Welcome to my blog! I’m Susan and live with my husband just outside San Francisco. I have a struggling vegetable garden, several shelves of cookbooks I haven’t even begun to cook through, thousands of clippings of food ideas and recipes, and a Certificate from a culinary school in San Francisco, as I try to move myself to a semi-vegetarian diet that incorporates primarily plant-based foods.
I’ve tried to go completely vegetarian a few times now, but always ultimately gravitate back to a more meat-centric diet. But this time, I’ve found a balance that incorporates far more plant-based dishes, with the occasional addition of decidedly non-vegetarian ingredients. Essentially, I wimp out a bit, but the result is still a healthy diet now regarded as a “Flexitarian Diet”. A fairly new term still, flexitarian stems from a combination of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian” and refers to a diet that touts more plant-based meals and less meat.
I decided to start this blog to begin to share healthy, interesting and flavorful vegetarian or semi-vegetarian recipes I’ve either developed myself, or ones I’ve been inspired by through others’ recipes. Because I sometimes wimp out on going completely vegetarian, for some recipes I offer both a vegetarian version as well as a version that incorporates some decidedly non-vegetarian ingredients called the Wimpy Vegetarian Version (WV Version) for those, like me, who may want to incorporate some fish or meat. Along the way, I also offer up nutrition information I’ve come across that I have found helpful, and some lessons I’ve learned in the kitchen and at the table.
A little background on me: after a career in sales and marketing, I pursued a long-time dream and went to culinary school in San Francisco at Tante Marie Cooking School. I confess that for a while after I graduated, I sensed that the expectations of my friends had suddenly escalated and I tried to wow people with elaborate presentations and kicky, off-the-wall flavor combinations. I finally came back to earth and settled into my own personal style of up-scale rustic, mostly vegetarian. Instead of cooking to impress, I’d rather cook to connect people to each other, to the food, and hopefully to the culture and/or farm the food stems from.
I’ve entered some of my recipes in contests as ChezSuzanne on places like Food 52, and I’ve won a few (here, here and here). I also teach cooking classes focused on local produce and grains around the San Francisco Bay area which is very fun for me and will post notices of classes as they become available.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it, and welcome your comments. We all learn from each other and I would love to hear from you, especially if you’re trying to introduce more plant-based meals into your diet too.