VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR
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THE NEXT WORKSHOP WILL BE HELD IN HUNGARIAN: 2020.09.27 (SUNDAY)
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – advise from my favourite writer and imaginary friend, Michael Pollan, a respected journalist and author of many wonderful books, including “The Omnivore's Dilemma” where Pollan asks the seemingly straightforward question of what we should have for dinner? Since the negative effects of meat consumption on our environment are known for decades, treating meat as a side dish, rather than the main course can reduce our ecological footprint.
I have the ultimate respect for vegetarians and vegans. For they have actually done the work of thinking through the consequences of their eating decisions, something most of the rest of us have not done. I’m not vegan, or even vegetarian but over the years I’ve come to the point where I hardly eat meat at home. I would say that meat is a festive dish for me and my family. It doesn’t get on the table every day, nor does it is missed. Instead, we consume fish and plenty of vegetables, which are not only good for our health, but we can spare a penny or two. It’s relatively easy for me because I love vegetables and I know how to cook. Knowing the ingredients and how to prepare them makes healthy eating easier in general. A vegetarian diet is an advanced form of healthy eating because it requires some knowledge of not only the preparation methods but dietary principles too! We all have to decide whether or not to eat meat for ourselves, and different people will come to different conclusions, depending on their values – but knowing our options have never been so important!
Some would argue, in favour of meat consumption, saying that a vegetarian lifestyle is unhealthy, which I don’t think is true in itself. A well-proportioned vegetarian diet that includes adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and nutrition is at least as beneficial, if not healthier, than a balanced but not meat-free diet. I profess the principle that nothing should be given up, but restraint is important! Especially knowing how much water is used to produce a pound of red meat, and how much animal farming has increased the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the food system by an order of magnitude.
Even when it’s hard or impossible to eat in a politically correct way when avocado, palm oil and cashew nuts, along with many other ingredients, are on the ban list, but you can still try, shop more consciously, and explore the possibilities! If we do, this habit can sink into other areas of our lives as well. You may even become a label reader!
In class, we will prepare and taste dishes that are delicious, varied and don’t discourage anyone from trying a meat-free meal. Instead, they can be made easily and quickly, even after a very long day. We are not going to taste "soy" meatballs. The goal is not to replace meat, but to experience variations of recipes where meat is not at all necessary to achieve tastiness :)
What you can expect in class: basic dishes, grading vegetables - with a focus on seasonal ingredients, cooking methods and pitfalls. I will try to dispel one or two misconceptions about Brussels sprouts, and I will also introduce a few new ingredients. Anyone who has not yet tried cooking can join the beginner's course, as I would like to lead applicants through the process of discovering, experimenting and cooking independently.