I’m S, a manager in a social service agency by day and amateur chef and food writer by night. I was born and raised in Chicago, and now live in an itty-bitty apartment in NYC with my husband, T. Most evenings, you can find me in my 50 square foot kitchen, bent over my beloved red Dutch oven, cooking up a storm and splattering delicious sauces and gravies all over the counters and walls.
After growing up mostly vegetarian, I let curiosity and a desire to be a “normal” Midwestern meat-and-potatoes kind of girl lure me into spending a good chunk of my twenties eating meat. Over those years, I immersed myself in foodie culture and fell in love with eating. Food became and continues to be how I experience the world—how I tell people I care about them, how I express myself, how I take in a new place, and how I have fun.
Eating animals, though, never really agreed with me on an emotional or physical level and in my late 20s I gradually, almost unconsciously started to slip back into a mostly vegetarian diet. This past winter, with my 30th birthday just beginning to appear over the horizon, I finally found the confidence to listen to the voice in the back of my mind and made the leap into a fully plant-based diet.
And I haven’t looked back. Giving up animal products has re-energized my foodlife in a way that I never expected. Meat eaters always describe the vegan diet as being very “restrictive,” but I’ve actually found it incredibly liberating and exciting. There are limitless possibilities when it comes to the flavor and textures combinations available in the plant kingdom, it’s just that meat and dairy often get in the way of us being able to appreciate them. I can think of few things more fulfilling and delicious than wild mushroom bouillabaisse, Xi’an Province-style pulled noodles with root vegetables, or baked macaroni and rich cashew cheese, just to name a few.
My hope is for this blog to be inclusive rather exclusive: I will never judge or shame anyone for the way they choose to eat, and I hope my readers will do the same. Whether you’re a long-time vegan or just someone interested in cutting back your intake of animal products, I hope you’ll feel at home here.