Plant-Based Soup Swap: 2nd Annual

Plant-based cooking seems to leave a lot of people perplexed – what is plant-based cooking? How boring is a soup with just plants in it!? What about THE MEAT!?!?!?!?!

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Well, let me tell you, plants and veggies are so much more than boring! Vibrant, nutritious, scrumptious, spicy, crunchy, flavorful, bright, tasty…I could go on and on.

My girlfriend invited me to a soup swap a few years back, where people brought homemade soup, told a bit about how they made it, then exchanged them with friends. Brilliant! Last year, I put my own veggie twist on it and held my first plant-based soup swap.

Last year’s Plant-Based Soup swap was such a hit, I knew I had to have another one. This year I threw the invite out to new friends, family and I myself whipped up two delicious soups for the occasion.

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This year, we had 4 beautiful ladies, 5 beautiful, home-made, plant-based soups. Below are the recipes. Enjoy!

4 Bean Veggie Chili

1 onion chopped
1 cup celery chopped
1 cup carrots chopped
Saute’ olive oil till onions are are clear

4 cans trio of kidney beans
2 LG cans roasted tomatoes
2 caned green chilies
2 cans drained black beans
1 can chick peas
2 tabs dark chili powder
1 can diced tomatoes
Heat and enjoy!

Chunky Tomato Soup

I used this recipe – but altered it to make it plant-based by using homegrown tomatoes, coconut milk and veggie broth.

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Spicy Thai Noodle Soup

This soup turned out great, just not as thick as I thought. I bet if you added another can of coconut milk with some sriracha,  it would pop! It was still delicious though – only thing I altered was not adding the sprouts.

Quinoa Peanut Soup

Ingredients

2 tsp canola oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup diced sweet potatoes
1/2 cup of quinoa
4 cups of veggie broth
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup of natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Tabasco
Ground pepper to taste

Preperation

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook, stirring until soft. Stir in garlic & cook for 30 seconds. Stir in carrots, potatoes, and quinoa, then add broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is cooked and the veggies are tender (about 18 minutes). Stir in red pepper and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes. Stir in peanut butter until it is combined into the broth. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, hot sauce and pepper.

 

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Mama Mia: Homemade Kidney Bean Balls

Being mostly plant-based may seem like I’m missing out – no meatballs, hamburgers, sausages or meatloaf!?!?! Well, I’m going to be bold and say the plant-based versions of all of these are better!

Plant Power
Plant Power

Not only do they contain enzymes, nutrients, vitamins essential for our health, they leave out the saturated fat & cholesterol animal protein adds. Think of the cow as the middleman – it eats plants to get nutrients, but the nutrients gets filtered through its system and passed on to our plates with all the extra bullsh*$!

And above all else, the plant versions are delicious!

I was craving Italian, something hearty, so whipped up these kidney bean balls last weekend. They turned out amazing – super hearty, filling, and packed with plant goodness. The secret ingredient? Fresh baked breadcrumbs! I had stale whole wheat hamburger buns in my fridge, so ripped em’ to shreds and made an Italian style breadcrumb that added a ton of flavor.

Ingredients

Breadcrumbs

Stale bread (2-3 slices, or 2 hamburger buns)
2 tablespoons oregano & parsley & onion powder
2 Tablespoons of olive soil
Pinch of sea salt & pepper

Crumble bread into bite sized pieces and put into a bowl. Mix all dry ingredients and toss oil into the bowl – mix well. Bake breadcrumbs at 350 for 12-16 minutes.

Kidney Bean Balls

1 can of organic kidney beans (rinsed)
1/2 medium red onion
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon balsamic olive oil 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon of flaxmeal mixed with 2 tablespoons of water – let mixture sit until gooey)

Chop onion and put into a cuisine art along with the garlic gloves. Mix until minced. Add can of beans and pulse about 4-5 times. You want mixture to be chunky. Add flax egg and balsamic stir with a wooden spoon. Toss in breadcrumbs and mix. Form into balls and put on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (I sprayed a bit of olive oil on parchment paper). Bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes. Balls should be firm.

Check out my instagram page to see a video of the plant-goodness!

Enjoy!

Top 5 Holistic Health Benefits of a Plant-based Diet

Day 19 of the #plantfueledyoga challenge starts the Whole Body Health & Meditation Series 

For the final three days of our 21 day challenge, we are focusing on the effects plants have on the entire body and meditation on the mind. We need to care for our minds the same way we care for our bodies, nurture them, exercise them, and rest them. Being of a plant-based mindset lets you see and live the holistic benefits of taking on this lifestyle. For your body, for the compassion aspect, for the environmental impact. The three pronged approach to a plant-based way of life has such a holistic benefit. Today we’ll delve into the top 5 health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.

Top 5 health benefits of plant-based eating (resource: PCRM – Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)

  1. Prevention of heart disease. Studies have demonstrated that a low-fat, high-fiber, vegetarian or vegan diet combined with stress reduction techniques, smoking cessation, and exercise, can actually reverse atherosclerosis.
  2. Cancer prevention. Several large-scale, peer-reviewed studies (including those at Harvard and Cambridge Universities) have shown that plant-based diets reduce your risk of certain cancers, specifically breast and colon cancer in the US.
  3. Prevention and reversal of diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes can be better controlled and sometimes even eliminated through a low-fat, vegetarian diet along with regular exercise.
  4. Lower blood pressure. People who follow plant-based diets typically have lower blood pressure. Results can be seen in as little as TWO WEEKS.
Meditation
Meditation

Yoga Meditation Pose: Lotus Pose Meditation 

Quiet your mind. Roll out your mat in a peaceful place that is still. Let your day melt away while you come into a comfortable lotus seated position.  Make sure the crown of your head is stretching toward the ceiling. Root down into your sit bones. Close your eyes and focus on the now. Sit here for at least 5 minutes, 15 if you can.

Namaste.