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:

 

 

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.

     

     

     

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    • 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.

    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!

     

     

     

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    weeknight spinach tikka masala (vegan, dairy free, gluten free, soy free)

    My love for Indian food – especially south Indian – has grown over the years and my favorite go-to curry sauce is this one. It’s one of the often-requested dishes from my boys (although they like chicken to go along with it…sigh). But, my girl…she’s a tough one! So far I haven’t won her over to that recipe, so you could have knocked me over with a feather when she actually liked this one. Praise the Lord.

    If you’re looking for a quick-ish fresh meal to make and one that rocks leftovers – this one is it!

     

     

    The sauce is the epitome of comfort food, Indian-style, with its warming spices and rich creaminess of the coconut milk. It gets an added nutrition boost from quick-cooking red lentils, which makes them ideally suited for weeknights, and freshly chopped spinach. It can be spooned over chickpeas or quinoa for added plant-protein or served traditionally with rice (brown is best). For our meal, I served it with oven roasted broccoli and green beans since those are two family favorites, but you can easily adapt your veggie add-ons to suit your tastes. Weeknight tip: use frozen veggies to save on chopping time!!

     

     

    For a quick weeknight meal, I recommend following the preparation steps outlined in the recipe. Alternatively, you could prep the sauce ahead of time and simply re-heat when ready to serve.

     

    weeknight spinach tikka masala
    Cook Time
    25 mins
     

    Warm comfort food designed for weeknights and made for leftovers.

    Course: Entree, Main Course
    Cuisine: Indian
    Servings: 6 people
    Author: Andrea Anderson
    Ingredients
    For the tikka masala sauce
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
    • 1 15-oz can full fat coconut milk
    • 1 T tomato paste
    • 1 tsp freshly minced ginger or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric
    • 2 tsp coriander
    • 1 tsp garam masala
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2/3 cup red lentils
    • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
    • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
    For the rest of the dish:
    • chickpeas, quinoa or rice
    • veggies of choice
    Instructions
    1. If you are serving with brown rice and don't have a rice- or pressure cooker, put a pot of water on to boil (like you would for pasta) and turn on the oven to 350 degrees F. If you are serving with quinoa, rinse thoroughly and add to pot with water. For less mushy quinoa use a scant 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa. For example, if you're cooking one cup of dried quinoa, add only 1 3/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Cooks in about 10 minutes.

    2. Spread your veggies on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven. Rinse lentils thoroughly and set aside.

    3. Begin to chop the veggies for the tikka masala sauce. If cooking rice, at whatever point in this process your water starts to boil, add in the rice and cook uncovered as you would pasta. Set the time for 23 minutes.

    4. Finish preparing the tikka masala sauce and add in the lentils. Bring the sauce to a boil, cover the pot, then reduce to a simmer.

    5. Chop spinach and take a peek at your veggies in the oven. When they start to brown slightly, turn the oven off. Keep them in the oven until ready to serve so they stay warm.

    6. When the timer beeps, test your rice for doneness, then either allow to cook for another minute or two or drain immediately and return to the pot.

    7. When the lentils are fully cooked (about 10-15 minutes), add in the spinach and cilantro and stir to combine.

    8. To serve, add quinoa/chickpeas/rice to a bowl along with the veggies and spoon the sauce over top.

    9. 9) Store leftovers in the fridge for up to several days or freeze for later.
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe Notes

    • I prefer buying my broccoli and green beans frozen to save me a step.
    • If you want leftovers, I recommend doubling the sauce recipe.

     

     

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    • I’m able to buy my broccoli organically and in bulk from BJ’s (a wholesale club). If you don’t have a wholesale club membership and want to check BJ’s out, click here to get details on a membership (if you sign up we both get $25!!). Or, if you’re not sure if a wholesale club membership is worth it, you can download an article here where I share my experience and steps in evaluating whether a membership made sense for us.
    • 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.
    • I love Trader Joe’s frozen french-style green beans which is what I used here.

     

     

     

    building a better vegan BLT (+ VIP eggplant bacon recipe)

    better vegan BLT

    Today is National Sandwich Day. (Scratching my head over who comes up with these things, but we’ll run with it.) And what better way to celebrate than with a sandwich classic…the BLT? A vegan BLT.

    Let’s dig in.

