About Me: From Vesta Curry to Vegan Sushi

When I first became a student the only thing I knew how to cook was scrambled eggs and Mary Baker fairy cakes – from a packet!

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Over time, thanks to my aunt’s gift of a basic cookery book, I learned to enjoy experimenting with – for me – unusual ingredients like green peppers, aubergines and garlic.

I would invite student friends round for dinner to experiment on: 2 of them still don’t know that I nearly threw a whole bulb of garlic into the Hungarian Goulash because I didn’t know what a clove was! I stopped at 4 because it seemed like a lot. Either they were very polite or it passed muster, but no-one choked or spluttered into their dinner.

I loved creating meals and of course loved the appreciative comments afterwards. It was quite a step up from Vesta curries and Bird’s Instant Whip – remember those?!

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I never had any real cooking disasters oh, except when old friends were visiting and I spent the whole day making a perfect lemon meringue pie from scratch, only for my coin-filled wallet to dive out of a cupboard and land straight dead-centre into the pie minutes before they arrived!

But I digress.

Growing up, meals were about sustenance, not for entertaining or to nurture good health, we knew nothing about that. Mum cooked for us, that’s what mums did. She did her best, but she didn’t enjoy it and didn’t have much money to be inventive. Dad liked plain food, so no room for creativity anyway. She liked to get on with it and we weren’t encouraged to join in – though she did let us do the washing-up! (This she came to regret when, unbeknownst to me, she had spent all day making a huge pan of ham stock for pea soup and I threw it down the sink thinking it was soaking water! Poor Mum. You can imagine the scene).

So, the kitchen was not my favourite place and, for me, cooking was nothing more than something that had to be done in order not to starve.

Having a child changed all that.

When my son was born, I became more interested in healthy eating. I would get books from the local library – our favourite place to go on a wet Winter’s day –  which eventually led me to becoming more informed.

He would learn about colours and I would learn about conscious eating:

What we eat doesn’t just affect our bodies, but also the planet, the economies of developing countries and animal welfare too.

 I became a vegetarian and eventually a juicer, raw foodie and vegan.

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In my blog, I’ll write about the people and books who inspired me on my road to raw, (some are still available via secondhand sites, see Raw Energy) and about my juicing experiences (eg My First Juice Cleanse – Do’s & Don’ts and Preparing to be Superjuiced

I’ll also recommend equipment (see Retro Super Blend reviewSpiralising: A Great Way to get Your Kids Eating their Greens, Reds, Yellows,  Which Juicer?) and include plenty of recipes for raw treats, juicesnut milks, shakes and smoothies.

Oh, and there’ll be the occasional musings and anecdotes posted under ‘Life.’

Pull up a pew, have a warm cuppa or a refreshing juice and I hope you enjoy the read!

Copyright: Chris McGowan

36 thoughts on “About Me: From Vesta Curry to Vegan Sushi

  1. I just wanted to tell you that my prize book arrived today and I am so very pleased with it. Thank you so much! I will have to hold off reading it right now as I am in the middle of two books that I have to write reviews on by the end of the month. I knew it would get there but overseas mail is always slow to here. Again thank you! 🙂

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      1. I would love to do a review. I can do one on my site as well! Oh, and I forgot to mention the beautiful butterfly coloured by you! I love it and am displaying it on my desk!

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  2. I remember the Vesta curries and I’m sure if I saw one on the shelf I couldn’t resist if for old times sake! Same with the Instant Whip. Bird’s custard is almost impossible to find in Australia so I really do miss that!

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    1. What I remember most about Vesta curries is that every time I sat down to eat, they would clear my sinuses and I’d have to get up again to get a tisuue! They were the only curry I ever had in those days and we believed we were eating authentic Indian food. Thanks for reading 😊

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      1. I had a great time reading your article and a good laugh too. My story is a bit different, I was born and raise in Italy so my mother used to cook all the time. I’m about 50 now so when I was a kid, even if my mother was working full time, she always found the time to cook for her 3 children and husband. My father and my brothers can cook too though they are not into healthy eating. I live in Asia now and I totally love Asian food which I can find around in vegan restaurants. I haven’t had the opportunity to cook for a while but I don’t really need to here because the local food is very healthy. There are plenty of vegan restaurants, markets and fresh fruit, fresh fruit juices and vegetables. What can I say? I think I’m in Heaven… and I’m glad I’m not the only one!
        If I had the opportunity to meet you in person I think I would spend hours talking with you.
        Keep up the great work you are doing and thank you for sharing!

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      2. It’s good to hear you have access to fresh vegan food. I am a little concerned though that you don’t cook for yourself and so you have no control over origin, hygiene, toxins, food safety. You say the food is fresh and healthy, but do you know that for sure? Is it organic or has it been sprayed with dozens of chemicals? Are there controls over pesticides etc on their fruit and veg? Are they adding things like MSG? How long is it standing before you eat it? What about insects? If it is street food, all sorts of pollution could be affecting it. You may have a parasitic infection. Many people do without realising it. My instinct would be to choose your own fruit and veg, wash and prepare and eat it as near its natural state as possible and as close to buying it as possible. All that storing, heating and standing, spraying and environmental pollution are destroying the nutrients before they get to you. Glad I made you laugh, always a good thing! 😋 Yes, we would have a lot to discuss ☺️ Thanks so much for your kind words and taking the time to comment.

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      3. Yes, you are perfectly right. I actually did get something when I was in Nepal, just before the earthquake last year… I’m doing my best. I’m pretty sure my immune system is getting stronger and stronger. It is virtually impossible to stay 100% free of toxins in today’s world. We are just taking it one step at the time. 🙂

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