Monday, April 5, 2021

Vegan Dump Dinners - Black Bean Soup

Vegan Dump Dinner - Black Bean Soup
This soup offers the best of several worlds. It is unbelievably easy to make, delicious and satisfying to
eat, and frugal. It also passes the kid-approval test in our house : ) 

I've been making it for years, but this year I simplified the method even more, and made it into a dump dinner - so it can be prepared with no hassles. 

You make it from dry beans, but it requires no soaking : )

I like to serve it with optional toppings: Rice to scoop on top, Sriracha for those who like a little heat, Fresh chopped tomatoes or Salsa, and Tortilla Chips. Avocado is also a delicious topping with this soup. 

For those who aren't vegan, or who aren't doing Lent, you can also offer Sour Cream and Mexican Style Shredded Cheese toppings, or even some Kielbasa slices.

Here's the super-easy recipe:

Vegan Dump Dinner - Black Bean Soup
In a Gallon Zipper Bag (or similarly sized Plastic Food Storage Box) Place:
1 Pound Black Beans, Rinsed and Sorted (2 1/2 cups)
1 (12 oz) bag Frozen Bell Peppers and Onions (or 1 cup Bell Peppers & 1 Cup Onions, in Crescents)
Scant Tablespoon Salt

In a Quart Zipper Bag (or similarly sized Plastic Food Storage Box) Place:
1 Can (15 oz) Chopped Tomatoes, with their liquid
1/4 Cup Dry Wine (any Color - may be omitted if you don't do wine)
Contents of 1 Packet Taco Seasoning, or 2 Tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning

Label Both Bags. 

Seal the small bag, place it inside the large bag, seal the large bag & put it in the freezer. (If using freezer boxes, put them next to each other in the freezer - possibly using a little tape so they don't get separated)


Vegan Dump Dinner, Black Bean Soup, in Progress



Vegan Dump Dinner, Black Bean Soup, Ready for Freezer


To make:

The day before, put the bags in the refrigerator to defrost. 

The day you want to enjoy the soup, remove the small bag, and leave it in the refrigerator. Put the contents of the large bag in your slow cooker or crock pot. 

Add 7 Cups water. 

Cook on high till beans are very tender - about 5 hours

Just before serving:

Add contents of small bag, and allow to warm (about 20 minutes - while you make the rice and set the table)

Then, Blend the soup with an immersion blender. I like to leave some of the soup chunky - with some whole beans, so I don't blend it until it's completely smooth, but I stop blending when it has reached my desired chunky-ness level : )

Serve in Bowls with above listed toppings to be added by each diner.


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Monday, March 29, 2021

Vegan Dump Dinners - Moroccan Red Lentil Soup

Vegan Dump Dinner - Moroccan Red Lentil Soup
 Need a delicious soup to come home to in the evening? 

This is a great one to put in the slow cooker or Crock Pot, and come home to after Lenten services, or some other time that you need dinner to be ready when you are.


This is how to make it:


Moroccan Red Lentil Soup Vegan Dump Dinner
Fill Gallon Zipper Freezer bag or Plastic Freezer Container with the following:

1 # bag (about 2 1/4 cups) Split Red Lentils, Rinsed well and sorted
2 (15 oz) cans Chopped Tomatoes with their liquid
1 Cup Chopped Onion (frozen or fresh chopped - about 1 onion)
1 teaspoon minced Garlic (I use the pre-minced stuff from a jar in the produce section of the grocery)
2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon Salt
A few grinds Black Pepper

Label, Seal, and Put bag in freezer.
The day before you use it, put it to the fridge to thaw.


Split Red Lentils

To Prepare:
Add Contents of bag to slow cooker with
7 Cups Water
Cook 5 Hours on High 

To serve:
Puree with Immersion Blender &Season with the following
(put more of these on table for diners to season to taste):
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (to brighten flavors)
1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Salt

Can be served with Crusty Bread, Rice, or Tabbouli, and Garden Salad or Crudites

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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Orthodox Lenten Menu 2021, with Less Time in the Kitchen

Orthodox Lenten Menu with Less Time in Kitchen
This year, Orthodox Christians celebrate Pascha (Easter) much later than do Catholic and Protestant
Christians. While others are about half way through Lent, our Lent just started on March 15. 

