A foodie. A veggie. Someone trying to live a green life. A food explorer. A traveler.
What is a happy veggie foodie? A happy veggie foodie is someone like me: A vegetarian (no meat, no fish) who truly enjoys food and cooking. We like food that has taste, flavor, is creative, and fun. A veggie foodie is happy when restauranteurs, chefs, and event menu planners understand that vegetarians like food. We’re not on a perpetual diet. We don’t want to live on salad. We aren’t lesser customers. We want to try new interesting things that have flavor and taste–-not just a plain ol’ salad, steamed veggies, or veggies stuffed with rice.
We enjoy creative, flavorful food. We get excited when we have more than 2 main dish options on a menu that look good. We love restaurants and events that offer us things that look and taste good, whether it’s a creative new dish, a new play on something old, or occasionally an old standard. We get sad, on the other hand, when the meatatarains get something really cool and we’re told the veggie option is a vegetable plate. booh. Most of the time, dishes offered to vegetarians, particularly at catered events and sometimes at restaurants, lack the flavor we crave. I am bummed when they point to a menu’s salad section and say “see, we have lots of options”. (Sometimes the veggie plates and the salads are good, but only sometimes. And it still leaves me wondering, “that’s the best you can do?” ) Hint here: the spices, flavors you put into meat work well in veggies too. Sure, you can “showcase” the vegetable by just steaming or grilling it…but you could make it shine by adding a wee bit of this, and a wee bit of that. This veggie loves playing around with her spice cabinet and with fresh herbs and spices. I like sauce recipes (not the “mother sauces” mind you…but things that you can marinade things in, things that you can dab on top of a dish)
Oh, and vegetarians like protein, too. We tend to think you meat eaters exaggerate the amount of protein needed in one’s diet. But I’m often flabbergasted by places that don’t offer options to sub out meat. These days there are so many opions–and not all of it is tofu or soy. Think creatively. You can use beans, lentils, chick peas, tofu, seitan, quorn–and so many varieties of these options–in so many ways. I try to highlight these on my blog, because this is one of the adaptations I’ve made–I married a meat eater, and to get him to feel like he was getting enough protein, I started using more “fake meat” and protein alternatives than I used to have in my cooking repertoire. It’s been fun to try them, and to adapt meat recipes to these. Ie: bulgogi tacos. or my “boeufless” bourguinon.
Why a food blog? I like to write, I love cooking. I really like to try out new recipes…or to alter others. or to try making things I’ve tried at restaurants. So when they succeed, why not share the joy with others?
My cooking style: Each week, I peruse food blogs, food magazines (vegetarian times and food&wine), and 2 or 3 cookbooks (out of my collection of a dozen or so (she says dreaming of the day when she has more shelf space in the kitchen….). Then, I pick out recipes I’d like to try. Sometimes I do this before I’ve gone shopping, and other times after (this is when sites like epicurious are great because you can search by ingredient). Sometimes I’m ambitious, but about 4 is the max number of recipes I can really make any given Sunday (my chosen cooking day). While I do my second skim of the recipe, I start thinking about how I adapt it to what I feel like–sometimes adding more flavor, sometimes substituting out ingredients I don’t have or don’t want to use. I try to “healthify” where it makes sense. I think of it as experimenting or playing..I’m sure the recipe would be perfectly good as written (clearly someone else thought so) but I want to see what I can do with it. For me, that’s where the fun and the challenge is.