When the chief cook in your household is a vegan (eats no meat, dairy…nothing from an animal) your culinary horizon automatically gets lifted higher and higher. Since 2004, my daughter has been a dedicated vegan and I have been enjoying the delicious meals she prepares for dinner.
To say she has expanded my culinary comfort zone is an understatement. When I was the top chef in the house, I had a tight rotation of chicken, fish and ground beef meals every week. Thanks to my daughter, Kai, and TV cardiologist, Dr. Oz, I now prefer quinoa (instead of rice), kale (instead of lettuce) and veggie burgers over a ground beef hamburger.
Although I dabbled in vegetarianism in college, I never had the stomach or desire to go all the way vegan. I’m still not a vegan, but I embrace their vegetable-rich diet. When Kai whips up a plate of balsamic Portobello mushrooms over a bed of spinach with a side of roasted potatoes (see the photo), I’m the first one heading back to the stove for seconds!
I’m not a foodie, but I am enjoying this ride on the vegan side of the food spectrum. Guys and girls, you really haven’t lived until you’ve chowed down on lentil-quinoa pilaf over arugula (my Memorial Day dinner). I’m not braggin’ but my daughter can make butternut squash and chickpeas taste finger-licking good.
If you’ve never had a meatless meal, don’t knock it until you’ve tried a dish at Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Winter Park, FL or the Loving Hut in Orlando. A great vegan meal can fill you up and make you think about taking the plunge into veganism. I still occasionally eat animal fare—chicken, fish and cheese—but I love a steaming hot pot of red beans and quinoa with kale!