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I'm a Louisiana native who has lived in the beautiful Pacific Northwest off and on for over 25 years. I have also lived in Santa Barbara, California and Paris, France. I'm following a vegan diet now for my health and also for compassionate reasons. My cultural influences are quite ecclectic: for example, when I lived in Paris my roommates were German, Polish, Scottish and French. My step-mother's family lived for decades in Venezuela and regularly cooked South American dishes. My years in SoCal taught me to enjoy salsa dancing and 'real' Mexican cooking. And of course, I was raised on one of the most unique cuisines in the world: Creole and Cajun cooking from South Louisiana. Throw years of Seattle vegetarian fare into the hopper and you have quite a mix of flavors, cultures and traditions.
I love food that has strong flavors but ironically I'm a Creole from Louisiana who can NOT eat red peppers! No Tobasco, no pic-a-pepper, no hot sauces. It's a crying shame! (Smile.) I make up for this 'shameful' lack of spicy flavor with lots of garlic, onion, bell peppers, garlic, pungent herbs and other yummy spices...oh, and GARLIC! ;-) I love discovering new ways to 'convert' my old family favorites to healthy, vegan fare. Here in Seattle, I love the Chinese and Thai vegan restaurants. And of course, I do most of my grocery shopping at the fabulous Puget Consumer's Coop (PCC) near Greenlake or in Fremont. I work long hours, so I like being spoiled by having recipe 'helpers' like prepared soups, really fresh bread and delicious vegan salad dressings at my finger-tips when I stumble in exhausted after work. But on the weekends I like to experiment, and this web-site gives me LOTS of inspiration!