If I had a dime for every time I was asked why I stopped eating meat, I'd be laying on a beach somewhere in Bora Bora drinking no-added sugar piña coladas.
I kid, I kid! The thought of leaving you lovelies makes my stomach queasy. But in all seriousness, I do get asked that question quite often. The truth is that I grew up eating meat and continued to do so until I was a sophomore in college. I always enjoyed meat and I especially loved seafood. My parents cooked us great meals growing up, but I wasn't raised on lentils and green smoothies by any means.
My transition to a plant-based diet (I way prefer that term to any other...must we all label ourselves?) was due to a combination of reading Skinny Bitch, watching Forks Over Knives, hearing Dr. Pam Popper speak in person, and traveling to Israel. Within a month, I was completely inspired and beyond thrilled to leave meat behind. I didn't want it to be trend. I wanted it to be my lifestyle.
From then on, it was.
I remember going to Hilton Head with my best friends from high school and reading Skinny Bitch on the beach one afternoon. I finished it, explained to them how crazy enlightening it was, and then proceeded to tell them (and I quote), "I mean I'd still never be a vegetarian." Ha!
After spending ten days in the holy land with an inspiring new vegan friend, my life as I knew it was forever changed. Changing your diet may not sound super dramatic, but this transition was what fueled my interest in food blogs, my passion for cooking healthy food, and my dedication to this very blog. I can say with confidence that if I hadn't been so deeply inspired by everything I read on the health implications of eating a diet high in animal protein, Hummusapien wouldn't exist.
I'd probably think vegans only ate apples and lettuce. I'd think tempeh was a city in Arizona.
And look at me now, a lentil-loving, veggie-obsessed hippie of some sorts. I honestly never in a million years thought I'd be a vegetarian (yes, I eat fish occasionally...don't kill me) and now I can't imagine my life any other way. I was vegan in 2010 when it all started before slowly adding back in eggs, seafood occasionally, and dairy socially. I love me some Jeni's ice cream!
Some days I eat completely vegan. Some days I eat pizza. But no matter what day it is, I rest assured knowing that I'm fueling my body with real, wholesome foods each day. I don't run around trying to convert people, but if you're ever eager to learn how to adopt a more whole foods, plant-based diet, you know I'm an open book!
I'm not gonna get on my soap box and preach about the holiness of plant-based diets, but know that eating a diet heavy in plants and light in animal foods is the single best way to prevent the chronic diseases that plague this generation. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, you name it. Eat more plants!
So where does this recipe come in exactly? Well, my dear old dad (no dad, you're not old) used to make us this amazing corn and wild rice soup with smoked sausage that my family and I all adored. I'll admit that the sausage added a great smoky flavor, but this meatless version is just as delicious. Blending the corn with the broth creates this amazingly decadent broth sans cream or butter. Nutritional yeast adds an awesome cheesy flavor, not to mention a hefty dose of protein and energizing B vitamins. You can find it at Kroger, Whole Foods, and in the bulk bins of natural food stores. I don't advise leaving it out, people.
Cheers to sausageless soup, fond family memories, and kicking chronic disease in the butt!Print
A creamy, hearty chowder loaded with veggies. You'd never guess it was vegan!
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 4 oz dry wild rice (about ½ cup + 2 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 cups sliced bell peppers (I used frozen)
- 1 lb + 1 cup frozen corn, cooked in microwave or on stove
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- In medium pot, bring 2 ½ cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Once boiling, add wild rice and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes or until rice is tender. (The broth will not all be absorbed.)
- In a dutch oven or large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and sautee for 7 minutes. Add garlic and peppers and satutee for another two minutes.
- In a blender or food processor, blend 1 lb of corn with 1 cup vegetable broth until smooth. You may need to do this in two batches.
- Add pureed corn, additional cup of whole corn, remaining 2 ½ cups of vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and cooked wild rice. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Stir in almond milk and season with salt and pepper to taste.