Meatless Dinners in 30-Minutes

 Black Bean Soup: In a large soup pot broth-or-oil-saute for 15 minutes on medium heat: 1 yellow or red onion chopped, 4 cloves garlic minced (2 more for garlic lovers), 1/2 minced de-seeded jalapeno (optional), 4-5 tsp cumin, 1 tsp epazote (for digestion), 2 finely chopped carrots, and 4 celery ribs finely chopped. Add water sprinkles to keep from sticking. Next, add 6 cups cooked black beans (or 4 cans drained/rinsed) + 4 cups vegetable broth. For a thicker soup, puree 4 cups of the soup. I use my immersion blender and simply blend right in the pot (for less clean-up) until it is slightly chunky. Serve over brown rice or with a tortilla. Topping ideas: Avocado slices, chopped scallions, roasted pumpkin seeds, and/or pico de gallo or salsa. Slightly modified from Cookie & Kate’s blog recipe “Spicy Black Bean Soup.”
 Almond Butter Stew: 1/2 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 green bell pepper, 1.5 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne– Chop and saute in a deep skillet for 10 minutes (add water to keep from sticking). Next, pour in 1 can diced tomatoes & cook 3-5 minutes more. Then add 1 can drained & rinsed kidney beans (and another optional can of pinto or garbanzo beans) + 1.5 cups vegetable broth or water. After the stew has warmed add 2 heaping TBS almond butter. Stir & serve over bowls of potatoes, rice, or green beans. 

Fresh Tomato Soup with white beans, store-bought pesto, and vegan cheese quesadillas 

Tofu Potato Scramble Burritos: In a pre-heated pan w/ a tsp of olive oil, saute on medium heat: 4 minced garlic cloves, 1/4 minced jalapeno, & 1/2 tsp paprika. After about 2 min, crumble 1/2 container of tofu (firm, extra firm or sprouted) using your hands. After washing your hands, add in 1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach. Stir often. I added some salsa (1-2 TBS) to keep it from sticking. Add about 1-2 TBS nutritional yeast flakes at the end along with a handful of pre-cooked diced potatoes (optional). Total cooking time is about 5-8 min. Turn off heat, & lay 2 tortillas w/ vegan cheese slices on top of the food. Cover & let the tortillas warm up & cheese melt. After another 3-5 minutes, prepare your burritos & dig in. Avocado slices can replace cheese if desired. Yum!! 

Pinto & Kale Mole: In a large skillet, water-or-oil-saute 1/2 yellow onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 jalapeno (optional), & 2 tsp paprika (add water sprinkles to keep from sticking) for about 10 minutes then add 1 can diced tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes. Now add 1 heaping cup chopped kale, 1/3 cup dry pan-roasted (takes about 3-5 min on med-low heat) & ground (in a coffee grinder) sliced or chopped raw almonds (prepare beforehand), 1 square of 70% or higher vegan dark chocolate (choose a high cocoa content with few ingredients), & 2 cups cooked pinto beans. Stir until chocolate has melted and kale has wilted. For an alternative to tortillas, serve with cornbread or stuffed in baked sweet potatoes with some steamed broccoli. 

Simple Red Lentil Soup: Measure 2 cups red lentils, pick through for any debris then rinse until the water runs clear. I use a fine mesh strainer for rinsing. Empty the lentils in a soup pot with 6 cups water or vegetable broth (2 more cups water can be added at the end of cooking if a thinner soup is preferred) + 1.5 tsp chili powder and an optional 1/2 tsp asafetida OR epazote (both aid digestion). For a creamier soup add 1/2 head of cauliflower florets into the soup. Bring to boil then simmer 30-40 minutes until the lentils are soft. Stir the soup and mash a bit then turn off heat. Complete the soup with a dollop of hummus (spicy would be nice & homemade even better), warm flatbread, something green like a salad, steamed greens or broccoli + hot sauce and a fresh squeeze of lemon.


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