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"Recovering" vegetarians and vegans


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I've seen several people mention that they're "recovering" vegetarians or vegans. And I've also been a part of several eGullet discussions about how animals are treated during the slaughtering process, which has made me do more thinking about how much meat, if any at all, I should be eating.

If you're a current vegan or vegetarian, I would be interested in hearing why; what's been important in your decision not to eat meat or animal products?

If you're a "recovering" or "reformed" vegetarian or vegan, what's brought you back to the world of meat eaters?

Everybody play nice, now. I'm just curious to know what's moved you in one direction or the other.

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I've seen several people mention that they're "recovering" vegetarians or vegans.  And I've also been a part of several eGullet discussions about how animals are treated during the slaughtering process, which has made me do more thinking about how much meat, if any at all, I should be eating.

If you're a current vegan or vegetarian, I would be interested in hearing why; what's been important in your decision not to eat meat or animal products?

If you're a "recovering" or "reformed" vegetarian or vegan, what's brought you back to the world of meat eaters?

Everybody play nice, now.  I'm just curious to know what's moved you in one direction or the other.

I think I've mentioned being a former veg a few times, so I'll bite. I never had any issues with killing animals for food, just with the way they were raised and slaughtered. I couldn't afford grass fed/organic until recently, so I just didn't eat meat.

Well, to be honest that is part of it. The other part is that I started travelling a whole lot more, and it is easier to get along as a traveller and guest if you don't have too many dietary restrictions.

Meat is still a much smaller part of my diet than what is probably typical in the US. Which is fine, it is probably healthier and certainly cheaper that way.

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I also "reformed" over the travel and guest issues. My vegetarianism wasn't that educated though; pretty much emotional and aesthetic. I actually got back into eating meat largely by eating birds and other things people had hunted; it seemed less gross than eating mass-produced meat-- and more of an insult to the host to reject it.

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I was a vegetarian throughout most of my twenties, for two primary reasons. First, health. I’ve always had stomach problems and, while in college, I heard that meat (red meat in particular) can be very irritating to the stomach. I removed meat from my diet and found an immediate improvement in my stomach. Also, contrary to the whole anti-carb diet thing, I lost a pretty dramatic amount of weight once I eliminated meat from my diet.

Second reason was environmental. The resources expended and wastes produced in meat production grossly exceed those of vegetable protein sources. A read through “Fast Food Nation” illustrates this (and will eliminate any craving for meat products pretty quickly).

I was never a rigid vegetarian (with occational meat indulgences on special occasions or when I had a major craving), but fell off the wagon when I married a die-hard meat eater. My diet is still primarily vegetarian, but I’ll eat some fish or seafood, or even indulge in an occasional steak.

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i'm recovering, though since i never stopped eating fish, i didn't call myself a vegetarian.

i stopped eating meat for a couple of reasons:

1) pork is delicious. i was perhaps somewhat less judicious than i should have been in my use of it in my youth. i wanted to make it "easier" to say no to bacon.

2) i have always loved to cook, but found myself relying on standards for flavors (smoke, moisture, creaminess etc) and wanted a challenge.

3) i live in seattle - it's really easy not to eat meat here so it seemed like an interesting experiment.

it was, and it lasted about 6 years. i started again very randomly. i was in london for work and i just adore english breakfast sausage. had to have it. then i was in spain in july and i knew i had a date with salchichon that i couldn't miss.

when i came home i started experimenting timidly. i had started to feel like i'd been missing something and so my experiment came to an end. i think now it would be hard for me to go back. i'm still really fussy about the meat i eat - i don't enjoy fatty meat, or the texture of a thick steak and i'm barely ok with chicken - though i'm crazy about pork.

i appreciate your question about slaughtering and animal care. i've thought about that a lot and i'm at peace with my decisions, but it's still hard. i won't eat veal or foie gras - and try to eat meat that's raised organically and treated humanely...but i eat in my (sodexho) work cafeteria every day - where even the lettuce suffers from cruelty.

one thing that as a food lover i feel i can do (more effectively as a meat eater than not) is support small artisan shops. a small independent butcher whose business doesn't rely on factory farming is one i can feel good about supporting. a salumeria that treats meat with reverence (and makes a hell of a finnochiona) is one i'm glad i can enjoy and support at the same time.

