Well folks, my month-long ambition of being vegetarian has come to a close. It was a pretty decent month, truth be told. I didn’t crave meat at any point, I didn’t absolutely need to have bacon, or pulled pork, or a nice juicy steak. I don’t necessarily miss any of it either, but it will be nice to know that I’ll be able to have it again. Especially when going out to restaurants with friends. A lot of places really don’t have much of a vegetarian selection. I wouldn’t say that I accomplished everything I set out to do in the month, but I didn’t do terribly either. I did try some new recipes, some of which I will continue to make afterwards. The “wanting to get healthier” reason I think stands true. I’m sure my “vegetarianism” isn’t the cause for my recent decision to do the Couch-to-5K program, but maybe it helped a little. I definitely did do more cooking in this month than I have in other months, and I actually enjoyed myself, so that’s definitely a huge step forward. I didn’t do all that much cooking with the roommate, but it’s nice to know that I won’t shy away from her vegetarian or vegan recipes and we will still cook together as the days progress. (We’re actually set to make bean chili on Thursday.) So all in all, I think it was a success.
My boyfriend is certainly glad the month is over. He leans more on the carnivorous side of food than most, but he did well when we had meals together. He doesn’t like soup normally, but even he admitted to liking this soup! I just know he’s looking forward to making sheppard’s pie, and I know I’m looking forward to macaroni & hamburg. From what I’ve been told by others who were vegetarian then went back to the dark side, starting with dark meat is a bad idea. So, just to be safe, I’ll go with chicken. Although I do kind of want to see if my body actually would have a strong reaction, I don’t want to feel like crap for the rest of the evening.
I do want to share with you this soup recipe I found on Pinterest though. I got the recipe through More Fruit Please and it turned out great! I have two words of advice though- don’t pack the shredded cheddar very tightly. I did- because, who doesn’t love cheese?- but you really don’t need to. Mine turned out really, really cheesy and the lightly packed 1 cup would have sufficed. Also, make sure you blend it well. Because I had so much cheese, this made blending a little harder (I used a hand-held blender. Maybe a food processor wouldn’t cause this issue.) The cheese didn’t blend completely, so it wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked. Otherwise, it tasted fabulous! And this was my very first soup! I look forward to making this Laksa in the future (Laksa; a Malaysian, coconut milk based curry soup.)
Tomato, Basil, and Cheddar Soup
- 2 28-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup basil, chopped, loosely packed
- 2 tsp of oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a large pot. Add the chopped onion and allow to cook until tender, about three to four minutes. Add in chopped garlic and cook for an additional two minutes. Pour in the two cans of tomatoes (juice and all) and the vegetable stock. Stir in the basil, oregano, sugar, and salt and pepper. Place the lid back onto the pot and allow to simmer ten minutes. At the end, stir in the Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese until well blended. Use either an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup if you prefer a smooth texture. Garnish with chopped basil and grated cheddar cheese if desired.