At lunch with co-workers many years ago in Washington, DC, an intern who had joined us for the summer mentioned that he was vegan. We couldn’t help ourselves. 10 sets of eyes swiveled in his direction and locked onto the limp lettuce-and-tomato-on-hamburger-bun sandwich he – I’ll call him Tim – was holding. Tim seemed like a nice guy. Cute even. Totally normal. Except…except for that vegan thing. And as I bit into my juicy, drippy, cheesy Johnny Rocket’s burger I thought to myself: “I could never give up cheese.” I followed that with a deep, soulful sip of my chocolate milkshake that was gloriously garnished with a heavenly cloud of whipped cream and I thought: “No whipped cream?! I could never, ever go vegan. *sigh* Poor dude.”
I’ve told the story of my own “transformation” from meat-eater to plant-eater many times – and we all have our own interesting paths that led to “giving up” chicken and cheese and burgers and milkshakes. And we’ve all met people – lots of people – many of them dear family members and friends, who swear to us that they could never ever go vegan. (Though many of them say things to us like: we eat mostly vegetables anyway; or if my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/mom/dad wasn’t a committed carnivore, I’d totally go vegan!)
So how does one get from cheeseburgers and milkshakes at Johnny Rocket’s to tempeh bacon and cashew cheddar? A whole bunch of soul-searching, yes – but also with the help of amazing, creative, completely delectable, beautiful food! Food that makes you forget your love affair with animal flesh and (ahem) fluids. Food that is kind not only to your body, but to the living, breathing, thinking beings that inhabit planet earth right alongside us. Food like the food you’ll find in the pages of this cookbook.
But I Could Never Go Vegan! by Kristy Turner (with stunning photos by her husband Chris Miller) of Keepin’ It Kind is the no-excuses cookbook for anyone who has ever contemplated going plant-based, but just couldn’t see past the barriers of not having cheese, seafood, burgers, or decadent desserts in their life. Anything you might desire to eat is in here: creamy cheeses, loaded pizzas and sandwiches, soups, cookies, ice cream, party food, snackies, as well as meat and fish substitutes (I kinda hate that word, because to me they are the real deal, but what are ya gonna do?). The chapter names are really clever and will bring to mind to many of us the things we’ve heard non-vegans say: “It’s All Rabbit Food,” “Vegan Cooking is Too Hard,” and “Fake Foods Freak Me Out,” just to name a few.
BICNGV will without a doubt become a staple vegan cookbook in many households. The recipes are approachable, unpretentious, yummy, and easy to prepare; bottom line is: Kristy makes some damn good food. If you don’t already own a copy (what?!) or if you’d like to gift one to someone who needs a little encouragement to make the leap to veganism (and you’re living in the U.S…), enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy.
Feast your eyes on more deletable eats from But I Could Never Go Vegan! (All photos below are mine.)
Pictured Above: CITRUS-HERB ROASTED BEETS WITH MACADAMIA NUT RICOTTA
Below: ARTICHOKE CRAB CAKES WITH SRIRACHA TARTAR SAUCE
ICED OATMEAL COOKIES (to which I added raisins and chocolate chips…)
JACKFRUIT “TUNA” SALAD SANDWICH
MACADAMIA NUT RICOTTA
Thank you to Kristy Turner and The Experiment for providing me with a copy to review AND a copy to share with one of my readers. Entry is limited to those residing in the U.S. Giveaway ends at midnight U.S. CT on March 25.
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!