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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise

Using Your Bean

With this issue Vegetarians in Paradise continues the bean explorations of VOW, a diabetic who has discovered the importance of beans in her diet. In subsequent VIP issues VOW will enlighten our readers with the further Adventures of the Bean.

Adventures of the Bean #2
The Peruano Bean

by VOW

Includes Recipe Below

Living in Southern California, I'm accustomed to seeing parts of the mainstream supermarkets devoted to Hispanic foods. Bins of dried chili peppers and pinto beans sit alongside the produce department where the head lettuce and beefsteak tomatoes are found. One day, I noticed what appeared to be a new item: a yellowish dried bean called Peruano. VOW

Once I made the transition to veganism, and focused on the heroic legumes, the Peruano bean was in my sights. I popped around the internet to see what I could find on this guy.


Tastes sorta like a navy bean? Great! I found a recipe, made vegan modifications, and used the Peruano beans in it!

I did some more looking on the net searching for this bean and found:

Holy Moly! A political bean! I thought the most controversy a bean could generate was the social aspects of gas! This story of intrigue was almost as convoluted as the stevia issue. I felt tiny stirrings of my anti-establishment youth, and I HAD TO HAVE THIS BEAN!

With this recipe, now you can have it too!

"Beef," Bean, and Barley Stew

    1 lb. (450 g) dry Peruano beans, rinsed and picked over
    1 3-inch (7.5 cm) piece kombu (dried seaweed)
    8 ounces (225 g) "beef chunks" TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein), dry
    hot water
    1 small onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    4 cups (960 ml) veggie broth
    1 14.5 ounce ( 410 g) can diced tomatoes, undrained
    2 carrots, chopped
    1/4 medium head cabbage, shredded
    1/3 cup (80 ml) quick-cooking barley
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
    salt and pepper to taste

  1. Soak beans overnight in fresh water with kombu.
  2. In the morning, drain and place in crockpot (include kombu).
  3. In small bowl, place dry TVP and pour enough hot water over chunks to completely cover with liquid.
  4. Add broth, onion, carrots, garlic, and barley to crockpot.
  5. When TVP is reconstituted add also, including any remaining liquid. Cook on high.
  6. When beans have cooked to the point where they are no longer crunchy, add can of diced tomatoes with juice.
  7. Stir in shredded cabbage, and cook on high for 30-45 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve to compliments! Serves 8.

Note: the kombu adds little to no flavor to the recipe and should completely disintegrate into the soup through cooking. If pieces are still visible and not aesthetically pleasing to you, the kombu can be removed before serving. Kombu cooked with beans renders them more digestible, and reduces the fragrant side effects

This soup freezes beautifully, and makes a wonderful lunch to take to work!

One pound (450 g) of dried Peruano yields approximately three cups (720 ml) of cooked beans. At 8 servings for this recipe, it works out to about 20 grams carbohydrate per serving.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
Calories 210
Calories from fat 8
Total carbohydrates 29g
Fiber 13g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A 87% RDA
Vitamin C 28% RDA
Calcium 9% RDA
Iron 21% RDA

VOW Diabetes Update 10/1/03

After three months of vegan eating, I nearly danced to my next doctor appointment! I was looking forward to amazing results in my blood work, and I wanted to show off my 30-pound (13.61 kilos) weight loss (total, since diagnosis).

I was so disgusted at the lab results, I wanted to throw furniture. My HbA1C had risen a small amount, my cholesterol had a negligible drop, and my triglycerides had RISEN. I was heartbroken!

Fortunately, I have a very compassionate, understanding doctor. She fully supported me in my diet choice to become vegan. She herself is Seventh-Day Adventist, and she knows the healthful benefits to a vegetarian diet. And from her understanding of vegetarianism, she said the rise in my triglycerides was a NORMAL response to the low-fat vegan diet.

Whereas elevated triglycerides are a cause for concern, she said that this is one of those instances where the "big picture" comes into play. In fact, she refused to let me be discouraged! The weight loss alone was cause for celebration!

Some of what she said must have sunk in, LOL, because I didn't run right out and eat an entire cheesecake. While I may have a few lapses here and there, I'm still basically vegan. And I think I'll stay with it for a while longer. Who knows?

I do understand that managing diabetes consists of LIFESTYLE changes, not just a diet to reach a certain weight. For me, a vegan diet is one of the easiest of those changes that I can make.

Next adventure: The Blushing Lentil

Click here for more Adventures of the Bean

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