    While it’s kind of hard to construct a bad BLT, there are a few tweaks you can try to make it even better both for taste and to give it a healthier nutrition profile. Here’s how:

     

    1. Start with whole wheat or whole grain bread. Whole wheat breads (and 100% whole grain breads are even better), give you the whole enchilada of fiber and nutrients and prevent sharp spikes in your blood sugar levels. They also add a nutty flavor to your sandwich. I also try to buy breads that are free of added sugars, additives and preservatives.
    2. Use red pepper hummus. Mayo – even vegan mayo – is rather empty on the nutrition side since it’s made mostly from fats. By using hummus (especially red pepper hummus), keeps your plant-protein game strong and is packed with other benefits like more iron, folate, B vitamins, fiber and vitamin C. Although hummus is incredibly easy to make, it’s also one of the rare go-to foods that I usually choose to buy instead of make – Sabra is my favorite brand.
    3. Add organic greens.  I reached for organic green leafy lettuce for this sandwich, but next time I would use organic spinach for its extra iron content. Buying organic for spinach is especially important since it ranks number 2 on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list.
    4. Slice up organic tomatoes. Tomatoes rank number 10 on the Dirty Dozen list, so if you want to build a better vegan BLT, go organic for the co-star of this sandwich.
    5. Stack on the eggplant bacon (VIP recipe alert!!). Sure, you could buy the processed vegan versions, but if you read those ingredients, I think you’ll agree they aren’t “better.” When I first went vegan, I made my peace about having my BLT’s without the “B” until I discovered “bacon bits” made from flaked coconut. While these somewhat worked as a substitute, they didn’t exactly cut the mustard. I think this eggplant bacon does. Not only can you make it look like strips of bacon, complete with crinkles, but I prefer the flavor and the texture.

     

    eggplant bacon

     

    The eggplant bacon is a VIP recipe reserved for the veggie-lovers on my newsletter list. If you want to get on the list and have the eggplant bacon recipe shipped to your inbox so you can build yourself a better vegan BLT, click below.

     

    Last, but not least, don’t forget the pickles. What sandwich is complete without them? Apart from PB&J maybe. If you want to go better with your pickles too, look for brands that don’t include food dyes and other additives and preservatives found in most brands – especially the popular ones. Your best bet is to check the refrigerated section of your grocery store and it’s where I found a brand that is made here in Ohio and these are the ingredients: pickles, salt, dill, garlic and pickling spices. So simple. Why add anything else?

     

    Now I want to hear from you…what is your favorite classic sandwich?

     

     

    vegan italian sausage soup (dairy free, soy free)

     

    Last week, I shared my basic veggie stock recipe with you. Today, I’m giving you the perfect recipe to try it out with: vegan Italian sausage soup.

    When I first decided to go all in with a plant-based diet, I immediately thought of ways to replace meat-based dishes with vegan versions that closely approximated those flavors and textures I was used to. But when I started experimenting with new-to-me-foods like TVP, seitan and pre-packaged vegan “meats,” I wasn’t too thrilled with the results. You see, my goal in adopting this new diet was to get healthier and eating a lot of wheat-based and processed foods didn’t feel like it would help me reach this goal.

    So I tabled those foods and beefed up on the veggies and whole foods. It’s a food philosophy I continue to maintain with the occasional exception. Like this vegan Italian sausage soup.

    The credit goes to my mom for finding a non-vegan version of this soup, but adapting it using vegan italian sausages created by Field Roast. (BTW, this isn’t a sponsored post.)

     

     

    The thing I love about these sausages is the flavor dimension they bring to this soup…I’m not sure it would taste the same without them! I also love that the ingredients are straight-forward and consists mostly of foods I can find in my own kitchen, like eggplant, red bell pepper, garlic and onion.

    As with many soups, this recipe comes together easily. Since it’s ready in about 30 minutes, it makes it perfect for hectic weeknights when you’re in a time crunch to get dinner on the table.

     

    vegan italian sausage soup
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    25 mins
     

    When you want a soup with a little "meatiness" to it, this vegan italian sausage soup is the answer. It's also perfect for hectic weeknights since it comes together in less than 30 minutes.

    Course: Main Course, Soup
    Cuisine: Italian
    Servings: 6 people
    Ingredients
    • 2-4 links Field Roast Italian sausage, sliced into 1/2" rounds
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 29 ounces sodium free veggie stock
    • 1 3/4 cups water
    • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
    • 6 ounces fresh spinach, finely chopped
    • 1-2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp salt
    • dashes freshly ground pepper to taste
    • 3/4 cup pasta of choice (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Add onion and garlic to a large saucepan with a little water and saute over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. If desired, finely chop tomatoes before adding them along with the remaining ingredients with the exception of the pasta (if using) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add pasta if using, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

     

     

     

     

     

    the best basic burrito recipe (vegan, dairy free, oil free option, gluten free option)

    I could easily eat Mexican food most days of the week. That and my favorite Indian curry. I love how effortless it feels, how easily it adapts to a plant-based diet and that leftovers go a long way.

