My Plantcentric Journey

Archive for April, 2013

GIVEAWAY! Dreena Burton’s Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potatoes Recipe PLUS GIVEAWAY!!!!


Have you discovered Dreena Burton’s blog,  Or her cookbooks?  The Everyday Vegan was her first, written after her father-in-law’s heart attack, followed by Vive le Vegan!, eat drink and be vegan, and Let Them Eat Vegan. 

Plant-Powered 15 is her latest.  It is an e-book containing 15 recipes, all whole food and oil-free, with gorgeous photos of each.    How does Creamy House Dressing, Green Goddess Dressing, Orange-Miso Dressing and Wonder Spread sound?  How about Presto Pistachio Pasta, Umami Sun-Dried Tomato and Almond Burgers and Mac-nificent!? And don’t forget dessert.  She has included three.

She has let me share her Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potatoes recipe with you.  It is so delicious.  My husband, Bill, says it’s his favorite soup!

At the end of this post, is the GIVEAWAY.


Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potatoes

This soup has an irresistible quality, the flavors are deep and earthy with some sweetness from the potatoes. Don’t let the number of ingredients intimidate you – they build layers of flavor, but this soup is not at all difficult to make!

1-2 tbsp water

1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups chopped onions (one large onion)

1 1/2 cups combination of chopped red peppers and green peppers

1 1/4 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste (generous is good)

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp dried oregano leaves

1/4 tsp allspice (rounded)

1/4 tsp (or less/more, to taste) red pepper flakes

4 medium-large cloves garlic, minced or grated

4 1/2 – 5 cups black beans (reserve 1 cup; this is three 14 or 15 oz cans)

3 cups water

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 – 1 tsp pure maple syrup

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 cups cubed (in small chunks, about 1/2”) yellow sweet potato (or can substitute           white potato)

Chopped cilantro for serving

Extra lime wedges for serving

Chopped avocado tossed with lemon juice and dash of salt, for serving

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add water, onions, red and green peppers, salt and pepper, cumin seeds, oregano, allspice, and red pepper flakes. Let cook for 5-7 minutes until onions and peppers start to soften. Add garlic. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and let cook another few minutes to soften garlic – if sticking/burning, add another splash of water. After a few minutes of cooking, add 3 1/2 cups beans (reserving one cup of beans), water, tomato paste, vinegar, lime juice, and maple syrup (start with 1/2 tsp). Using an immersion blender, puree soup until fairly smooth. Increase heat to bring to boil, add bay leaf and diced sweet potatoes, then once at boil reduce and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add remaining cup of black beans and extra maple syrup if desired (taste test). Stir through, let simmer for another few minutes, then serve, topping with cilantro if desired and with lime wedges. Also delicious to top soup with some chopped seasoned avocado or a simple guacamole.  Serves 4-5 as main course.

Sweet Potato Tip: Sometimes I have leftover sweet potato home fries that have been seasoned with just sea salt. If so, I take a recipe and chopping shortcut and simply add these to my soup during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, just to heat through.

Recipe from “Plant-Powered 15” by Dreena Burton. For more recipes and information, visit

Photo credit: Nicole Axworthy

Now for the GIVEAWAY:  Please write in the comments why you would like to win a FREE COPY OF PLANT-POWERED 15 by Dreena Burton.  And be sure to check out here blog

You’ll Gladly Die for Your Children; Why Won’t You Cook for Them? – Eat + Run (

Isn’t that the truth? Of course, it’s easy for me to say now that we are empty-nesters. I think if I was raising my young family again, and was working outside the home, I would cook a week’s worth of meals on Sunday and then freeze them. Yes, it would take a lot of planning, and some weeks would go better than others. I would have healthy foods in the car to prevent fast food stops. Read on:

Watch “Dr. Ellsworth Wareham – 98 years old vegan” on YouTube

I keep saying that it will take a grassroots movement through consumer education. Watch “Two Reporters Fired by Fox News for Revealing Health Dangers in Milk (10 min)” on YouTube

Wow! This is so telling about how the meat, dairy, salt and sugar lobbyists controlled our government even back in McGovern’s time. Just think how different it would be now. Watch “The McGovern Report” on YouTube

It is Time to Take Action! GMO Labeling Bill Being Introduced Next Week! Center for Food Safety

Next week, Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Peter DeFazio will introduce new federal legislation that would require the labeling of all GMO foods, the first labeling bill to be introduced in over a decade. Tell your Senators and Representatives to Co-Sponsor the GE food labeling bill!

The Four Steps Required to Keep Monsanto OUT of Your Garden

This is EXACTLY what I’ve been wondering. How do I make sure any seedlings or seeds of corn or zucchini not be GMO seeds and how do I make sure the other vegetables do not support Monsanto?

Are Bioidentical Hormones Safe? |

It seems everywhere we look, we are hearing about the wonders of bioidentical hormones. They are touted as miracle drugs that can make middle-aged women feel like they are in their 20’s again, with energy and a great libido. But how safe are they really?

Boycott Monsanto – A Simple List of Companies to Avoid

A good list to get you started.

Inadequate Fiber Intake Appears to be a Risk Factor for Breast Cancer, Which May Explain Why Women Eating Plant-Based Diets May be at Lower Risk

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