(Update: I had to update my avatar because the old photo didn’t look like me anymore—my hair is completely grown out now and I’m older. My hubby drew this avatar for me.)

Creating this blog is something I’ve been meaning to do for a few years now and just never got around to it. Both my husband and I have been vegetarians since sometime in the mid-90’s but we didn’t really note it on a calendar so we’re not exactly sure when we started. I went all the way to veganville in 2004. What I miss most is milk chocolate and nope, there’s still not a really awesome soy or rice milk chocolate substitute. I may have to make my own one day.

Raised on Lard and Bacon

Of course, my family was weirded out enough by the vegetarian thing but they’re REALLY confused over veganism. I grew up in southern Indiana in a family that had migrated north from Tennessee and Kentucky. The kind of food my grandma taught me to make when I was a kid was veggies boiled to death with lard, butter, salt and pepper. Oh, and a ham hock if you’ve got one to spare. Meat (esp. bacon) was in just about everything. She always had a huge garden and everyone gathered at harvest time to string beans and can foods for the winter. She and grandpa never owned their own farm but always rented from other people. So I don’t think the garden was ever larger than 1/2 acre but to a kid, it seemed huge.

While in high school, I had severe allergies and I remember my grandma saying that she thought I might be allergic to milk. In hindsight, that was a pretty radical statement for someone in a rural Midwestern town. Not until years later would I realize she was on to something.

Discovering Whole Wheat Bread

Grandma also taught me to make jams and jellies, chicken dumplings, cobblers and cornbread griddle cakes. Of course all of these included lots of eggs, milk and refined sugar. I was in college before discovering whole wheat bread and the joys of steamed veggies. I previously had no idea that green beans could be anything other than army surplus green. This was quite a revelation to me and began my journey for healthier food. Soon after, my family labeled me a granola freak.

Going All The Way

The vegan tipping point came while watching some under cover Peta video of egg and milk production facilities. This brought back memories of the hen houses across the road from my grandma’s house and the cramped cages that I had conveniently forgotten.

I finally took that last step to giving up dairy. About a week later, my body recovered and began to digest food normally. I was thrilled since I had never known what it meant to digest normally.

This also began my online exodus into vegan cooking. Without all the helpful recipe sites out there, I would never have been able to make the transition. Fatfree Vegan, PPK and the Vegan Lunch Box are the three biggies that made the trip possible.

This blog, with its forthcoming recipes and cooking tips, is my way of giving back to the online vegan community that unknowningly supported me when I was lurking and learning.

So please try out the recipes and let me know what you think. I hope this makes your life a little easier too.

Cheers!
Julia

13 Responses to “About”

  1. Larry Says:

    Gee, a designer, chef and writer too! Almost makes we want to be a vegan.

  2. fortheloveofguava Says:

    hehee.. I’m still on my way (pretty close just using up stuff in the fridge) and my family’s growing increasingly suspicious of my eating habits as well! My mom’s always trying to shovel meat down the fiance’s throat (I think she thinks I’m starving him and he’s going to leave me). On the upside it’s grossing him out and he’s working on becoming vegetarian! YAY!

  3. Silvia Says:

    thank you for this…I’ve been a vegetarian since 1992. I’ve had more veganish and health conscious vegetarian years but over the past year I came to increasingly rely on eggs and dairy. Overweight, disgusted with myself and upset at my environmental impact, I’ve decided to go vegan.

    It’s been two weeks (one slip up) and already I’m quite happy. I’ve lost some weight (need to lose plenty more, thank you very much…!) and am feeling much better (I’d been so tired and sluggish of late).

    Thank you-your website serves me exactly as you intended it to -for inspiration, much guidance and even more support.

  4. twoveganboys Says:

    Julia

    I love your blog. I was raised in the South on meat and potatoes. It is still hard for my family to understand veganism. Though they try.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  5. Gloriadelia Says:

    Love eggs, bacon, salmon, and chicken too much to go vegan, but do love to eat veggies. I’ll enjoy exploring your blog, Gloris

  6. Gloriadelia Says:

    p.s. What is bento?

  7. Julia Moran Martz Says:

    Gloriadelia,

    A bento is an organized lunch box the way the Japanese do it. They even have government guidelines on how many portions protein, etc. There are often Japanese moms that sort of compete ‘unofficially’ to provide the most creative lunch for their kids. They are masters at fitting a lot and wide variety of food in small containers. Me, I’m not a food artist so much as food packer. I love the little Japanese bento lunch boxes and own several but my method of stuffing them is decidedly less creative than authentic bentos.


  8. Who would have thunk?! Great blog, Julia. I feel like I live next to a celebrity now.

    BTW: The Growing Solutions Compost Tea maker arrived today. I’ll try to make a batch for you and your community garden in the next few weeks.

    Jason

  9. Eselpee Says:

    I grew up in Southern Indiana, but in Bloomington where is was at least acceptable, if not expected, for one to be counter culture.

    My mom was a health-food person in the 50s, when one could not find WW bread, veggies (other than iceberg and carrots), or yogurt in a grocery store and the wonder bread man delivered door to door.

    So she made everything herself and signed us up in the Junior Gardening program (Miss Shalucha rules!!) so we could bring home fresh veggies.

    But I realize that Bloomington (at least in the 50s & 60s) was a spot of granola in a white bread state.

  10. Julia Moran Martz Says:

    Eselpee,

    Bloomington was the holy grail of party towns when I was in high school in Connersville. That and Oxford Ohio. Hell, even when I lived in Indianapolis, Bloomington was the place to be. Saw a great Jonathan Richman concert there way back. aaahh, memories….

  11. Annapet Says:

    Julia, thanks for tweeting about the ‘Principe Borghese’ tomato. Now I get to discover your blog! I’m loving it. Though I am not a vegan, I have a cousin who is, and when she’s around I love cooking vegan dishes for us both.

  12. Julia Moran Martz Says:

    Annapet,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    The Principe Borghese tomato is indeed one of the best but I was surprised by its small size. Plants are loaded but the shape and size is more like grape tomatoes than roma. That also made them really quick to dehydrate, which only intensified their flavor.

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