by Lisa DeRosa
Today, October 1st, is World Vegetarian Day. While I cannot claim to be vegetarian myself, I tend to cook more vegetarian dishes than meat-based dishes at home on a regular basis. There are a few reasons why this is the case. Since I still consider myself to be newly married (3.5 years counts, right?!), and with our budget being on the tighter side, I try to be frugal with the 20-21 meals we are eating at home each week. To be honest, it’s challenging! But I am blessed that my husband loves vegetables and is not a picky eater; he would be content to eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, or dinner for several weeks in a row. I am NOT like that. I need variety! Excitement! A change in flavor about every three days… So you can imagine the difficulty I place on myself when meal planning. The key that I have found to livening up vegetables is the seasoning. We make a blend of spices that we use on basically everything from tacos, grilled veggies, eggs and potatoes… you name it. Having a few of your favorite spices on hand can make all the difference.
Because of the amazing garden around us, it doesn’t take much to be truly inspired from the vegetables and fruits grown right outside. I am very new to gardening but can attest to the wonderful teacher and gardener that Christine is! This year at the Mustard Seed House, we are experiencing a plethora of delicious garden produce! The tomatoes, squash, beans, potatoes, garlic, onions, kale, and the list goes on, have been a huge blessing to us and our household. God has provided a bountiful harvest in the midst of a truly hectic year. My level of gratitude for an heirloom tomato, fresh off the plant, has soared. It has taken almost two years, but I can recognize what plant the sprouts in the garden will grow into without a label! I even helped my housemate build the potato tower to grow the potatoes in this year and each potato tastes better than anything I could purchase from a store! Putting together meals with these fresh ingredients coaxes me to make tasty plant-based food.
These days, the research is out there about how over-consumption of meat is harmful to our bodies, the environment, and, obviously, the animal that is killed to provide the meat. So in the heart of choosing self-care and care for creation, would you consider eating one meal today that does not contain meat? Could you challenge yourself further to go all day without meat? (Please make sure you incorporate plant proteins like beans, lentils, nuts, or soy throughout your day!) If you need some ideas for recipes, check out some of my favorites that Christine provides below:
- Tomato, basil, eggplant and mozzarella cheese salad
- Curried Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
- Walk Through the Garden Soup
- Cooking with Quinoa
- Other recipes on the Hospitality page
Check out this video about a 100% vegetarian market in Vancouver. My mouth is watering just watching!
Photo of produce above: © Christine Sine.