Growing up in rural Upstate New York, my biggest dietary advances were either getting the spicy chicken wings, or maybe the time I had something other than the traditional kind of Hamburger Helper. Not exactly a Neil Armstrong moment right there, but it was what I knew, and did.  

It wasn’t until I became a veg head a few years ago with the help of my friend Rob that things in the culinary world opened up for me. I was forced to discover a whole new aisle of veggies, fruits, and most importantly – spices. For me, putting a few dashes of salt, or even pepper to ANY dish was ‘spicey’. That all changed.  

One of my absolutely favorite dishes to make now is ‘Easy Chana Masala with Chick Peas and Yams’, with emphasis on ‘EASY’. SO good. And did I mention – EASY? This one recipe (private message me for the recipe, and you will see) calls for curry, cumin, coriander, and garam masala. My dear Lord – I’m not sure I even KNEW they were spices, much less making sure I scour the spice rack at home before grocery shopping to make sure I have enough. And they are awesome. And they are great for you. And they add so much more to dishes. And did I mention the recipe is EASY? 

To be honest, we live in a tiny culinary bubble and we need to burst that bubble and let our taste buds go for a walk to explore the rest of the world. You can either overwhelm your senses with the smell, taste, texture, and sight of food – or overwhelm you with sheer volume, which is what it seems like America has come to, sheer volume.  

Explore the rest of the world with your taste buds. You will be SO glad you did.