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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First, I have to take issue with the term "recovering" vegetarian, because it implies that there is something wrong with or abnormal about vegetarianism.

Anyway, I was a vegetarian for two years in high school. I never had much appetite for meat, as a child my mother would force me to eat a tiny fillet mignon once a month. I was dedicated in my vegetarianism for those two years (no chicken broth, fake bacon BLT's, nothing with gelatin).

I think the reason I stopped being vegetarian was that I didn't have a strong ideological commitment to vegetarianism. I have several friends who are vegetarian and they have strong feelings about treatment of animals. I am very conscious of where the meat/seafood I eat comes from, and in eating some animal products I wanted to expand my own eating experiences.

I still rarely eat meat or cook it for myself. I can easily go several weeks without eating any meat or seafood (though I probably consume things with chicken broth, etc in them).

I usually order seafood when I go out to eat, and I enjoy the occaisonal BLT or some sausage. I will eat any dish once (really, anything), and will eat meat if it's served to me.

However, in daily life I still maintain predominantly vegetarian eating habits simply for matters of taste (a good plate a vegetables is much more interesting to me than a hunk of steak), and many of me friends would consider me vege, or flexitarian.

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I flirted with vegetarianism briefly. There was a topic on an Atkins board about whether it was possible to combine the two lifestyles (it is) and I had read so much on eG about vegetable recipes that I figured I could do it.

Anyway, I lasted about two days before I bought some liverwurst and dug in. I rarely go a day without meat, it is just a perfect foodstuff, but hey, I have lots of respect for those who can...

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I was a vegetarian throughout most of my twenties, for two primary reasons.  First, health.  I’ve always had stomach problems and, while in college, I heard that meat (red meat in particular) can be very irritating to the stomach.  I removed meat from my diet and found an immediate improvement in my stomach.  Also, contrary to the whole anti-carb diet thing, I lost a pretty dramatic amount of weight once I eliminated meat from my diet.

Second reason was environmental.  The resources expended and wastes produced in meat production grossly exceed those of vegetable protein sources.  A read through “Fast Food Nation” illustrates this (and will eliminate any craving for meat products pretty quickly).

I was never a rigid vegetarian (with occational meat indulgences on special occasions or when I had a major craving), but fell off the wagon when I married a die-hard meat eater.  My diet is still primarily vegetarian, but I’ll eat some fish or seafood, or even indulge in an occasional steak.

my family: we're vegetarians but i was raised non-veg

and then "recovered" and went back to veg after marrying

a die-hard vegetarian.

my family tradition in s. india is vegetarian, but my parents

(both scientists) raising us in the 60's fell victim to the prevailing

wisdom at the time that meat = healthier and more nutritious.

but being non veg in india is very different from being so in the us.

there, we ate meat about 1-2 times a month, max once a week

(due to expense and logistics). then, meat was not the central

hunk on a plate, but one of many small side dishes. very different.

my husband, a corn-fed midwesterner, read "diet for a small planet"

and decided to go veg. since i do the family cooking and we want

to raise our kids with one consistent message, i went veg too.

since i was raised

being very familiar with tasty veg dishes and knowing how to

balance meals, it was not at all hard.

husband travels extensively internationally in line of work

(developing countries: africa and asia) and it's mostly been

easy for him to find veg food everywhere. africa is full of

decent indian restaurants, e.g.

he does go against the stereotype of meat-devouring rich

westerner, so he has to get past the raised eyebrows, but

then good food is produced....

our kids can choose whatever they want when they

are grown and do their own cooking and grocery shopping.

if their idea of teenage rebellion is to sneak down a cheeseburger

then i think i'm getting off lightly.......

milagai

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First, I have to take issue with the term "recovering" vegetarian, because it implies that there is something wrong with or abnormal about vegetarianism.

I probably should point out that I used the term "recovering" because that's what several people have used when they've described themselves. I have enormous respect for vegetarians, and often wish I could be one. But I like meat and other animal products way too much.