Orthodox Lenten foods exclude meat, poultry, most fish, dairy, and eggs. In other words, mostly Vegan foods. This menu is all Vegan, with an emphasis on reducing your time in the kitchen, and your money spent on foods, so that you can focus on the tasks of Lent - Prayer, Fasting & Almsgiving. 

If you really hate cooking, but still want to observe Lent, check out this post:

40 Day Lenten Menu for People Who Hate to Cook

If you have family members who do not observe Lent, and you need to prepare food for them, check out these posts:

Month of Meals for Vegan and Omnivore Family 

This year's Lenten menu is a simple double. I made a three week plan, and then repeated it for a full Lent worth of recipes. Many of these recipes can be doubled for the freezer, so I'll make a note by each one to give freezer ideas. If you play it right, half the days of Lent (which can be quite busy with services!) will be almost cooking-free : )

1. Lentil Soup over Spaghetti (Double Lentil Soup and Blend it to Freeze. Serve with Vinegar on Holy Friday)

Lentil Soup over Spaghetti

2. Bamies Yachni (Quadruple Sauce, and add to Peas & Artichokes, and to Revythia, and Gigantes to serve later in Lent. For the second 1/2 of Lent, you may want another quadruple batch of sauce)

Bamies Yachni

Peas and Artichokes Yachni
Peas & Artichokes


Gigantes (Greek Giant Beans)

3. Chinese Stir Fry Over Rice (Cook Extra Rice for Freezer, but veggies must be made fresh)

Chinese Stir Fry Over Rice

4. Greek Style Black Eyed Peas


Greek Style Black Eyed Peas

5. Calzone Casserole (Make Extra Bread Mix to use later - you can use it to make breadsticks to go with Spaghetti, or with a number of other meals)

6. Revythia (use Sauce from Freezer, day 2)


7. Spaghetti (you can make noodles in microwave & use jarred sauce, or make homemade sauce & freeze half) Use your Bread Mix from day 5, if you like.


8. Veggie Fajitas (Make Extra Sauteed Veggies for Freezer, and Extra Refried Beans for Freezer. You can also send the Refried Beans in Lunch Burritos)


Veggie Fajitas


Refried Beans

Lunch Burritos with Leftover Refried Beans, Rice & Salsa

9. Skyline at Home (Double Bean Recipe for Freezer)

Skyline at Home

10. Peas & Artchokes Yachni (use sauce from freezer)

Peas and Artichokes Yachni
Peas & Artichokes

11. 10 Minute Lazy Day Lo Mein (This is a super easy recipe, but still, it is possible to freeze cooked spaghetti & veggies to use later, if you like & have the freezer space)

10 Minute Lazy Day Lo Mein

12. Chili over Rice (Make Extra Chili for Freezer & serve over potatoes later in Lent)

Chili over Rice

13. Gigantes (Use 3 to 4 cups of Sauce from Freezer)

Gigantes (Greek Giant Beans)

14. Veggie Burgers, Oven Fries (both from Freezer Section of Grocery Store - I use Vegan Boca Burgers & serve with all the fixin's - buns, mustard, ketchup, onion, tomato, etc). If you prefer homemade, here's my recipe Burgers & Fries, Vegan Style

Burgers & Fries, Vegan Style


15. Moujendra (This may be doubled & frozen)


16. Eggplant Stew  (Both the Stew & the Rice may be doubled & frozen)

Eggplant Stew

17. Black Bean Soup (May be doubled & frozen)

Black Bean Soup

18. Pad Thai (cannot be frozen - needs to be made fresh each time)

Pad Thai

19. Tabbouli & Lentil Salads (Grains & Legumes may be doubled & frozen for later use - then after thawing, add fresh veggies & dressing)




Lentil Salads

20. Fasolia Yachni (may be doubled & frozen to serve later)

Fasolia Yachni

21. Bulgur Pilaf (may be doubled & Frozen)

Bulgur Pilaf

And, of course, even during Lent, sometimes you need a little treat. Many Converts to Orthodoxy are shocked to find that sugar is not one of the foods on the forbidden list (though, without a doubt, it should not be overindulged in during Lent). 

To keep our easy cooking theme, I'll share one of my more popular easy desserts - 

Vegan Cookies from a Store-Bought Cake Mix.


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