Mommy Cafe

Vegetarian home cooking, kid tested and approved

Learning to Love Series

Seven years ago when I first attempted being vegetarian, I was nervous about much of what I considered to be vegetarian fare.  Tofu, for example, scared me silly.  And lentils?  You weren’t going to find those in my kitchen!  Slowly, I’ve learned to appreciate, if not love, some of those formerly scary ingredients.  All it took was a good recipe or two to introduce me to the right way to cook them.  And, unfortunately, a lot of recipes to teach me the wrong way to cook them!

Of course, this exercise in appreciation is an ongoing process.  I’m still not a big fan of lentils.  And I still struggle occasionally when preparing tofu.  However, I’m hopeful that with the cooking experiments I’ve endured, I can ease the journey for others through the vast array of less common grains, legumes, and proteins. 

To that end, I’ve started the “Learning to Love” series.  I have chosen several ingredients that have immense nutritional value but can be a little daunting, and categorized the recipes accordingly.  For example, if you want to give yourself a protein-kick-in-the-pants, go to Learning to Love Quinoa and check out any recipes posted there.  Or if you think it’s finally time to give tofu a shot, look under Learning to Love Tofu.  You’re smart, you’ve got this figured out by now!

So to summarize, let me be your guinea pig.  I have tested many a recipe that is not worth your effort, no matter what the nutritional content of the ingredients.  The recipes posted here have made the cut.  They are just as good for your taste buds as for the rest of your body.  I hope you can learn to love something new as a result of my blog!


April 20, 2010 - Posted by | Food for thought |


  1. Do you have Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers cookbook? She has a great wine-braised lentils recipe that got me to love lentils. If you can’t find it, email me at unlikelyvegetarian at gmail. I’ve also seasoned lentils with taco seasoning and gotten good results. Can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

    Comment by unlikelyvegetarian | April 20, 2010 | Reply

    • I don’t have that, but I’ll definitely look for it! Wine-braised sounds like a good way to make lentils tasty 🙂 Trying a new lentil recipe tonight, and I’ll let you know how it turns out!

      Comment by Becky | April 21, 2010 | Reply

    • Rachael Ray is making a Saffron Scented Pasta with Lentils right now!! As soon as I can afford the saffron, I’ll be testing it!

      Comment by Becky | April 21, 2010 | Reply

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