I fell in love with all things food about 10 years when my vegetarian diet (at the time) forced me to view food differently. I always enjoyed eating, of course, but this diet restriction made me really appreciate the ritual of cooking and eating. It made me respect and celebrate the flavors in my food. I was limited to plant based ingredients. I wasn’t able to just throw a sandwich together and call it lunch. I needed to think about my food and construct my meals in a way that I could really stick to my new vegetarian diet and enjoy it just as much as I did when I wasn’t paying attention.
A few changes happened immediately after going vegetarian. I was eating so many more fruits and vegetables that I subconsciously became a healthy eater. Something about having salads made me want to eat more stuff that was good for me and less of the bad. I stopped drinking soda. I limited my sugar and salt intake, and suddenly (after hating water for I don’t know how long) I enjoyed the taste of water. Another change was that food tasted REALLY good. Seriously, it tasted so much better when I let go of meat. Spinach didn’t taste bitter anymore. It was more a sweet, herb-like taste. Bread was so sweet. Nuts were sweeter than I remembered. Tomatoes and mushrooms (oh my gawd!) were absolutely delicious!
I was so excited to discover these wonderful flavors! I started watching the Food Network nonstop. I wanted to know what chef’s knew and learn how to create flavorful meals without the use of meat products. I figured I could get inspired by their dishes and use my understanding of flavors to re-create vegetarian meals for myself. This was my approach when I visited restaurants and read the descriptions of meals. I tried to visualize how I could make those meals, but vegetarian. I had a huge blank canvas in front of me and I was ready to create art!
After my first trip to Europe as a vegetarian, I knew I was missing out on a lot of food that I had never tasted before. That was when I decided to eat meat again. On my second trip back I went all out! I had all the meat dishes that I hadn’t the first time and that the chef’s I had been watching for years on television would talk about. Once again, I saw another canvas before my eyes, but now with all the meat products I had learned to love.
So, here I am creating and re-creating recipes. I’m lucky to have people around me that love food just as much as I do, that cook with me and that enjoy tasting my food. This blog is to share with you a little bit about my journey with my love of food. I hope you fall in love with each bite as I have over the years.
BV @ Love At First Bite