Cream of tomato soup typically calls for a lot of butter and heavy cream. Many people assume that is what is needed to achieve a thick, smooth and creamy consistency. But unless one is looking to add saturated fat, cholesterol, and casein, then the dairy products simply aren’t necessary.
To achieve the soup’s creamy consistency in my recipe, I use… you guessed it, beans! Navy beans, or any other white or light-colored beans, are great to use in lieu of dairy in creamy soups. And depending on how much creaminess you like, you can always add more or less beans.
Navy beans are rich in protein (1 cup has 15 grams), and a great source of iron, folate, manganese, and calcium. And like all beans, navy beans add fiber to any meal (dairy has no fiber whatsoever), making this soup more filling and satisfying, as well as healthier for your heart. So next time you come across a soup recipe that calls for heavy cream, just remember there are so many reasons to use beans instead.
Here’s an interesting tidbit: The first time I tested this soup, I served it as an appetizer and it totally overshadowed the entree. It was also pretty filling for an appetizer so I have since served it as an entree with a big green salad and that hits the spot just right. I have never been a huge tomato soup lover, but I adore this soup. During the filming of this series, we were experiencing record-breaking low temperatures in Boston and the kitchen is the coldest part of our house. I didn’t want to be in a huge puffy coat on camera but I was really freezing so as soon as we finished shooting this recipe, I just ate the entire batch by myself. I didn’t even put it in a bowl; I just held the bottom of the pot with my oven-mittened hand and ate it straight from the ladle. (It’s really a miracle I didn’t spill on my green shirt.) I’m sure the camera man thought I was crazy but I felt so much better. Like I said, this soup really hits the spot.
1-15 oz can navy beans (or 1 1/2 cups)
1-15 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 large carrot
1 celery stalk
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 dash cayenne
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, as garnish (optional)
1. In a soup pot, combine the navy beans, 3 cups of water, crushed tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and cover and simmer.
2. Meanwhile, dice the carrot, celery and garlic. Add the garlic to a saute pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the celery and carrots, and saute for another 5 minutes.
3. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, basil and cayenne to the saute pan and stir for 2 minutes.
4. Add the tomato puree to the saute pan. Turn up the heat to medium-high, and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Add the saute mixture to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
6. Remove the bayleaf. In a food processor or blender, add the tamari, date, tomato paste and soup (in batches if necessary). Blend to desired consistency. Serve with chopped fresh basil, if using.
Mustard greens are so incredibly healthful, it was hard to decide which of their many benefits I ought to focus on in this post. Here are just three reasons why you’ll want to incorporate more of these luscious leafies into your diet:
Mustard greens support the cardiovascular system in three significant ways. First, they are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation narrows the arteries and increases the risk that they’ll become blocked, so these anti-inflammatory properties are obviously a huge benefit. Second, by binding with bile acids in the intestines, mustard greens help lower cholesterol levels. And third, because mustard greens are exceptionally high in the B-vitamin folate, they help prevent homocystein build-up. Homocystein is an amino acid found in the blood that is acquired mostly from eating animal products. High levels are related to the development of heart and blood vessel disease.
Mustard greens are also powerful cancer-fighters because they are LOADED with a broad spectrum of antioxidants. Chronic oxidative stress is a major risk factor for the development of most cancer types and antioxidants lower our risk of oxidative stress on our cells (hence the name: anti- oxidants). For the record, plants have on average 64 times more antioxidant power than animal products. The few antioxidants that do happen to be found in animal products are only there because those animals were fed plants.
And lastly (though I truly could go on endlessly), mustard greens are an excellent source of calcium. While dairy products have long been touted as “good for your bones,” the countries with the highest consumption of dairy also have the highest rates of osteoporosis. This is because dairy, like all animal products, is highly acidic. The body needs to keep a very specific acid-alkaline balance in order to function, so whenever animal products are consumed, the body must find an alkaline source so it leaches the calcium from our bones (which is high in alkaline). So, in fact, consuming dairy products are quite harmful to our bones. Mustard greens, on the other hand, along with other greens like kale, collards, bok choy, broccoli, and okra, are not acidic and thus only contribute to the strength of our bones.
So while you enjoy this quick and tasty recipe, you can also feel good knowing that you are eating one of the most healthful foods on the planet!
Need a dish that is guaranteed to impress? This is definitely the one.
I love this recipe because it includes everything we love about lasagna–the warmth, the comfort, and the heartiness. But, unlike traditional lasagna, my version is incredibly healthful. Not only does it leave out all animal products, it’s also made entirely of whole foods! Rather than using pasta noodles made with processed white flour, I instead use very thin slices of butternut squash. This makes the lasagna more healthful, more flavorful, and more colorful!
1/3 cup fresh basil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1. To make the sausage: Saute the carrot and onion for 10-15 minutes. Once browned, place vegetables into a food processor along with all the spices and flax. Add cooked quinoa and lentils and pulse just till ingredients begin to stick together (about 10-15 times). Place mixture in a pan and brown.
