Trying New Foods

Happy 2011!

Thank you all for making my blogging experience so inspiring, engaging, and eye-opening. I created VEGeneration in July 2010 to simply put up some pictures of my day-to-day eats, and since then, it has grown to so much more. This blog played a big role in my life during the summer but has unfortunately assumed a more back burner position since school started in September. I know I haven’t been around much lately in terms of posting and commenting, but please note that I keep up with my Google Reader religiously so I haven’t stopped reading and learning. I just wanted to take the time to express my appreciation for this community of bloggers and readers–YOU included!

Anyway, I hope everyone has enjoyed an amazing holiday season. 🙂 I will miss all of the holiday cheer, but I for one am glad to get back into the swing of things. Before I move on, let’s back track a little, shall we?

I love parties but I’ve never really rung in the New Year with huge festivities. This time around was no different. My New Year’s Eve was pretty laid-back, spent at home with family and friends–complete with lots of laughs, chatter, and of course, good eats.

I’ll admit that the food arrangements that night were pretty nontraditional. The dishes were a mix of:


  • Chinese-style meat, seafood, and veggie dishes (by Mom)
  • Indian-inspired curries and salad (by me!)
  • rice (the rice cooker never fails to deliver)


  • seaweed salad, sushi, etc. (from H-Mart, a Korean chain supermarket)
  • various spicy meat dishes and complimentary rice (from a local Chinese restaurant)
  • orange mango juice (thanks, Costco)

We celebrated at our house, which made it easy for me to whip up some meat-free dishes before everyone arrived.

Spinach salad with carrots and apples. Orange-balsamic dressing and raw nuts (walnuts, pecans, and almonds) on the side. I figured people could sort of build their own salad this way.

Curried tofu with onions, zucchini, and butternut squash. My secret ingredient to making a flavorful curry? Aside from canned tomato and Greek yogurt, I added hummus. Sounds out of place, but trust me, it works.

Alongside the vegetarian curry tofu was my veganized version of Aloo Baingan (potato and eggplant curry). I subbed in sweet potato and two long Japanese eggplants (both are what we have around the house) for the typical white Russet potatoes and big round eggplant.

If you noticed, I also didn’t have any cilantro so I faked it with chiffonaded baby spinach (additional for garnish). Not a problem. I pumped up the other spices. Flavor, flavor, flavor!

Besides, spinach is delicious. Cilantro tastes like soap.

My plate: a bit of everything I made, plus some brown rice. I went back for seconds and thirds on the salad, tofu, and eggplant.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that food you make yourself tastes the best. Am I right or what?

I don’t recall anyone touching the salad. A few people tried my curries (with hesitation, might I add) but it turns out it wasn’t their thing.

I think the thought of trying these “strange foods” freaks them out a little. The adults are so accustomed to traditional Chinese fare that they are reluctant to step outside of their comfort zones. The kids are just plain picky.

Indian food? *eyes wide open with horror* Vegan indian food? *painful cringe*


At least that meant I had plenty of leftovers, which I’ve been happily munching my way through.

Question: Have you ever made something that people were unwilling to try, due to their unfamiliarity with or their fear/strong disinclination towards “that kind of food,” etc?


6 Responses to Trying New Foods

  1. What a spread! My NYE food basically consisted of champagne and shrimp lol

  2. I’ve tried, but my parents (especially my dad!) just can’t stray away from white rice and traditional chinese food. 😦 Whenever I try a ‘new’ dish, I always have to offer it knowing that the only people who will eat it is probably my sister and me. 😉

    Happy New Year!!!! Best of luck in the upcoming semester as well.

  3. Jessica says:

    Funny you say cilantro tastes like soap – I have read that it’s very polarizing, people either love it or think it, well, tastes like soap.

    I have seen people flat-out refuse to try my food, or maybe take a small spoonful only to want more. I don’t press too hard, though, because I’m not usually willing to try their food!

    Looks like a great spread – enjoy your leftovers!

  4. Jenny says:

    Yes. I am sort of like Jessica, though – it depends who it is. There are many “smarties” who I KNOW would make a comment about me not trying their food so why should they try mine…my brother is the worst. He’s so weirdly anti-vegan. We were eating tacos this weekend, and he realized he used one of “my” taco shells. (They were just organic – that’s all!) He honestly went to the recycling bin to read the ingredients on the box before he would eat it. I said, “It’s just corn grown without pesticides! It’s not like there is TOFU or something in them.”

    I think your meal sounds really fun. We had an Italian Christmas, so…

  5. Pingback: I <3 Butternut Squash « VEGeneration

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