    This basic burrito recipe is one of my go-to’s and is inspired by a recipe I found on Whole Foods years ago. One of the things I hope you will love about it is that once you have the basic flavor profile down, you can easily tweak it to your preferences…a little more garlic here, less tomato there, more spice, more lime).

     

    Once the basic burrito mix is assembled, here’s how I put it together…

    1) Grab your favorite tortillas (gluten free if needed) and spread on a generous layer of hummus – red pepper is best. The hummus is what makes vegan burritos “survive” without the cheese. If you need to keep things oil-free, use oil-free tortillas and oil-free hummus.

     

    2) Add a few slices of avocado and mash well. This also helps round out the creaminess and moisture usually provided by dairy cheese. If you can’t stand avocado, you can use just a little and mix it in well with the hummus and your taste buds won’t be any wiser. Trust me. I’ve tested this on my avocado-averse family members.

     

    3) Scoop on the rice.

     

    4) Then add the bean mixture.

     

    5) Accessorize with jalapeno peppers and chili flakes if you like a lot of heat. #bringiton, I say!

     

    6) Now you’re ready to roll it up and put it in the oven. Usually, I just secure it with a toothpick, but you can wrap it in parchment paper if you are planning this for a take-it-with-you meal.

     

    best basic burritos
    Cook Time
    45 mins
    Total Time
    1 hr
     

    Easy to prepare, customizable and leftovers that go a long way are why this is my basic burrito recipe. Fresh flavors, oven toasted tortillas and creamy plant-based sub-ins for dairy cheese come together to make this weeknight favorite.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Author: Andrea Anderson
    Ingredients
    Basic Burrito Filling
    • 3 cups black beans, canned or cooked according to package directions
    • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
    • 1/2 large onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 limes, freshly squeezed
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • dashes pepper
    • 1/4 cup veggie stock
    Other ingredients
    • 1.5 cups brown rice
    • tortillas
    • red pepper hummus
    • avocado
    • jalapeno peppers (optional)
    • red chili flakes (optional)
    Instructions
    1. If you don't have a rice cooker and need the rice ready in a hurry because you forgot to make it earlier (like I often do!), bring a pot of water to a boil, add the rice and cook it as you would pasta - over high heat and with the lid off. Set the timer for 23 minutes. In the meantime, you can prep your burrito filling...

    2. Add all the basic burrito filling ingredients to a mixing bowl, stir until thoroughly combined and adjust seasonings to your taste.

    3. To assemble the burritos, spread a generous helping of hummus on the tortilla and add a few pieces of avocado - give the avocado a mash. Spoon on the rice, then the bean mixture and "accessorize" with the jalapeno peppers and chili flakes if desired.

    4. Secure burritos with a toothpick or wrap in parchment paper and place on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes or until the tortillas are lightly browned on the edges.

    Recipe Notes

    These burritos keep well as leftovers and can be reheated by wrapping in tin foil and placing in a 350 degree F for about 20 minutes or until heated through. Oven re-heating may not top the microwave in speed, but it keeps your tortilla crisp like it was meant to be.

     

     

    If you have family members who promise you they can’t survive without meat and will launch a revolt if you serve them only veggies, I give you permission to cook up some meat and add it to the burritos for the sake of keeping the peace.

     

     

     

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    • Though I prefer homemade tortillas, life is just too busy. So I save my sanity and buy my tortillas from Trader Joes – the chile ones are my favorite. If you need gluten-free tortillas, you can try these. For oil-free tortillas, try the Food for Life brand which can be found in most health food stores.
    • My favorite brand of store-bought hummus is Sabra. Roasted red pepper is my preferred flavor, especially for Mexican recipes (and even looks a little like cheese).
    • I prefer the unsalted veggie stock by Kitchen Basics if I don’t have my own on hand. If you can’t find it in your local grocery store, you can get it here.
    • My daughter and I have a mild obsession with Jeff’s Natural’s jalapeno peppers which you can find here. Jeff uses purer ingredients than the canned kind.

     

    tuscan roasted tomatoes with sesame parmesan (vegan, dairy free, nut free, gluten free)

    As much as I love sharing the fun, creative recipes (like these matcha coconut lime energy bites or these weeknight tacos), I also love giving equal play to recipes that are meant for the every day or moments when you’re not sure what to throw together. Like these tuscan roasted tomatoes.

