I am honored to share a post and recipe from the utterly talented and prolific vegan cookbook author, Robin Robertson. I have been a huge fan of hers for years as her recipes are easy, delicious, and never disappoint. The recipe below is low fat, nutrient-dense, and flavor-filled and comes from her latest book, Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker: Something for Everyone, which just hit the shelves. Robin is giving one of you lucky readers a FREE copy! To enter the giveaway, leave a comment at the end of this post telling me why you’d like to win a copy of Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker: Something for Everyone.
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A guest post by Robin Robertson, author of Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker (The Harvard Common Press, 2012)
Just as slow cookers now come in all shapes and sizes, so do people’s preferences vary in their food preparation. One of my goals in writing Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker was to make the recipes accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of any dietary restrictions.
To that end, many of the recipes are naturally low-fat or even fat-free. Some recipes call for a small amount of oil (usually 2 teaspoons) for advance sautéing of some ingredients. In most cases, however, the option is given to eliminate the oil by simply water-sauteing the ingredients. Even many of the desserts in this book contain no added oil. For those that do, in most cases, you can substitute ground flaxseed mixed with water or unsweetened applesauce for the oil. Many of the recipes are also either gluten-free, soy-free, or both, and are listed as such.
Slow cookers can be used to prepare a variety of dishes, from soups, stews, and chili, to vegetables, appetizers, condiments, and even breads and desserts. One of my favorite slow-cooker recipes is this Cuban Black Bean Soup. It assembles quickly, cooks for several hours unattended, and has a rich depth of flavor. A refreshing garnish of fresh tomato, avocado, and cilantro adds texture and color.
Recipe: Cuban Black Bean Soup
Serves 4 to 6
Slow Cooker Size: 6-quart
Cook Time: 6 hours on Low
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups cooked black beans or 4 (15-ounce) cans beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced, for garnish
- 1 large ripe tomato, chopped, for garnish
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
1. Combine the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and garlic in the slow cooker. Add the broth, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, salt, paprika, chili powder, and black pepper. Add the beans, stirring to mix well. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours.
2. Remove and discard the bay leaves and stir in the sherry (if using), vinegar, and liquid smoke. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt if needed.
3. Ladle 2 cups (or as much as half of the soup) into a blender or food processor, puree, and stir it back into the rest of the soup in the cooker. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to puree some of the soup right in the cooker.
4. Serve hot, topped with the avocado, tomato, and cilantro.
Recipe © 2012 by Robin Robertson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.