Often, new vegans find an extensive new world of food opening up to them. International cuisines are much more vegetable and grain focused than American fare. Asian, African, Mexican, all of these are ripe for recipe plucking. But Indian is a shining star, with the cauliflower, cabbage, and curry, the chickpeas and warm soothing spices. Every vegan cookbook will have at least a few recipes, if not an entire chapter, dedicated to this soft, comforting food.
I have had my definite favorites, including a red lentil soup from The Vegan Family Cookbook that was just lovely. Unfortunately, the day after enjoying a pungent butternut squash soup, spiced heavily with cumin, turmeric, and curry powder, I was the victim of a wretched and retching stomach virus. Two days of curry mixed with bile in the back of my throat and now it’s all off limits. Just looking for the original recipe put my stomach in a knot. My favorite red lentil soup: gone. I feel as if an entire limb of the vegan food body has been amputated.
I still use all these spices in other types of food. It’s the combination that I literally cannot stomach. The human body is a fascinating thing, and I appreciate this safety mechanism that kept our ancestors away from poisonous plants. But damn it, I know it wasn’t the soup that was bad. It’s been over a year. Will it ever go away? And how come I still drink beer even though I threw that up dozens of times in high school and college? It just doesn’t seem fair.