Friday, May 6, 2011

Black Bean Soup with Roasted Kabocha Squash, Russet Potatoes, Sweet Yellow Peppers, Zucchini and Rosemary

Black Bean Soup

Roasted Potatoes, Yellow Peppers, Zucchini, and Kabocha Squash

Have you ever tried Kabocha Squash?  If not, you are in for a pleasant surprise.  I find it even more delicious than Butternut with a texture and a sweetness somewhere between a typical squash and a sweet potato...

Ingredients for the Soup-
2 cups dry black beans or 6 cups cooked black beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots (2-3 carrots)
1 cup chopped celery (2-3 stalks)
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. ghee or red palm oil
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. sea salt
fresh cilantro

If using dry beans, soak 2 cups overnight; then drain, rinse, cover with water, and cook until tender.  If using canned beans, drain and rinse 6 cups and set aside.  In a large tockpot, saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in the olive oil and 1 T. Vegetable Broth.   Add 1 cup broth along with the cooked beans and combine everything thoroughly.  Simmer 10 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.  Add the salt and simmer 10 more minutes.  You can stop here, as this makes a delicious black bean stew.  For a soup consistency, add the rest of the broth and simmer 10 minutes more.  Blend with a hand blender if you'd like a creamy black bean soup!

Garnish with fresh cilantro and raw vegan cashew sour cream or cultured raw sour cream.

Adapted from a recipe from another of my FAVORITE recipe books- which is also packed full of holistic health tips and information...

Roasted Kabocha Squash, Russet Potatoes, Sweet Yellow Peppers, Zucchini, and Rosemary:

1.  Cut into medium sized cubes:
Kabocha Squash
Russet Potatoes
Sweet Yellow Peppers

2.  Coat the veggies with melted red palm oil and a generous amount of Bragg's raw apple cider vinegar.  Sprinkle generously with dried or fresh rosemary.

3.  Bake at 375 F for about 45 minutes.  (Baking times vary depending on the size of your cubes as well as your oven.

4.  Just before serving, sprinkle with a bit of Sun Fire Salt or Himalayan Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Most people routinely used extra virgin olive oil for roasting:  However, this is not a practice that I recommend to my clients.  EVOO does not stand up to heat well and is best eaten raw in my opinion.  It tends to cause weight gain when routinely eaten cooked and is somewhat difficult for the liver to process.  For cooking, tropical oils like Palm or Coconut are much better choices.  (Ghee can also be used.)  Red Palm oil has some unique characteristics, but it is often overlooked as a cooking oil.  It has a buttery flavor.

According to Bruce Fife, N.D., author of The Palm Oil Miracle, Palm oil, particularly virgin or “red” palm oil, is a traditional fat that has been a part of the human diet for at least 5000 years. For generations red palm oil has been revered as both a nutritious food and a valuable medicine. It was prized by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt as a sacred food. The oil was so highly valued that it was entombed with the pharaohs so that they would have access to it in the afterlife."

Palm oil: 
  • supplies fatty acids essential for proper growth and development
  • is packed with an assortment of vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients important for good health 
  • is rich in carotenes such as beta-carotene and lycopene
  • used supplementally in a breastfeeding woman's diet can double the amount of Vitamin A in her breastmilk (crucial for the growth/development of her child)
  • can remove plaque build up in arteries and therefore, reverse the process of atherosclerosis 
  • can improve cholesterol values
  • helps maintain proper blood pressure
  • has a high antioxidant content, which quenches free radicals and keeps inflammation under control
  • contain Tocotrienols, which strengthen the heart so that it is more resistant to the negative health effects of stress
  • is protective against neurological degeneration
  • is protective against a variety of health problems including osteoporosis, asthma, cataract, macular degeneration, arthritis, and liver disease due to its unique antioxidant profile
  • slows down the aging process holistically
  • is a potent anticancer food due to its Tocotrienol content (found to be superior in its cancer-protective effects to other antioxidants.  Researchers have discovered that Tocotrienols not only prevent cancer from taking hold but actively block its growth (in the case of skin, stomach, pancreas, liver, lung, colon, prostate, breast, and other cancers

    Source:   The Palm Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, N.D.

    Clearly, when it comes to oils, it pays to diversify!  I recommend rotating cold pressed, raw oils pumpkin seed, red palm, coconut, sesame, olive, flax, and hemp as healthy, easily obtainable options.  Most health food stores and Whole Foods carry them.

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