What to Expect from Sister Vegetarian Recipes...

Sister Vegetarian knows the importance of nutrition without breaking the bank. In lieu of this, I keep the meals to a cost that anyone can create and still stick to a budget. I also include raw vegan meals. Sister has acquired a Raw Vegan Chef Certfication through The Raw Food Network-Ekaya Institute of Living Food Education. I love to cook meals from Africa, India, the Middle East, Greece, Italy, and the list goes on. When I cook, I call it traveling the world without leaving my home. I see cooking as a way to experiment and learn about other cultures, as I also learn more about my roots.

Enjoy the meals. Enjoy the travel. No Passport Required. Just an appetite for delicious and healthy meals.

Peace & Love, Sister Vegetarian.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vegan Borscht (Beet) Soup: Antioxidant Soup for Longevity

Borscht (beet soup) is a popular Russian soup that was brought to the US by Jewish immigrants. Borscht is famous for perhaps giving Russian centenarians their long life. As an African American, Borscht also has its place in our culture as as a soup consumed by ancestors for longevity. My great-grandmother loved beets and lived to be an active 100 year old, vivacious woman until she parted this earth in 1993. Her diet always consisted of beets at least weekly, if not more. I myself have adapted this love of beets thanks to my mother who introduced me to beets as a toddler. Who says children hates vegetables, especially beets. Children will eat what you put in front of them. Children develop their hate of foods from the ideas that parents instill from comments. Let's be positive examples to our children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren and set an example of healthy, wise eating. Let's start with this beautiful, red-purplish vegetable that is packed with so much nutrients that it prevents the body from aging, environmental damage, and disease (namely protection against colon cancer).

I eat beets raw and cooked in salads, India lentil stews, stand alone beet stews, pasta, and mixed with beans and legumes. Beets taste buttery and sweet at the same time. I found the below recipe at Vegalicious Recipes, but adapted it to my own creations: I added beet greens and stems, and did not peel the beet skins because the entire beet is super-packed with nutrients so why discard the greens, stems, and skin? Our ancestors and grand/great-grandparents ate the greens, beets, and stems and relied on this vegetable for strength, health, and vitality.
Enjoy this beautiful colored red-purplish soup. I consider it my Valentine's Day gift for you with its beautiful reddish color that's heart healthy, delicious

Vegan Borscht Soup (aka Spicy Beet Soup)

6 medium whole beets (skin left on for nutrients), beet greens and stems chopped off
1-1/2 cups vegan vegetable bouillon broth
1 cup full-bodied red wine
2 cups water
2 tbs. olive oil
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
1 TBS dark brown sugar
2 TBS Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
3 TBSP Lemon Juice
1/2 cup vegan soy sour cream, plus extra for garnish
2 medium chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 cups of beet green and stems chopped

How to cook:
Put the whole beets, vegetable bouillon broth, and wine into a large soup pot, and add the water.
Bring to a boil and let simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour until beets are tender (a fork inserted detects its tenderness).
Remove the beets with a slotted spoon, and reserve the cooking liquid in the soup pot.
When the beets have cooled enough to handle, coarsely chop.
Set aside 1/2 cup of 1/2-inch diced beets for garnish.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and brown sugar.
Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the onions and brown sugar sauté, coarsely chopped beets, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, 1/2 cup soy sour cream, and chilies in abobo to the beet liquid in the soup pot.

Stir in pot. Add to a blender or food processor in batches, and blend until smooth.
If serving hot, add back everything from the blender or food processor to the pot, and reheat until hot. This is when the chopped beet greens and stems are added so as not to cook too long. The beet greens and stems add even more nutrients.

If the soup is served cold: chill in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 6 hours.
Garnish with the reserved beets and 2TBSP of sour cream.
~ Sister Vegetarian

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