Tuesday, November 17, 2009

vegetarian cuisine, Julie/Julia, and learning to master the art great vegetarian food

I would like to say to you all now that while I have always found vegetarians a bit silly, since I have been eating like one my contempt for them is boundless. Jesus, what a boring, sad life it is. Wouldn’t be so bad, if you’d just throw in some fucking bacon. Or a steak.

from the Julie/Julia blog.

Recently I watched the Julie/Julia movie. I enjoyed it overall for what it was. An entertaining, light movie. The fact that this woman decided to cook so much fancy schmancy food simply overwhelms me, truth be told. I mean, I can't imagine what eating all that butter, cream and rich food must have done to her waistline.

So anyways, it led to me checking out her blog. And what did I find? Yes, the quote above. As a vegetarian of 16 years, I am required to speak up in defense of vegetarian cuisine. But more importantly, I just want to say, for fuck's sake people, use your bloody imagination when you're cooking vegetarian food. If an entire nation (India) can base their cuising on a primarily vegetarian diet, then maybe it's not vegetarianism but your poor skill at cooking, imagining, or creating a gourmet vegetarian meal.

Stop expecting your meat free rendition of your staple fare to be a lesser substitute for meat based lifestyle. Stop making the same food, just omiting the meat, and expecting it to be the same as your steak and potatoes fare. So you like meat, I get it. But honestly, if you can't create a delicious, savory, mouth watering vegetarian meal it's because you haven't stepped out of the box enough to imagine a meal that is actually based on a vegetarian lifestyle, not a lesser, non-meat substitution.

Learn to use your spices. Try spices beyond thyme, basil and oregano. Use your fucking imagination! When Top Chef hosted an episode with vegetarian Natalie Portman, it was abysmal. The aspiring cooks were completely clueless when it came to making a meat-free meal. And this is the problem people have when they whine that vegetarian food is awful. It's not awful, your vegetarian cooking is. So enough already. Do me a favour and shut the hell up! Explore your options, try different things, actually go out and buy one of the hundreds of great vegetarian cookbooks out there (that teach you to cook from a vegetarian perspective, not a meat substition based perspective). If you're trying to turn tofu into steak, of course you're going to be disappointed. But marinate that tofu right, with some lentils, spices and yummy veggies, and now we're talking baby! (see veggie phylo rolls... they were seriously delish! check out a few of my veggie experiments, or borrow a good cookbook)

Or, if you're not interested in vegetarian cuisine, just bloody well admit it and stop your whining already. As a vegetarian I'm fricken sick and tired of this crap! Seriously, I'm not wasting away here for lack of food options. My meat loving husband, who lives a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle at home, isn't either.

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