I was excited to request the new cookbook Betty Goes Vegan: 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family from my library when I learned it had been purchased. Clearly my love of kefir, bone broth, and other dairy items currently preclude me from veganism. That being said, I love vegetables and try to eat as many of them as possible. I am always on the look out for easy and tasty recipes that will work more vegetables into my family’s diet. In fact, for many, many years, Matt and I cooked almost entirely vegetarian.
I had high hopes that this cookbook would include comfort food vegetable-heavy dishes that would be easy to prepare since they are for the “modern family” who is always on the go. Much to my disappointment, instead of whole foods dishes filled with natural, minimally processed goodness, this cookbook was filled to the brim with highly processed fake meat, fake vegan cheese, and soy products. My family does not have time to follow three paragraph instructions on how to craft “vegan hard-boiled eggs” out of tofu shaped into half-egg shapes and then stuffed with spiced tofu and baked. If we didn’t want to eat eggs, we would just skip the eggs and eat cauliflower, or green beans, or pretty much anything else that comes in the form that it was grown on this earth.
I’m not trying to trash vegans here as I am sure there are many who despise mock meats, cheese, and soy as much as I do. But what does it say about veganism when this is the cookbook that is supposed to appeal to the masses? Personally, I do not think it is more ethical to eat mass-produced soy, corn, or beans, over-processed and shipped huge distances, then to eat local pastured animals, but everyone is entitled to their own food ideals. To past muster in my kitchen, a meal must be whole foods, affordable, and delicious. Tonight, our grain-free, vegan dinner was a turnip, carrot, onion, lentil soup, seasoned with bay leaves, salt, pepper, olive oil, and parsley. Simply delicious, and no fake smoke, flavor-injector, or soy needed.
Peasant Soup very slightly adapted from This Good Food
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 cup rice (or sub more lentils)
- 2 onions, diced
- 2-3 carrots, sliced
- 2-3 turnips, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional, but recommended: fresh parsley and extra virgin olive oil
Optional step: Soak lentils in water plus a few tablespoons whey (which you can get from straining yogurt through cloth) for about 7 hours. Drain.
Step 1: Combine lentils, rice, carrots, turnips, garlic, bay leaf with enough water or bone broth to cover by an inch in a pot. (About 12 cups if you did NOT soak the lentils, less if you did 🙂 )
Step 2: Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for about an hour, adding more water or broth if needed.
Step 3: Add salt and pepper and any optional ingredients.