Vegan Vegetable Lentil Soup

Vegan Vegetable Lentil Soup

Vegan Vegetable Lentil Soup

It was a soup kind of day, so I pulled out my stock pot and inventoried my legume stash.
Black lentils won.

(Lentils are a “superfood” high in protein, fiber, iron, and folate, making them one of the five healthiest foods by Health magazine. They are super easy to cook with, since they do not require pre-soaking, like other legumes. Red, green, black lentils? Any color will do!)

I inventoried my veggie supply. I came up with an onion, celery, carrots, a few red potatoes, and a sweet potato.
I grabbed some organic vegetable stock, a couple cans of organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes, some spices, and cranked up the stove. After chopping, simmering, and spicing, the result was delicious. In no time at all, it was SOUP TIME!

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Vegan Vegetable Lentil Soup
Colleen Kachmann is a certified integrative nutrition health coach and author of Life Off the Label: A Handbook for Creating Your Own Brand of Health and Happiness. See more at

Enjoy the Vegan Vegetable Lentil Soup!


Vegan Chili with Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Black Beans

Vegan Chili with Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Black Beans

Vegan Chili with Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Black Beans

Login Kristin Meier

Over the holidays, my sister-in-law served this tasty, hearty Vegan Chili with Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Black Beans that was packed with nutritious deliciousness! It was a winner with the entire crowd.

Thankfully, she came forth with the recipe and is graciously willing to share it with all of you. She even said it was a synch to make.

This is a new family favorite for sure!!!

Thanks, Aunt Cathy! 

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Black Bean Vegan Chili
Colleen Kachmann is a certified integrative nutrition health coach and author of Life Off the Label: A Handbook for Creating Your Own Brand of Health and Happiness. See more at
  1. Saute onions and garlic in soup pot.
  2. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and stir for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the beans, stock, and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper, if desired, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in quinoa and cook for an additional 20 minutes or so until quinoa and potatoes are cooked, stir frequently.
  5. Top with avocado, chopped cilantro, or jalapeños. Enjoy the Vegan Chili with Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Black Beans!

Inspired by Vegan Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

Easy Butternut Squash Soup

Easy Butternut Squash Soup

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Butternut Squash Soup
Easy Butternut Squash Soup: It’s a Winner!!! Welcome Guest Blogger Cathy Meier!

While our family is not 100% Vegan, we do eat a mostly plant based diet.

I like to make soups of all kinds because, as I told Kristin, “they’re easy and I’m lazy.”  Double bonus if it packs a punch in the nutritious department!

We were overwhelmed with all kinds of squash from our CSA delivery, but especially butternut.

This super-delicious Easy Butternut Squash Soup recipe is a mash up from a Betty Crocker cookbook and a Food TV online recipe.  The Betty Crocker crock-pot soup adds cream cheese in the last 30 minutes and I have been trying to find a way to achieve the creaminess without the cheese.  I think I hit it!  I experimented with seasoning and you should too.

Easy Butternut Squash Soup makes a great weeknight meal; raw veggies, hummus and crusty bread make a perfect appetizer, or can be dressed up to make a filling side at your next holiday meal.  Whether dressed up or down, you will certainly enjoy this scrumptious, easy butternut squash soup!

Easy Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients:



Halloween Vegan Chili: Trick the Treaters

Halloween Vegan Chili: Trick the Treaters

Halloween Vegan Chili: Trick the Treaters

We are heading out for trick-or-treat tonight and the forecast is rainy, cold and blustery. Thank goodness we are gathering at a friend’s house for a crock-pot feast and warm, inside fun before we hit the pavement and the kids start ringing doorbells.

I cooked up this Halloween black and orange themed vegan chili (black beans and carrots!) and loaded the the crock with veggies and spices that will please a crowd. This warm and healthy Halloween Vegan Chili will give parents and trick-or-treaters alike plenty of staying power for the evening. Enjoy the Halloween Vegan Chili! Stay warm and safe!

Ingredients for Halloween Vegan Chili:
1/2 lb dry black beans (or 2 cans)
1/2 lb dry 16 bean mix (or 2 cans)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, minced
2 organic green peppers, diced
4 large organic carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 (28 oz.) cans organic diced tomatoes
1T diced jalapeño peppers
2-3 T chili powder
1/2 t pepper
1 t cumin

Cook black and 16 bean mix in pressure cooker per manufacturer’s instructions. Sauté garlic, onion, carrots, celery in cast iron skillet. Add 2 cans diced tomatoes to crock pot, along with spices, beans, and sautéed vegetables. Cook in crock pot per manufacturer’s instructions, stirring occasionally. Serve warm. Enjoy the Halloween Vegan Chili!

Green Tomato Chili

Green Tomato Chili

Wondering what to do with all the green tomatoes! Here’s a great recipe to avoid wasting the final harvest of the season.

Summer has come to an end. Our yard has a small blanket of crunchy leaves. Swimsuits, goggles, and sunscreens are quickly being replaced by jeans, scarves, and boots. The patio’s container garden is looking tired in anticipation of the first frost, ready to snuggle down for a long winter nap.

But, before we put the garden away for the winter, we harvest the late bloomers and last offerings: mostly herbs and still-green tomatoes. I hate to waste, so I investigated cooking with green tomatoes.  I discovered that, while more tart than ripe, red tomatoes, green tomatoes are perfectly safe to eat, and even boast of a higher vitamin C content than the red counterparts. Cooking with green tomatoes adds a tangy kick. If it’s too much flavor for you, don’t use sugar unless you want a sweet-tart combination. But there is a way to tone it down. Baking soda will neutralize the higher acidity and soften the flavor.

