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Monday, May 22, 2006

I don't know how to cook vegetarian food... 

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“Dear Ai,
I had become vegetarian recently. When I was living with my vegetarian homestay family, my meals were prepared, so I didn’t need to cook. Now I am living by myself in Vancouver and I don’t know how to cook vegetarian food. Do you have any book you recommend?” Stacy from Korea

“Hi Stacy,
Thank you for your question. My fiancé used to be a vegan (Someone who omits all animal products from their diet and lifestyle) and now he is a vegetarian. I understand your frustration of cooking without meat since most of Japanese/Korean food is based on meat and fish. If you were brought up in a non-vegetarian family or haven’t explored a variety of cooking, it will probably be hard for you to figure out a new way of cooking. I can give you some suggestions through my experience.

1. Visit restaurants to see if they have “veggie” options. Explore and expand your cooking to Indian (curry dishes, chickpeas, cauliflower), some African, Ethiopian or Middle Eastern food (falafel).

2. Get some Vegetarian books from the library. I recommend “How It All Vegan,” “The Garden of Vegan,” and “La Dolce Vegan” all by Sarah Kramer. If you are interested in her books, you can visit her website at


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