My Sisiter's Spicy Mexican Sweet Potato, Black Bean, & RIce Soup
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It was another crazy busy Sunday at my house.
I jumped out of bed at 6:30 am on Sunday so I could make the 8:05 yoga class with Paul, and I followed it up with the 9:30 spinning class with Lori.
Then, after catching up with friends at the gym, I was off to Whole Foods for teeccino, a couple of bunches of lacinato kale, soymilk, beets, and sprouted brown rice--followed by a quick stop at Penzey's to replenish my supply of Mexican vanilla, cinnamon, & hot curry powder. Amazing, how quickly I use up spices now that I'm eating plant-based.
Then I dashed home with just enough time to eat lunch, shower, get all gussied up (not really!) to head downtown for the August Wilson play, "Radio Golf". Fantastic. Funny, honest, disturbing, real-life business & politics, & it left us with a lot to discuss on the ride home.
We got home around 6:30 pm, and I immediately started to make "My Sister's Soup". It was ready just in time to watch the end of the "Red Carpet". No, it wasn't instant--it took about 30 minutes to prepare--and about 20 minutes to cook. But, we now have plenty of leftovers for lunch & dinner for a couple of days.
What's teeccino, you ask?
Over on the HHLL - Healthy Librarian Facebook page, there was a discussion about kicking the coffee habit. It hasn't been on my "to-do" list--that's for sure. I love my morning cup. But, reader CP said she now drinks a delicious roasted herbal coffee, that's non-acid, naturally caffeine free, that's made from organic carob, barley, chicory, dates, almonds, natural mocha flavor, cocoa, & figs.
I had my doubts--but I'm always up for trying something new.
Well, I just brewed some teeccino--mixing it half & half with real coffee--OMG! It's delicious. Better than Starbucks, that's for sure. Check out their website. It's widely available at Whole Foods, natural foods stores, & yesterday I coincidently got a discount offer from Vitacost for this product--an extra 10% off of their usual 34% off retail price. Retail: $10.29 for 11 ounces. Vitacost: $6.76 + 10% off right now. (no, I have no vested interest in Vitacost!)
My Sister's Soup
My sister is a terrific cook. If she says something is good, it usually is.
She got this recipe from her friend, Barbie---but, there wasn't anything plant-based, or oil-free about it.
The original recipe called for 2 cans of chicken broth, 2 cans of Healthy Choice Chicken with Rice Soup, olive oil for sauteeing, 2 cups of cooked chicken, and 1/3 cup of regular peanut butter. But, Barbie raved about it.
My sister Esselstynized it & she & my brother-in-law declared it a hit! The chicken broth became low-sodium vegetable broth. The chicken strips became an extra can of black beans. The oil was scrapped. The rice became 1 bag of TJ's already-cooked frozen brown rice. The high-fat peanut butter became Better'N Peanut Butter.
This makes up quickly--and the only effort is in the peeling & chopping of vegetables & opening of jars, soup boxes, & cans. All that chopping used to seem like "too much work" for me--not anymore.
Click here for a copy of the recipe on one page.
Spicy Mexican Sweet Potato, Black Bean, & Rice Soup
Serves: 8 (2 cup servings)
2 1/2 cups cubed sweet potatoes, parboil them while you cut up the rest of the ingredients
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 16 oz. jar of salsa (I used Guy Fieri's Chipotle, again)
1/2 tablespoon cumin
2--14.5 oz. can of black beans, drained & rinsed
6 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth (use 8 cups if you like a thinner soup or less for a "stoup")
1/3 cup Better'n Peanut Butter (low-fat), or PB2 equivalent, prepared, or real peanut butter
1 bag of TJ's frozen brown rice, microwaved (2 cups cooked brown rice)
Optional: Add 1 1/2 cups of frozen (thawed) roasted or regular corn
Parboil the cut up sweet potatoes as you cut up the rest of the vegetables!
Saute all the vegetables, with the pre-parboiled sweet potatoes for 5-7 minutes, until soft
Add salsa, cumin, black beans, & broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes
Add in peanut butter. Whisk well.
Add in rice & cook 2 minutes longer.
This is loaded with nutrients!
Serves 8--2 cup generous servings
Healthy Librarian's Sis
Spicy Mexican Sweet Potato Black Bean-2 cups
Serving Size: 1 serving
|Amount Per Serving|
The Movie: The Separation
I had never heard about this marvelous Iranian film until it opened in my town this past Friday.
We saw it on Saturday night with 2 other couples & all of us were mesmerized. Hands-down, this is a "must-see" film. Powerful, disturbing, painful to watch--with the kind of real-life conundrums that can happen to any family. Caring for an elderly parent with Alzheimer's, wanting to make a better life for oneself & one's children, being out-of-work, keeping a marriage together when you're bombarded with unresolvable impossible challenges. And then throw in the strict Iranian legal system and a black and white religious code--well, you can only imagine.
Don't miss this film if it's available where you live. And if it's not, put it in your Netfilx queue now. Full disclosure: It's in Farsi with English subtitles--but, you'll soon not even notice.
"Step lightly into "A Separation" if you are caring for an elderly parent, going through a divorce or wrangling for custody of your child.
These painful themes are explored in writer-director Asghar Farhadi's finely crafted drama that has already collected shelf-loads of major film awards (including last night's Best Foreign Language Oscar).
It teems with conflicts involving class, generations, responsibility, mental health and good old-fashioned lying. In the end, it's all about morality.
When you're pushed against the wall to the brittle end of your emotions, how do you react?
'A Separation' ends with a whimper, not a bang, but that is essential to Farhadi's realism.
How often do life's most challenging situations end neat and clean?" Clint O'Connor, Plain Dealer Film Critic
If you do not see the video trailer on you screen, click here.