Fiddleheads for dinner.
Have you ever had fiddleheads? They’re from a wild fern that grows in the American North-East and believe it or not, they’re edible. In fact more than edible. First boiled and then sauteed with some garlic and onion they are delicious and taste a bit like asparagus. They’re seasonal and only available for a few weeks each year. They’re also the kind of new foods I discovered when I decided to eat differently over a year ago. By omitting all meat, dairy and eggs it was time to battle my sky-rocketing cholesterol (something for you twenty-something-year-olds to look forward to).
I was really curious at the beginning. Could I, a German meat eater, who grew up on “Wurst” and “Schnitzel” live on vegetables and grains? Don’t get me wrong, vegetables make a nice garnish on a plate, but surviving on them seemed rather worrisome. Everything I’d ever wanted to eat had dairy and/or eggs except maybe the occasional apple.
Tartlette recipe here in case you missed it.
What about comfort food? German Kuchen? Would it be hard? Would my cholesterol go down? Could I even do it? Where should I start? I needed a strategy….
First I started to read about food. About food production, the environment, nutrition and health. One of my favorites was Marion Nestle who has written many interesting books and articles about food and food politics.
And then I started to cook. I learned from websites and library books, and our family’s culinary experiences ranged from “barely edible” to “incredible”. I learned to prepare dishes from Africa, The Middle East, Asia and the Mediterranean; places where much of the food is plant based anyway.
After 6 month, my cholesterol dropped 100 points, the migraines I suffered for decades disappeared and I was feeling pretty good. In fact, really good.
I’ve learned a lot in the process and feel so much better now that I wouldn’t return to eating meat, eggs and dairy, even if my cholesterol level was naturally low, and that is quite interesting to me. If you had suggested a few years ago that I would happily eat this way, I would have laughed. Isabella Duncan was right, when she said: “What one has not experienced, one will never understand in print“.
Food choices are very personal, but I ‘m curious: Do you always eat the same meals/food? Does health play a major role? The environment? Do you eat organic – or not?
How do you choose what you (and your family) eat?