I actually took a month-long class called "CHIP" which I think stands for Cardiac Health Improvement Program, or something like that. It's an extremely low-fat way of eating, but I think they do use things like Egg Beaters or other dairy or egg products that are extremely low fat. However, locally the class was sponsored by a Seventh Day Adventist church; they are vegans and use no animal products at all, so that's the way the class was presented. What I had a problem with, which I understand doesn't have to be a part of vegetarianism (or the SDA church, for that matter), was their reliance on what I call pseudo-foods, i.e., tofu 'scrambled eggs' and Boca burgers. I don't want to eat something that pretends to be something else.

So I continue to struggle, and for right now, I'm trying to be an ovo-lacto vegetarian who eats meat every now and then. Health reasons, and treatment of animals before and during slaughter, are my motivations.

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I was vegetarian for many years (ten? eleven?) and vegan for about three of those years. It was a traumatic experience with a raw, whole chicken that did it -- I suddenly found myself unable to face the idea of eating bodies. Dead ones. That's what happens when a person grows up without knowing anything about cooking; when my mother did all the messy dealings, I was a great fan of meat.

I did start eating meat again during "recovery" -- but it was recovery from my late-onset eating-problem phase. I wasn't eating enough, and was craving meat. I started eating bits of chicken and tuna again, and the improvement in my health was quite dramatic.

Now, of course, I'm into bodybuilding, and go through eight large breasts of chicken a week... :blink: It's hypocritical, really; I still have a lot of problems with "things" in my dead flesh -- you know, those body things. Bits of vein and cartilage, shudder. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts, neat little cans of anonymous tuna... I sometimes wonder about trying vegetarian bodybuilding, it has been done before. My husband is vegetarian, and he's been so even longer than I, since he was sixteen, which makes it over twenty years (does he mind my flesh-munching breath? He's never said.)

Mind you, culinary bear -- he just joined the army. They do have vegetarian food in the army these days (my sister, who's an officer for Cadets, is mostly vegetarian too; she says it's usually a choice of cheese with pasta, or pasta with cheese) but until A. managed to get and fill out a form which said he was vegetarian (finally did that last week) apparently there was nothing provided for him. He spent the first week and a half of boot camp living on very, very large bowls of broccoli with sides of French fries, he said.

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My husband was a vegetarian after college, so we kept a vegetarian kitchen until recently. I'm not sure what changed, but all of a sudden he decided he didn't care any more. He was never a vegetarian for ideological reasons really, anyway. Of the two of us, I dare say I was more informed about global food and health issues.

I found it really hard to make good, balanced meals we both enjoyed while we were not using any meat at home - we relied way too much on cheese. He's also a trifle picky, and so am I, but in different directions. I don't like our stir-fried vegetables, they really lack something, and I should figure out how to make them better, but since that was his default 'healthy' suggestion, and he didn't want some of my choices, we'd always end up compromising on homemade garlic pizza or cheese enchiladas.

Now that we're cooking meat at home again I'm back in my stride. But we've also done something that we probably should have done with the vegetarian food - more compromise about just eating whatever the other person is cooking and not fussing about it. I don't know what brought that on either except for a consciousness that we were eating pretty badly - though tastily- and that wouldn't change without an effort on both our parts to be more flexible. I am certainly relieved that meat's back on the menu, but we still don't eat it every night by any means. And I was so proud of my husband when he cut up some stewing steak for a casserole! He's still definitely shy of handling meat, having never prepared it before.

I'm surprised, because his mother is a good cook, but I have the hardest time getting him to try things like porkchops because he always had them overcooked before. I'm not sure he'll ever like his meat as meaty as I do (we're compromising on chicken breasts for him and thighs for me!) but at least I feel more comfortable with meal planning again. I know one can plan a perfectly nutritious weekly vegetarian menu, but the simple fact was I grew up cooking meat and he grew up not cooking that much, so neither of us had the experience to do it well. He's a good cook though. Those cheese enchiladas are to die for!

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I know one can plan a perfectly nutritious weekly vegetarian menu, but the simple fact was I grew up cooking meat and he grew up not cooking that much, so neither of us had the experience to do it well.

Maybe there are advantages to being shooed out of the kitchen in childhood then! I had only just started cooking (age 18) when I had my dead chicken experience; I mostly learned how to cook with the vegetarian limitation already in place.

