yeah. I really got into the Chinese cuisine because they could integrate veg with meat in a spectacular way. I think that's why the meat is cut into smaller pieces about the same size as the veg in a lot of saute dishes (stiry-fry). It's like the meat + veg = becomes one.
I'm trying to cook Indian. I was attracted to the heavy use of veg. They cut their meat into bite size pieces as well but they don't seem to be trying to integrate the meat into the veg but into the sauce. That is, the sauce is the meal. The veg gets obliterated by a blender into the sauce and the meat is stewed/braised so that the meat gets into the sauce (like making a mini-stock).
If you are used to Western cuisine, the sauce is there to give flavor an bring out the meat. The sauce isn't the meal. So it took me a while to get used to eating sauce (as the main course) in Indian cuisine.
I wasn't that interested in American versions of French and Italian foods just because the veg is always a separate dish that you make and in menus its like a side order or something. The veg gets added to give aroma to flavor the main dish, meat, but seems like a garnish (and not the star of the meal).
But recently clicked on a Chowhound link introducing Claire Thomson's cookbooks it's like standard Western cuisine (French/Italian) with ethnic influence added (some Chinese and Indian methods). It's actually really cool. On her website she says she's a veg focused person and her dishes also have meat in them. It's like she integrates the meat + veg so well that it's like you can't tell if it's the meat or the veg that's the star of the dish. I bought the ingredients for some of the recipes and will be trying it out this week. But the author seems pretty cool so far.
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