Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Magic Beans

Dear Readers,

My husband is obsessed with documentaries.  Obsessed.  It's pretty much the only thing Sweetie watches on Netflix.  And let me tell you - there are just so many.  The theme of his favorite docs is sustainability and why  on our current path we are ruining the earth and our health.  It's really uplifting.  But, some of these documentaries that focus on food caught my attention.  As you may have surmised, I am constantly thinking about what to eat just about as much as I think about what to wear.

Like so many, I have a love/hate relationship with food.  Love because I love food.  Hate, because it prevents me from wearing things like this.  Recently I've been changing my diet so much it's making my head spin.  However, a few documentaries recently got me thinking: why did I give up my (mostly) vegan lifestyle, especially because I was so skinny back then?  Should I go back?  Should I take my family with me?  The answer appears to be "yes."

I know - it's trendy.  Bill Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres and all kinds of celebrities are vegan and won't shut up about it.  But you have to admit - Bill looks better than he has, well, ever.  I mean, that could be me - the younger Vegan Fox.  And on top of the aesthetic/clotheshorse value, there is a sincere personal and worldwide health benefit to consuming less or no animal products.  Plus there is an animal rights, non-violence aspect that makes my Eugene, Oregon heart go pitter-pat.  We all know Ghandi was vegetarian, but did you know that Rosa Parks was too?  Or that Coretta Scott King was vegan?  It makes you think.

So anyhow, blah blah blah....but out of all this has come some fun culinary finds, including the following super easy, super fast, super healthy Cuban Black Bean Soup adapted from Forks Over Knives website (Wonderful documentary!  Another great one is Vegucated, if you're interested).  It takes just minutes, making it ideal for any modern lifestyle.

Ingredients (for two servings): 
• ½ small onion, chopped
• 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder,
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 ½ cup vegetable broth
• ¼ cup prepared salsa
• 1 ½ teaspoon lime juice
• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (garnish)
• 1–2 green onions, sliced (garnish)
Line a skillet with a thin layer of water (or vegetable broth).
Sauté onion over high heat until translucent— about 2–3 minutes.
Add chili powder and cumin, and stir to combine.
Then add beans, vegetable broth, and salsa.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
Use a hand blender or transfer half of the mixture to a blender and puree until mostly smooth and then mix back in.
Garnish with cilantro, green onions, and avocado.
You can also drizzle with hot sauce and/or sour cream (try Toffutti!) to taste, if desired.  
¡Buen apetito! 

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