Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In the Beginning

I was 16 years old when I decided to become a vegetarian. I'm Mexican and I lived in the hood (South Los Angeles to be precise) so at that time I was the only vegetarian I knew. I didn't mind it and since I loved to cook I would spend hours in the downtown library reading vegetarian cookbooks. Yes. I was/am a big ‘ol nerd. 
"Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" quickly became my favorite.  It had so many recipes that I didn't need to bother bringing home other books. I loved the fact that a lot of the recipes were simple and had ingredients I could easily find in my parents fridge or pantry. I was so enamored by this book that in my diary I wrote that if I could dine with any 3 people in the world, Deborah Madison would be one of them.
Fast forward 12 years later, I still love to cook but I’m no longer vegetarian. There are 3 reasons I stopped:
1.       I missed mom’s short ribs and nopales in red sauce
2.       I wanted to try my (then) boyfriend’s favorite Lebanese dishes
3.       I was tired of asking waiters if they were SURE the soup didn’t have chicken broth.

Though I have no plans in becoming a vegetarian, I do feel like I’m eating too much meat. I also feel like I’m stuck in a vegetable cooking rut; the veggies I prepare are either salads or steamed green beans or peas. I would LOVE to get to a point to where I can go to the farmers market and just grab veggies that look good with full knowledge on how to prepare them. In all honesty the farmer’s market intimidates me the way the weight room in the gym used to intimidate me. I wander around trying to pretend I know what I’m doing, that I know what to do with this and that. I fear that others see right through me and wonder what I’m doing there, why I don’t just stick to the cardio machines regular chain markets.

So, in cooking my way through “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone,” these are my goals:
1.       Eat more vegetables and less meat
2.       Get out of my vegetable cooking rut.
3.       No longer be intimidated by the farmers market

I have not set a time limit like that Julie chick that cooked her way through Julia Child's French cookbooks. I have 2 kids, I go to school, I like spending time with my husband and I want to remain sane. And just as a little aside, thanks Honey for being so gung-ho about this!

So here we go! Very excited and nervous about this process....but mostly excited!

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