I was not always a foodie, however. I grew up on a diet of meat and potatoes, refusing to try anything green, spicy or ethnic. Seriously, as a kid, eating a taco was a very big deal. It really was not until six or seven years ago that I began experimenting with my taste palate and discovered my love for Indian food, sushi, spinach, mushrooms and various produce.
Then, four years ago, after much research and thought, I decided to go vegetarian, which forced me to look into new protein sources; thus opening my eyes to the world of beans, tofu, tempeh and nuts! I had to find a new way to make a “go-to” meal upon arriving home from a ten to twelve hour day of organizing (this time period was during my Union organizing days!) that replaced my frozen chicken breast on the George Foreman grill with something else just as protein-rich and filling. I would peruse various cookbooks, complete online recipe searches, and wander the aisles of Horrock’s looking for new items to try and new ways to combine some of my favorite foods to create a meal with extraordinary flavors- meals that would not only fuel my body but bring enjoyment while eating. I started to host dinner parties to test out some of my new culinary creations and began to appreciate the dishes I ordered at restaurants more than I had when I was ordering the standard cheeseburger at the nearby chain. Continue reading