The Importance of Being a Positive Example

As much as I would love for everyone to go vegan, I know that most people need to come into veganism on their own time. You can explain the horrors of factory farming, you can explain the environmental benefits, and you can explain the health benefits but I've found that the most effective way to attract people is by being a positive influence. Yes, I do think it’s important for people to be aware of all of these issues at some point in their quest to learn about veganism. But when they see someone who is a positive example of how easy the lifestyle can be, they are much more inclined to learn more about it. Lately I’ve noticed my coworkers around me becoming a lot more active in their pursuit of healthiness and they are coming to me for help! Just the other day, my coworker/good friend/work out partner told me that she is interested in going vegan, and she came to me for advice. Right now she’s starting to ease into it, but she even signed up for a vegan cooking class. At the moment, she’s taking it one step at a time and I told her that’s totally fine! Brady and I started out by doing vegan meals a few times a week and worked our way towards total veganism. Once we realized how easy it was to stay vegan, we didn't even miss the stuff we once thought we would. Now, knowing what we do about the animals, we would never go back. For her to try to be vegan for any amount of time is great because to me, any reduction in animal suffering is better than none at all. Sometimes I get frustrated knowing that there is still suffering going on, but then I remember good things like this and it just pushes me to become an even better role model.

As proof of how easy vegan meals can be, I give you tonight’s recipe which was concocted out of ingredients from last week’s CSA.

1 spaghetti squash
2 c broccoli (or more to your liking), chopped (I use the stems as well)
1 large bunch of kale, chopped into bite size pieces
3 small shallots
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 14.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 tsp olive oil, plus more for brushing the squash
Nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 375. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush each half generously with olive oil and place rind side down on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. Once done, set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, saute the shallots in 2 tsp of olive oil until soft. Once softened, add the garlic, basil and oregano and saute for another minute. Toss in the broccoli and cover with a lid. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally if necessary. Add the kale and saute until wilted down, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes along with the can of crushed tomatoes, and allow to heat through. By this point, the squash should be cool enough to handle. Use a fork to pull through the squash and create spaghetti like strands. Once this is complete, add into the sauté pan and heat through. Serve at once, and sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top.