I have this amazing friend and honorary sister. She challenges me with things she's learned from talented authors who inspire her. One of the things she asks me is, "Which choice feels like freedom?" People ask me sometimes why our family makes this choice every day to live this vegan lifestyle. I know they have our best interests at heart. They worry about our health, or our kids being outcasts because they don't eat the cake at the party. For us this is what makes sense, because in the words of my Spiral Diner t-shirt, it "taste(s) like freedom."
There are also benefits that we don't see much in our lives. A simple Google search will turn up plenty of facts and figures, as well as emotional stories. For us, we started reducing red meat for our health. It snowballed from there. The more we researched and learned, the better we felt about going plant-based. Everyone has their own journey, and it doesn't need to match ours. People need to search for what works for them. For us, this is our peace.
Just in case anyone is tempted to pity us about what we're doing without, consider for a moment what we have gained:
This simple soup had my kids going back for more. It has a mild spice, which they liked. I added more heat to my own bowl. It's inspired by Tom Kha, but I never have lemongrass on hand! Instead, I used basic ingredients that are often found in our house. Enjoy!
Thai Inspired Soup
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T grated fresh ginger
3 sliced carrots
8 oz chopped mushrooms (I used crimini)
6 c water
2 T veggie broth powder
1/4 c tamari
1/2 T garlic chili sauce
handful of fresh or frozen peas
1 bunch of chopped fresh spinach
1 tomato, sliced into wedges
1 can coconut milk
1/2 package brown rice noodles
Make a large pot nonstick by heating it over medium high heat. Add salt to lightly cover the bottom and heat for a minute. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom and heat for another minute. Then add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir occasionally. When that mixture softens, add the carrots and mushrooms. Continue to cook it all down, lowering the heat if necessary. Then add the water, broth powder, tamari, chili sauce and peas. Bring to a boil. Add the spinach, tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and then add the noodles. Cook according to noodle package directions, from 3-10 minutes longer. Serve!
Serves 6. Prep time: 30-45 minutes.