Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Food "Philosophy" - Part 3...A Little On What We Eat And What We Don't

Back to “going” vegetarian…We initially cut out all flesh meats, including fish, and gelatin, meat broths. We did eat dairy and eggs. We ate lots of cheese then. And omelets…LOL! Yes, we tried tofu and other things “only the veggies eat” like soybeans and stuff. We learned a lot about foods we never tried before. And you know what? We loved it. And we changed things along the way.

One thing we changed was that we began to see that especially dairy was not helping us. We eventually cut that out as well. Eggs? We don’t need them to survive either. So began our journey in the vegan world, at least diet wise.

Just a slight change of thought for a minute…a “tangent” if you will… on being strict vegans…we are not…we are still vegetarians…we still eat no flesh meats or fish or any animal product that required the animal to be killed. However, we have felt that being very strict everyday in our world is not likely. In our own kitchen, it is entirely vegan. When we are away, we eat what we like, sometimes that includes having a little egg in the fried rice, or a little shredded cheese on the salad made for us, or even “cheesefood” sauce for our haystacks (the recipe coming for the haystacks soon…no, not the cheese sauce!) =) We don’t fuss and we enjoy it, guilt free. It works for us.

We happen to live in Ghana, West Africa at the present time. We have found it easy to eat a vegetarian diet here (and tropical fruits, yummy!). We also know that in some cases, it is better to eat what is served to you than to say anything. We have found everyone to be very helpful when they learn we eat no meat. From restaurants to other people’s homes, we have been happy with the food served. We do not mind other people eating meat when we are with them. It is something that not all vegetarians (or vegans, for that matter) would do.

We feel that the relationship with others is much more important. We hold that when it’s our home, we can eat and serve to others what we normally would eat, making something they would enjoy when we have guests. And we are very grateful when others do the same when we are at their house. I have yet to be somewhere lately, where I didn’t get more than enough to eat and then some. Really. And as far as restaurants, I ask questions, but I don’t require them to bring me the ingredient lists of all the foods on the menu or buffet (in Ghana or in the states).

Just so you know, I intend to post only vegan recipes on this blog. As most people know how to change out ingredients to “veganize” they can go the other way just as easily. I just happen to like searching for vegan recipes, since that is how I cook at home.

With that said, there are a couple of notes that I wish to add so you are “in the know”… I do use honey. Not all vegans do…I do…I use bee “products” like bee pollen, bee propolis, royal jelly, and honey. I don’t think the other bee products will come up in my recipes (if at all), however honey will. People can replace it with another liquid sweetener or replace with a dry sweetener. More in another post sometime. I do use stevia occasionally and other sweeteners depending on availability, time and place. I do believe people should buy honey from a reputable bee keeper or nearby crop farmer (preferably who grows things the organic way) who bottles their own if they do decide to use it. It is better business and much better for you. If you can get “raw” honey, go for it. As each person’s tastes change and seasons change, so will what’s in my cupboard. I happen to have honey (from the states) here to use (Thanks, mom!). I have not tried the local Ghana honey. I have enough to last until we move back this summer. Yeah! =)

I plan to include more raw things into our diet and so you will see recipes that reflect that too. I don’t think that I’ll ever be all raw anytime soon. So there will be plenty of “cooking” recipes on here eventually.

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