Uberdish was created in early October 2012, but I had been thinking of the concept for some time. The idea came to me in the spring when I was painstakingly cleaning off my coffee table and kitchen bookshelf. I had stacks and stacks of clipped recipes, magazines (Vegetarian Times, Living Without, VegNews, alive – just to name a few!), and a large number of nutrition books and cookbooks. At this time, I came to the realization that not only am I an obsessive cookbook/recipe collector, but I am a person extremely passionate about health, nutrition and clean eating.
Actually, ever since I could remember, I have been passionate about vegetarianism and cooking plant-based dishes. Back in 1999, in an effort to gain more skills in the kitchen, I enrolled myself in a 6 week vegetarian cooking class. This course was taught by a very inspiring Holistic Nutritionist. All of the dishes we made were vegan and they were absolutely delicious. I will never forget the coconut cream pie we made and my husband’s reaction when I came home with a very small doggie bag!
After my cooking class ended, I enrolled part-time at a Holistic Nutrition school and completed over half of the required courses. Regretfully, I never finished the three-year program. Life just got in the way – my family moved twice and I had another child. My youngest child had a difficult start. She was colicky and suffered from a terrible gluten allergy (although we did not know it at the time). I was needed at home. My intentions were to enter back into the program, eventually.
One thing that never ceased was my desire to learn more about nutrition. It seems like every day I become more and more intrigued with raw food. (I have to add here that for nearly 20 years my husband and I have been the proud owners of a Vita-Mix – I am serious! It never fails!) Last year, I was surprised with an Excalibur dehydrator. My Excalibur takes up most of my counter space. Kale chips can usually be found inside as well as, flax crackers, crepes, and wraps. I love it and can’t imagine living without it. I also own a Paderno turning slicer thanks to the recommendation of Sharon at Wanigan Organic Foods. My kids think it’s funny that I can make noodles from zucchini, carrots and parsnips!
I am a person that gets super excited when friends or acquaintances ask me questions about my meals. It seems like I can chat about good, wholesome food for the longest time. In my discussions, I tend to throw in a little tidbit of research in the mix whether it was asked for or not. It’s almost like I can’t help myself. I just love to share what I learn. For this reason, a good friend of mine suggested that I start a blog. It had never crossed my mind because I have never considered myself a computer lover. I am somewhat traditional. I still carry around pens and various notebooks. However, I took her suggestion and did some research. Finally, I announced to my family and friends that I was going to try something new. I was going to be a blogger!
The name “uberdish” came to me once during the night. Uber is a German term meaning, “the ultimate, over and beyond all other things”. Uberdish seemed to fit because I believe that my meals are jam packed with so much good nutrition. Not to mention, they are absolutely delicious! I should add that I do not speak German (well, maybe a wee bit), but it was my husband’s first language. For the last couple of years, I have been very lucky to accompany my husband to Frankfurt on his Christmas holiday business trips. Perhaps, I heard the word uber one evening over a glass or two of gluhwein!! I’m not sure. I do know though that my goal for uberdish is to inspire others to eat healthy and think wisely about what is on their plate.
I am a very busy mom, so you will find that most of the dishes I post will not have you slaving in the kitchen for hours at a time. I decided that all my recipes will be gluten-free. It made sense considering my pantry is only filled with gluten-free foods due to my daughter having a severe gluten allergy. When she was diagnosed, my husband and I decided that we would cook only one meal that the whole family could enjoy. Considering she had felt ill during most of her life, we didn’t want her to feel different than the rest of us. We are a family of 4 and we have been a gluten-free home for over six years. Our palates have changed so much that my husband and other daughter (now 14) tell me that they have a hard time eating out when there are no gluten-free options.
So, why vegan?
I was born a vegetarian to a meat loving family. I must admit that it was considered a little odd to others. Everyone around me ate meat and loved meat. I just never did. I find it funny to look back on my childhood years and recall what others thought of my diet. I was told that I would grow up weak and suffer from various illnesses. However, I was the kid that rarely missed a day of school! I was told that I absolutely must eat meat for the iron and protein since vegetables were not a good source. When I was 16, the health department decided that they would test the iron levels of all female students at my high school. I was mortified that my mother gave permission, but I think she was concerned and a little curious. Blood was taken and wouldn’t you know it – I had the highest iron level! The results showed that I had the same levels as a 16 year old boy! The nurse couldn’t believe that I was vegetarian.
Considering I never ate meat, I have always been a little curious about veganism. I had done a lot of reading on the subject, but always thought that due to my love of animal-based cheese and yogurt, it just wouldn’t work for me. I was wrong. In the spring, my husband and I spent a glorious weekend in New York City. Amongst the sight seeing plans, I purchased online tickets for us to attend an event, “The Seed: A Vegan Experience”. I also made reservations at a popular vegetarian restaurant and a raw food restaurant – my kitchen shelf displayed their cookbooks, so not visiting their premises was not an option! We listened to some amazing speakers – Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Brendan Brazier (I purchased his first book five years ago so I was dying to hear him in person), Gena Henshaw, Dr. Neal Barnard, Kathy Freston – and it was an eye opener! I realized that going vegan was something that I could do and, for health and environmental reasons, should do! I tasted plant-based cheeses and yogurts and I was sold! I learned that when you crave cheese you are actually craving the fat and salt, so I began making my own creamy, non-dairy dishes using foods such as, nutritional yeast, cashews and macadamia nuts.
Sitting on my coffee table now is “The China Study”, “Eat to Live”, and “Becoming Vegan”. It also includes signed copies of “Whole Foods to Thrive”, “Thrive Fitness”, and Mathew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis’ “Raw Food, real world”. The pile keeps growing. I just wish I was able to read 24 hours a day.
I am a member of the National Capital Vegetarian Association and the Canadian Celiac Association. I also proudly hold a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from Cornell University and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation. And, I am back studying Holistic Nutrition at The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
When I am not writing, I work occasionally as an elementary teacher. I am a mom to 2 very active young ladies.
I enjoy the outdoors immensely. In the summer, I take pleasure in camping, our family cottage, hiking, canoeing and kayaking. I don’t hibernate all winter. With my family, I participate in such activities as, skating, tobogganing, snowshoeing, and skiing. I also love to travel having visited some beautiful and charming places in Canada, U.S., Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean.
Thank you for visiting my blog and reading all about me! I hope you find something on uberdish that is new and exciting – something to think about and something to talk about. Eat well, richtig essen!! 🙂