I have always enjoyed cooking and have been the primary food procurement and preparation specialist for my family for, well, as long as I’ve had a family. Many of my choices over those years could have been much worse, but many were pretty typical standard American diet. Hey, I was raised in Iowa during the 60s and 70s and my Dad’s idea of a good salad was some croutons swimming in ranch dressing.
It wasn’t until that January day in 2010 that I really started to question what I was bringing into my house and feeding my family. Three years later and I’m still working on it, but it feels good, I’m learning a lot and enjoying working with new (to me) foods, recipes and combinations. It’s more of a challenge when everyone does not share my enthusiasm for experimenting with an entirely new lifestyle, but we are all finding things that we like that we didn’t even consider before, which is pretty cool.
It’s funny too, the little things that change that used to seem perfectly normal that now seem outrageous. I used to have coffee cans full of used grease under my sink and I never knew what was the best way to get rid of them. Turns out the best approach is to stop frying stuff.
My favorite and now indispensable new kitchen tools are my food processor and my Nutri Bullet blender. If you really want to rule the smoothie world, you should invest in a Vita Mix so you can do crazy tricks like liquefy an avocado pit and I expect that I will at some point, but for now the Nutri Bullet does exactly what I need it to do which is mostly make a green smoothie for me every morning, but I have used it for a few other things too and it does a much better job than my run down old blender
I spend a lot of time on food. I think that’s a good thing. It keeps us alive, it makes us happy and if you do it right, it keeps you healthy, too. I read somewhere recently that the vegetarian / vegan lifestyle is an indulgent one. I think that’s cool too and for many of us, it’s true. What does it mean exactly? I try to source the best possible ingredients, fresh produce, local producers, organic options. Sometimes it costs a little more but you can’t get quality out if you don’t put quality in. And you know what? I still find it’s less expensive to live an indulgent, high quality plant based life than it is to buy meat and highly processed industrialized food products. I spend time to think about what I’m going to eat and what I’m going to feed my family. I plan my shopping and my cooking. I spend time researching new recipes – reading cookbooks, browsing food blogs. I work at staying educated about the latest nutrition research and theories. I spend time preparing meals. What would seem to many a lot of time. At least 2 hours every day, more on the weekends. I’m protective of that time. So while many see a plant based life as a life of deprivation, I see it as a life of luxury.