I think if I had never been turned off meat, I would still be a very boring cook, following my mother's pattern (my mother is a competent cook, but doesn't care for the process at all -- she doesn't get anything creative or fulfilling out of the act of cooking). Meat, veg, potatoes. Might never've tried garlic... :shock: (it gives Mummy indigestion).

Being vegetarian for those years has been the start of a lifetime adventure of food in all sorts of ways, and I'm very glad.

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I cut out the meat for five years in an attempt to deal with a pleathora of man-made allergies. I'm not allergic to anything natural, and started thinking about how all those chemicals were in my meat, but were avoidable in my vegetables, so...

It helped that I love vegetables.

After five years, and considering a career change, I looked around and realized that my allergies hadn't changed that much - there was some improvement, but nothing worth buying a billboard for - and I really missed things like proper Thanksgiving dinners. I still eat mostly vegetarian, but I'll let meat creep into my shopping cart. I still try for the organics, though, because that is what I found really made the difference, not cutting out the meat completely.

I have to say, though, I have a deep and profound relationship with chickpeas that might never have occurred otherwise.

--adoxograph

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I was reading the "biggest change in your cooking" thread and noticed a couple of posts from people who were vegetarian. I myself am a lifelong omnivore, and I am assuming that the vegetarian experience would typically be a one way trip. I have one friend who quit the vegetarian lifestyle while living in Brazil because she felt so isolated from her freinds. It's a meaty country.

I am curious what other motivations have moved people to leave the cause? And what attitudes have they encountered either before or after the change?

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About 25 or so years ago I read Diet For A Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe & stopped eating meat. Over the years I've added back chicken & turkey but still avoid beef or pork. This is partly because at heart I am still cow hugger but also because I think it's a healthier diet. I have to admit that once in awhile when we are in Mexico, for example, I find myself pretending that there really isn't any pork in that delightful green chile sauce or those melt in your mouth refritos.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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When I was married (20 years ago), my husband and I were strict macrobiotic vegetarians for the first three years of our marriage. I was ALWAYS sick and enemic. My doctor indicated that I couldn't possibly get the vitamins and nutrients I needed in the supplements I was taking. He recommended a huge slab of liver, immediately.

I did (served with grilled onions, bacon, and rice) and never looked back.

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I was a vegetarian for about 10 years. I originally chose not to eat meat because of (1) budget; I was really broke back then, (2) what to me seemed to be gross amounts of land and water and associated impacts devoted to the creation of cows and pigs, and the flip-side, that there is a net loss of food energy due to the mathematics of converting feed to meat. Along the way, I found that I didn't like the heaviness of tummy that a lot of meat produced, and I could make lots of good food without.

Long ago, I changed. Why? Because I have enough rules in my life without creating even more. Because I missed going to a Chinese restaurant and being able to order whatever I wanted. Because I truly missed a good hot pastrami on rye. And now, I eat whatever sounds fabulous. When I have it as a main dish, it is usually at a restaurant because I want it to be great. I don't cook much meat at home, unless I am making grilled burgers for the kids (they still don't do much for me), or using it as an ingredient more than a main (like using pancetta for flavor or tossing salt pork or a ham hock in my bean pot). That is partly because I forgot which cut is good for what, and partly because I am not very experienced at it. And the cleanup is messy. I'll be doing the braising seminar which should help me gain confidence.

People choose veg for different reasons. In changing my habits, I don't feel my own principles (those ever-shifting little buggers) were violated by adding small amounts to my diet. For people who believe humans don't have the right to farm or eat animals, or people who adhere to a religious prohibition, I think it would be harder to shift back and forth because they would hit up against a basic core gut feeling or principle.

Edited by tamiam (log)
Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
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We moved from South Florida where there was a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables all year long to a remote area in Central New Mexico where not much grows (and it was 57 miles one way to the store).

I felt better eating meat again. For me being vegetarian meant always being ever so slighly hungry... which was not a good state for me to be in.

