Split Pea Awesomeness
I love cooking. It’s a point of personal pride that I’m a full time working mom who cooks healthy dinners 5-6 nights a week. I like putting home cooked food in front of my kids and seeing them enjoy vegetables like kale and zucchini. It’s easy to feel like a mom-fail on just about any other subject, but on this point I feel pretty good.
About 7 months ago I decided to go vegetarian. It was primarily for my own health but it’s had a good impact on my family. Obviously it’s possible to eat meat and be healthy, but I found removing the option made me commit more firmly to well balanced, vegetable-heavy meals. With meat on the menu it was easy to dump some potato or pasta on the plate. Without meat I try harder.
The idea that kids need meat in order to get enough protein to grow is a fallacy. My kids naturally tend to reject meat, picking around it or even spitting it out. I found myself pushing meat on them and trying to conceal it with filler foods like cheese and starch. Which meant they were just eating the filler. So now I don’t offer meat, I offer healthy non-meat protein sources and lots of veggies. And whaddya know, my picky eaters are eating.
The commitment is this: eat more vegetables and whole grains. Skip the meat and don’t fill its place with pasta or dairy. The result has been a dramatically healthier nightly menu.
Tonight I made Split Pea and Barley Soup from scratch. The recipe is from my favorite cookbook, a total jackpot of vegetarian recipes found at the bottom of a heap at our local used book store. It’s called Simple Vegetarian Pleasures and every recipe so far has been a home run.