If you are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, one of the most significant things you can do besides give up your car, avoid air travel, and have fewer children is eat a plant-based diet. If you switch from the standard American diet to one completely plant based, you will cut your carbon emissions by .8 tons a year. But even if you eat meat once or twice a month you are still reducing you impact enormously.

I know it isn’t easy to make dietary changes, so start small. Go plant-based once a week and have a Meatless Monday. Once you get used to that, it will get easier to add another meatless day and so on and so on.

I’ve been vegan for over 20 years and finding recipes used to be really hard. These days there are so many cookbooks and websites it can be overwhelming to anyone trying to figure it all out. Now I am going to jump into the fray and start posting favorite recipes on Mondays. I don’t know if I will manage a recipe every Monday, but we’ll see how it goes.

This first recipe is one Bookman made yesterday. He made it up himself from scratch with food we had in the pantry. We ate it all before I thought about taking a photo so you will need to use your imagination. We ate our soup with cornmeal crusted baked potato wedges. The soup is thick enough that you could also have it over brown rice or noodles if you have leftovers and want to change it up a bit.

2 cups dry black beans (guessing this would be a large can, maybe a little more)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS oregano
1 TBS chili powder (cook’s choice on the type and heat)
cubed tofu, tempeh, or seitan (your preference)

Soak the black beans in water for a couple of hours. Rinse and cook in a medium to large pot at a simmering boil for about an hour. Reserve the bean water after cooking is done.

Using about 1/2 cup of the bean water, in a medium to large pot, saute/simmer the onion, bell pepper and carrots.

When the veggies are soft, add the spices and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the black beans and the rest of the bean water to the vegetable pot and simmer about 30 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, lightly blend the beans and veggies—you don’t want it smooth and creamy but you do want it whirled around a little.

Return to the stove and add your tofu/tempeh/seitan. Simmer for about 10 minutes until everything is bubbly and hot.

Remove from heat and serve.