Friday, March 16, 2007

Thai Lentil Soup

Well, I blew it with the vegan thing on Wednesday. Tristan begged me to make eggplant parmesan so I did. My kids love it, especially with gooey mozarella cheese. Maybe I will have to go in search of a vegan style recipe for that.

We are big soup lovers in this family, and we also love Thai food, so I tried a thai soup that was fabulous! All vegan of course! I'm going to give you the recipe doubled, as most of the people (I think) that read my blogs have more than one or two members in their family. This recipe fed my family of five with only one bowl left over.........perfect! I made a few adjustments, as noted.


olive oil

1 large red onion (recipe calls for two without doubling but that was too much for me)

1 bird's eye chilli, seeded and finely sliced (couldn't find so I used a red jalepeno)

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 - 1 inch pieces of fresh lemon grass, outer layers removed and inside finely sliced (again, couldn't find at my local grocer so I used fresh ginger instead)

2 c. red lentils

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp paprika

2 cans coconut milk (I used the lite to save on some fat and calories)

7 cups water

juice of 1 or 2 limes

3 spring onions (scallions), chopped (I used an entire bunch of green onion, is that the same?)

1 cup fresh cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in large pot and add the onions, chilli, garlic and lemon grass (or ginger). Cook for 5 minutes or until onions have softened but not browned, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the lentils and spices. Pour in the coconut milk and water, stir. Bring to boil and let simmer for 40-45 minutes, until lentils are soft.

3. Pour in lime juice and add the spring onions and cilantro. Serve.

I served the soup with fresh rolls, very easy to make but a little time consuming. Thanks to Tristan who stood and rolled for 1/2 hour. You just take rice wraps and soak them in VERY warm water for about 20 seconds or so. I have a cast iron skillet on the stove with 1 inch water that I occasionally turn on to high to keep water really warm. If it is not warm enough it won't soften the rice wrap enough. Lay them down and place small piece of lettuce, little bit of rice, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, and cilantro. Roll like a tight burrito and serve with asian sauce of your choice. My sauce consists of about 1/2 red chilli sauce, 1/2 sweet seasoning (found in the asian section), and a little soy sauce. I know I had a lot of trouble finding the sweet seasoning down south so you might have to go to an asian grocer for that.

You can make fresh rolls with about any kind of vegetable. I usually use rice noodles instead of rice but I actually liked the rice better. I also usually use basil or mint, not cilantro but either one is good, just a slightly different taste.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

back to vegan

I didn't really blog on here much, didn't seem anyone was reading it and it seemed like every day was the same. I haven't felt quite as good since I went back to my dairy so I'm going to slowly ease off the dairy and move toward vegan full time.

The one thing I was having a really hard time with was the lack of cream in my coffee. I have discovered that I like the coffee black just fine so this week I am committing to black coffee in the morning and little to no cheese. I haven't been eating much cheese but I want to pretty much cut it out all together. Maybe a few times a year for a special occasion or something would be fine. I haven't really been too focused on whole/raw either and have been eating more of the processed soy products. So back to whole/raw, lots of veggies and whole grains.

Thanks to Cara, a fellow unschooler, who posted a really great blog site, I have gotten some GREAT vegan lunch ideas. If you want to check it out go to Jennifershmoos site, the author of a book called The Vegan Lunchbox.

The other thing that has changed is that I have been doing yoga 3-4 times a week. I feel GREAT in that respect. I'm feeling stronger and more in balance. I have also been walking at an indoor track, at least until the weather warms up and I can jog outdoors. I really want to treat my body better, physically. I have let that go since having three kids; not that my body looks bad, just that I'm not keeping it strong and balanced. I hike a lot in the summer and then do nothing in the winter.

So what I am going to do is try a new vegan recipe, at least a few times a week, and then share it with you on this blog. Maybe it will inspire more people to not eat dead animals because you will see how GOOD non-meat food can taste.