Did you know that November is World Vegan Month? Vegans completely abstain from animal foods. This includes meat, dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) and eggs. Most vegans I know, choose it in opposition to animal cruelty, but there are a number of reasons to commit to plant-based eating, including, health, religious beliefs and the environment.
Although I am not vegan myself, and therefore not advocating a vegan lifestyle, this is a really great reminder for all of us to take a look at the food we eat and where it comes from. The places that we chose to put our food dollars have tremendous implications on both our own health and that of our planet.
Including some whole-food, plant based meals in our repertoire is good for both our wallet and our waistline. Legumes are incredibly inexpensive (a bag of dried lentils sells for under a dollar), and are loaded with protein, fiber, and a host of phytonutrients. Make it a weekly practice with “Meatless Mondays” perhaps. The lentil soup below is packed full of veggies and is hearty enough to satisfy even the most carnivorous eaters.
If you are interested in learning more about the vegan lifestyle, check-out www.vegansociety.com
Recipe: Angela’s Favorite Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 finely chopped carrots
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into very small cubes
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
- 1 cup crushed tomato
- 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, mushrooms and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, sweet potato, tomatoes, broth, and spices. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Enjoy!