Just in time for Thanksgiving, cookbook author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has released the 30-Day Vegan Challenge to help you craft a compassionate dinner spread with healthy recipes that are 100 percent animal free. Think creamy leek polenta, spicy red bell pepper soup and lemon poppy seed muffins to stuff your family the healthy, compassionate way.
In addition, Colleen’s 30-Day Challenge includes an easy-to-follow multimedia guide on how to go vegan one day at a time. It also includes a video (shared above) filled with foodie tips for Thanksgiving and other holidays where she touches on hard-to-tackle issues like what to serve as a vegan main dish.
“When we talk about vegan food, we’re talking about food we’re already familiar with,” says Colleen. “We need to take it out to of the box called ‘vegan’ and it will become familiar again.”
Colleen argues that there is no contradiction between eating compassionately and honoring our family traditions. “When it comes to Thanksgiving being attached to the symbol of turkeys, we risk losing the true meaning of this holiday: Community and gratitude, family and friends, and the abundance of the fall harvest.” Colleen said it so well and we couldn’t agree more.
With the challenge, Colleen hopes to present a Thanksgiving marked with “beauty, compassion and abundance.” Some of the tips she shares in transitioning to an animal-free holiday are finding things that can be stuffed like stuffed acorn squash; including special, individual items such as a vegetable pot pies; and including something “meaty” like marinated portobello mushrooms.
To make these simple swaps, Colleen includes some great ingredient substitution ideas such as plant based milk instead of dairy milk to avoid lactose and saturated fat, and non-dairy butter like Earth Balance instead of real butter. On the next page is an example of one of the delicious recipes you’ll find inside the 30-Day Vegan Challenge.
Spicy Red Bell Pepper Soup
From Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s 30 Day Vegan Challenge
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin
- olive oil, non-dairy butter, or water for sautéing
- 4 red bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ to 1 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 cups raw cashews
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil, non-dairy butter, or water in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the bell peppers, carrots, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir in the vegetables until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the cashews to a blender (high-powered is best), and blend on high power. Add about 1/4 to 3/4 cup of the broth from the soup and continue to blend until you had a thick cashew cream. When you do, add the rest of the soup contents to the blender, and blend until smooth. Test for seasoning, and add more salt if needed, as well as pepper. Blend again, and then return to the soup pot to heat up. Serve hot.
Mmm, sounds delicious. Beyond just making Thanksgiving healthier and more compassionate, Colleen also hopes to share the message of veganism to inspire others to achieve a lifestyle that’s better for your body, animals, and the planet.
“I know people change; I see it every day. I know every question people have during the transition because I’ve heard them all and I’ve been there myself,” she said. “I know this program will transform people, and I’m here to hold their hand through the transition process.”
So whether you just need a little help putting together your Thanksgiving meal or you’re considering veganism as a lifestyle, check out Colleen’s 30 Day Vegan Challenge by visiting the30dayveganchallenge.com, where you’ll find all the resources you need to get started.
by Dana Shultz for Diets In Review