Saturday, December 15, 2007

Reluctant Vegetarian

Don't get me wrong, I love vegetables. My mother never had to force me to eat my veggies - I was always more than willing. Peas, greenie beanies, broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, asparagus - you name it, I love it!

As long as it's parked next to a thick steak, lovely lamb loin, big pork chop, nice fillet of fish, or any kind of chicken.

Vegetarianism has never had much appeal. Not that I haven't enjoyed some vegetarian cooking but it always felt a little like a heavy petting session when I was a teenager, lots of fun but vaguely dissatisfying, if you catch my drift.

Anyway, that changed when I found Neatloaf at Ananda Fuara, a vegetarian restaurant near my work in the Civic Center. This stuff is a mixture of textures from grains and beans and perhaps some tofu thrown in for good measure, and rather mild in flavor, sort of like meatloaf but minus the meat. It's served with a highly savory barbecue sauce, so it really is pretty tasty. I chose the Neatloaf and Soup combo, which came (that day) with a wonderful, smooth bowl of African Peanut Soup made with (duh!) peanuts and yams. Quite, quite delicious.
And dig the colorful little carrot and purple cabbage salad that graced the plate with color.

The female wait staff all wear saris in this restaurant, which I suspect is a fundraiser for the guru whose picture appears all over the walls posing with various famous people. The male waiters are less gorgeously attired but there's a good vibe and the place is always packed at lunch time. Don't go there for a quick lunch - they seem to do everything with intention and that takes time - but if you have a full hour, I can recommend the Neatloaf that convinced even this reluctant vegetarian!


Blogger peter said...

I was a vegetarian for 18 years, and don't regret a second of it. I think it kept me healthy, and taught me a huge amount about how to extract maximum flavor from simple ingredients. Now I feel like it's just part of my repertoire, and I try to make a few veggie (and vegan) meals every week for balance.

Monday, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Peter, I have noticed your emphasis on veggies and now I know why. I love veggies, too, but usually don't find time for the kind of really expert preparations you achieve. And, we are lucky here in the west where we have fresh veggies year 'round that don't need much embellishment.

Thursday, December 20, 2007  

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