Sunday, January 1, 2012

Slow Cooker Vegan Split Pea Soup

Who said eating healthy is expensive?  This easy and budget-friendly crockpot winter soup is filling, flavorful and full of fiber and antioxidants.

Split peas are a legume and high in protein, iron, fiber as well as other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  They are extremely affordable - I bought mine at Whole Foods for less than $1.  

I found this wonderful Whole Foods recipe for split pea soup and modified it slightly to make it healthier.  I left out the salt and fatty ham and doubled the veggies.  I used low sodium broth and added one leek for a subtly sweet flavor.

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 1 cup sliced baby carrots
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

Preparation
  1. Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given
  2. Do not stir ingredients
  3. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours until peas are very soft

Health Benefits
  • Split peas are a low-calorie food that is a good source of protein. They also provide Vitamins A (for healthy eyes and skin), Vitamin C and iron.
  • Split peas are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which has been shown to have a number of beneficial effects including decreased risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Leeks contain a good amount of iron, calcium, and Vitamins A and C. 

Did you know? Legumes, such as the split pea, can be considered part of the protein or vegetable group, but not both at the same time.

Vegan Brownies

This chocolaty dessert is so decadent and moist that you would never be able to tell they are vegan.  The best part about vegan brownies?  No eggs, so you can eat the batter J

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chip chunks
  • Canola oil spray
  • Optional: 1/4 cup walnuts
  • Optional: liquid or powdered Stevia (for added sweetness)
  • Raspberries for garnish
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients and then add in the wet ingredients
  3. Pour batter into greased baking pan
  4. Bake 25 minutes
  5. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before cutting