Hi there! I'm Andrea Hayley-Sankaran.
Welcome to Buttered Veg, the vegetarian food blog for conscious eaters.
Here, you'll find satisfying vegetarian recipes that nourish both mind and body.
With a perspective rooted in traditional culture, Buttered Veg publishes tasty recipes, as well as feature stories on the following topics:
- Cooking Skills
- Health Be
- Mindful Living
- 'Good Stuff' Reviews
I am an Ayurvedic chef informed by over two decades of practice and experimentation with the ancient sciences of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine.
My study of traditional wisdom deepened my understanding of how to create incredibly flavorful vegetarian food that makes you feel good, inside and out.
My goal is to make it easier for you to eat more vegetarian food; not because you think you should, but because you really love it!
Why Buttered Veg?
Despite almost everyone’s interest in eating more vegetarian food, you've probably experienced that it is actually very difficult to find good vegetarian food in this world!
If you rely on vegetables for sustenance, then you probably know that most vegetarian food—especially restaurant food—tends to be boring, lackluster, and wholly unsatisfying.
Who decided it's okay for vegetarians to live on cheese pizzas, "garden" salads, and veggie burgers that taste like cardboard?
It is not okay!
I started Buttered Veg to share vegetarian recipes that deeply nourish you from the inside out, and make you feel really good.
The difference is our emphasis on balanced cooking, which involves sourcing diverse seasonal whole foods, preparing ingredients with mindfulness, balancing flavors, and creating flavorful food that your body will thank you for.
For me, cooking is a profound connection to nature and to our shared humanity. It is also an act of self-love and nourishment. But it wasn't always this way.
I started cooking out of desperation when I was in my early 20s.
At that time I found myself utterly confused about what direction to take with my life.
I was disillusioned with many things, and I was searching for a path with meaning that would allow me to make a real difference in the world.
Around that time, I discovered “Healing with Whole Foods,” a biblical book written by Paul Pitchford.
This book describes how food affects the mind and body from a Chinese medicine perspective, and how food can be used for healing.
I spent countless hours practicing with this book, and I experienced profound holistic healing and inner calm. (Read the long version of my story here.)
Eventually, one night over a pot of bubbling lentils, I found my path as a cook.
My professional cooking experience
My professional experience includes 7 years of cooking in different styles: vegan, modern vegetarian, West Coast farm-to-table, and garde manger and saucier in fine dining.
I loved working in restaurants. Over time I learned to feel incredibly calm and focused amid the chaos of the kitchen, that the world around me stood still, similar to meditation.
Punctuating that space was the glorious beauty of the dishes I got to serve up to the guests. My creations gave me great joy, but I also wanted to learn how to communicate.
This led me to a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University and a 10-year media career. (Helpful for running a food blog.)
My husband is South Indian, and his family exemplifies a style of cooking that touches the soul. Being around them rekindled my passion for cooking and exploring cultural diversity. (You can read more about my Indian family here.)
I find the world to be a rich resource of simple ingredients, traditions, and techniques. I love to explore them, understand how vegetables can play the starring role, and then make these authentic flavors accessible to my readers.
I’ve spent countless hours in my home kitchen and at play, cooking with gas, cooking with fire, and cooking on camp stoves.
I’ve cooked with daily surprise boxes of vegetables from the farm, and 20-pound bags of biodynamically-grown grains and root storage vegetables. These days I cook from a large backyard garden.
My experiences have shown me that the farm-to-table connection cannot be overlooked in the circle of life. My garden is a source of food, but more importantly, it is a source of lessons and inspiration.
I appreciate chefs Alice Waters and Dan Barber for their tremendous contributions to my understanding of where food comes from, as well as my latest mentor Doug DeCandia, who taught me how to grow cover crops.
Buttered Veg values
COOK: When we take time to cook and nourish ourselves fully, we practice self-love, self-respect, and respect for all life.
BREATH: The practice of mindfulness (giving space) in all aspects of cooking—planning, sourcing, preparation, cooking, and eating—fosters a humble and compassionate heart that has the potential to melt into harmony with the divine.
ENJOY: We give ourselves the necessary time to enjoy cooking, and all the simple things in life.
Let’s get to know each other 🙂
If all this resonates with you, then the best way to keep in touch is by signing up for my newsletter.
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What others are saying
How Kate Vereshaka ate my food and said, "I can't remember feeling so satisfied after a meal."
How Moreen Liao reflected that "food has a mysterious healing and binding power on the soul ..."
How Esther Hack said after cooking Buttered Veg recipes: "I have felt a lot better—balanced and energized—after eating the food."
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Content you may like
- 6 Secrets to Flavor that Make Eating Blissful
- The Best Spring Detox Foods for Mind & Body
- Why I am glad I followed my father-in-law’s advice to put turmeric in every dish.
- How to Cook Dry Chickpeas from Scratch and then make an awesome Chickpea (Chana Masala) Curry.
- And make the Perfect Basmati Rice to go with it.
- Check out my summary of the Indian Vegetarian Diet, and get this Guide to Indian Ingredient Substitutions.
- Are you familiar with ghee? It’s that nutty golden clarified butter that is the latest healthy fat.
- A sublime Wild Mushroom Tart that is perfect for any special occasion.
- Check out by Balanced Green Salad formula, or get the recipe for a versatile Smoky Oregano Black Beans.
- Love cast iron cookware? Check out my post on why heritage brand Le Creuset is Worth It, and for bare cast iron, How to Season, Clean, and Maintain It.
- In need of immediate stress relief and balancing? Check out my post on Adaptogen Herb Teas.
- Why I practice Falun Dafa meditation and follow its principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
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This helps motivate me to produce great content for you, so thank you sincerely for your support!
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