more savory stock; carrots and celery one with a sweeter overtone.
    • It’s possible to include members from the brassica family (e.g. kale stems, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) but I personally don’t recommend it since they carry strong, and sometimes, bitter, flavors.
    • To keep your sodium levels in check, I prefer leaving out the salt in the stock. However, I would add freshly ground pepper or a up to a teaspoon of whole peppercorns. A few pinches of turmeric also works.
    • When you’re first getting in the habit of doing this, leave a designated veggie scrap container on your counter or even write yourself a reminder…there have been countless times when I meant to save my scraps only to toss them in the garbage out of forgetfulness.
    • I store my scraps in a designated bag (I reuse cereal box liners for this!) in our freezer and pull them out when I have enough for a large pot.
    • I usually freeze my stock in mason jars, but if you like sauteing with veggie stock (a much better option than oil…although I just use plain water), use an ice cube tray to produce convenient small portions.

     

    There you have it…in one large stock pot, you have a flavorful base for soups and stews, get a bigger bang for your buck by using food parts normally pitched directly in the garbage, save money on buying pre-made stock and spare the landfill more container garbage. It kind of feels like being a superhero. But with an apron instead of a cape.

    Last thing…in case you’re wondering if I do this all the time? No. Right now I try for once a month because sometimes life is just too busy or I don’t have enough scraps saved to make the stock needed in a recipe. For me, it’s about doing the best that I can…and keeping an emergency container of store bought sodium-free stock in my pantry for all those other times,

    Penny-saving Basic Vegetable Stock
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    45 mins
    Total Time
    55 mins
     

    A simple stock to flavor your recipes and get extra mileage out of your vegetable scraps.

    Ingredients
    • onion scraps
    • garlic scraps
    • celery scraps
    • carrot scraps
    • wilted herbs
    • peppercorns or freshly ground pepper
    • 2-3 pinches turmeric (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Collect enough vegetable scraps to fill at least one half of a large stock pot. Fill the pot with water up to about 2-3 inches below the pot rim. Add pepper corns and turmeric, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes or until all the vegetables are very tender.

    2. Place a vegetable colander over a second large pot or stock pot and carefully pour the cooked vegetable stock into the colander, making sure the stock is collecting in the pot below (and not running down the sides - it happens!).

    3. Either use immediately in a recipe or let cool completely before transferring into mason jars, ice cube trays or other storage containers.

    4. Freeze and use within 2-3 months.

     

     

     

    roasted carrot coconut ginger soup (vegan, dairy free, gluten free, soy free)

    This roasted carrot coconut ginger soup absolutely hollers “fall” doesn’t it?

    The bright orange color. The roasted root vegetables. The richness of the coconut milk and comforting heat of the ginger. Then add a sprinkle of spicy sweet pumpkin seeds and this is a meal and the sings. The inspiration for this soup came from similar versions I’ve seen in stores. But my version comes without the added oils that most store-bought varieties include and cutting back on added oils = a healthier you.

    There are two extremely important lessons I learned when making the soup: 1) peel the carrots before roasting them. I merely scrubbed them to leave the nutrient-rich skin in tact, but found it gave a bitter overtone to the soup.

     

     

    2) Be extremely careful if you puree hot soup in a blender. I overfilled mine to “speed up” the blending step which resulted in a big mess and a couple burns on my skin. Yep. Big time blender fail.

     

     

    Also, when I made this soup, I pureed the roasted carrots, onions and ginger with the coconut milk and then put in my stock pot along with the water, seasonings and lentils.

     

    However, you could try adding everything to the stock pot, bringing it to a boil, then simmering for at least 30 minutes before blending it. Doing it this way would save you an extra step.

    If you want to serve your soup with the spicy sweet pumpkin seeds – something I highly recommend! – you can get that recipe when you purchase a copy of the Perk Up Your Pantry – Fall edition recipe ebook. Not only does it include the spicy sweet pumpkin seeds, but you’ll get:

    • 5 essential sauce recipes
    • 5 essential snack recipes
    • 5 easy main dish recipes
    • 3 fall-inspired bonus recipes
    • A shopping list of all ingredients

    PLUS you’ll receive two bonus items: a meal prep tip sheet and a meal plan tip sheet which includes a suggested meal plan featuring the recipe in the Fall Perk Up Your Pantry recipe book. All for only $8! Click here to buy it now.

     

     

    roasted carrot coconut ginger soup
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    1 hr 15 mins
    Total Time
    1 hr 30 mins
     

    A soup that absolutely hollers, "fall." From it's bright orange color, warming heat and rich creaminess, it a perfect recipe to celebrate the season.

    Course: Main Course, Soup
    Author: Andrea Anderson
    Ingredients
    • 1 small onion, quartered
    • 8-10 medium carrots, peeled, cut in half
    • 2 large garlic cloves
    • 1 14-oz can full fall coconut milk
    • 1/5-2 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • freshly ground pepper
    • 1/3 cup red lentils, well rinsed
    • 4 cups water
    Instructions
    1. Place carrots cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet (avocado oil recommended) or one lined with parchment paper along with onions and garlic. Roast in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until carrots get a slight char on their cut sides.

    2. Remove from oven and add all ingredients to a stock pot, bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils are cooked and carrots are very soft.

    3. Using a blender stick or traditional blender, carefully puree soup until very thick and smooth. Serve immediately or store in fridge for a day or two to let flavors further develop.

    Recipe Notes

    RECIPE NOTES:  Serve with spicy sweet pumpkin seeds for a fun twist and added crunch (in place of crackers)

     

     

     

    (contains affiliate links which help fund this blog at no cost to you 🙂 )

    • You should be able to find canned full-fat coconut milk in most grocery stores. I buy either the Thai Kitchen brand or Whole Foods 365 coconut milk (which is better since their cans are BPA free!). However, if you can’t find it, try here.
    • I get my red lentils in bulk from Whole Foods, but you also can find them here.