As a long-time vegetarian, I find tremendous resistance going that extra mile to having a vegan diet. Giving up meat was not a struggle when I stopped eating it in 1978; giving up eating cheese is an entirely different story. I love cheese.
It seems like just a small hop from vegetarianism to veganism; like, we’re almost there already; it’s practically the same thing.
Ah, but not to the vegetarian, especially the cheese-lover variety.
After each and every satisfying, nutrient-rich, delicious tasting, and attractively presented vegan meal, I absolutely, positively MUST have cheese in the next meal! And, lots of it.
Cheese is my meat! I love all the vegan foods that provide us with our protein, such as beans, legumes, and nuts, so that’s not the problem.
I just love cheese.
So, my compromise is to take baby steps toward my goal and make each meal as vegan as possible.
Full of beans
Recently, I've been experimenting with different beans instead of sticking to my stock, West Coast standards: pinto, black, and kidney.
For New Year’s today, my pantry offered up: Purple Hull Peas, Blackeyed Peas, Great Northern Beans and Kidney Beans which inspired the following recipe.
A dash of this and a little dash of that turned into a tasty, hearty and satisfying bean and vegetable meal that was completely vegan. And, I didn't even miss the cheese!
Plus, this was a quick, throw-together meal that didn’t even require any chopping of the vegetables! Chopping vegetables can be a real deterrent to using them in meal preparation, even though we know they’re good for us!
New Year's Beans
- I can Purple Hull Peas, drained
- 1 can Blackeyed Peas, drained
- 1 can Great Northern Beans, drained
- 1 can Kidney Beans, drained
- 8 kale leaves
- 1 cup shredded white cabbage (like for cole slaw; with carrots is fine)
- ½ chopped onion
- Salt, pepper,
- 1 tsp each turmeric, cumin
- ¼ c balsamic vinegar
- ¼ c liquid aminos, or soy sauce
- 2 c veg broth
- ¼ tsp hickory smoke flavor
Over medium heat in a soup pot, add the 4 cans of beans. Tear up large, bite-sized pieces of fresh kale and add to beans. Add cabbage and onions. Since this is a quick-prep soup, we’re going to add the seasonings and flavorings now: salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, vinegar, aminos/soy sauce, smoke flavoring and veggie broth.
Stir, cover and heat for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Taste before serving for any seasoning and flavoring adjustments.
Makes a hearty and complete meal of about 4 servings into cozy and decorative soup bowls, complemented by a few slices of fruit such as orange, apple, pineapple or a handful of berries, or a few raw celery and/or carrot sticks.
Happy and prosperous 2013 to us all! Antum Salimoun! Bonne Annee! Sanah Jadidah! Felice Anno Nuevo!
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