Many things have inspired me to write a blog.. my personal journey, travel experiences, expat life, raising a third culture kid, relationships and just odd everyday experiences!
However, the thing that really got me started was the ‘quinoa’ salad!!
See the thing is… I have been a vegetarian all my life! I can safely say my family has been vegetarian for centuries. I grew up eating vegetables, grains, seeds and lentils in hundreds of different ways, in hundreds of different combinations and when you multiply this with the variety and combination of spices and ways to cook them based on various regions and cultural influences in India… Its mind bloggling ? The array of food choices meant we could go for months without repeating dishes!
So being vegetarian was easy, fun, healthy and sustainable. Until I left India, suddenly I was the ‘odd’ one out! People ‘pitied’ me, made fun of me, chastised me and challenged me! All that changed once again suddenly when the world ‘discovered’ Veganism! It’s strange how the less rigid Vegetarian diet was completely over looked for a vegan diet/ lifestyle.
As I was navigating my vegetarian self through this new Vegan world the one food that kept getting thrown at me everywhere I went was a quinoa salad! The humble quinoa had become the pride of every menu from Michelin star restaurants to my neighborhood Pizzeria! Should I complain? After all I not only had a whole dish dedicated to me! My diet was finally accepted without having to bear the wrath of the waiter and Chef!
The problem was not the quinoa! I have been using quinoa before people knew how to pronounce it! But I made quinoa upma, pulao, risotto, vegetable bhaat, bisibelle bhaat, khichidi, kheer, burgers and salads of course to name a few! So for someone who had created so many variations with the Quinoa, I could not understand why I always seem to find a lifeless looking, bland, blah, blob of quinoa salad!
This was what finally prompted me to start writing this blog – Not Another Quinoa Salad, Please!