Spicy & Sour Black Bean Soup

Yesterday I got a hankerin’ for black bean soup, but the only kind I knew how to make involved sweet potatoes, a blender and a lot of trouble. I thought back to the good ol’ days when I worked at Sue’s Java Cafe in Redding, where the soupe du jour was often times the most delicious and simple black bean soup I’ve ever had.

I took a lot of recipes with me after I quit working there… Why I didn’t bother taking this one that I’m now craving is beyond me! I couldn’t even remember the basic ingredients that went into the soup pot, so I tried to push it out of my mind and strive for something different, but just as hanker-fulfilling. I ended up with a black bean soup that is a little spicy, very sour, a tad sweet and best of all – super easy. 

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Tomato Basil Pasta

Last night my partner worked late at the bookstore, which never really motivates me to go all out for dinner. To be honest, if I’m spending the night alone I’m most likely to forget to eat altogether, or just snack my way throughout the day.

I saw the recipe for Tomato Basil Cream Pasta posted on VeganYumYum the other day and was dying to try it. Cashews and pasta are one of my favorite combinations; the promise of it being “super quick” made me all the more eager.

Without any exaggeration, this recipe was as delicious as it was easy– not to mention cheap! I ended up with 3 servings for about $4. I started boiling the pasta at 7:50 and was leaving Lolo a comment by 8:10. And, since most of the work involves letting the food do it’s thing on the stove top, clean-up from prepping is a snap!

I’m not gonna lie. I’m making this again tonight 🙂

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Bean Burgers!

In case you’re wondering, the exclamation point in the title was extremely necessary. This was the first time I made bean burgers and, despite a huge bump in the road, they turned out wonderful with the help of a little improvisation.

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Oatmeal Date Bars

This was the first recipe I attempted to veganize from my new cookie cookbook and with delicious results! I worked with what I had in my pantry, using pecans instead of walnuts and Ener-G Egg Replacer instead of actual eggs. If I make these again I’d like to try using bananas for the egg substitute– a hint of banana would work really well with these.

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(No) Chicken Chinese Salad

I haven’t made this salad mix in over a year, but for some reason I got a huge craving for it today. Not only is it a jiffy to make, but it sits lightly in my stomach. Granted, since I stopped buying dairy it was a bit less exciting without the cream cheese on toasted Rye, but it can definitely hold its own in a dairy-free environment.

To be completely honest this is one of a few recipes I hijacked from a cafe I used to work at back home and adapted to my tastes– which included throwing out the chicken that is traditionally used. For awhile I felt a bit guilty, but within the last few months the original owners sold the cafe, so I like to feel as if I’m helping keep the spirit of the old store alive. 😉

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