2. To make the ricotta: Place cashews, nondairy milk, lemon juice, garlic, and maple syrup in a food processor and blend till just smooth (remember, ricotta is somewhat grainy rather than completely whipped). Add in the basil, Italian herb blend, salt and pepper and pulse until blended in.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
4. Spread a thin layer of marinara onto the bottom of a glass dish.
5. Layer the squash on top. Avoid overlapping pieces as much as possible.
6. Place a layer of ricotta on top.
7. Spread a layer of sausage crumbles on top.
8. Add another layer of squash and then another layer of marinara sauce.
9. Start again at step 6 and repeat until near the top of the dish. Top with any remaining ricotta.
10. Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes or until a knife can be easily inserted all the way through.
2 tablespoons maple syrup
One of the things people worry about when contemplating going vegan is what the holidays will be like, particularly Thanksgiving. I recently received an email from a non-vegan friend who said that she had just learned about what happens to turkeys in slaughterhouses “and now Thanksgiving is ruined!”
Au contraire! The best Thanksgiving I ever had was my first vegan Thanksgiving. I felt that I was actually honoring the true spirit of the holiday, which is about giving thanks and celebrating life. Plus, putting aside the ethics and the health, it was the most delicious Thanksgiving I had ever had. After all, aren’t the real stars of the Thanksgiving meal the sides and the desserts?
One option for a vegan Thanksgiving is to have the meal be made up entirely of delicious side dishes. Personally, I think that would be absolutely fantastic, but I also know many of us are used to and enjoy having a main dish as a central focal point. Hence, this gorgeous stuffed acorn squash recipe!
While this would, indeed, be a spectacular side salad for Thanksgiving, it almost seems unfair to make other dishes compete with this because it is such a star. Instead, I prefer to serve this hearty salad as an entree throughout the fall and winter months. For what it’s worth, Mr. Goldhouse says this is easily THE best salad he’s ever had, and one of the best dishes he’s ever had. That is high praise, indeed!
The roasted vegetables become as sweet as candy and because of their rich hues, it looks like you have gorgeous jewels on your plate. (For an even more bejeweled effect, add beets!) In addition to their beauty and deliciousness, root vegetables are also full of phytochemicals that help fight against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Peel all the vegetables and cut them into large chunks.
3. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the ginger, maple syrup, water, and salt if using.
4. Spread the vegetables in a roasting pan (I recommend lining it with parchment paper) and roast for 40-60 minutes, stirring half way through, until vegetables are very tender and caramelized. A good way to tell the vegetables are done is when the onions have lost all of their crunchiness and have become sweet.
5. Place the roasted vegetables on top of the baby spinach and top with pumpkin seeds. Season with balsamic vinegar and some fresh ground pepper to taste.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, mix oat flour and baking soda.
3. In a larger bowl, beat the sugar, pineapple, banana, and applesauce together. Add cinnamon, cayenne, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
4. Add the flour mixture along with the chopped walnuts and shredded coconut to the larger bowl and mix. Add the shredded carrots and raisins till fully combined.
5. Spread the batter in a nonstick pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. While the cake is baking, add all the frosting ingredients to a blender. Process until completely smooth. Using a spatula, scoop the frosting into a small bowl and place in the fridge to chill.
7. Once the cake has fully cooled, spread the frosting on top. Best served chilled.
The final recipe in this video series is, quite appropriately, a dessert. I made the pumpkin version of this recipe last Thanksgiving and it was such a hit that I decided to make it for my in-laws down South during our visit over Christmas. My husband’s grandfather was a chef in the army during the Korean war and has been baking ever since, so my in-laws are used to only the tastiest of desserts. Plus, he has a particular expertise in pies, so my choosing to bake this for everyone shows just how confident I am in this outstanding recipe.
Everyone who tried it absolutely loved it. Because the pie has no dairy, no butter, no eggs–which we are so used to thinking of as necessary ingredients for delicious baked goods–and it’s gluten-free to boot, I think they were surprised to find it so incredibly delicious.
1 cup oat flour
2 cups raw pecans, processed in a food processor for 30 seconds till oils release
3 tbsp ground flax
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
2 tbsp canola oil
2 1/4 cups canned sweet potato
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch pie pan.
2. Melt canola oil with brown rice syrup for about 30 seconds in a microwave. Pour into a large bowl with pecans.
3. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and mix together. Using your hands, squeeze the dough over and over to combine very well. If too dry, add more canola oil.
4. Press pecan dough firmly into pie dish to form a crust.
5. Pre-bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.
6. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and cornstarch.
7. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together, adjusting spices to taste.
8. Pour the filing onto crust. Cover with tin foil and bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees. Place on a cooling rack for 1 hour.
9. Transfer to fridge to set for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight (this is a must!). Do not slice until it’s been in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Slice with a very sharp knife and enjoy every bite!