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For people that know me now, it is very hard for them to accept that I was once a vegetarian. I decided to give it a shot when I was about 16, I wanted to eat healthier, I wanted to eat organic, I just wanted to be better to myself and thought I would start with what I put in my body. It ended up being the best thing I ever did. My stepfather was furious and used to always make fun of me and finally told my mom that she wasn't allowed to cook dinner for me if I wanted to be a vegetarian. I said fine, and learned how to cook. I started with pasta and some of those pasta recipes that I created at 16 are still in my arsenal. I did still eat fish and occasionally chicken, but I couldn't stand to look at anything red. It lasted about 3 years, towards the end I started eating pork and then one night, my mom had BBQ'd steaks and all I wanted was a bite....I still remember that taste of perfectly BBQ's T-bone after not eating red meat for 3 years. OH GOD! it was heavenly. I slowly started eating red meat again, but I couldn't eat more than a few bites and it had to be well done. Absolutely no pink. None! Now, what makes this all so strange for me, I grew up in a butcher shop playing with hanging carcasses. I ate a lot of meat as a young child, and well now, um....I'm known for having a wee bit of an obession with meat. I love it good, well cooked, rare, meat. Yes, rare. The first time I ever had a steak rare was just this past November at nwyles restaurant. I had hangar for the first time and it was blue. Just barely warmed, and I loved it. I will never go back. I still eat a lot of veggies and have plenty of evenings that are strictly vege meals, but now I truly enjoy a good steak.

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I was a vegetarian for 10 years. I never liked the taste of meat, and so when I went off to college I stopped eating it. It was a taste thing more than an animal rights issue for me. I stoppped being a vegetarian because...well, honestly, it was because my parents offered to pay for my honeymoon if I would start eating fish! It took me a couple of years to branch into meat. I eat poultry and pork now. I still dislike red meat, though I try it once a year or so to see if my taste for it has changed. My husband likes red meat and I have no issues with cooking it for him. We generally eat fish twice a week, poultry once, and vegetarian the rest of the time--he gets a steak or lamb about once every two weeks.

Red meat and lobster are the only foods I dislike--I will eat anything else.

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I was a vegetarian for 3 years in high school and college. For the most part it was the result of an incident where I was making meatballs for dinner with my mom one night and for some reason, the meat smelled really - I don't know - dead, I guess. I started gagging and it was a long, long time until I touched raw hamburger again.

I only lasted as an ovo-lacto vegetarian for three years - after that I went back to eating chicken, mainly because it made life eating in the dining hall at college a lot easier. I stuck with poultry and fish only, no beef or pork.

Over time more and more meat products have crept back into my diet. I eat bacon pretty regularly now, because bacon is delicious, and that's all there is to it. Two years ago, when we were in Europe I ate serrano ham and some really amazing pork paprika sausage in Spain - it was totally worth it. I have thought a lot about going back to eating meat. Every once in awhile when my husband makes himself a steak or a burger I get really tempted to take a bite because it smells sooooo good. But I don't know if I would get sick from it - maybe the old "dead meat" smell or taste would come back once I had it in my mouth and I wouldn't be able to handle it. It gets more and more tempting all the time, though. On the other hand, I am pretty happy most days eating almost no meat. I order vegetarian entrees in restaurants pretty regularly. II guess I'm one of those people who could be happy either way.

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[...]What I had a problem with, which I understand doesn't have to be a part of vegetarianism (or the SDA church, for that matter), was their reliance on what I call  pseudo-foods, i.e., tofu 'scrambled eggs' and Boca burgers.  I don't want to eat something that pretends to be something else.[...]

In my experience, the only people who make good mock-meats are the Chinese. You don't have to be a vegetarian or eat a vegetarian meal to enjoy Shanghainese mock duck. It's not even that much like duck, which may be part of the secret. I loved a little vegetarian dim sum stall in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, when I visited that beautiful city in 1987.

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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      1/2 jalapeno deseeded
      1 sprig curry leaves
      2 small garlic cloves
      1/4 t cumin seeds
      1/2 lemon 
      1/8 t asafoetida
      1/4 t turmeric
      small handful of cilantro leaves
      1T fresh grated coconut
      2 T Peanut oil 
      salt to taste
      sugar to taste
       
