November is the month we remember those who fought and died to preserve our freedom. In their honour, this month’s menu harkens back to the Victory Garden or War Garden. Folks were encouraged to grow their own food to allay shortages and support the war effort. More produce grown in front yards meant more transport freed up to move food, soldiers and munitions to Canada’s allies overseas. A secondary benefit was how victory gardening boosted morale and brought communities together.
Traditional victory gardens included very nutrient-dense foods, such as the beans, peas and kale found in this menu, as well as Swiss chard, cabbage, squash and root veggies like beets, carrots and turnips that store well for winter consumption. Homeowners also kept hens for their eggs. And the U.S. Food Administration’s first campaign in WWI encouraged citizens to participate in Meatless Tuesdays and Wheatless Wednesdays in order to reserve more of these foods for the troops. So this menu is meatless and wheatless as well.
The title of the menu, Veg for Victory, has a double entendre. Because eating more whole, nutrient-dense plant foods is a winning strategy when it comes to coronavirus. Vegetables are full of anti-inflammatory and immune-supportive compounds. And filling up with veggies, rather than starchy carbs and highly processed foods, will keep you at a healthier weight with lower risk of COVID-complications.
I’m not suggesting you should grow your own food, only that you eat more vegetables and fruits. Aim high! Go for 6 to 8 servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit per day (half your plate). But if you “dig” your own victory garden, now’s the time to start your research for spring. Here’s one small plot victory garden design to seed your creativity.
The triple entendre of the title is the slang meaning of the word veg, as in to while away your time at home rather than being out and about. Right now, consider it your patriotic duty to veg. Socializing only with members of your household and limiting all but essential activities is another way we will win victory over coronavirus. Perhaps you can use some of your “found time” to try these these meatless and wheatless victory garden inspired recipes. I hope you enjoy them!
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Veg for Victory Menu
Breakfast: Breakfast Tacos with Mashed Peas & Edamame (a verdant, veggie- packed take on breakfast…start your day sunny side up!)
Lunch: Kale, Lentil & Sweet Potato Salad (this salad ticks all boxes for winter: warm, comforting and full of flavour)
Dinner: One Pan Paprika Tofu & Veggies (I love the simplicity of one pan dinners; you can make this with tempeh if you prefer the nuttier flavour of fermented soybeans)
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