Thermos 3-Tier Bento #28

Grapes, couscous, and the Caribbean Eggplant and Black Bean Soup from the Reader's Digest Live Longer Cookbook.

We had this cookbook in my house when I was growing up, so when it turned up at the library book sale, I had to get it for pure nostalgia reasons, but a not-insignificant number of its recipes are vegan, if not flagged as such (this was, after all, published in 1992--veganism was scarcely heard of in mainstream American society, and it certainly wasn't turning up in Reader's Digest). I remember the book entering our household at a time when it was new and edgy, when it recommended things that seemed so exotic compared to the diet we mostly ate, which still bore the very heavy influence of midcentury cookery, with its meat and potatoes and canned cream of mushroom soup everywhere. The late 20th century's health food was focused on cutting out fat. This was not the era of huge quantities of protein yet, though protein was seen as important, and the book has a guide to making complete proteins out of plant foods.

I turned out to not especially care for this soup, which is really more of a stew. It needed something. Couscous helped (and I'd note balanced the bean proteins, too), but I think it was probably just too low in fat. I'm glad we have rediscovered fat as a good thing in this century.


  1. That's so neat you found that cookbook! Too bad the soup/stew didn't turn out so great, though; hopefully some of the other recipes will be better!

    1. It was fun to find it! I used to make a lot of the recipes over and over as a teenager, so I'm hoping some of the others will be more promising.

  2. What a great find with the cookbook! There was always cream of mushroom soup in the pantry when i was a kid! I think my favorite dish my mom made was a baked thing of rice with the cream of mushroom soup as a sauce, the rice soaked it all up. Good vegan mushroom gravy hits the spot for me now.
    Maybe leftover stew would be better topped with some avocado..? Or add in some canned coconut milk?


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