The recipes are going up, and if you haven’t read “About Pretty Veggie,” and “The Pretty Veggie Idea,” please do, as you’ll learn quite a bit about me.
Here’s some “fill in the blanks.”
Four score and seven years ago….. oh, sorry. I have a pretty interesting “culinary” background. My parents grew up in an Italian/Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, and my mother learned how to cook Italian before she learned to cook Eastern European/Jewish.
I grew up eating all kinds of meat, poultry, and fish. In fact, my mother was cooking sausage one day when the Rabbi happened to drop in for a visit. Where in the world do you hide a big pot of sausage and sauce???? Well, she didn’t. She threw a couple of dish towels over the pot, and the Rabbi pretended he didn’t notice the aroma of what was on the stove!
She was a pretty darn good cook, and experimented with all sorts of foods and ingredients, and it was her influence that caused me to be so curious about different cuisines. Well, that and my travels.
I’ve lived and worked in a number of locations around the world, and love so many cuisines, Asian, African, Middle Eastern, European, and “American,” which is constantly evolving, and I’ve incorporated what I’ve learned into what I cook.
As time went on, though, I realized something. I love animals. All kinds of animals. I rarely kill a bug. I pick up stranded worms and put them back in the grass. I love snakes, and lizards….. and dogs, and cats, and bears…. Oh, my!
So how could I eat animals? I realized I couldn’t anymore. So, little by little I stopped eating “meat,” and stopped eating poultry, and stopped eating fish, and it was thanks to another volunteer at the local PBS station, who is a vegetarian, that I finally fell off the fence onto the veggie side. (I have to be honest and admit that I do my best, but once in a while I "slip up" and have some shrimp, or sushi. Note- since first writing that, no more fish! I do miss sushi, but now stick to the veg variations.)
I’d mostly been living on bread and cheese and eggs and beans (yes, I eat dairy and “free roaming” eggs, Note- I've cut out about 90% of dairy now!), and I started to experiment. I came across really intriguing veggie products that could be substituted for foods I used to eat, and have done so in a way that makes it difficult to tell the difference. (No eggs now, either!) Just a “tweak” here and there, and all sorts of things are possible!
And this has been my journey. Ok, I know. Journey, shmourney. But with people asking me about products and techniques when I’m in the supermarket it seemed that other people would be curious, too.
(Quick tip- When using “meat substitutes,” you’ll need to “saute” them a bit longer than the directions indicate, so they hold up well. You’ll see!)
And, there you have it. Hopefully, some of the blanks are filled in. Onward to the recipes. Or shall I say, the “directions.” I don't do a lot of measuring, and rely heavily on some of this, and some of that, and how it tastes to me, and in this case, how it tastes to you. Hang in there, you’ll see what I mean! lol