Why I Can Never Go Vegan

I feel tempted to turn this blog into a food blog and I wouldn’t even have to change the name if I did.

But I’m not going to do that. I hate being encumbered.

However, since this blog is about my life, I think the latest in my series of “Adventures in Not Burning the Kitchen Down” (though I did get awfully close) is certainly worthy of a post.

My husband and I went grocery shopping last week. Aww, we’re so cute, aren’t we? And as we were getting ready to unload the cart to pay, I noticed a bag of frozen brussel sprouts. Not having placed them there myself, I had to ask and make sure that my husband knew for a fact that it was brussel sprouts he picked out and not broccoli.

“I’ve never had them before. Let’s give them a try,” he told me.

See, that’s where my husband and I usually diverge on matters. He’s the type of person who wants to try new things. The more disgusting it sounds to me, the more willing he is! I, on the other hand, a creature of habit and routine, like to stick with what I know. When I’m faced with having to make a decision, I think of all the times I went for a non-chocolate dessert and then later regretting it. This makes no logical sense, as dessert cannot be equated to all decisions one must make in life. But then again this is me we are talking about…

Now that I am married and my routine of the past few years has been reprogrammed, if you will, and because it’s natural to absorb some of the qualities of your spouse (he now watches cow videos and episodes of Arthur on YouTube!) I guess you could say I’m more open to trying new things. I agreed to Mexican food for the time ever this past weekend.

Anyways, back to brussel sprouts. Given that I consider myself an enterprising new cook (I don’t know where that came from, but it sure does sound nice), instead of telling him that I have no inclination to cook brussel sprouts, I decided in that moment to accept the challenge. Rafia will cook brussel sprouts! 

I was a little too ambitious though.

“The recipe calls for salt and pepper only? Screw that!” I say out loud to myself. “Let’s add some coriander powder. Some turmeric. Gotta lot of Madras curry powder, let’s add that too.” All the while, picture me looking like the the Indian equivalent of the Swedish Chef from The Muppets. I even tasted the batter before popping the sprouts in the oven, but foolishly hoped that the mystical Oven Fairy would perform her magic and turn the bitterness into dah-lish-iousness.


I still believe in the Oven Fairy though!

Then to make matters worse, trying in vain to disguise the disaster, I mixed the sprouts in with the quinoa I had made to accompany the sprouts. And that move completely ruined the hitherto edible quinoa.

Since my husband douses Sriracha on everything he eats (even PB&J is not safe from him!), it was really more of an upset to me. I finally understand the dilemma of all moms everywhere when it comes to leftovers no body wants to eat. My husband told me not to the throw the sprouts out. I’m usually not one to waste food, but really, these were NASTY. He said he’d eat them. But I knew from the tone of his voice this was just his customary way of telling me to shut up and stop freaking out.

See, the thing with men is (or perhaps normal people), if food is in the fridge, it’s out of sight and out of mind. Not so for me! If it’s leftovers I know people will be happy to eat the next day (and it’s not a sweet dish), I can rest easy. But if it’s leftovers I know no one will eat again, that’s all I’ll think about. A part of me thinks, “Maybe if I just force myself to eat them all now, I won’t ever have to deal with them again.” But I was staring at a pound of some NASTY sprouts, not cake!

So the next day, having picked out all the sprouts from the quinoa dish by hand, I rinsed and drained off all the spices and concocted another marinade. This time, something more tried and true. A couple of eggs, some bread crumbs and a generous sprinkling of cheese.

When in doubt (and you’re not making Indian food): Cheese is your friend.

At this point, it’s no longer a lesson. Thank you, cows, for all that you do!



15 thoughts on “Why I Can Never Go Vegan

  1. I see myself in you with this one. (Not that I have yet had to go through the daily headache of cooking for another person. Yet). Teehee. And you’re right. Cheese & Chocolate. :’) CARBS! :3

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha-ha! It’s really not that bad, cooking for another person. But Alhamdulillah, my husband’s not picky, I’m the picky food eater.

