Wednesday 24 January 2018

Adventures in food: Sesame nut noodles with greens

Aoife Barry

Food, glorious food. It is the centre of our day, the reason why many of us get up in the morning and the cause of family bonding and arguments. When we are young, our meals are dished up by our parents; but as soon as we fly the coop we must provide food for ourselves, leaving us with two choices: to learn to cook or to put the local takeaway's number on speed dial.

Before I could even talk, I was expressing my food likes and dislikes. On my dislikes list sat eggs, rice, pizza, cheese, beans and all manner of fruits and vegetables. On my likes list? Raw carrots, toast, chips (anything deep fried, really), chocolate and sweets. As the years went on my tastes expanded, but I remained a picky eater.

Then I moved out of home and began to cook for myself -- chicken with this, chicken with that; pasta, rice and the occasional serving of vegetables.

But it wasn't until I moved in with my omnivorous boyfriend in 2008 that I really decided to take things seriously in the kitchen. I read and researched, and I transitioned, slowly, to a vegetarian diet. My kitchen cupboards are now filled with all manner of spices and herbs, beans, nuts, lentils, quinoa and flours, and I have a neat collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks.

Like many people, I am on an adventure with food -- I'm learning, sometimes ruining meals and other times creating tasty food out of simple ingredients. And in doing so, I'm cooking food that caters for both myself and meat-eaters, because I believe that vegetarian food is, on the contrary to what many might assume, wonderfully inclusive.

With this column, I'll take you with me on my adventures in cooking. Together we will try new foods, attempt new recipes and learn more about vegetarian food. Whether you're a long-term veggie or a newbie like me, or you just want to eat more meat-free meals, you're very welcome.

For this first column, I've chosen a recipe that I hope sums up what Adventures in Cooking is about: healthy, tasty, and quick vegetarian food that will suit all of the family. Pull up a chair and tuck in.

Irish Independent

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