Since last April I've been eating "Plant Based". Meaning I'm using animal products as flavoring instead of the main part of my meals. I decided to go "Plant Based" for several reasons. I watched some documentaries about environmental impact of animals on our planet. Those same documentaries showed footage of animals being raised in terrible conditions then slaughtered and processed for our consumption - sad and gross.
I watched documentaries and read books about the health benefits of eating vegetables, beans, whole grains and fruit. The participants in their dietary studies all lost weight and had healthier LDL/HDL and glucose levels, got off much of the medication they were taking for high blood pressure and diabetes, had more energy, etc. I, of course, have gained 10 lbs but that has more to do with lack of activity, wanton eating during holiday vacation and my quest to make 'wine' a verb.
When I go to the grocery store I stock up on all sorts of vegetables and beans. During the week I'll chop a bunch up and roast them or make soup or salads - same veggies just prepared differently. It's actually been pretty easy and it's a lot less expensive to eat rice and beans instead of beef or chicken.
I start my soups by sauteeing onion and garlic in a stock pot. Then I cut up and add all the veggies I have laying around. Carrots, celery, spinach, brussel sprouts, peppers. I didn't add brocolli or cauliflower because of their strong tastes and they weren't what I was going for this week. In one soup I added potatoes. The other soup I added orzo pasta. Both were good but add different textures. I added white beans and black eyed peas to both soups. I added tomato sauce to the vegetable orzo soup for a different flavor.
I make my soup with Chicken Stock because I hate Vegetable Stock. I could never go completely vegan because there are just certain things I don't want to compromise or give up. There are also certain flavors that can't be duplicated - like Feta Cheese.
As far as seasoning, I keep it pretty basic with salt, pepper, basil, parsley, oregano, etc.
Both pots of soup were gone within a day or two. We all loved them. They were healthy, flavorful, full of fiber and pretty easy to make.
Yesterday I made a vegetable red sauce. I started by sauteing an onion with garlic. I added celery, carrots, spinach, parsley, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and lentils. Then I added 'Little Italy' spaghetti sauce, I like the taste and it has less sugar than most other brands. I also added some stewed tomatoes because I had opened the can and needed to use them. The one thing I didn't add but wish I did because it would have really added to the flavor of the sauce is roasted red peppers. Next time.
I heated all the sauce ingredients for about an hour, let it cool for a bit then blended it in the Ninja for a few seconds to combine it all into a smooth sauce. Pour it over roasted spaghetti squash and you've got a really tasty, high fiber, low calorie vegan meal.
Be well My Friends!