Hey there. I'm Vaishali and I am the author and recipe creator at Holy Cow! where I share tasty vegan recipes that anyone--experienced or not--can make quickly and easily. There are more than 1,000 recipes on this blog that I've shared since 2007, and I hope everyone--vegan, vegetarian or omnivore--will find something here that they will love.
Fast Facts about Holy Cow! and me:
- I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, a bustling suburb of Washington, D.C.
- I was born in Bombay, India; when I left it in 1996 to do my master's in the United States it had recently been renamed Mumbai.
- My family is my husband Desi (also the photographer for the blog), my son Jay, and my four divine fur babies, Lily and Leo (dogs) and Billy and Kala (cats).
- Holy Cow! was born on November 28, 2007.
- I called it Holy Cow! because someone needs to call out the hypocrisy--you can't both worship cows and factory-farm them. And because I try to show, through this blog, that Indian food can be just as delicious without the dairy.
- My favorite foods are savory. And they usually have potatoes in them. French fries are especially unsafe around me.
- The foods I cook are healthy and easy and delicious and always free of animal products. Jay has trained me well over the years and most of the recipes you'll find on this blog are both kid- and adult-friendly.
- In my former life I worked as a political journalist navigating political shenanigans in Congress and the Maryland statehouse, and I've worked as a reporter in three countries--India, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- My idea of bliss is spending time with my family or relaxing with a good book or the New York Times crossword. When I cook I listen to old Hindi songs (especially by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar). I also love bingeing on YouTube videos about simple living and minimalism -- while I am not there yet, I hope to be some day.
- My pet peeve is when people forget the first "r" in turmeric. It's not tumeric, guys, and the first four letters are pronounced just like "term" 😉 And oh, while we're at it, I have one more --it's not a chai tea, it's not a chai latte: a chai is simply a chai. Chai means "tea" in Hindi, and in India, a chai is always made with milk. Calling it a chai tea or a chai latte is like calling an apple pie "an apple pie pastry made with apples". See? Redundant. And I don't care if Starbucks thinks "chai tea" or "chai latte" are right--they aren't.
I started to write this food blog in 2007 shortly after becoming a vegan and about four years after going vegetarian. I've loved the alchemy of cooking for as long as I can remember, and I enjoyed eating meat as much as I enjoyed using it in the meals I made for myself and my family.
Desi and I adopted our great old dog Lucy (scroll down for her picture). Loving her -- and Opie who followed soon after -- as much as I did set me thinking about the complex intelligence of animals. The more I thought about it, the less I wanted to participate in the cruelty of meat production where billions of sentient animals just as sweet and wonderful as my dogs and cats are killed every year. In 2005 I became a vegetarian and two years later I had transitioned to a fully vegan life.
Because of how much I loved food, I challenged myself to create recipes that would taste as good as anything I'd ever cooked or eaten in my past life. Because I loved to write, I thought it would be a great idea to start a food blog to share these recipes with others who were looking for ways to either cut out or cut down on meat.
Today, Holy Cow! reaches millions of readers with original, fresh and healthy recipes that I cook up in my kitchen.
As a mom with a busy schedule, it is important to me that all recipes I create and share are easy, quick, healthy, and hassle-free. This is food we eat in our home every day, food you can cook whether you are a novice or an expert, and food you will love whether you are an omnivore or a vegan or somewhere in between.
You can also be sure that if we don't love a recipe, it won't be here on the blog.
I love to bake, so you'll find lots of recipes for homemade vegan cakes, cookies, pies and breads. Because Indian food is my comfort food, you'll find tons of Indian vegan recipes here. Because I'm mom to a picky preteen, a lot of my recipes are kid-friendly. And because I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, I cook, eat and post many, many gluten-free and soy-free recipes.
I also love experimenting with global cuisines, including Mexican, Italian, and Middle Eastern, and I love to bake, especially bread. All recipes use clean, wholesome, natural ingredients, most of which are already in your pantry. But don't just expect a recipe-- I like telling you the stories behind the food I serve up. You can also expect some chatter about the wonderfulness of animals (especially mine :)).
On this blog you'll find pages and pages dedicated to all the wonderful dogs and cats who have been part of our family, including our current group of furry troublemakers. Leo was rescued from a dog meat farm in Korea and flew halfway around the world to find a home with us, Lily was a street dog rescued from Puerto Rico. Billy, our adorable tuxedo cat, was found roaming the streets of Virginia. Kala Jamoon, our resident black cat, simply wandered off the streets to settle into our hearts and home.
I update Holy Cow! several times each week, so be sure to check back often for updates. You can sign up here to get new recipes by email. And you can follow Holy Cow! on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter to keep up with what's cooking here.
I love to hear when you make a recipe from this blog, so if you do please leave a comment. Or send me a photo at MyVeganWorld@gmail.com, or post it on Instagram and tag me @HolyCowVegan. If a recipe doesn't work for you and you want to leave your feedback, please do so, but make sure you are polite and offer constructive criticism. Just saying "I didn't like it" doesn't tell me or other readers anything, because we have no idea what you do or don't like and as you know, there's no accounting for taste. 😉
Here are a few links you might find useful:
Recipe Index, where you can browse recipes by photo, date, and category.
Vegan Kid-Friendly Recipes, because over years of cooking for my son, I've picked a trick or two. 😉
If you are a baker, you might also find this link useful: Vegan Baking Substitutes
And read more about my vegan journey here.
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