April 10th 2013
Well I am venturing into the unknown for me, VEGAN! I do cook some vegetarian dishes on meatless Mondays, but by most accounts I don't cook vegan. Lately, I've been researching dairy and have cut most of it out of my diet (I am struggling with cheese and yogurt!) and I have noticed I feel better since avoiding milk, and Ice Cream, and going for non dairy options. The first story I remember hearing as a kid (and basically bi-monthly my entire life) was how as a baby I had a milk allergy, and my mom couldn't feed me formula(she thinks nursing is for the clinically insane, she is a rather busty gal and found it impossible) or soy so I had to be on raw goats milk....she said I screamed for three months straight until she found the goat's milk and honestly I found other things to scream about since then...haha, I do think that the American diet is too rich in dairy food, and that exploring non-animal calcium sources(almond milk is amazingly high in calcium) is something we all should do not only for health reasons but sustainibility, not meaning you stop dairy all together, but just reduce the amount.
10 cups veg stock or water or both or add some tomato juice, basically 10 cups of liquid that is tasty
1 cup pearl barley
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms, you will notice I use these often to get a rich "meaty" taste
1 cup red lentils
1 large or two small potatoes I have russets I need to use up so that is what I'm using, they break up more in the soup so if you prefer you can use a waxier potato like yukon gold.
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
3 small roma tomatoes peeled and diced
1 Tbsp or to taste good salt free curry powder
1 jalepeno diced (I took out the ribs and seeds in mine, I have lil ones to feed)
a few sprig dried thyme, some flat leaf parsley and some thai basil, these are added at the end...mix and match what you have on hand.
2 Tablespoons soy
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
In a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot cover your dried barley with water and add dried porcini bring to a boil and set aside. Prep all your veggies, add the lentils to the barley and cover with water, bring to a boil again then reduce to low and add stock, veggies, curry, and thyme. Simmer till lentils are nearly dissolved, add soy and vinegar. I finish mine with a drizzle of good olive oil, cracked pepper and crusty bread. Seriously delicious!