My husband, son, and I are a blended family. I am not talking about previously married or divorced-and-remarried kind of family; we are a food-blended family of meat-eaters and a vegetarian.
My husband and 15-year-old son are “meat and potato” kind of guys! My son, Zeke, is an all-American boy; football, wrestling, working out, dirt bike riding, shooting team–you get the picture–and he wants his protein-rich meat to eat every night. I, on the other hand, am a plant based mama, and proud of it.
I have been on a plant-based diet for over a year, and love it. I have learned that it is okay to be different, to eat what I like and not give into the pressures of people around me. I feel healthiest when I eat this way, and I want people to understand how they too can be healthy.
Knowing that my guys eat meat, people often ask, “Do you cook separate meals?” Or they say, “I bet it takes you forever to figure out what you’re going to make,” or “Isn’t your grocery bill high?” The answer is that I take the time to plan, I make sure that meals are nutrient-dense for all of us, and I make everyone HAPPY! We do have Meatless Mondays and meatless meals a couple more times during the week.
Since I do the cooking in the family, we eat what I serve, and the guys are okay with it. Sometimes they’re a little unsure about a dish, then they try it and are usually stupefied at how good it actually tastes. I want suppertime to be easy. I work a full-time job, and making two meals every night–one for them and one for me–is not in the cards. To ease this period of my day I have adapted plant-based meals so that they are also meat-friendly. I can cook once and feed everyone!
I love Lo-Mein. I love Chinese food. I love noodles. Here is a simple recipe that can be made to please everyone–meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
- 8 ounces whole grain spaghetti
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces for stir-frying
- 8 ounces firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup red chopped bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 gloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups sugar snap peas
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Cook chicken and tofu separately, set aside.
- Heat oil in a large wok or sauté pan. Stir-fry the mushrooms, carrots, red and green peppers, onion, and garlic until tender. Stir in sugar snap peas and green onion, cook one minute. Mix cornstarch and vegetable broth in a small bowl and add to stir-fry. Stir in hoisin sauce, soy sauce, cayenne pepper and curry powder. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
- Place the cooked spaghetti on a plate, add chicken to the plates of the meat eaters then pour vegetables and sauce over the meat and noodles. Toss. Add sliced almonds if desired.
- Place the cooked spaghetti on a plate, add the browned tofu, and pour vegetables and sauce of the tofu and noodles. Toss. Add sliced almonds if desired.
Note: If you have any leftovers, store the noodles, vegetables and sauce together, tofu and meat separately. Leftovers are delicious the next day!