    I came up with these lovelies one Sunday evening when we were going to have a mishmash of leftovers and family coming over at the last minute. Throwing together a medley of vegetables prepared in a number of ways is still one of my favorite things to do…it speaks of abundance and simplicity and letting my pickier (ahem) eaters load up on the veggies they prefer over the ones they don’t.

    This is a great way to use up an abundance of tomatoes from your hardworking garden and takes only minutes to prep before sliding in the oven. With a hearty slice of toasted bread, you also could serve these as an appetizer and leftovers could easily be cooked down into a pasta sauce. The extra sesame parmesan can be saved for pasta or even soup recipes, like this one.

     

    Tuscan Roasted Tomatoes with Sesame Seed Parmesan
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    20 mins
     

    Pulling together simple, fresh flavors with the transition of summer to fall in mind, these Tuscan Roasted Tomatoes come together easily as a casual side dish or hearty appetizer.

    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
    Cuisine: Italian
    Author: Andrea Anderson
    Ingredients
    • fresh tomatoes
    • roasted red pepper hummus
    • fresh basil, diced
    • salt & pepper
    • sesame seed parmesan
    • whole grain, hearty bread (optional)
    For the sesame seed parmesan
    • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
    • 4 tsp nutritional yeast
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2-1 tsp olive oil
    Instructions
    1. Rinse tomatoes and slice into rounds that are between 1/4" and 1/2" thick. Generally, plan around 1 tomato per person. Place tomato rounds onto a baking sheet. Add a generous spoonful of hummus to each tomato slice and spread. Place in a 350 degree F oven for about 15-20 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, add all sesame Parmesan ingredients to a food process or high speed blender and blend until the sesame seeds are crumbly and resemble Parmesan cheese.

    3. When the tomatoes are done, remove from oven and top with basil and a few sprinkles of sesame parmesan. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired and serve immediately.

    Recipe Notes

    RECIPE NOTES

    • If serving as an appetizer, cut bread into thick slices (about 1" thick), place on a baking sheet and lightly toast in the same oven as the tomatoes. Keep an eye on it though so it doesn't burn! Remove from oven when toasted and then top with a roasted tomato, the basil, sesame parmesan and salt and pepper if desired.

     

     

     

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    •  My go-to brand of hummus (both original and roasted red pepper) is Sabra.
    • Click here for my favorite mini food processor
    • I get both my nutritional yeast and sesame seeds in bulk at Whole Foods, but you also can find them here and here.

     

    sweet potato & lentil soup (vegan, oil-free)

    2009-01-19 17.49.37The first vegan cookbook I ever purchased was Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson*. It was during the season in my life that my oldest son likes to refer to as “the time when we weren’t eating healthy.” I refer to it as the time when I didn’t realize the benefits of eating a plant-based diet.

    But the Lord knew He would bring me to this place, so He gradually encouraged me to go meat-free on more than just Monday. I started by exploring vegan and vegetarian cookbooks in our local library until I stumbled upon Vegan Planet*.

    One of my favorite recipes from the book is Robin’s “Indian-spiced Lentil Soup” on page 78.

    Although soups are most often thought of in the fall and winter, I make them year round. Especially when spring shows its chillier side.
    100_1753

    100_1772

    100_1770

    100_1757And I think this soup is especially spring-like with the bright addition of cilantro, an herb that flourishes in cooler temperatures.

    2009-01-19 17.12.30Spring, summer, fall, winter, here is my version of this sweet potato lentil soup.

    swplentilsoup CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the sweet potato lentil soup recipe

    sweet potato lentil soup

    Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

    Cook Time: 60-70 minutes

    Ingredients (6-8)

    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 celery rib, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 small sweet potato, peeled & diced
    • 1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
    • 1 tsp. ground ginger
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 ½ cups dried brown lentils
    • 6 cups water
    • ½ cup cilantro leaves, minced
    • ½-3/4 tsp. salt
    • Dashes of pepper

    Instructions

    In a stock pot, sauté onions, celery and garlic in a little water until onion is translucent (about 5 minutes)

    Add sweet potatoes and sauté 5 minutes more.

    Add water, tomatoes and seasonings except the cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 50 to 55 minutes until the lentils and sweet potato are cooked through.

    Add cilantro and cook 10 minutes more.

    Recipe Notes

    As with most soups, this one tastes even better the second day when the flavors have fully developed.

    This soup freezes well, so make some extra and keep on hand when you need a meal in a pinch.

     *I am an Amazon associate. If you purchase the cookbook through this link, it will provide a small credit to my account.

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