Donate and Feed Children

Coronavirus may be less severe for most children, but the virus doesn’t just impact them if they get it. Nationwide, children are going without enough food due to school closings. 

The problem is serious and widespread. For example, in Poughkeepsie, NY, in 2011-12, 90% of students qualified for reduced or no cost lunches. And, studies have indicated that this food is their primary food *for the day.* Through the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, children have also been provided with a backpack of food for the weekend, as studies indicated that some were not eating – or eating very little – between Friday afternoon and Monday. In Philadelphia, over 75,000 children experience food insecurity. 

Some communities – including Poughkeepsie and Philadelphia – have been able to work up a plan to continue their food programs, but not all of them. And, due to economic impacts of this pandemic, more families will need support than ever.

*If* you can, donate to your community programs that fight food insecurity, or go to http://nokidhungry.org and help feed children in communities that don’t have adequate resources to serve children.

In Philadelphia, one local program that is accepting donations to fight food insecurity is https://www.philabundance.org

For Camden Counter, Gloucester County, etc. in NJ, you could donate to https://foodbanksj.org

In New Paltz, donations at https://foodbankofhudsonvalley.org feed hungry children in the region

In NYC, go to https://www.foodbanknyc.org/

And, again, a national site is http://nokidhungry.org

Vegan Black Bean and TVP Chili


My chili recipe originally came from my mother, but her version contained some beef. I’ve adapted it over the years to suit my veggie tastes and generally only have it with beens as the protein. This time, I added some TVP for extra oomph.

It’s great on day one as chili, but it’s even better on day two and beyond!

Ingredients

2 lbs dried pinto, kidney, black beans or a mix
1-2 medium onions, diced
4 stalks celery, sliced thin
2 cups carrots, shredded or chopped
1 red pepper, diced
2-3 jalapenos, diced or sliced
1 large can crushed tomato
1-2 large cans diced tomato, drained
4-6 cups veg broth
2 cups TVP
3 T olive oil
6 T cumin
2 T chili powder
4 T annatto
6 T cocoa powder
3 T smooth peanut butter
sea salt
pepper

Process

Sort and rinse beans and dice veggies. Put everything except the peanut butter in your pressure cooker, using only enough of the broth to cover the beans to the appropriate level. Seal and increase to high pressure, cooking for 25 minutes. Turn off heat and allow pressure to come back down. Unseal and taste test for seasoning. You may need to add more of the veggie broth if the chili is too thick for you. At that point, you continue to cook on a low simmer until everything is cooked to the extent that you enjoy. More cooking will break down the texture of the beans and thicken the soup into a more creamy consistency – which some people like.  Less cooking will result in a chunkier chili.  When you are within an hour of serving, add the peanut butter and stir in.

Each time you make this, it comes out differently based on how much of each thing you add, but it accommodates a lot of variation.  Increase the PB & chocolate for a richer taste.  Add more diced tomato for a chunkier chili.  Put in extra veggies (zucchini, and eggplant are excellent, and squash adds a different flavor) for a little veggie boost. If you don’t have any fresh jalapenos in the house, this can be done with jarred peppers, or hot sauce. 

Serve with sour cream and grated cheese (vegan or non) and crackers.  This and a side salad makes a full and delicious high fiber meal!

Southwest Vegetable Soup – Vegan Recipe

I like soup, regardless of the weather, but this is a nice transitional soup for the seasons. It’s not heavy like a winter soup, but the spices give it a warming kick. This makes a TON of soup, so you may want to half it or prepare to freeze a bunch.

Instructions below are for doing this in a pressure cooker. If you don’t wish to cook it that way, presoak the beans overnight and then the rest is the same except cook on stovetop until beans are done.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots (or a couple of handfuls of baby carrots), chopped
  • 5 potatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb fresh green beans, cleaned and ends removed (or frozen)
  • 12 oz bag of frozen corn
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups V-8 or tomato juice
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 TBSP dried cilantro
  • 3 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 TBSP red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lime wedges (1 per bowl)
  • tortilla chips crushed or tortilla strips (optional)
  • avocado sliced or diced (optional)
  • vegan sour cream

Process

Place everything but the frozen corn (and green beans if you use frozen) in a large pressure cooker. If it will be too much liquid for your cooker to be safe, leave out some of the veg broth to add in the second stage. Bring to high pressure and cook 20 minutes. Turn off and allow to depressurize.

Check the pinto beans. If they aren’t done, return to a boil for a little longer without re-pressurizing until done. Once the beans are done bring to a low boil, add the frozen corn (and green beans if you didn’t use fresh) and any remaining veg broth, and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.

If it isn’t broth-y enough (I have to admit that I’m not 100% sure how much veg broth I used), you can definitely add more. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with tortilla chips/strips, diced avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, and the juice from a lime wedge. Yum!