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Posts Tagged ‘Legumes’

Vegan Chili Beefed Up

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

While it seems the ingredient list is long and the steps many, this chili is worth every bit of it. Thick, creamy, hardy, your long winter night will be super warm. High protein and fiber ensured it’s hearty too! Serve with Southern cornbread for a well rounded and complementary meal.


  • ½ lb. dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
  • ½ lb. dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 lbs. onions, finely chopped
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons red chili flakes
  • ½ oz. dried shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s meatless crumbles (or favorite brand)
  • ¾ c. TVP (textured vegetable protein), reconstituted with ¾ c. boiling water
  • ½ c. walnut halves, toasted
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, reserve juice after draining
  • 3 T. tomato paste
  • 1 jalapeno peppers, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 – 2 T. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 7-8 c. water
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 – 2 T. veggie broth powder
  • 1 T. no-salt Spike seasoning
  • 1 – 2 t. Liquid Smoke
  • 1 T. molasses
  • 1 t. adobo sauce
  • ¾ c. frozen corn, thawed
  • ¼ c. fresh cilantro, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream for garnish


  1. Bring 4-5 quarts water and beans to a rapid boil in a Dutch oven or large stockpot. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the red chili flakes, dried mushrooms and oregano until fine.
  3. In the Dutch oven, sauté onions in olive oil until soft, then add in red chili flakes, mushrooms and oregano and sauté until onions are translucent and spices very fragrant. Add the meatless crumbles and reconstituted TVP (pour boiling water over TVP and set aside until reconstituted, about 5 minutes) and sauté until heated through.
  4. Meanwhile, puree the roasted walnuts in a small food processor for about 30 seconds and set aside.
  5. Process the drained tomatoes, tomato paste, jalapeno peppers, garlic, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in food processor until tomatoes are finely chopped, about 45-60 seconds; set aside.
  6. In Dutch oven, combine beans, meatless crumble mixture, tomato mixture, water, cumin, veggie broth powder, Spike, Liquid Smoke, molasses and adobo sauce and simmer covered for 1½ hours (up to 2 hours) until beans are very tender.
  7. When beans are nearly done, add thawed frozen corn.
  8. Spoon into bowls, garnish with cilantro and Greek yogurt if desired.

Serves a lot! Freezes well.

Red meat controversy

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Oh my, the researchers are at it again. Giving us conflicting information. About beef. No wonder folks have trouble with what to eat.

At Harvard School of Public Health, authors of one such recently published study takes a strong stand that red meat is bad for you. Period. End of sentence. They reviewed food records of subjects in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Study for nearly 25 years. They found even a 3-ounce daily serving of red meat was associated with a 13% increased risk of dying during the study. Adding one serving of processed red meat, like hot dogs or bacon, led to another 20% increased risk of dying.

Curious, no one really knows why it’s so bad for you. Some say the iron and saturated fat contribute to heart disease and diabetes. There’s those nitrates for curing and high-temperature cooking that creates harmful cancer risk.

Scary. Lots of Americans eat this way. Bacon, eggs and toast in the morning, hamburger at lunch, and steak tips or roast for supper. Wonder why they don’t believe the research?

Maybe because of THIS study comparing DASH (voted #1 overall diet for any reason in America) to the BOLD diet - The Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet. Note the word lean red meat. The DASH diet included lean red meat, white meat and animal protein in their diet but it’s main focus was fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low or no-fat dairy. BOLD’s primary source of protein was, you got it, lean red beef. Both diets reduced LDL (bad cholesterol) so BOLD is saying ‘eat lean red meat – it does a body good.’ And oh, tell those DASHers to eat more lean red meat!

Oh, guess who funded the BOLD trials? Yep, ding ding ding you won the door prize – America’s Beef Farmers and Ranchers through their Beef Checkoff Program. Well, don’t that beat all?

Who to believe? Well, studies need to be replicated – many times before their point becomes a sticking point. When that happens, we can usually take stock in the results. In the meantime, while someone’s out there replicating BOLD (and I hope it’s not the Beef Council), I know for sure that the ‘red meat is bad for you’ theme has held true over and over again.

If you want to believe that too, get your labs checked.

  • Start with substitutions for red meat, like fish, poultry, nuts, seeds and legumes.
  • Consider plant proteins like legumes, soy foods and seitan (wheat gluten).
  • Up the ante on whole grains like oats, quinoa, kamut, and wheat berries.
  • Lower the fat in dairy. Go easy on cheese.
  • Then, a year later, get your labs checked again. Call me and tell me what they tell you.

Arch Intern Med. 2012 Mar 12. Red Meat Consumption and Mortality: Results from 2 prospective cohort studies.



Lessons from Lupus

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Writing a portion of a diet book led me to Elisa, the beauty in the picture. I want you to meet her. Elisa is a dietitian, like me, and vegetarian, like me. And a blogger like me. So when I found out she has lupus, medically termed Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE)I asked her to guest blog here about the trials and tribulations, topsy and turvy, when healing her body, spirit and heart afterwards. There’s a lesson here for us all. Here she is!

Hey there!  I’m Elisa and I have a private practice called EatURVeggies.com. Think of me as your friendly dietitian: defying lupus with whole food plant-based meals, veggilicious recipes, alternative therapies and nurturing veg-friends – such as yourself – in quest to conquer disease!

I am a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist. My degree in Nutrition & Dietetics is from the University of Delaware, and I interned at Geisinger Medical Center. I worked as a clinical dietitian at two different hospitals for four years before starting my own practice.

Through my research and experience I’ve learned that eating a whole food plant-based diet, while significantly decreasing processed ingredients and animal products, can have a drastic impact on your health.

My lifestyle is about consuming generous amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes in many different varieties. I believe in plant-strong eating, because I’ve experienced its healing effects while learning to enjoy the of taste pure food.

Since childhood, I’ve recognized the importance of lifestyle choices. I ‘ate right’ and was a dedicated athlete in high school and college, even being awarded an athletic scholarship.

Despite living an active life and consuming all things in moderation, I was hampered by health issues since my early 20′s, and was eventually diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus.

This disease, although a “mild” case, turned my life upside down. Working became a daily struggle due to debilitating pain and fatigue. I often slept 14 hours a night to recover from a normal 8-hour workday. My relationships suffered because of my lack of energy, and my diagnosis was confusing because I looked ‘fine.’ (more…)

Bean There

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Many are so bothered by the musical rendition of legume digestion that they avoid them at all costs. Others are just bothered by the lengthy prep – and others just don’t know what to do with the simple bean.

Here are a few answers to questions I get all the time……..

Canned or dried? That depends on the length of time you have to prepare your meal. Canned beans are ready to go and with a rinse or two, the added sodium is reduced. On the other hand, the taste and texture of dried beans can’t be beat.

How do I cook dried beans? To save time, soak beans in water overnight. If you have a bit more time, bring them to a rapid boil for 2 minutes, cover and let soak an hour. These methods cut cooking time significantly.

Beans make me so gassy! To cut the concert after dinner, (more…)