    Carbs. Oh man, tell me about it! People that willingly go on Atkins diet? I don’t think we could never be friends! What would we do together ;)

    Thanks for the follow by the way! So glad I found your blog, Naureen!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Salam! We’re on the Muslimah Bloggers Facebook Group together. I’m from Maryland *shakes you warmly by the hand* [Willy Wonka tone]. I have had a somewhat similar experience today thanks to the treachery of the ‘Oven Fairy’. The sugar-free cookies I practically invented, came out looking amazing and my diabetic mom loved the taste. My sister and I loved them too. But then, as the artificial Splenda began to set — the true colors began to emerge! Those cookies are FART bombs and we have been at it! Plus, something in them is making throats sting! I feel the leftovers are haunting me now like those sprouts in your fridge!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wa salaam! So wonderful to meet you!!! Ha-ha. Are you a fan of Willy wonka? Do you have chocolate for me??? That is crazy! Do you know for sure it was the splenda that is causing the flatulence? How many are left? I’m waiting for the chocolate, Willy wonka! ;)


  5. Oh Ruffs…I have so many cooking fails. I feel so upset when something doesn’t taste good. But Alhumdullilah Mustufa eats whatever I make….now about the Brussels Sprouts…we LOVE them….even the kids eat them with no problem…So next time you go grocery shopping buy some fresh ones. Rinse, trim the end, cut in half and peel off the outer layer. Preheat your oven to 400 F. On a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper, put your brussels sprouts, drizzle some oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway. You can also do the same thing with broccoli, asparagus and cauliflower. I love broccoli like this. Insha’Allah this will make you change your mind about brussels sprouts. I also have a shaved brussels sprouts salad recipe on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We usually get frozen because it’s easier. Are fresh Brussel sprouts easier to prepare, you think? I wonder if the outer layer was peeled. That could explain why the batch I made the first time didn’t turn out. Thanks for this recipe! Kinda related, how long did it take for you to be cool with “salt to taste” because seeing that in a recipe always makes me nervous!!!


  7. Fresh are very easy to prepare! When I think of cooking with frozen vegetables I think mushy. I think the first time maybe have been that the spices didn’t cook properly. But try what I do and I’m sure you will love it!

    With salt, it is just experience and time that helped…although I still mess up….I think now I feel more comfortable…I am a math oriented person so I’ve always loved baking because it’s all precise measurements. Whereas cooking isn’t and that is what is hard for me.


  8. Is that so? Spices not cooking properly? Is it a matter of temperature or time? I didn’t stick to the original recipe, making my own spice mixture, but did use the time and temp. I will inshaAllah try again. Perhaps in a few weeks after I’ve forgotten about this ordeal! :) ha-ha, I’m not math oriented, but I like following rules and routines… Also I love dessert ;)


  9. This is a really interesting post mash’Allah.
    I think we are definitely creatures of habit but we are like this because we fear the unknown. This is a big issue, I find, in promoting healthy eating behaviors. People are unwilling to swap foods because familiarity indicates safety. Very interesting concept.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Omg I just saw this, idk whats up with my notifications! Also, people who go on a rigid diet of any sorts are too much negativity for me to handle in my life. I stay away from them :D (and then I complain about gaining weight with the people who eat unhealthy. LOL). I’m so glad I found your blog toooo woohoo. :3.


  11. No problemo, girl! Yeah, I can’t do diets and refuse to do them ever again. Although after all the eating I’ve been doing, I do have to start eating healthier. I’ve been eating waaaaay too many sweets. Haha! I am the same way! Yay! :)


  12. I’m glad you enjoyed it! :) I used to be that way, but being married to my husband, I’ve become more open to trying new things. I used to eat sooo unhealthily when I was a little girl, but my health suffered and I was more or less forced to eat healthier. I know that it can be tough. But after a while, the new healthy food becomes the norm, Insha’Allah! Thanks for your comment.


  13. Lmfao….man I can relate to this. Though no husband to cook for but sometimes my Mother, who always has a comment(you should have instead…..), and a picky but will still eat it to appease his Mother son.


  14. Hey, thanks for the follow, fellow Torontonian! My husband is not picky usually, but that sure don’t stop him from putting Sriracha on literally EVERYTHING!


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