      In a pan heat some oil and add cumin seeds. When the seeds sputter, add sliced onions and stir. Saute on medium heat till they turn slightly browned here and there. Do not burn the onions. 
      Meanwhile wash the Poha in a colander and drain. Do this two or three times to get rid of any dirt and also to allow them to rehydrate. They do not need soaking. Fluff the poha with a fork. Add salt sugar turmeric asafoetida and chopped cilantro. Mix and set aside. 
      Once the onions are ready add minced garlic and chopped jalapeno along with the curry leaf sprig. 
      Turn the heat to low and add the poha mixture. Stir to coat and to allow the turmeric and asafoetida to cook. The poha will turn mildly yellow and start giving a wonderful fragrance. 
      Turn off the heat. Fluff gently and plate. Garnish with fresh grated coconut and a squeeze of lemon juice. 
      Finger licking good!! 
      Now when I make this next I will post a picture. 
      Update: Ok I felt the urge to have Kande Pohe for tonight’s dinner. So here is a picture. I am certain to enjoy it for breakfast as well. The measurement of 1 cup poha per person is too much for one meal. But carried over to another meal thats super good! I will also have some stir fried bok choy greens made in the same kadhai after the poha was done, and some cooked and sliced beetroot for salad. My family will add some haldiram sev on the poha for extra crunch! And we will all have some chaas to round off this meal. 
      *************
       
      2. Cheela/ Pudla
       
      These are essentially crepes but in the Indian style. 
      1/2 cup sieved garbanzo bean (Besan) flour. 
      Water to form a thin batter
      1T plain yogurt 
      1/2 t ginger garlic paste 
      1/4 or less green chili crushed
      2 t heated oil *
      pinch asafoetida
      pinch turmeric 
      salt to taste
      chopped cilantro (two sprigs)
      some ‘masala’ from a readymade pickle
       
       
      Method:
       
      mix the ingredients together except oil. Heat oil in a separate pan and add about 1 to 2 t of the hot oil onto the batter. It will sizzle. Use a whisk to stir thoroughly. The batter should be pouring consistency. 
      Let the batter soak for about half an hour if possible. 
      On a hot griddle, pour a ladle full of the batter. Turn the griddle with your wrist to spread the batter around. Cook on moderate to high flame. Flip the crepe when all the sides look like they are ready. You can add a little oil to the sides of the frying pan to make the edges crispy. 
       
      In my home we usually have a Besan cheela with some yogurt its a quick and filling breakfast. You can have a small salad or fruit with it to make it more complete. Or fill the center of the cheela with some cottage cheese and fold for added creaminess! 
      ****************
      3. Masala Toast : 
       
      1 slice of bread (your choice) toasted
      1/2 small red onion minced
      1 medium roma tomato diced (or whatever you have)
      cilantro (few leaves)
      1/8 t cumin (optional)
      1/4 t chaat masala ( available in stores)
      1 inch cube paneer
      1 T peanut oil
      pinch turmeric (optional)
       
      Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions. Add the tomato and cook down to mush. Crumble the paneer and add the dry spices. Stir for a few seconds to warm the paneer. Add the cilantro and though I have not written it as an ingredient, I like a few drops of lemon juice. Do not overcook paneer.
      I started this topic because someone asked for Indian recipes on the new forum. I don’t think they have seen any yet. I hope they find this useful. I am enjoying it. 
      **************************
       
      I will add recipes to the list slowly. I have to however add that after a certain ‘age’ I have now resorted to having to make sure I have three things for breakfast besides coffee: a glass of water, a small portion of fruit and a small portion of some protein not necessarily meat. 
      Bhukkhad
       

    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
       

       
      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
       
      Ingredients:
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
       
      Directions
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
    • By Ling
      Hi everyone! In our last Iron Baker challenge, I was given the task of coming up with a modern take on the retro classic Pineapple Upside-down Cake. For those who missed it the first time around, a picture of my creation can be found here. Now that the first round is over, it's my pleasure to introduce gfron1 as the next baker who will be presented with the new challenge!
      gfron1 is a very talented baker who has posted beautiful dessert creations in our Dessert thread. I am a huge fan. Here is a look at what he can do!
      So, my challenge to gfron1 is this:
      Make a dessert containing an animal ingredient or product other than lard or bacon by October 10th.
      I think all of us will be waiting with bated breath for whatever innovative/scary/(and most importantly) tasty combinations you come up with!
      (Now we just gotta wait around until he notices this thread and accepts... )
      P.S. If you're vegetarian, I can change the challenge.
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