Sunday, September 14, 2014

Vegan Vegetable Dumpling Soup

The cool, crisp, fall weather has come to Iowa, early.  Too early, even for me, and I love the cold winters that come raging into the state around November.  I would like to enjoy fall for longer than a month, and I don't know if that is going to happen this year!  They are talking snow in October already!

With our windows open in the house, the brisk air rushing in, I had an instant desire to have comfort food; chicken and dumplings.  I could smell them simmering on the stove, hear the bubbling of the broth, feel the steam on my face when I lifted the lid to check the little dumplings.  I had to make some, now.  The "problem", as many of you know, is that I became a vegetarian a year ago HIP HIP HORRAY!  and almost completely vegan 10 months ago.  It has been the most amazing journey and I have loved every minute of it, but how was I going to make a chicken and dumpling soup, vegan?  The first place I looked to find a recipe for vegan chicken and dumplings, was Pinterest.  I found many recipes that sounded delicious, mouth watering, the problem was that most of them called for fake chicken.  I try to eat as "clean" or "natural" as possible and fake chicken just does not sound healthy, too processed, so I did what I do best, throw off all my inhibitions and see what happens…i.e. start throwing things in the pot and pray that it is edible!  

The base of the soup was easily vegan/vegetarian.  Find some vegan "chicken" stock or use Better Than Bouillon to make your base, add  handfuls of vegetables and simmer away!  I made the dumplings with almond milk and gluten free flour, talk about fluffy!  They melted in your mouth!  Add some of your favorite herbs to the dish and what do you have?  One happy full family!

For my meat eating husband and son, I cooked some chicken thighs, cut them up, put them in the bottom of their soup bowl, then added the vegetable dumpling soup on top!  They got all the benefits of the vegetables as an added bonus!  This recipe makes a huge pot, and leftovers, such as this, are always better the next day.  My son asked for it today!  HE LOVED IT!

In my year as a vegetarian/vegan I have learned a few things; you do NOT have to give up your favorite foods!  It might take a few extra attempts to make something to your liking, but you can do it!  If you live in a "blended family" like ours (one person vegan, the others not) you can still cook for your whole family!  Just do what I did, make the main dish something you can all eat, then add meat to their part.  Almost everything I have made in the last year can be altered to the vegans benefit so everyone is satisfied.   (Plus, making the main dish plant based, everyone gets their daily amount of veggies:) Not all "vegan" food is healthy.  Be careful!  Vegan food can still be highly processed, such as the vegan chicken that many recipes called for.  Just go with out that highly processed "food stuff".  Your body will thank you!   Most of all, enjoy life!  Enjoy food!

Vegetable Dumpling Soup.   Enjoy.

Printable Recipe HERE

Happy Eating!!!!!!


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