If you’ve been following my blog, you might have noticed that for my ECMP355 Major Learning Project, I chose to focus on learning vegetarian recipes and cooking techniques. As I mentioned in the beginning, I am not a full-on vegetarian and I do eat meat every once in a while. I also really enjoy seafood (especially smoked salmon and king crab!). However, for personal health reasons and being aware of the ethical treatment of animals, I try to cook vegetarian more often than not. This MLP was meant to help me avoid only eating simple salads and gain a better understanding of the possibilities with eating vegetarian. All the while, I had to keep in the mind the main goal of this MLP – how do and how can we learn online? The internet houses more recipes than I could use in a lifetime, but are they actually effective enough to help an amateur cook learn online?
I set out by looking through my feed on Digg Reader, brainstorming different types of meals I wanted to try, and finding appealing websites. After about a month, I realized that many of the recipes required some adaptations in order to suit my own needs. For example, my Cauliflower-Crust Pizza was adapted to include flavours I enjoy such as adding the guacamole and by combining two different recipes to complete one meal. Even when I tried to expand my learning by focusing on different cooking techniques, I was limited by the actual resources I had. For example, when following Inspiralized recipe Cucumber-Dill salad, I had to use my own vegetable spiral cutter. Because of this, the video on how to make the spiraled cucumber noodles was less helpful than if I had the actual equipment used in the recipe. Check out how it went. On top of this, I chose a MLP that required some additional costs that I may not have spent otherwise. Specific ingredients were needed for each recipe and it also required some extra time shopping for the groceries. Overall, I found this MLP to be a bit less effective than another topic because the online learning was not as significant as I thought it would have been. Yes, it is easy to find recipes online and various information related to vegetarian cooking, however I didn’t feel that the online aspect was essential to my project. In other words, I probably would have fared decent if I had handwritten recipes to use instead.
Another problem that I kept finding myself thinking about – maybe I just did not challenge myself enough. I am not new to cooking by any means. For example, I had already previously cooked spaghetti squash as a carb-alternative prior to this MLP. Of course, I still looked up different methods of cooking the squash, but I didn’t find that I was much challenged when completing any of the recipes. Had I chosen a project that would have challenged my understanding and actually required more learning on my part, I think I would have been able to provide a better critical analysis of what it means to learn online.
Even so, I always enjoy cooking and feel that I have some new ideas for vegetarian options in the future.