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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 #21
VOW Finds Something To Do

by VOW, of course

Look up at the sky, not down in the hole.

In my last article, I bemoaned that Life isn't working out the way I had planned. I feared that my disappointment was manifesting in ill health, and I dreaded my next doctor visit.

Well, to my everlasting surprise, the results at my doctor visit showed I wasn't as deep in the rut as I had thought! I guess I was too busy looking down in the hole instead of up at the sky!

Shame on me!

Okay, I did gain a few pounds, but the blood pressure and the blood sugar results were perfectly acceptable. I didn't even need medication adjustments! After months and months of feeling like folks were lining up on my doorstep waiting to kick me in the rear end, the world began looking brighter!

Perspective sure changes everything, doesn't it?

Over the years, I've found that creativity puts a positive spin on outlook. If you can use your hands, your heart, your talents, and your mind to make something new or different, it can't help but boost your mood!

VOW You know me: that was the incentive I needed to head on out to the kitchen and get busy!

If you watch the news at all, and listen to the weather segment, you'll know that cold and miserable is the theme across the United States. Even in supposedly sunny Southern California, we're getting soaked with cold, cold rain.

What cures cold? Why, hot soup, of course!

A friend gave me a wonderful sounding recipe for squash soup, which seems to be all the rage these days. My fingers just twitched at the thought of concocting an acceptable veggie version. My efforts were well-rewarded, to the point that I don't CARE if anyone else likes the soup. If I don't get any enthusiastic takers, well, that means all the more left for ME!

The featured bean this month is the good old dependable, reliable soybean. I do have my soymilk machine with me, and I'm ready to plug it in and crank out a fresh batch of milk just for this soup!

The nutritional information is for commercial soymilk, but if you can obtain a soymilk machine of your very own, I'm sure your body will be GLAD to accommodate the additional nutrients and fiber you get from the freshly made stuff!


Makes six servings.

    2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
    4 breakfast "sausage" patties, thawed (Yves brand or similar product)
    1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped onion
    1 clove garlic, minced

    2 cups (480 ml) chopped fresh mushrooms

    1 15-ounce 425g) can pumpkin (NOT PIE MIX!)
    3 cups (720 ml) veggie broth
    1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning

    2 cups (480 ml) plain, unsweetened soymilk

  1. In large saucepan or dutch oven, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Crumble "sausage" patties and add chopped onion to oil and stir until onion is limp and "sausage" is lightly browned.
  3. Add garlic, and stir a minute or two longer.
  4. Remove "sausage" mixture to separate dish, and heat remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in pan.
  5. Add chopped mushrooms. Mushrooms often act like little sponges and the oil will seem to disappear. If you add more oil, remember to include the additional calories and fat grams to each serving. Instead of oil, some of the veggie broth can be added. Stir the mushrooms over medium heat until lightly browned, then remove mushrooms from pan and add to "sausage" mixture.
  6. Place pumpkin in pan with veggie broth and herb seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to very low and simmer until well blended.
  7. Stir in "sausage mixture" and cook over low heat 10 minutes to combine flavors.
  8. If soup is too thick, add more broth or water. Add soymilk and heat until soup is very hot. DO NOT BOIL SOYMILK. Serve immediately.

Per serving:
Calories 116
Protein 8 g
Carbohydrate 15 g
Fiber 5 g
(10 g net carbohydrate)
Fat 4 g

Instead of canned pumpkin, use a fresh butternut squash! Cut raw butternut squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out seeds and strings. Bake cut-side up in 350 degree (Gas Mark 4) oven for 45 minutes to one hour, until squash is tender when pierced. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough so it can be handled.

Prepare "sausage" mixture same as above, and set aside. Cube the cooked squash and place in dutch oven with veggie broth and herb seasonings. Simmer until squash is completely tender, then blend in batches with standard blender, or blend in the pan with an immersion blender. Use all safety precautions, this liquid is HOT! Return blended squash to pan, add "sausage" mixture and soymilk, and heat until very hot. DO NOT BOIL SOYMILK. If soup is too thick, add more hot broth or hot water. Serve immediately (or, hide in the closet with the entire pan of soup and a big spoon, and enjoy!)

I've got a few more recipes I need to tinker with, so I'll see you here next month, okay?

Click here for more Adventures of the Bean

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