Recently I have been browsing through some other vegetarian blogs, and I must say that my vegetarian philosophy (and cooking philosophy, in general) differs quite a bit from some of the sites I have seen. When I see a vegan blog full of recipes for fat and sugar laden desserts I just have to ask “WHY?”
First of all, I am vegetarian for health reasons. I believe that everything we put into our mouths should contribute to our overall health in some way. I try to eat as naturally as possible. If I question an ingredient I ask myself, “Did Adam and Eve have this available in the garden?” “Is it of animal origin?” “Is it healthy?” When I ponder these points I can usually come up with a suitable replacement for any ingredient in a recipe.
Secondly, I believe that a recipe should be easy to prepare, easy to duplicate, reliable, and need only a minimal list of ingredients. Some of the recipes I’ve seen look enticing, but realistically, how many of us have an entire afternoon to devote to preparing supper? A good recipe should be ready to eat in an hour or less. The goal here is to EAT, right? — not just to putz around in the kitchen. I am not against using pesto or roasted red peppers that come in a jar or from the farmers market. Don’t labor over the little things .
I also believe that if you have a favorite traditional family recipe then you SHOULD try to duplicate it in a healthy way. Your family will thank you for making the effort, and they will more easily transition into the vegetarian lifestyle you are trying to promote. What I am saying here is, “Don’t let tofu be the first vegetarian dish you serve to your carnivore relatives.”
In other words: Keep it simple, keep it easy, serve whatever you make with love and genuine concern for the health of those who will eat what you make.