Tofu and I

I wanted to write a little note on Tofu, specifically on how I feel about it.  As a vegetarian, it is about time that I addressed this :)

Tofu has become the unofficial face of vegetarianism. How do I feel about that? Read About Me.

As much as I will keep working towards creating more diversity in Vegetarian cooking, I do want to point out that I am not against Tofu! I actually love it.

My whole point of diversity in vegetarianism is not about cutting off using any ingredient. It is about incorporating everything in interesting ways. I like to incorporate Tofu into my meals not as substitute for meat, but as an ingredient in itself respecting it for what it offers.

Tofu is delicious – there I said it. Now I know this is going to throw meat-itarians everywhere into a tizzy but to every one who dismisses it as bland – don’t blame the ingredient; it’s what you do with it. Sure Tofu is bland when in its raw form, but isn’t most meat and even a few vegetables? Would you eat just boiled chicken or boiled cabbage?

Tofu is the food equivalent of a sponge, which makes it a creative cook’s dream. There are infinite ways of using it and infusing flavors into it.

My previous recipe and ones to come in the future will hopefully be a start to show off of this wonderfully versatile ingredient; Of course always using vegetables, herbs, spices, grains and lentils all along.

Design Dilemma

After two and a half  years, I now feel my site needs a face lift. I have decided to mix things up.

Having spent the last two days trying on every theme available, I am now starting to feel like Goldilocks! Nothing seems to fit perfectly.  But I will not give up and will come up with something soon.

So in the near future if you visit me and do a “double-take” thinking you have landed in the wrong blog, it’s probably me trying out designs. Please feel free at anytime to leave me a note whether you like or hate what you see. Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated.

My Vegan Experiment

S (a dear friend) and I have started a 3 week ‘Going Vegan’ experiment.  On day 3 of our experiment, I am happy to report that apart from a few initial setbacks I am quite into the swing of things!

I initially started this with the intention of supporting S but have myself  gotten quite  into to it now. I have taken this up just to prove that self-discipline is not an impossible thing for me. This was not as scary for me as I’d imagined because I am a vegetarian to begin with. I am a vegetarian by choice. I grew up vegetarian culturally, but now it is a matter of principle. As an animal lover, going vegan certainly fits well into my principles.

So far, the benefits far exceed my temptation. I am not doing this to preach or kill myself over it, but rather just as a small experiment to consciously plan, make my own meals and just be aware of what I eat.

As person from an Indian upbringing, yogurt is my bread and butter! I couldn’t go a day without it and I love ‘yogurt and rice’ as dearly as my life. After a long workday my comfort  go to meal is yogurt and rice. Making comfort food without dairy (yogurt, milk, butter or cheese)…..Now that is the challenge!

The tricky part is also finding nutritious substitutes to the protein and calcium from dairy and eggs. Although tough , it’s not impossible and I am now slowly figuring that out as I explore my options.

My friend S is not a vegetarian, her world of cooking was certainly open to a broad variety of proteins. So this is a tougher challenge for her. As a vegetarian in the US, I am now trained to always think about what’s inside what I eat. Even the obvious “vegetarian” soups and salads, have hidden meat products in them. I just interestingly realized that S has never had to find out if it was cooked in the same pan as an egg, or if things were grilled next to bacon, or if the bread has been brushed with an egg wash.  She is now is asking these questions she never had to ask before.

This is why I love doing this with her, mutual benefits of knowledge sharing. I opened her to the world of “Eastern world”  spices and vegetables which are far more vegetarian friendly. I am learning so much from her because she takes an Indian ingredient and comes up with the most interesting dishes adding things from her own pantry. This helps her keeping her culture and not giving up what she knows and is comfortable with because she is trying to be vegan.

Although it seems like being vegetarian or vegan  narrows your options, it’s really the opposite. You actually start thinking more about food. You get more knowledge and understanding of herbs, spices, fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables and their combinations. It opens up your culinary vocabulary and palette infinitely.

I don’t know if I will continue being vegan past the 3 weeks, but I can say being vegetarian defines me.

So to people like Tony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsey, I am a fan of what you do but I think you have it totally and completely wrong.

Organizing Recipes by Course

It is unanimous. The feedback I have received for a while now is all about one thing: List my recipes by ‘Meal Course’..And…

TA-DA!

There is now a “Menu by Course” option I have added on top of this page below the blog title. This will hopefully make it easier to search not only by ingredients or name of the dish, but also by the meal course.  All feedback welcome.

A big shout out to my dear cousin who “really” pushed me to get this done after months of procrastination. Thanks, V!

Out from my mini hibernation

Wait…Can you call 5 months a “mini” hibernation? or is a full blown proper hibernation?  Either way, I am now crawling my way back into foodie cyber space. 

I am ‘learning to’ slowly getting better at managing a full-time job, an active social/family life, working hard at seriously developing my career in the cooking business and maintaining my foodie cyber relationships. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking around patiently while I was away trying to stay above waters through a little thing called life.