Several years ago my brother-in-law came for a visit. I walked into our kitchen to see him staring into the fridge with a blank look on his face, "can I help you" I asked. His reply was, "I don't recognize anything in here." I guess you could say that Matthew and I don't subscribe to the average American diet.
With that said, I don't think we're so out of the box. Perhaps our family just thinks we are. For example, one day I was chopping fruit for a spinach salad when my sister-in-law walked in. "Ooooh, whats that?" she asked, "...uh...It's an apple" I replied. It was then that I realized how foreign our diet is. In her defence, she knew our diet was a bit different and thought it was something more exotic.
My philosophy on food isn't really all that exotic either. I feel that food should be two things:
1. great tasting
And in that order! While yes, some of my concoctions can be less then stellar I still think if it doesn't taste good you shouldn't eat it. Life is too short to quietly gunk things down. But, if it's not nutritious whats the point in eating it? We eat for 2 reasons:
1. Nurtition to sustain us
2. Emotional comfort
Both should be satisfied at every bite. So, If you're craving a cheeseburger, eat it! mac and cheese? only if you share! No where is it written (and if it is it shouldn't be) that being vegan means you have to give up the foods that make you happy. Just turn those foods you love into what is good for you.
My Inspiration for my cooking comes from two people. First, My grandmother. My grandmother, who grew up during the great depression is one of the most mouth watering cooks I know. Her dishes are simple yet elegant. She is the re-make queen, never letting anything go to waste (even when sometimes she should). She taught me most of what I know about cooking: from how to use a french knife, to how to put onion in anything. She also is my inspiration for imagination. She can watch a cooking show and walk away full. Her creativeness in the kitchen is....um...unique. Like her, I now lay awake at night thinking up recipes instead of counting sheep. I've decided to skip turning into my mother (which my husband says he is pleased about) and turn straight into my grandmother. Which leads me to my next inspiration.
My mom is also an amazing and creative cook. I think our whole neighborhood is aware of her mad skills. My mom has always been one to cook for a crowd, even if no crowd is expected. As a caterer she taught me some of the most decadent, dreamy, unhealthy recipes one could ever imagine. Truly, her recipes are sinful in many respects. (literally and figure-atively).
Matthew and I have been married for almost five years, in which we have traveled quite a bit. We moved to Amerikan Samoa in order for me to learn the language for school. While that's developing on "island time" we are loving our adventures here. The Samoan diet usually produces 2-4 different kinds of meat per meal. But we have also been entranced by some of the most organic vegan food on the planet: Ulu (breadfruit), taro, palasami, nu. All are more organic then the USDA has guidelines for and all are, as one friend put it, "the food of the gods." Truly, the local vegan cuisine is soul stirring....but limited.