About Me

Twenty-something years ago, I became a lacto-ovo (still consuming milk and eggs) vegetarian during massage school.  It took me three tries in 18 months to make it permanent.  I gave up beef, chicken and pork.  Pepperoni and bacon were the two hardest things to let go of.  Amy's(R), Morningstar Farms® and Boca Burger® products helped a lot.  From there, I settled into a comfort zone, still addicted to butter, cheese, eggs and seafood, because breakfast is my favorite meal, and baking is my favorite cooking activity.  Not only that, I’m from Southwest Louisiana, home of gumbo, courtboullion, etouffee, creole, pistolettes, Blend of the Bayou, and much, much more. 
However, 2011 saw a few changes.  While shopping for a fruit tray, I discovered Soyrizo®.  It is now a staple in my freezer and menus, particularly omelettes, pizzas and burritos.  I had at that point raised fruits, vegetables and herbs in an organic, square-foot garden, used Native American gardening techniques, and lived on a farm for a year.  I cooked at home more often, instead of eating out so much, and have returned to portion control, for general health and weight management purposes  My first cookbook, Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover (Amazon) and this special diets blog, Cafe Belinda, debuted in 2011.  I look forward to growing more vegan in 2012. 

September 2012: I finally gave up seafood (except for sea vegetables), so my goal of growing more vegan is becoming a reality. Butter, cheese, eggs and ice cream are still on my menu, unfortunately. Hoping to experiment with nut butter and nut cheese, and try Rice Dream(R) and similar frozen desserts. Saw one with coconut milk in the WalMart freezer last week. Looks promising.

2013: I looked up one day and realized Confessions was already two years old, so I updated it with some new quick and easy vegetarian recipes, created a new cover and replaced the page header quotes with tips from an international team of registered nutritionists, dietitians and food bloggers. Check out Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 2.

September 2014: I've discovered a new meat substitute: Tofurky. WalMart carries it in the produce section in the open refrigerated area against the far wall, at or below eye level, usually near the right end. Unfortunately, my local WalMart only carries one flavor at a time and it's not gluten-free, but I'll continue the search. So far, I've tried Sundried Tomato and Kielbasa. Both are delicious, but the Kielbasa is more versatile, with garlic and onion flavors predominate. The third edition of Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover is in the works. I've already begun working on recipes, planning more recipes, greater variety, and by popular demand, more scratch cooking. I've also identified the professional photographer I most want to work with, and she's excited, too!


Belinda Y. Hughes is the author of Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 2: Lacto Ovo Vegetarian Recipes. She also blogs on food, natural health, writing, editing and social media. Belinda is currently working on her first collection of erotic poetry, an LGBT cozy mystery and the third edition of her cookbook. She enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, meditation, yoga, reading and living in the country with her labradachs and wildlife friends.


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1 comment:

  1. tracy.rose@healthline.com11/30/2012 5:03 PM


    Healthline is interested in contributing a guest post to cafebelinda.blogspot.com. We would be open to contributing any blog that would be of interest to your readers. Healthline bloggers have been featured on a variety of sites including:

    Washington Times: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/tango-mind-and-emotion/2012/aug/10/how-healthy-choices-easy/
    Natural News: http://www.naturalnews.com/036515_diabetes_strawberries_prevention.html
    Patch.com: http://strongsville.patch.com/blog_posts/where-and-what-to-eat-in-cleveland-to-beat-the-winter-blues

    Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

    Warm Regards,