From the Introduction
When I was a child, my mother and grandmother made it their mission to make me as self-sufficient as possible. It was out of the question that I’d be “pampered and spoiled,” as they put it. By the age of six, I was a feminist by proxy and they were training me to become the most helpful husband someday. I learned to cook standing on a small bench between these two passionate cooks. They had me cleaning pots and pans before I even had time to call for help. This was far from a punishment; as it happened, I loved spending time in the kitchen. As I look back on my childhood, I realize how lucky I was to grow up in a time when the pleasure of cooking and eating was paramount. There was no online food delivery, and smartphones weren’t at the kitchen table. Instead, we kids would hop on our bikes to go pick up strawberries or apples from the local stands or do a grocery run for our parents. What a time. While we would cook out of necessity, we would still enjoy preparing foods in the kitchen and eating together as a family, free from distraction. It was a time when we enjoyed getting seconds and thirds . . . without worrying about calories or fats. A lot has changed since then. We now live in a digital world and have access to information at our fingertips. We also have a better understanding of where our food comes from and how our dietary choices impact the planet.
As for me, I became a classically trained chef, a Buddhist, and a vegan, in that order. I used my culinary training to veganize meals. I launched The Buddhist Chef blog and have loved sharing my vegan creations with you online and in my first cookbook, The Buddhist Chef. It’s been great to see all of you—whether you are trying to reduce your meat intake or are a long-time vegan—embrace these plant-based recipes.
Well, I’m so excited to share even more vegan meals with you. These recipes are inspired by the nostalgic comfort foods I enjoyed growing up, as well as by popular foods from around the world. I hope they make veganism easy for you and your loved ones, while bringing back memories of simpler times.