I grew up eating a lot of meat from a lot of different cuisines.
Given the option, there was always pepperoni on my pizza and bacon with my eggs.
My mother was a vegetarian and although there was always a lentil curry (daal) on the table that I dug into with relish, I just preferred some cooked flesh on my plate.
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In my twenties, on a whim, I gave up meat for three months and realised I felt better as a vegetarian.
My dad did ask me how long this would last. I think he was quite worried and disappointed to potentially lose another family member to vegetarianism.
But then I married my veteran vegetarian husband (he is Jain, an ancient Indian religion where they believe in not harming any living things) and I spent the next two decades immersing myself into the world of vegetarian (and Indian) cooking.
Once we had kids, healthy balanced vegetarian family meals became my culinary focus in the home.
Then, when I thought there were no challenges left to conquer, my husband became a vegan.
To top it all off, when COVID-19 hit I was trying to keep food interesting for a vegan husband who doesn’t eat too many carbs, a 15-year-old daughter who mostly likes Far East Asian food, my 10-year-old son who would live on pizza and pasta if he could, and last but not least, me!
This is all to say, I have learnt a little about feeding vegetarians and vegans along the way - and there is no reason to think you are settling when following a meat-free diet!
If you're a green ‘green’, and not sure where to start, follow these easy tips and your friends and family will always come back to your table for more.
While you're here, have a listen to Mamamia's food podcast, What I Eat when. Post continues below.