If you are looking for a new cookbook to add to your collection then Laura Theodore’s cookbook the Jazzy Vegetarian should be the one you add whether you are vegan or just looking to eat more healthy.
As a talented author and host of her own PBS cooking show Jazzy Vegetarian, Laura Theodore has shown us how a passion for creating timeless vegan recipes can satisfy the appetite of even the hungriest of meat eaters.
Theodore was kind enough to answer a few questions for Global Looking Glass.
What are some challenges you have faced having a vegan cooking show on PBS?
Launching the show was the biggest challenge. We started pitching the idea to networks almost 10 years ago and it was a tough sell. But now vegan shows are becoming popular. Yay!
I read that during the 3rd season of your show you had a few celebrity guests, who was your favorite guest? What did you learn from them?
Oh my – I could not choose just one. Michael Feinstein turned me on to the idea of using sucanat in my baked goods recipes, while Jim Brickman shared great information about his journey toward incorporating more vegan choices in to his diet. Paul Winter talked about his thirty-five year journey as a vegetarian and that was truly inspiring for me. Dr. Pam Popper always shares such awesome information about plant-based nutrition – I learn something important from her in each episode!
What was the first recipe you ever made vegan?
Split Pea Soup – about 30 years ago. Delish!
For many years, I have been serving my husband, family and friends my vegan versions of dishes that are based on traditional American recipes. With great success, I serve recipes that we all grew up with – lasagna, chili, burgers, fries, cakes, pies and so forth. These are the kinds of comfort foods that make it easier to transition to a plant-based diet. So I figured – Why not base a book and several seasons of my television show entirely on classic food, recreated with a jazzylicious, vegan twist? Good idea!
Did you face any challenges with making any of the recipes vegan?
Hmmm… I guess every recipe has a “veganzing” challenge. If I had to choose two, it would be:
1)Figuring out how to make the wheatballs taste meaty! It took a bit of pondering, but I am super excited about the results!
2) Another real challenge was getting the right texture in the ‘cheeze-cake’ and the vegan quiche. They’re fabulous!
I have included one meat analogue recipe in this book and it is the Vegan Sausage and Peppers. I had several in the last book. I like the convenience of meat analogues and do sometimes use them, but I found that many folks are looking to cook sans the fake meat, so sharing plant-based, non-processed options was top on my list for this book.
What is your best advise for someone who wants to go vegan?
The best way to start on the path to a plant-based diet is to add one vegan meal into your weekly menu plan. Then add more meals from there. Begin by veganizing familiar foods like chili, pasta and casseroles. There are many websites that offer great plant-based, vegan recipes. On Jazzy Vegetarian we have posted over one-hundred recipes.
What is in store for the future?
To continue creating compassionate recipes and sharing them on my television show, radio show, books, social media and blog. Oh yes… Perhaps some new music too!
Images Courtesy of Jazzy Vegetarian