Another of my passions came from something I have no control over: I am allergic to everything. And before you say anything, I can have gluten, nuts, eggs and all the other common allergens. I actually only have 5 food allergies: dairy, soy, corn, canola oil and sulfites. For those of you who aren’t used to reading ingredients labels, these are in approximately 90% of processed food. For the most part, I cook from scratch and know a few brands of packaged food I can eat. On top of that, one of my best friends is the manager of a non-profit farm cooperative that uses organic methods, and has rubbed off on me with “organic” and “certified humane”.
When I actually started caring about the condition animals were kept in before they arrived at the grocery store, my grocery bill kept increasing. As both a budgeting and a weight loss strategy, I decided to cut my consumption of animal products back to one meal per day. Within a couple weeks, I started skipping my “meat meal” that day. These days, I tell people I’m a “part time vegan”. Now, here I must explain before the trolls start having fun at my expense. I have no problem with eating meat, it is the natural evolution of homo sapiens to be omnivorous. What is not natural, however, is torturing animals in factory farms where they live their entire life in a cage too small to turn around in. It is not natural evolution that they have been bred to contain so much muscle (meat) that their heart will fail if they are not slaughtered by a certain age. Give me a rifle or a fishing pole and take me out to “the wild” and I have no problems killing and eating an animal, but I prefer my dinner is not tortured before I eat it.
I frequently experiment with recipes, and when they turn out good I like sharing them. Sometimes it may be a recipe As-I-Found-It, but usually it will have some alteration from the original recipe. One thing I cannot stand is when people make a simple substitution, such as “vegan cream cheese” or “egg substitute” and call it a brand new recipe. Please let me know if you try a recipe, especially if you find ways to improve it!