Welcome to my personal recipe blog site. Originally I started this just as a place for me to keep track of my recipes. But as time went on and people seemed to ask me for recipes, I added pages to help out new vegans and those seeking to develop more recipes.
My goal is to develop a group of tried and true recipes that appeal to those that are now seeking to easily transition to plant based food that is both healthy and that the entire family will love, including the meat eaters and picky children. There are many great resources (I try to list them in my links page) but often I had to modify the recipes and some of the recipes worked great for us, and some did not. This becomes then a listing of those dishes that worked. I found many sites had some great recipes…and some that did not work for my family. These are only the ones that fit my criteria and were proven to be well liked. I also tend to replace some strange ingredient I will only use once for that dish, for something I have in my pantry.
I also use the journal listed here so I can easily recall when we last had a dish so as not to repeat it too soon, or to know the leftovers have been sitting in the frig for a month.
In our household, we were challenged to make dinners for 5 people. Two of us (my wife and I) only ate plant based dinners, but the step son was very picky and only ate about 5 foods, all bland and with no spice or pepper or he would refuse. He wanted boxed Mac-N-Cheese… and even then, only one brand or he would not eat it. He also liked hamburgers. He would eat french fries, but only from Wendy’s. He hated potatoes. The step daughter did not want anything with cooked tomatoes in it, but she was otherwise pretty willing to eat outside her comfort zone. The mother-in-law never touched her vegetables and primarily only certain foods such as Jimmy Dean’s precooked Sausage and Biscuits; frozen Mac-N-Cheese (but only one brand!); and pizza and Fettucini Alfredo. She was also dealing with health issues. All three of them were not interested in ethnic foods, or anything that pushed the envelope of comfort. As an example, when we went out to Chinese, they only ate Orange Chicken. And left the vegetables and the oranges. For a while my wife would make separate meals… a vegan dish for her and I, and maybe a hamburger for the son, and pasta for the daughter (as an example). When I was handed the responsibilities of the kitchen (my wife went into law school bar review study mode)…. I knew I was not interested in making unhealthy food and I was certainly not interested in making different dinners for everyone.
So then how to make ONE DINNER that would satisfy everyone? That everyone would like? That would be more what they were used to and that would not seem like “oh, is that more of that vegan food?” Over some time I amassed a collection of vegan cookbooks and also scoured the web for good recipes. My thought was to only use recipes that were not too crazy hard, did not require bizarre ingredients or techniques or tools… recipes that could be easily made by anyone using simple pantry ingredients and common kitchen tools. As I went, I tweaked recipes and substituted ingredients for more easy to find ones. And then the ultimate test, I served it to the family and see how it went over. The recipes here are the ones that passed the test. They worked.
This is still a journey and I will be adding to this as I develop more recipes, and further tweaking the recipes as I learn more and see what works….. but I can say after two years into the experiment, the entire family is now eating a plant based meal every night. The step-son has been steadily losing the extra weight he was carrying. And everyone is loving the dinners and getting seconds. As more time goes on, I am introducing more obvious vegetable sources (early on…if my step son recognized the food as part of a mushroom, he would not eat it…now he likes it). I am introducing more spice. More heat. More pepper. More exotic. But the journey starts with comfort food and winning everyone over to the idea that, just because it is made only with plants, it does not mean it can’t taste awesome. You grow to like what you are used to eating…so why not train your body to like the healthier options?
Again it is a process. I choose to not worry too much about GMOs, gluten, oil, raw, and all the other things. Just put the focus on tasty plant dishes that included plenty of beans, onions, mushrooms and healthy spices. And to develop the palates so that in some time, I can make an exotic dish with plenty of spice, based on plants, and they will like it. So far the plan is working…
You can replace cheese, meats, eggs in your cooking and not feel like you are missing out!