Meet Usha from Veg Inspirations this week in the Super blogger series. Inspired by her mom, grandmom and mother-in-law Usha also creates magic in her cooking. She has been steadily posting interesting recipes and is almost about to touch 200 recipes on her blog. Read more about her
EC: Tell us something about yourself
Usha: Thank you EC for giving me this opportunity. My blog Veg Inspirations is almost 2 years old, it turns 2 this May. I started the blog with an idea of sharing some of the healthy recipes that I make in my kitchen. I have always been very health conscious but in the last few years I have really ramped up my efforts to eat right. I make a special effort to use healthy ingredients like oatmeal, barley, ragi, quinoa in my cooking now and I try and cook as low fat and healthy as possible. I find that there is no better way to include healthy grains in our diet than to use these items in our usual day to day recipes such as idlis, dosas, soups, bread or even cookies. When it is seamlessly incorporated in our daily food, we never notice that we are eating something healthy and it becomes much easier to maintain healthy eating habits and a healthy lifestyle over a long period of time. I blog about the simple healthy day to day recipes that I try in my own kitchen and that is liked by my family and friends.
EC: Who and what inspired you to start food blogging ?
Usha: Food blogging happened to me quite by chance, I was always been trying out new dishes and new ideas in my own kitchen and one day it suddenly struck me that a blog would be a good place for me to record some of these experiments. My husband also encouraged me a lot to give it a try and I decided to take the plunge. Once I started blogging, I got completely hooked on to it and now it has become a part of my life.
EC: You have a lot of vegan recipes on your blog..How do feel cooking vegan food and do you wish to turn completely vegan in the future..If so why ?
Usha: I have always been a vegetarian and consider myself a sometime vegan. In regular day to day recipes, it is easy to make vegan recipes as most food I cook do not require cheese or other diary products. But baking usually requires a lot of diary products, nowadays when I bake, I try and veganize most recipes and try and avoid eggs and butter and substitute with healthier choices like flax seeds and vegan butter or oil. I would like to cook vegan whenever I can, as it is more humane, as to the future and whether I become completely vegan, only time will tell :-)
EC: You seemed to have tried a various Indian regional cuisines and International cuisines as well..Which is the simplest of them all and which is your favourite ?
Usha: I find most recipes, both Indian and International simple. As to favorites I have to say that since I have grown up eating Indian food, I find Indian cuisine to be the most comforting.
EC: Which recipe would you recommend for a first time baker and which are the important points to remember while baking
Usha: My recommendation for a first time baker would be to start baking with something simple. Something like this wheat barley cracker which is as simple as making roti or this basic simple pav would probably be a good place to start. At the beginning when you are new to baking I would suggest sticking close to the recipe, deviating very little and keeping the proportions as much as possible. After getting the hang of it and understanding the role of each ingredient in the final product, it becomes much easier to create entirely new recipes and making major changes to existing recipes.
EC: What are your recipe sources ?
Usha: Some of the recipes on my site are ones that I have learned from my mother in law, some from friends and other members of my family, some from books and some that I create entirely on my own. Most times these days, I just kind of create recipes from the top of my head, depending on the ingredients I have on hand.
EC: What important changes has blogging brought in your life ?
Usha: One of the most important facets of blogging is this wonderful blogging community that I have gotten acquainted with, there are so many wonderful bloggers out there who are creative and who share their passion, their ideas and spend time visiting sites and in encouraging others too. The other thing is that even though I have always been quite open to experimenting with food, I find that blogging has helped me to push my boundaries a little more and become a little more daring with my experiments in the kitchen.
EC: Your favourite vegetarian recipe
Usha: It is very difficult to decide on one recipe that is my favorite vegetarian recipe, but if I had to I would choose this Instant Ragi Oat Idli because it represents best, the type of food I love most, which is food that is very healthy, very tasty and simple :-)