The obligatory diet postPosted: January 18, 2011
Since I named my blog after food, I feel like it would be a good thing to tell a little more about my diet, more specifically how I came to embrace vegetarianism. After that, I have a salad recipe to share with you! How earth-shattering for a vegetarian-cooking-blog wannabe, I know.
But first… on to the story. Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved meat; she was especially fond of ground beef. At some point in her teenage years, she had meat twice a day, every day, along with various charcuterie and cheese… the girl, aka yours truly, started feeling really bad about this way of eating. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as meat overdose, but this is how it felt — heavy and greasy. Around the same time, our household shrunk from 6 people to me + my mum. Meal-planning was just about the two of us after that, which gave us the chance to learn about different foods, namely whole, organic foods. We stopped eating meat for supper and discovered brown rice, quinoa… but not everything was rainbows and unicorns on my way to healthier eating, oh no. One day we purchased molasse, thinking we could substitute it for honey… ah well, I knew better after the first spoonful. And there was this one time where my mum decided to try goat milk, but failed to mention it before she made hot chocolate… Yup. Good times.
That was about 6 years ago. I discovered naturopathy and the relationship between food and health, did research on fasting, cleanses, etc. I ate less and less meat, and toyed with the idea of going vegetarian, but never acted on it… one fateful day, I watched Fast Food Nation. The part about the cow being skinned alive made me pause. I knew animals had to die so that we could eat them, obviously, but I hadn’t realized their death could be so painful. And if that wasn’t enough, I found out that their lives were pretty horrible, too… swearing off meat sounded more and more appealing.
Then, two years ago, one of my in-laws was diagnosed with cancer. I won’t go into too much details, but the need for answers and reassurance got very strong… I dove into the veg*n blogosphere with a passion, encouraged by the stats regarding vegetarianism as a way to prevent cancer. I was lucky enough to find Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Diet at WHSmith, and while I already knew most of the facts listed in it, it was the push I needed. One talk with my naturopath later, I was ready to give up meat and fish. Veganism sounded nice — the food I read about on vegan cooking blogs looked downright delicious, and it made sense, following the animal-friendly train of thought — but it seemed a bit extreme, and not an easy way to leave by, even in a big city like Paris. Also, to be totally honest, my folks weren’t too happy at the thought of my turning vegan (read: they freaked out), and yes, it mattered to me. Besides, I love cheese and eggs… To sum it up, I wouldn’t be comfortable with veganism, for a number of reasons. So vegetarianism feels like the right option for me at the moment.
(this being said, the food I make is pretty much vegan; I tend to save dairy and eggs for dining out.)
So there I was… a newborn veggie eater! while it was easy not to eat meat, eating a variety of healthy food proved to be more of a challenge. The blogosphere helped a lot about this part, introducing me to a lot of food I’d never tried, including sweet potato (I know… crazy!), avocado as an ingredient for sweets, and cabbage. Cabbage used to be some sort of kitchen-sent punishment: smelly and gas-inducing. Now I love broccoli with big, undying love… but raw cabbage still gives me a hard time. I like to blame it on the fact that I can’t seem to find kale, which gets so much love from raw and not-so-raw healthy eaters alike, and have to do with whatever’s on my health store’s shelves — most of the time, savoy cabbage. Tastes just fine when cooked, but the raw version is a bit too hardcore for me, with a strong, bitter taste. I was determined to eat it raw though, in order to get more nutrients. Enter my green and fruity salad, because what doesn’t taste better with fruit?
Green and Fruity – serves one
1 big leaf salad (I used escarole) • 1 or 2 leaves savoy cabbage • 1 celery rib, chopped • 1 apple, chopped • 1 peeled clementine • 1tbsp sprouts (see notes) • parsley • salt, pepper • 1tsp lemon juice • 2 tsp canola oil
Mix the green leaves cut into ribbons with the celery, the apple and the clementine pieces. Top with sprouts and chopped parsley, add salt and pepper to your taste. Add the canola oil, the lemon juice, and give your salad a good shake before you dive in!
Notes: I sprout the seeds myself using a mix of green lentils, fenugreek and radish seeds. It’s tasty, and makes the cutest sprouts, purple-pink with tiny, bright green leaves. ❤
Aaand… that’s it! my first real post. Wow. Turned out to be much harder than I expected; much longer, too. Reading and writing in a foreign language truly are two different things… but practice makes perfect, so stay tuned for more epic, veggie-rich tales! In our next episode, we’ll be giving back to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s, and paying our gratitude to some bloggers who once posted life-changing recipes. Are you drooling? I know I am.