As a food blogger, recipe developer, and chef, my life revolves around food, whether I'm talking about it, cooking it, or simply eating it. But until embarking on this vegan journey aboard the Holistic Holiday at Sea, I hadn't really thought a great deal about how the food I consume affects my health. Sure, I've thought about how it could increase my waistline; however, perhaps because I'm in my mid-20's now, the long-term heath effects of my diet had never really taken center-stage.
Until today, when Christina Pirello, author of I'm Mad as Hell and I'm Not Going to Eat It Anymore, said something in the middle of her cooking class, "The 5 Essentials of Health," that really stuck with me. While cooking up her Red Lentil Soup with Corn (recipe below!), Christina said, "Eat, eat as if your life depends on it—because it does."
Later on, after an amazing lunch of chili, cornbread, a sunflower seed burger, and blueberry kanten for dessert, my sister, Erika, and I made our way to the pool deck for a little sun before our next activity. After baking in the sun, and craving something cold and sweet, we eyed one of the non-vegan passengers as he walked by with an ice cream cone in hand. Temptation prevailed: my sister hopped up and announced she was making her way down to the Fro-Yo machine to get herself a treat. But, when she returned, instead of a cone in hand, she held a cold navel orange from the buffet. After sharing that orange, we were completely satisfied, not only with our afternoon treat, but also with our decision to stay on our vegan adventure. We were already putting Christina's words into action.
I hate to sign off, but I have to warm up my vocal chords for a little karaoke action!
Here's a recipe in a bottle from the high seas, courtesy of Christina Pirello!
Red Lentil Soup with Corn
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, diced
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 stalk celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 ripe tomatoes, diced, or 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup red lentils, rinsed well
4 cups spring or filtered water
1/2 cup organic corn kernals, fresh or frozen
1 bay leaf
2-3 green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal, for garnish
Place oil, garlic, and red onion in a soup pot over medium heat. When the onion begins to sizzle, add sea salt to taste and curry powder.
Saute 2-3 minutes, until onion is golden from the curry. Stir in celery, and saute 1 minute. Stir in carrot, and saute 1 minute. Add tomatoes and salt to taste. Stir in lentils, water, corn, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until lentils are soft, about 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove bay leaf, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Serve garnished with sliced green onions.
Join veg chef Janah Adickman on board The Holistic Holiday at Sea. Janah will be blogging daily as she tours the Caribbean while enjoying a totally vegan menu and soaking up knowledge and inspiration from a fleet of veg experts.