By Molly Patrick
Apr 21, 2015,
Are faux meats good for you? In order to talk about faux meat (vegan versions of meat) we have to first talk about something that I call the Healthy Eating Threshold.
Let’s look at Ken. Ken eats nothing but whole plant foods. Everything he eats is grown in a one mile radius from his yurt, he constantly smells like patchouli mixed with sweat (even after a shower), he doesn’t eat sugar, never wears shoes, sweats chia seeds, and won’t touch anything processed (something about “big brother”).
Okay, do you have Ken pictured in your mind, just hanging out slicing an apple with his pocketknife and smiling as he pops each slice into his hippie mouth?
Now let’s take a looksy at Julie. Julie is a chick who won’t eat a vegetable to save her life, needs meat with each meal or she doesn’t consider it a meal, she drinks soda like the Kardashians drink social media, and she’s convinced that Pop Tarts are in the fruit category.
Let’s go back to Ken. It would be hard for Ken to eat healthier than he already does, and a crappy eating day for him only means that he forgot to drink his wheatgrass shot because he accidentally meditated for too long.
It’s a different story for Julie. Julie has lots of room for improvement. If she even swapped out one of her McDonald’s burgers for a veggie burger just a few times a week it would be a great start. And a crappy eating day for Julie might mean she skipped breakfast, ate a Snickers bar for lunch and had cheese fries for dinner.
So, Ken’s Healthy Eating Threshold is quite high and Julie’s Healthy Eating Threshold is on the lower end of the spectrum.
Here’s the thing.
Each one of us has a Healthy Eating Threshold, and it’s as unique as how we choose to groom our pubic hair (or not if you’re Ken’s woman).
Faux meats aren’t good and they aren’t bad. They simply play a role when people who have a lower Healthy Eating Threshold want to get healthier.
For Julie, who’s just been told by her doctor that she needs to get her cholesterol and blood pressure down and that she has pre-diabetes, a meaty, teeth sinking, satisfying vegan burger is a godsend.
For Ken, he doesn’t need it. Good for him.
But we aren’t all Kens (thank God). If people find comfort in eating faux meats and they help with eating less animal based foods, then awesome. As the Healthy Eating Threshold gets higher, the less necessary faux meats become because the diet will become more nutrient dense and less calorie dense.
There’s no shame in eating a vegan turkey on rye in an effort to get healthier. We all learned to crawl before we got our ass up on two legs and booked it.
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 5 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger 12g
- 4 cups sweet potato 475g, chopped
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 3 cups water 709ml
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder 3g
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chili powder 3g
- 1 teaspoon sea salt 6g
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk 235ml
- Heat large pot over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Add a tad bit of water if things start to stick to the pan.
- Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, water, cumin powder, cinnamon, chili powder, sea salt and stir.
- Place a lid on the pot and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally seeing that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- After 20 minutes, take off the lid, turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Blend the soup in batches along with the coconut milk until all the soup is creamy and smooth.
- Garnish with cilantro.
I hope you have an endearing week. May it be filled with compassion, grace and taking zero bullshit.
clean food dirty girl, healthy vegan recipes, meatless monday, vegan recipes, vegan soup, whole food plant based recipes
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Thank you for not being a rabid anti-fake meat extremist. I found you while scouring the internet for info and recipes to be supportive for my vegetarian-starting-to-lean-vegan daughter. she grew up, and I was raised, in a meat heavy Coastal Texas Southern food culture. I tried going WFPB last fall after my mom died, thinking it would make me feel better, but I was just too depressed and the detox made me crazy angry. The books and cookbooks, and the documentaries I researched were all full of good info, but so extreme and preachy, and overwhelming in complexity. And boring. You can only combine kale and some kind of bean and whole grain so many ways. And my efforts with tofu were… miserable failures. I am gearing up again, and as an Ash Amberige Middle Finger Project fan, your site has been a breath of fresh air. I have been bookmarking websites and recipes like mad, but your posts made me laugh and lighten up about making those healthy changes gradually, rather than the banzai approach that failed. And your recipes are interesting, especially the idea of baking tofu. I have signed up for your Saturday newsletters and look forward to them. Sorry for the length of this, but you rocked what had become a numbing project.
I’m so happy you took the time to say hello and to tell us a bit of your story – thank you. I was sick of boring healthy food websites / blogs so I did something about it. Healthy food should never be boring, bland, all or nothing at all, overwhelming, preachy or meh.
Keep up the great work and please email me if you have any questions.
This soup is a huge hit with my family! My mom loves creamy tomato soup, so the coconut milk really adds that creamy taste/texture without having to add any dairy. I’ve made this three times in the last two weeks..
Thanks so much!
Hey Sian –
I’m so glad it’s a hit!
Thank you for your awesome common (not so common) sense! Beautiful article. And this soup looks incredible!
You are a great trip! So happy I found you. Thanks for making my day! BIll in Scottsdale Arizona
Super happy that Molly’s humor and wit resonated with you. Thanks for stopping by and letting us know!
Team Dirty Girl
Well said! I’m not Ken but not a Julie either and have looked down on faux meats. Guess I should be a little more understanding.
This is delicious! I used 2 pounds of roma tomatoes since my plant is going crazy right now and I needed to use them up. And my husband is not a fan of sweet potatoes, and he loved this soup. It’s a keeper for sure!
I’m so glad this was a hit!
Thank you for sharing.
I made this for my friend who was doing a 3-day animal free cleanse and she said it was probably the best soup she has ever had in her whole life!! I made this blind bcuz I had all the ingredients but felt safe doing so bcuz it was Molly’s recipe. If you haven’t tried her weekly meal-preps yet, your missing out!!