With the weather getting colder and the skies turning grey, I immediately start thinking about stew, soup and chili. I love how versatile they are, and they're perfect for sharing with friends and family who aren't vegetarian or vegan. For some reason, people seem to be a little more accepting of a meatless soup. Okay, maybe not so much a meatless chili, but if you don't tell them, they'll never know the difference. Unless they know you're a veg, and then of course you can always just hold them down and force feed them. What's that? Oh, you're probably right. That wouldn't go over too well. Okay, maybe you could just coax them into trying it. They'll probably love it in spite of themselves.
I'll be posting a recipe each week, and I just want to give you a heads up that you'll be seeing a lot of different soups and stews. They're easy to experiment with, and you can always change out the ingredients and spices to make each one your own. Sometimes I end up making a HUGE pot of soup because I go overboard with all the vegetables, beans and/or pasta I want to put in there. I literally have to restrain myself.
I was just telling my mother yesterday how I have really noticed a transformation in my thinking over the past year and a half. When I first became a vegetarian, my first thought when making a meal was, "what am I going to use in place of the meat?". Since we are now a society that plans our meals around the meat portion of the meal, I am sure this is normal. But now it doesn't even cross my mind. That's not to say that I don't eat the occasional meat replacements, like a Quorn Naked Chik'n Cutlet with a side of steamed peas and a baked potato, but it's no longer my central focus when I'm putting a meal together. I immediately start thinking about all the yummy vegetables I want to have and the many different ways I can have them! I wish I could somehow get everyone to think this way, even if they do eat meat.
I literally can't believe how closed off I was to vegetables before. Okay, maybe "closed off" isn't exactly the right way to describe it, but I was so used to having certain vegetables cooked certain ways, and since they were always playing second fiddle to the main attraction - MEAT - I just didn't get very creative with them. I didn't go to the farmers market excited to see what new and amazing fruits and vegetables I could try this week. I didn't come home and jump online looking for recipes in which to try them. Now I am absolutely obsessed with them. Unfortunately for my waistline, there are so many delicious recipes that include things like pumpkin and figs, apples and pears, that aren't really on the "healthy" side (darn you pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing!). I really must learn to have more self restraint.
So now I am off to see what I have in my pantry and refrigerator to combine for a delicious soup tonight! Wishing you all a very pleasant Tuesday!
- Cari Ann
- Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
- I have been an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian for a few years and am considering making the switch to a full Vegan diet. I decided to become a vegetarian because I could no longer disassociate the meat on my plate from the loving, kind and peaceful animal it had once been. I have always been an animal lover, so I guess this was a natural progression. I am not a diet or nutrition expert by any means, I am just a woman on a mission to eat better, feel better and live better.