Thrifty Vegan Compost Soup

garbage soup1Don’t throw away those odds and ends! Instead, get creative.

Whether you call it Müllsuppe, Soup de Legumes Restes (Soup of Leftovers) Ordures Soupe, Garbage or Compost Soup — in any language, this healthy soup is a delightful melange of everything the refrigerator and pantry has to offer.

I love nothing more than the game of conjuring up a delicious concoction from available ingredients and not always running to the store. Being frugal means more shopping for me — that’s my logic!

My son made a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit for just one day (to celebrate his bio-dad’s birthday) before he leaves the west coast for a teaching position at Rutgers.

This meant that I had to spring into action; baking and cooking a day’s worth of meals.

When my tugboat man is gone, I don’t do very much grocery shopping; the cupboards were mostly bare.

I opened the refrigerator door and peered inside where I found a few carrots, celery, half an onion, a few mushrooms, a few heads of broccoli, a bit of fennel, a block of tofu, and most of a can of chopped tomatoes.

As soon as I looked in the pantry and found pearl barley and lentils, I knew exactly what to do.

Springing into action, I sautéed the vegetables in a bit of olive oil until they were tender. I added the tomatoes, about six cups of water, and the lentils.

Pearl barley takes a lot longer than anything else; cooking in a separate pot would make sure that it was completely soft before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.

While everything was bubbling away, I cubed the tofu and tossed it in with a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro, a bay leaf, pepper, and a sprinkle of freshly ground pink Hawaiian salt.

A couple hours later, the barley was ready to be incorporated into the big pot of soup.

With a salad of mixed greens dressed in my favorite lime vinaigrette, freshly baked foccacia, and a dessert of Banana-Blueberry Walnut Bread, my son was well-fed, and I was so pleased with myself for making something out of nothing.

(And it saved me from having to throw all the veggies in the compost bin!)

garbagesoup2YUM!

What successful dish have you created out of nothing?


Facebook Update: I’m sorry to report that I still have no access to any of my Facebook pages; Since it’s understandable that I’m unwilling to provide a birth certificate to prove that my name is Princess Rosebud, if you’d like to share my posts on your timelines or mine, I’d appreciate it. Otherwise, Twitter and Pinterest will be my only forums for socializing. It’s really unfair to be singled out, since there are many others who don’t use their real names on Facebook and they are allowed to continue.

Vegan Lentil Tofu Tempeh Loaf Recipe

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I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of protein packed vegan loaves and “burgers”.

Some are winners, some are not. My tugboat man will literally eat anything and everything — although he’s not a very discerning critic, he’s a nice and appreciative hub.

When my son and DIL visited last month, DIL and I teamed up to build a delicious and healthy loaf, but I didn’t get a chance to take pics. They’ll be back tomorrow and I’ve attempted to recreate our original recipe.

(Measurements are sort of inexact…if it looks a little dry, add veggie broth. If it’s too moist, add more bread crumbs or oats.)loaf2

If you’re not familiar with tempeh, here’s an explanation: Tempeh is fermented cooked soybeans (or grains). This fermentation binds the soybeans into a compact white cake. Tempeh has been a favorite food and staple source of protein in Indonesia for several hundred years. It’s low fat and high in protein.

How to make my Vegan Lentil Tofu Tempeh Loaf:

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1. Cook lentils, onion, carrots, celery with two cups water until tender. Check as lentils are cooking and add water as needed so they’re moist yet fully absorb water, about thirty-forty minutes.

2. Turn lentils into large bowl.

3. Crumble tempeh and mash tofu with lentils.loaf3

4. Add rolled oats, chia, and chopped nuts.(I used a mixture of almonds and cashews.)loaf45. I like to use my hands to mix everything together so I get a feel for texture and whether it’s too dry or too moist. You def don’t want it too dry or it’ll fall apart.
6. Tear whole wheat bread into small pieces, Mix.
7. Add olive oil, ketchup or tomato sauce, mustard, curry, salt, pepper, vinegar, hot pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce.
8. Mix, taste, and adjust seasonings.
9. Fill greased loaf pan, form patties with any extra.
Topping: Ketchup mixed with a little maple syrup.loaf6loaf5Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve with ketchup or vegan gravy. Tastes good hot or cold! Let cool in pan before slicing. Making a day ahead is even better.loaf7

YUMMY!


Recipe: Vegan Lentil Tofu Tempeh Loaf

Tempeh, one package
Tofu, one tub firm organic
Two cups cooked lentils
1/2 cup chopped nuts
One cup rolled oats
One or two slices whole wheat bread
Chia
1/2 chopped onion
Two carrots, chopped
Two stalks celery, chopped
One cup tomato sauce ( I used homemade) or ketchup
Veggie broth as needed
Two tablespoons olive oil

One or two tablespoons Dijon mustard
Curry Powder to taste
Pepper
Salt
Hot pepper flakes
One tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Worcestershire sauce