I have been surprised by how popular the vegetarian recipes have been here. I blog about the food I enjoy and the food that has proven its worth enough to sit in The Red Folder. As a veggie, much of the food I write about is vegetarian.
I moved to the green side over 30 years ago, when it was normal for me to be viewed with suspicion and offered a two veg and meat plate with a smear of grease and a space where the meat had been. Generally, I would be offered an omelette and condolences instead of proteins and asked what on earth I had left to eat without meat. At a restaurant, there was never any choice on the menu for me. The waiter would fidget nervously and then come back from the kitchen offering something stacked with goat’s cheese. I have an aversion to the smelly goaty curd to this day. I was a minority, a sandal wearing, Om chanting. macrame making freak. I did none of those things.
There was a point, as a kid, when I realised that the meat on my plate was actually from an animal. It was explained, we have evolved to eat meat, we have pointy teeth and the right digestive system and we do not eat our pets. There was another point for me when I was confronted with how we have to intensively farm our animals in order to feed the world this meat. No one could explain that to me, I never went back. It was a natural process and a very personal one for me. I prepare and cook meat for my customers and family and have never tried to convert anyone.
I was a minority, a sandal wearing, Om chanting. macrame making freak. I did none of those things.
There was a horrible stage for me in the 80’s and early 90’s when premade veggie meals became popular. They replicated meat so well I could not eat them. I was given these instead of omelettes, I did not want to eat chicken flavored tofu or soy mince ‘beef’ pies, but I ate them politely. There was not much information out there about balance vegetarian eating, no Google my friends and family or I could ask.
A wonderful kosher chef, helped me along the way, I wish I could remember her name. She made me keep an eating diary and pointed out that I was not a vegetarian I was just avoiding meat and was going to make myself sick. She mentored me for about six months and I owe her a great debt.
I am now a little embarrassed to admit that I never wanted the children to know my little green secret. It was not until one of them asked why my dinners were different that I actually explained it. There was no response, everyone just got on with eating and asking what was for ‘afters’. I guess inside I still felt like the freak even though things had changed dramatically. No more soaking overnight or boiling for hours, pulses were ready to go in tins. These days I actually get a choice of dishes that are printed on the menus and increasingly the new younger generation are thinking of not eating meat as a healthy life style choice. Many of my age group are now cutting back on their meat intake. I am now a Vegetarian Pioneer and am constantly asked for advise!!!
I did not want my space here to be all about food, but so many people are asking for veggie ideas I was stuck. My beautiful daughter came to the rescue again and has made me a Facebook page, for just the veggie food that I love to eat, delicious recipes I have collected over the years, ideas and tips. I will continue my Crowded Mind and Red Folder here but now have a Veggie Mind and Green Folder too. Hop over if you are interested.