A Cook's Diary

Vegetarianism: perspectives

I’m not sure if I have mentioned it but, in our family, we look at vegetarianism from different perspectives. Of course, we are all aware that there are several kinds of vegetarians (some include eggs and dairy in their diet; others, don’t) and that a vegetarian is not necessarily a vegan. But how to approach vegetarianism?

First of all, we’re not planning on turning totally vegetarian. Sam has been wanting to exclude red meat from our diet, Speedy says we’ll all die, but neither position advocates going vegetarian. What we really want is just to include more fruits and vegetables in our daily diet for a more realistic balance. My suggestion is to go vegetarian for a day or two per week. Or, in the alternative, to have one vegetarian meal per day.

But what exactly would a “vegetarian” meal consist of? Aaaahhh, that’s where the opinions vary. Speedy and I are fine with mock meat. You know, gluten. They are now widely available (the Korean store in the neighborhood sells them) and they’ve come a long way from the cardboard-tasting stuff from my childhood that my mother made me and my brother eat. They’re actually good these days and they come in several forms and textures.

Alex, on the other hand, wants no fake meat. She says if we’re going vegetarian, then, that should mean no meat but only natural fruits and vegetables. As in fresh fruits and vegetables though not necessarily eaten raw.

With the debate far from being over, I started thinking about a “vegetarian” blog. You know, a blog with vegetarian recipes. I wondered if I have enough vegetarian recipes in the archive to create a substantial base for a new blog. Yesterday, I started counting them.

At the dinner table, I happily announced that after more than nine years of blogging, I have exactly 24 vegetarian recipes in the archive. Sam and Speedy both made this sound that seemed to me to be something between a snigger and a good-natured giggle.

And Sam asked, very tongue-in-cheek, just how many of those 24 vegetarian recipes are actually side dishes that I served alongside lechon kawali or fried chicken and the like.

Well… Whatever. I’m proud of the 24 vegetarian dishes considering that before I commenced counting, I was so sure there couldn’t be more than five. That’s a huge number between five and 24 so I was happy. So, there. I have segregated those 24 vegetarian recipes and, later today, I will move them to this blog. Oh, yes, this is a separate blog from the main one — didn’t you notice the different header and color scheme?

Okay, so 24 vegetarian recipes might sound too few but I’ll grow that list. Who knows? Maybe, after another nine years of blogging, I’ll have 48 instead of 24 vegetarian recipes. Or, it is also possible that I’ll have 480 by then. That depends on how much support I get. If there’s a lot of whining every time I serve a vegetarian dish, the growth of that list will probably go slow. But if Speedy and the girls will eat the vegetarian dishes with as much gusto as the meaty ones, the list will grow faster. We’ll see. We’ll see.

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