I have been a vegetarian for most of my adult life. What I have discovered is that now, more than ever, it is easier to find good vegetarian food, as well as request vegetarian modifications to foods served in many regular restaurants. However, what's more important, is that through time, trial and error, and with lots of TLC, I have developed a good knack for making my own vegetarian and vegan foods.
As soon as I announced I was a vegetarian my parents looked at me with looks that bordered on confusion and horror. They were sure it was a phase. "Its not meat, its chicken..." is something that I heard more than once. Although I faced more opposition than I anticipated, eventually they realized my choice to eliminate meat and meat products from my diet was here to stay. My mother showed support for my choices by making a vegetable broth, veggie-sausage version of Thanksgiving stuffing, and gave me a vegetarian cookbook for Christmas. Thus began the Era of Vegetarian Cookbooks. At every special occasion, and sometimes just 'cuz, my thoughtful family members would pick up a vegetarian cookbook for me, because hey, I was a vegetarian. Do you know what happened as the years passed by? I had a dusty bookcase full of unused vegetarian cookbooks.
Why? Because the recipes were complicated and boring. More times than not there would be ingredients I have never heard of, or couldn't find. On the off chance that I would actually make something from one of these recipes, I noticed other people were afraid to eat it.
My family grew and my cooking skills became more diverse. I would search for recipes online and gather recipes from friends and family. Not vegetarian recipes, but normal recipes. I asked my mom for recipes that she often made when I was growing up-- the staples of my childhood dinner table. And I made them vegetarian. And they were good.
Feeding my family and friends is an expression of love and gratitude. Creating delicious food for them is something that gives me joy. When I visit friends for a putluck and my food disappears quickly, I feel great. When someone gets excited about eating something I have made, it brings me happiness.
So, this blog is a shout out to people who don't want to eat animals, but want to make good vegetarian and vegan food from normal ingredients they have at home, or find at the local grocery store. I do want to say that, although a vegetarian diet can be a healthy choice in many ways, this blog is not focused on healthy eating, as much as it is on good tasting, meatless food that everyone will enjoy.