Friday, May 23, 2014

The Concept

I'll start by saying that I enjoy food blogs very much.  I love the ease of finding recipes; I admire the unique spins that some bloggers give to their dishes; I like the diversity of food blogs - healthy, organic, vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan!  It's so much fun to learn about different styles of preparing and cooking foods.  But, I have yet to find exactly what I've been looking for in a food blog.  I want simple, healthy recipes that my family will enjoy.  I want to incorporate as many whole foods as possible, leaning heavily to the vegetarian side, but not excluding meat completely, though most dishes will be vegetarian or vegan.  There are a number of blogs I like very much, but they are solely vegan, and my family has not reached that point.  We may eventually, but for now, we still eat some meat (mostly fish and chicken) - only a few times a week, but it is still a part of our diet.  In short, I (mostly) intend to post recipes that will fit into a whole foods, plant-based diet.

That said, I'd also like to address a few of my complaints about most food blogs that I follow and to express my intent to make my blog "different."  First, many of the recipes have 'weird' ingredients that are not readily available in my small, East Texas town.  The nearest decent grocery store that carries a variety of organic, vegetarian, or vegan products is a Kroger Marketplace nearly 40 miles away.  A few years ago, I wouldn't have even considered driving so far to get groceries, but now we make the trip about once a week.  We have even traveled over 50 miles away to get to the nearest Trader Joe's.  And the nearest Whole Foods Market?  Over 80 miles away!

Luckily, from a shopping standpoint, my husband travels to Austin, Texas on business about once a week.  Both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market stores are located in Austin, so he does a good deal of our shopping during his business trips.  We would probably not be able to shop at these stores as often if he wasn't near them on business.

That brings me to the second complaint; in addition to 'weird' ingredients, many recipes have LOTS of ingredients.  I have always viewed recipes as general 'guidelines,' and I make adjustments and tweaks as I go along or leave out some ingredients completely if I don't like the taste - very unprofessional for a food blogger, as a dear friend of mine pointed out - but it's the truth.  I have tried complicated recipes with lots of ingredients in the past, and they have tasted fine, but I have found that I prefer recipes with fewer ingredients.  Maybe I have an unsophisticated palate.  Maybe I am just not so mentally exhausted from scooping and pouring and measuring when I prepare a simpler recipe that I enjoy it more when I finally sit down to eat.  And maybe it's because I prefer short prep and cooking times.  Whatever the reason - I just know I like it simple, and I like it quick.

And my final complaint about food blogs - the pictures.  The photographs are obviously staged and manipulated to appear perfect.  I realize the goal is to make the food look appetizing, but it's annoying.  The pictures should reflect reality - real pictures, real ingredients, real food.  That's what I want.

In short, this blog will feature simple whole foods, (mostly) plant-based recipes; emphasize using healthy, organic ingredients that are available to the average person; and feature unstaged photographs of the dishes I prepare.  So, I look forward to posting my first recipe soon - my favorite version of Chickpea 'Tuna' Salad.

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