I use green tomatoes for the first chilis of the season and the family doesn’t know the difference. So, next time life gives you green tomatoes, make something delicious! Enjoy!

1 lb, 4 oz dry beans, I used 16 bean soup mix 3 garlic cloves, diced 1 onion, chopped 6 carrots, chopped 5 small green tomatoes, diced (red tomatoes work, too!) 1 green pepper 2 small jalapeno peppers, diced 1 28oz can diced tomatoes, undrained 2 cups organic corn, optional 2 T chili powder 1 t pepper 1 t cumin 1 t garlic powder 1/2 t baking soda (optional) 1 cup white button mushrooms, chopped

Cook beans (I use a pressure cooker). Sauté garlic in cast iron skillet, followed by onion, carrots, green tomatoes, and peppers. Add sauté to pot of cooked beans, along with diced tomatoes, corn, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and mushrooms. Stir and combine. Cook on medium. Watch and stir often or use Crockpot on low for about 2-3 hours. Taste test, and if the tartness is too much, add the baking soda. Stir until bubbles dissipate. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Cincinnati Style Vegan Chili

Cincinnati Style Vegan Chili

This gluten-free Cincinnati style vegan chili uses beets to perfect a sweet & spicy tradition. Use squash in place of spaghetti, and creatively serve in the original packaging.

As the crisp morning breeze whispers rumors of fall, I am inspired to dust off the crock pot and create dinner right after breakfast. My recipe is a blend of fresh summer harvest with reliable pantry staples that simmers in flavor and tempting aroma, and needs no further invitation.

Our vegan household has been challenged recently with the reality that two of our kids need to be completely gluten free. Though that seems like an impossible challenge, I am motivated by the amazing results we’ve seen in a very short time.  We have significantly less bellyaches, head-aches, attitude issues and brain fog, which reminds us that everything we eat matters.

Cincinnati style vegan chili is usually served over pasta, and there are wonderful gluten free pastas available.. But the delicious blend of sweet spices matches perfectly with the spaghetti squash and beets I just pulled from my garden.

Mmmmm….it’s a winner. Enjoy our Vegan Chili recipe today!

1 lb dried 13 bean mix (or other variety)
1/2 lb of black beans (or other variety)
10 cups of water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
1 tsp each: cinnamon, cumin, tumeric
1/4 tsp each: cloves, nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 spaghetti squash
3 beets and their greens
5-6 cloves of freshly chopped garlic
1/2 cup organic corn
2 diced jalapeños (optional)
1 vidalia onion
1 sweet pepper
1 15 oz can of tomato paste

Morning preparation:
Rinse beans and soak in water over night. Drain. Chop beet greens (including stems), peppers, onions, and garlic. Whisk vinegar, tomato paste, chili powder, cocoa, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, cloves and bay leaf into 1 cup of water. Cover with remaining water.  Depending on time frame, set temperature to high and cook for 3-4 hours. Or cook on low for 6-8 hours.

One hour before dinner:
Preheat over to 425. Bake uncut squash and beets for 60 minutes.
Allow to cool to avoid burning fingers. Remove skin from beets, chop finely, add to crock pot. Carefully cut the squash in half, remove seeds,and use a fork to loosely separating strands to form “pasta”. Remove excess squash and either add to crock pot of save for later. Serve chili on the squash. Of course, for larger crowds, simply place fluffed strands directly into a bowl, and scoop chili over the top.

Top with homemade sour cream.
Garnish with fresh cut or dried herbs such as cilantro, thyme, oregano, and/or green onion.

Rock the Crock! Savory 16 Bean Sweet Potato Chili

Rock the Crock! Savory 16 Bean Sweet Potato Chili

I am always looking for a recipe that is “crockable” so that dinner can be hot and ready when we are.  I threw together some ingredients I had on hand and came up with a delicious chili that warmed our bellies and our souls with loads of nutrition and flavor. 

 Rock the crock and enjoy!

Pressure cooker:

  • 1 lb dry 16 bean mix
  • ½ lb dry Northern beans
  • 2 ½ quarts water
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed (or pumpkin puree)
  • 4 T chili powder
  • 2 t black pepper
  • 2 t cumin
  • 2 t chipotle powder
  • 2 t paprika
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper


  • 1 swish olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 T Earthbound Farm organic crushed fresh chili pepper organic puree
  • 1 T Earthbound Farm organic crushed Italian blend puree
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks greens, chopped (I used Swiss Chard and beet greens)
  • 4 peppers, red, yellow, orange, green diced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • Add-ins: 2 t diced jalapeños, Juice of ½ lime, 3 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted organic tomatoes

Add dry beans, water, sweet potato, chili powder, pepper, cumin, chipotle powder, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne to pressure cooker and cook per manufacturer’s instructions.

Meanwhile, sauté garlic, chili pepper, Italian herbs, leek, carrots, greens, peppers, and mushrooms in cast iron skillet.

Transfer sauté to crock pot, along with jalapenos, lime juice, fire roasted diced tomatoes, and cooked beans and sweet potato from pressure cooker.

Set crock pot to appropriate setting to reach desired temperature within desired time frame. 


Everything Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cookbook: Sweet Potato Chili