About Food

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I love to eat. It's a sensual pleasure with little competition.

Lately I've been trying hard to minimize the amount of meat I eat. The motivation stems mainly from health reasons, with a little bit of ecological awareness thrown in—meat is a far less energy efficient than foodsource than, say, grains or vegetables. It can't hurt, karmically speaking, to try to minimize the suffering in the world, either.

So basically right now I still eat chicken or seafood fairly regularly, and red meat very rarely. My rule of thumb is that if there is something healthy and ecologically responsible available that I like to eat, I err towards getting it. This hasn't had a noticeable impact on my body.

Some Recipes

I am a decent cook; I learned to make pretty good Contonese food from my father, and I've picked up a few recipes along the way. More recently, Holly and I have been cooking a lot of Indian food. For Indian cooking, I recommend reading books by Julie Sahni and Madhu Jaffrey, and exploring Indian grocery stores in your area, if you can find any (we go to nearby Sunnyvale for an astonishing variety of Indian foods).

Chinese cooking is kinda dicey for me, recipe wise. I just kind of throw Chinese food together piecemeal according to what feels right. Here are some recipes for stuff that I do happen to do "by the numbers."

On Vegetarian Alternative Foods

In general I don't enjoy vegetarian foods that are meant to emulate meat. The whole idea of not eating meat is, well, not eating meat. The idea of eating people is pretty disgusting, so I wouldn't want to eat, say, Boca Humann Patties, which taste just like people, either. I can't imagine moralistic vegetarians enjoying fake meat, and as someone who does still eat meat, well, the fakes just generally aren't as tasty.

There are some exceptions to this rule, however. Notably, certain forms of meat (usually ground) seem to adapt well to emulation because, well, they're not all that muscle-and-fleshalicious to begin with. For example, I think textured soy protein could be put to good use for making vegetarian potstickers. I've never had good vegetarian potstickers; usually they just have the wrong texture—discrete bits of veggies inside a potsticker skin.

So here are some vegetarian alternative foods that I like a whole lot. First are the frozen buffalo wings produced under the Morningstar Farms label. This is just a version of their popular "Chik Nuggets" that is spicy. Heated in an oven until crispy and served with some good ranch or parmesan dressing, these are super yummy.

I love a good chili. Which is odd, because I don't like beans much and I don't like bean-only chilis. We found an excellent vegetarian chili at Trader Joe's, under the Natural Touch label (which is the same as the Morningstar label, all of which is really just Kellogg's—go figure).

Andrew Ho (andrew@zeuscat.com)