LIke most plant-based eaters I am surrounded by family and friends that eat meat. I firmly belive that attraction rather than promotion works so rather than forcing my belief systems down someones throat I just live my life eating plant-based foods, writing about the plant-based lifestyle and basically letting people know that if they want to eat meat it’s their choice. Free will is amazing it gives us all the right to make our own choices, and live our life to the best of our ability. So on occasion I cook meat for people in my life.
Today for example I am making a crock pot Korean Beef dish for Tom. Tom like a lot of men is a diehard meat-eater, he has several times asked me to assure him that I will not try to change his eating. Meat can be tied into a mans sense of power and ego and for me I am not about to enter that path. So, since I generally cook dinner for him on Friday nights as it’s the first week night we can spend time together, I look for and plan a dinner that combines meat and vegan foods. That way we can both enjoy our meals, he gets a taste of my world and I honour his right to make choices. I do have to admit though that the longer I am a vegan the less I like to handle meat. This morning I was cutting stewing beef into thinner pieces and it was very clear that this was the flesh of a living thing. Who knows, maybe one day I won’t be able to touch meat but for now I do.
Recently I had an experience around meat that surprised me, I was at a church function and about halfway through the event, someone started to heat up the chicken wings and meatballs, the smell was nauseating to me. There was a potluck buffet and it was full of meat balls, wings, meat and cheese platters. I finally found some humus and fruit and enjoyed a light snack. I was standing talking to a guy and while we were talking he was eating chicken wings and sucking on the bones, pulling them out of his mouth and so forth. In that moment it all seemed surreal standing around in a blanket of meat smell, watching people pull bones out of their mouthes.
I find these experiences interesting because I gave up animal products for energy and nutritional health and now find myself becoming more compassionate around the animal rights side of plant-based eating. It’s like I am being gently led to a deeper place that is more loving. I have found in my life that as I open myself up to the presence of divine energy i become more and more peaceful and find new ways to practice Ahimsa, which is a the first of the 8 limbs of yoga. Ahimsa loosely translates as non violence, as I become a more conscious person I become more aware of ways i create violence, to other beings. Whether those beings are human, animal or the environment. As I grow I look back and see how self-centered I have been but I also see how most of the harm i have done has been unconscious through not knowing. Awareness creates a whole new freedom and understanding of the interconnection of all beings.
While I write this I have Tom’s dish in the crock pot and I am soaking Chick Peas for the following Chana Masala recipes, again an Oh She Glows recipe, that I love. I am also making some vegan udon noodles which I love. Several years ago I bought a huge bag of dried chick peas thinking it would be healthier to cook them from scrathc. The bag sat uponed until this morning, but I am cooking a large batch of chick peas and will freeze some for later. Cooking them myself will eliminate the high sodium content of most canned beans.
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) coconut oil or olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons (7 mL) cumin seeds
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 green serrano chile pepper, seeded, if preferred, and minced
- 1½ teaspoons (7 mL) garam masala
- 1½ teaspoons (7 mL) ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon (2 mL) ground turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon (4 mL) fine-grain sea salt, plus more as needed
- ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 (28-ounce/793-g) can whole peeled or diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 1 (28-ounce/793-g) can chickpeas, or 3 cups (750 mL) cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup (250 mL) dry/uncooked basmati rice, for serving
- Fresh lemon juice, for serving
- Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
- In a large wok or saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. When a drop of water sizzles upon hitting the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cumin seeds. Stir and toast the seeds for a minute or two until golden and fragrant, watching carefully to avoid burning.
- Raise the heat to medium and stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, and serrano. Cook for a few minutes or so, then stir in the garam masala, coriander, turmeric, salt, and cayenne (if using), and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Add the whole peeled tomatoes and their juices and break them apart with a wooden spoon (skip if using diced tomatoes). You can leave some chunks of tomato for texture.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and add the chickpeas. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or longer to allow the flavors to develop.
- Serve over cooked basmati rice, if desired, and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some chopped cilantro just before serving.
For a grain-free option, serve the chana masala atop a baked potato.
.THis recipe comes from a blog I found this mornign, while “googling” vegan udon noodle recipes. http://simpleveganblog.com/
I have yet to explore this blog but will spend some time later today, I have printed off a zuchinni noodle with Avacado sauce rceip I will try this weeki.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup julienned onion (100 g)
- 1 cup julienned red pepper (100 g)
- 1 cup julienned green pepper (100 g)
- 1 cup julienned carrot (100 g)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 4 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- ¼ cup water (65 ml)
- 10.6 ounces Udon noodles (300 g)
- Heat the oil in a wok, add the veggies, the ground ginger, 2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce and the water. Cook for 5 minutes over high heat or until veggies are ready. You can add more water or tamari if you want.
- Cook Udon noodles according to package directions. I boiled them for 5 minutes. Drain the noodles.
- Add the noodles and 2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes more.