MY FAVORITE PEOPLE, MY FAVORITE RECIPES: Victoria Moran
Once upon a time, Victoria Moran believed she was weird. Her mother agreed. “We used to think there was something wrong with you — doing that yoga and eating that tofu.” Creative, charismatic and glamorous, Victoria (PETA’s sexiest vegan over 50) isn’t weird, she’s vegan, and has been for three decades. Growing up in Kansas City, that made her an outlier.
An accomplished speaker, author of a dozen books and someone I’m honored to call friend, Victoria wants everyone to feel proud and comfortable choosing vegan, not weird. That’s how she got the idea of launching Main Street Vegan Academy, a warm welcome-to-vegan boutique certification program for vegan lifestyle coaches and educators now in its sixth year. Victoria is nothing if not inclusive, though, so if you can’t make it to Main Street Vegan Academy, her new book, The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook co-authored with JL Fields vegan chef (and Main Street Vegan Academy grad) brings vegan to you. You’ll find a hundred simple, satisfying plant-based recipes from her Main Street Vegan Academy grads and Victoria’s own inspiring tips to be your healthiest, most compassionate you. If that’s weird, sign me up.
It can take courage to speak out – whether for your rights, your opinions, or for something in which you believe deeply and something you know about that not everyone does. The key to speaking with certainty and integrity is to know that what you’re saying comes from deep within you, from the core of who you are where your truth lives. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you take the stage or take a stand. And don’t just ask: wait for the answers that will well up if you’re patient. Writing in a journal is a wonderful way to access the wisdom you carry around already, and get your own customized responses to the queries that will make you speak powerfully and passionately.
What are my values? . . . Sometimes all it takes to know what to do or say is to call up your personal values. And because values can change, deepen, and mature, “What are my values?” is an important question to ask yourself periodically – on your birthday perhaps, or at the New Year. It’s both liberating and motivating to be so well acquainted with your values that you could recite them on demand. My husband was working with this question and announced, “My values spell ditch: discretion, integrity, tolerance, civility, humility.” He was so pleased with his discovery that he had a bracelet made with his values engraved on it. You may want to do something similar, but as long as your values are engraved on your psyche and acted on in your life, that’s enough.
Read the entire essay here.
Easy Cheesy Broccoli Soup
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil or water
- 3 red bell peppers seeded
- and chopped about 2 cups
- 1 medium head cauliflower trimmed, florets chopped
- 8 cups vegetable broth divided
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for 1 hour, rinsed, and drained
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 6 to 8 cups chopped broccoli lightly steamed
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and sauté the bell peppers and cauliflower for 10 minutes. Add 7 cups of the veggie broth. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and gently boil until the cauliflower is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, steam the broccoli in a saucepan or pot on the stove, microwave, or pressure cooker. Combine the cashews, nutritional yeast, and remaining 1 cup broth in a blender and puree until completely smooth. When the cauliflower is very tender, add the cashew mixture to the pot. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until creamy. Stir in the steamed broccoli. Season with salt and pepper. Substitute sunflower seeds for the cashews.