I really like the way my grandma called us for dinner, “Kin leh, chiak peng lo!” (come quickly, it’s time to eat!). The way she said it with a thick Hokkien accent and a sense of urgency, was actually filled with the love for her children and grandchildren. The dining table in my family is a place full of love. I failed to truly appreciate it when I was younger as my family always had to chase me repeatedly when it was mealtime. Now it is my turn to call my family for every meal. The feeling of preparing every meal with love and caring for the family feels exactly like what my grandma and my mother used to do. The only difference is that all the meals for my family are vegetarian.
I am not a chef, however, ever since I became a mother, I started to take cooking seriously and paid more attention to nutritional information. I became more mindful of how different food ingredients can be put together for a more balanced diet, especially after I decided to adopt a vegetarian diet. Choosing a vegetarian diet, firstly, was to avoid killing any living being. I do not have a medical background therefore I am unable to save lives by treating illness. Nevertheless, if we are able to let go of our craving for meat and go for vegetarian food, we are practically ‘saving lives’. Secondly, a vegetarian diet is better for health. Traditional health concept promotes ‘you are what you eat’. However, since years of meat consumption didn’t make me heathier than others, I might as well try a change of diet by switching to a plant-based diet.
Decisions to change what’s on the dining table can’t be mine alone. Luckily, my husband and children were very supportive and approved of the idea of consuming vegetarian food to stay healthy and protect lives. Regardless of how a meal turns out, they would always ‘give face’ to my cooking. The kids would critique my dishes as though they were food connoisseurs. Sometimes they would even give ratings on my dishes and encourage me by saying, “Today’s dishes are delicious, you have improved!” “You’ll do better next time, mommy! Keep it up!”
This, too, is love, isn’t it? A form of family love from the dining table.
Here are some simple recipes which I would like to share with all readers:
Creamy mushroom soup
Portobello mushroom (or a choice of any other mushroom), potato, nuts, onion, soya milk, butter, salt, spices
1. Stir fry all the ingredients
2. Blend all the ingredients into a paste
3. Add suitable amount of soya milk
4. Add in nuts
5. Blend to serve
Potato, butter, vegan cheese, soy milk (small quantity)
1. Steam potato
2. Add steamed potato and other ingredients into a blender
3. Blend and serve
1. Coat the abalone mushroom with oil and sweet potato flour
1. Coat the cob of a corn with butter and bake it in the oven or steam it with water