Soup Magic: Spicy Black Bean


Speaking of plant-based on the cheap: Here’s an idea, check your local thrift store for a crockpot (they run about $5.00-$10.00) instead of buying an expensive cooking device. I have two. One for meals and one for big-batch bean cooking. I like the “set it and forget it” aspect of slow-cooking and the way it fills the house with such wonderful aromas!

This soup didn’t even require any vegetable chopping! Can it get any easier?

I fired up the crockpot and added a few ingredients and let it cook on low for four hours. Dinner. Done.


Spicy Black Bean Soup


4 cups cooked black beans

3 cups vegetable broth

16 ounces of your favorite tomato salsa

2 teaspoons ground cumin


Place all ingredients in crockpot and cook, covered, on low for 4 hours. Feel free to add a cup or so of frozen corn or other vegetables near the end of the cook time. Make it your own!


Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Soup Magic: Homestyle Split Pea


Okay, I know ’tis the season, but we can’t live on vegan holiday cookies and peppermint bark! Put something warm and nourishing in your belly with this super-easy soup recipe.

When I think of split pea soup, I think simplicity. A  savory stew of peas, tender chunks of carrots and celery with just a hint of onion and garlic.

This recipe is simple as simple can be. I load the ingredients in the crockpot on my way out the door in the morning, and a few hours later I have a thick, hearty soup. That’s magic.

Magic Split Pea Soup

1 pound green split peas, rinsed

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 small onion, diced

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

6 cups vegetable broth



Just pour everything into the crockpot, cover and cook on low for 3 ½ – 4 hours. Check for salt and add seasonings to taste. Yield: 6 – 8 servings.


Veggies and Dumplings



This one will be familiar to those of you who grew up in the south, or grew up enjoying southern food. My Nana taught me to make old-fashioned dumplings and gravy when I was a child, and it still says down-home comfort to me.

Today’s dish reflects a more enlightened approach: more veggies and gluten-free. This recipe, adapted from “Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats” by Allyson Kramer is flawless.


Veggies and Dumplings

Boil 4 cups vegetable broth


½ large zucchini, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds

½ Vidalia onion, chopped

1 3/4 oz. Shittake mushrooms, chopped

1 1/2 oz. Cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Add and return to boil:

½ tablespoon dried sage

½ cup corn kernals, fresh or frozen

1 cup shelled edamame, thawed

Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

 Make dumplings:

2.5 cups bizquix mix (see recipe below)

¾ c non-dairy milk

Make 10 dumplings (golf ball sized) and drop into stew ( I use a small ice cream scoop). Cover and reduce to medium-low.  Cook 10 minutes, until firm.

If the broth does not thicken, you may add a cornstarch slurry, but I found the stew magically thickens on its own.


1 T cornstarch

1/8 cup cold water

Note: When reheating, do not heat to piping hot, as it will turn the dumplings soggy. Heat only until warm enough to be palatable.

Bizquix Mix (Gluten free baking mix) 

3 cups superfine brown rice flour

1 ½ cups sorghum flour

¾ cup potato starch

¼ cup tapioca starch

1 t zanthan gum

½ t sea salt

1 ¼ t baking soda

3 T baking powder

1 cup coconut oil, slightly softened, not liquified.

Mix coconut oil into dry ingredients until crumbly. Cover and chill in fridge for a few hours until cold. Pulse in processor until uniform fine mixture. Store in airtight container up to 3 weeks.