In my house, this is where the magic happens…
Here’s the thing. You turn 40 and everything changes. For many, your body can’t eat, drink, or cope with, all the shit you’ve been throwing at it for the past 20 years. Like others, I experienced a period of super crappy health in my early 40’s and after a disheartening and ineffective series of medical solutions, realized there was no silver bullet. I was going to have to make some lifestyle changes. As a parent to a little person, I also started taking climate change a bit more seriously, and a bit more personally. Surely the best gift I could possibly ever give my daughter is a future free of fire and brimstone? It became an unavoidable truth that as a family we needed to move towards eating a predominantly plant-based diet.
It was intimidating. I’m a pretty healthy eater, but butter is my BFF, crispy chicken skin is my happy place. I plan my day (activities, holiday, LIFE!) around what I’m going to cook and eat. Sacrificing variety, flavour, and general food awesomeness for ‘healthier options’ was never going to be a sustainable solution.
I also have a picky 5-year-old, so whatever I cook needs to be either kid-friendly, or have a super simple modification available. In addition, I work full time, and in order to avoid the aforementioned little person going full nuclear, dinner has to be ready – fridge to face – within about 30 minutes. AND I’m usually coming home from work to what looks like a bloody-and-brutal-breakfast-dish-murder-scene in my kitchen sink…
I borrowed every library book I could find on plant-based eating, vegan recipes, vegetarian cooking, ‘food in bowls that’s good for your bowels’ etc etc and had a rotating stack beside the bed for months. I diligently marked recipes with sticky notes, entering stand-outs into a spreadsheet to test later. I started soaking and drying nuts, drinking blenders full of goop, making cheese out of cashews, and bacon out of coconut. And while some of the journey has been fantastic, so much of it has been frustrating.
Srsly… “The meat eaters in your life will never know it’s not meat” YES THEY WILL. I found so many of the pages to be filled with meat substitutions, tofu, tempeh, even carrots masquerading as hot dogs, recipes trying to fill a meatless void. Where were all the plant-based creations celebrating the sheer awesomeness and deliciousness of plants? The ‘plant-recipes-for-busy-foodies-who-still-want-to-eat-really-f*cking-delicious-shit’?
A page here, a discovery there… the recipes were out there, but I found I had to dig. And improvise. Some were better than others, some were tastier than others, some had more steps than others…and as practical as my new spreadsheet was, it didn’t inspired me much when standing in front of the produce aisle at the supermarket, or meal planning for the week on a Sunday night.
Enter the blog. I wanted to create a place for collecting the ideas I love. Recipes I have found, created, and modified, that are becoming my new arsenal in a more plant-based family kitchen. Simple family meals, mostly plants, that taste amazing. And for the people in my life who aren’t quite convinced about the plants thing and prefer their burger with an added slice of bacon? That’s fine too 🙂