Hearty Vegan Southwestern Sweet & Spicy Soup, Be The Change


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Hi Friends!  How has your weekend been so far?  Mine has been good and warm.  The weather turned warm again.  Nothing like a little Indian Summer after I outfit my kid with a new winter coat and boots.  But hey, I will take warm all day long.  That’s why I live in San Diego, not Minnesota!

In an effort to use up some random ingredients and create some easy meals for Scott and Skylar while I’m at work, I broke out the new crock pot and threw a few things on the counter that I wanted to use and some of them made it into the crockpot and my new recipe.  Many of you have told me you use brewed coffee, a square of dark chocolate or cocoa powder, or pumpkin puree in your chili and soups.  I need to try that.  Maybe not all at once and none of those things made the cut in today’s recipe, but you have me thinking.

Hearty Vegan Southwestern Sweet & Spicy Soup
1 can of beans (I used Amy’s Organic Baked Beans, 15 oz., but use whatever you have)
2/3 c water, adjust to taste and cooking times
1 jar of Pace Picante Sauce (that I received through Food Buzz) or similar
1/2 c diced carrots
1 medium/large potato, diced
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
3/4 Tbsp Mrs Dash Chipotle Blend
1/4 c ketchup
1 Tsp Salt or to taste
1/4 c sugar (omit if you don’t want the sweet in the sweet & spicy)

Ingredients needed to make Hearty Vegan Southwestern Sweet & Spicy Soup

Two jars of Picante Sauce
Can of Organic Vegetarian Beans

Toss everything into Crock Pot or on Stove Top, Stir, and Simmer Until Done.  I did 4 hours on high in the Crock Pot.

Hearty Vegan Southwestern Sweet & Spicy Soup ingredients in crock pot
Finished Hearty Vegan Southwestern Sweet & Spicy Soup in crock pot

Makes 4 very generous bowls.  Or 6 more normal sized bowls.

Four bowls of Hearty Vegan Southwestern Sweet & Spicy Soup
The potatoes made Scott happy!
Close up of Hearty Vegan Southwestern Sweet & Spicy Soup in white bowl

And the broth has a kick, but is tempered by the tiny addition of sugar.  Sweet with heat.  My grandma always said to add a pinch of sugar to tomato sauce to bring out the flavor.  She was right!

Hearty Vegan Southwestern Sweet & Spicy Soup showing chunks of potatoes

Scott is over his “I hate beans” thoughts.  Well, mostly.  He’s not racing out for them but he has already asked me to make more of this soup.  Good, because I have another jar of Pace to use!

Bowl of Hearty Vegan Southwestern Sweet & Spicy Soup
Overhead of bowl filled with soup

For recent Bean Recipes See:

My first ever Vegan Chili attempt.

Vegan Chili in two bowls
Close up of Vegan Chili
I was pretty proud of the Vegan Crock Pot Chili which can easily be done on the stove
Carmelized Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Chickpea "Peanuts"
Beans never tasted so good!  Julie and Krista both made them and told me they were hits!
Close up of Carmelized Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Chickpea "Peanuts"

From yesterday’s post about my new Jeans and Makeup and my trip, yes, I am so excited!  No one guessed where I am going and soon, I promise, I will fill you in on all the trip details.

Pair of jeans folded up
Bag full of purchased cosmetics
Hand holding opened Red Envelope
 Surprises can be very good things!

I got my new issue of Yoga Journal in the mail on Friday

Yoga Journal
Blissful Vacations, yes, I have one planned!
Articles on front of Yoga Journal
Slow Cooked Food?  I just got on that bandwagon. Two recipes just this week in the Slow Cooker.  They read my mind.
Article title of Slow-Cooked Comfort Food on a Busy Schedule
Oh and we all need This: Be the Change
Article of Happier holidays, be the change you want to see in your family

Dessert/Snack: No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bars 
Toss everything in a bowl, stir, press into a pan and freeze.  Voila, bars.  Done.  So much better, cheaper, and you’re in control of the ingredients, compared to store-bought bars.

Uncut No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bars 
Overhead of one No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bar
Side of cut No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bar
And if you like Coconut Oil, see:

1. Best Thing You’ve Ate or Done This Weekend?
Time with my family, outside, walking, talking, laughing.  It’s been lovely!

2. Have you ever made homemade tomato sauce, red sauce, marinara sauce, chili, soup, etc. that was tomato based and added sugar to it?  Or heard that a pinch of sugar brings out the flavors better?
I have made my own Raw Vegan 30 Second Red Marina Sauce for my Raw Pasta & Raw Marinara Sauce, and yes, a pinch of sugar works well in that too.

Close up of Marinara Sauce
Raw Pasta & Raw Marinara Sauce
3. Yoga Journal said on the cover, Be The Change You Want to See which was likely inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” quote.
We all have things in our lives we want to change possibly including:
How much we do or don’t work out
How much we do or don’t eat
The types of foods we choose
How much sleep we do or don’t get
The types of people and their various energies we choose to surround ourselves with
How much time we spend worrying about the future or past
How much we try to control others’ actions that we really have no control over
How much we try to control outcomes that we really have no control over
How close or distant we are with friends, family, relatives, neighbors, strangers, etc.
How much of the world’s resources we use and consume
The list goes on and on.  
There are certain things and we can change.  

And certain things, people, outcomes that we can’t change.  

The quote/Serenity Prayer comes to mind (and although I am spiritual, I don’t consider myself “religious” but I like this one): “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I have posted many times that I can’t save the world, and nor defend my own choices.  I just live my life, do the best that I can, and wish others nothing but joy on their journey.   I try to lead by example and not waste precious energy trying to change the un-changeable.  

For example, if I want greater harmony with dining companions about my plant-based food choices, I neither shout from the heavens the virtues of a plant-based or vegan diet, nor do I tear into them about the evils of the food they are eating, nor do I even suggest they eat differently.  I simply eat my food, live my life by example that I can accomplish everything I want in my life and have tons of energy living this way, and that it works for me.  If they wish to change their dietary path one day; lovely.  If they don’t, that’s fine too.   

I don’t have all the answers and often times thinking about global change or change with others seems paradoxical to me.  It sounds easy to Be The Change, and change the world one small step at a time, but then, I wonder, does the world want to change and what, if any, is my role in it?

What are you working to Change?   What or Whom have you learned that you Can’t Change? 

Enjoy the deep thoughts.  I actually thought writing this was going to be a quickie question but have been pondering this for a longgggg time.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!  


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Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.