Vegan Inspiration and a Thanksgiving Recipe from JCC Member Beth Brenner Rose
A few months ago, Beth Rose’s teenage son was cooking dinner to sharpen his culinary skills for the Maccabi ArtsFest. He needed a specific spice for his recipe, and Beth brought him to an Asian supermarket to look for it. She passed a container of live crabs, and as she watched a woman choose one and stuff it in a brown paper bag, Beth made the decision to embrace a vegan lifestyle.
Beth did not grow up with pets and does not consider herself to be a big animal activist, but she feels that if she can get everything she needs from plant-based products, there is no reason for her not to be vegan.
Although her husband and kids are not vegan, her husband completely supports her decision. Beth feels that as her children get older, they are entitled to make their own choices about living a vegan lifestyle. She will cook non-vegan dishes for her family, but if there’s a vegan meal on the menu for dinner, everyone enjoys it.
Beth became a JCC member seven years ago when her younger son joined the 2’s class at the preschool. She already lives an extremely healthy lifestyle – she works out every day and has been off of dairy for decades (she also seldom ate red meat, but enjoyed fish, chicken and turkey). Beth has worked out most recently with Sean Shuman, a trainer at the J’s Owings Mills fitness center who is also a strict vegan. Since starting her vegan diet, she feels healthier and more energetic than ever.
Beth’s strongest advice to people considering a vegan lifestyle is to understand how easy it is to find vegan options. Most restaurants have great vegan dishes, and the internet is an excellent resource for vegan recipes. You also have the opportunity to eat a great selection of beans and seeds and it’s wonderful to know what sources of food provide what needed nutrients.
“It’s also easy to eat vegan, Beth says, “it takes less time to grab an apple or some cucumbers and hummus or a handful of raw almonds than it does to grill a steak.”
“You’re eating what comes from the earth – there won’t be any shortages,” she points out.
“This Thanksgiving, Beth’s mom will prepare her traditional stuffed turkey, but Beth, her brother and sister-in-law (who are also both vegan), will be enjoying a vegan dinner…including this stuffing.”
“It’s a kind way to live,” she says, “and we can all use a little kindness.”
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 45 mins
1 large loaf wholegrain bread or 2 small baguettes, cubed & set out to dry overnight (~9 cups loosely packed)
¾ cup uncooked green lentils
3 Tbsp olive oil or vegan butter
½ cup white onions, diced
¾ cup celery, diced
salt & pepper
3 – 3½ cups vegetable broth (+ more for cooking lentils)
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water)
3/4 tsp dried sage, or 1 ¼ tsp fresh sage, chopped
Taken from The Minimalist Baker