Articles & Recipes

Q&A with The Edgy Veg

October 30, 2017

How would you sum up The Edgy Veg in one sentence?

Vegan food you actually want to eat!

 

What do you most want people to learn/take away from this book?

A plant based, vegan diet can be as indulgent as a traditional diet. It can be approachable and delicious without having to make sacrifices.

 

How is this book different from every other vegan book on the market?

Our book is flavour-forward, and prompts feelings of nostalgia. Many vegan cookbooks focus on eating healthy, while we focus on entertaining and indulging your taste buds, inspire new experiences, and help you to vividly remember past ones. We use recipes like Pocket Pizzas and Half-Baked Mac and Cheese to appeal to your inner child- providing you with a feeling of comfort, while also giving you the building blocks to throw a bomb dinner party for friends both vegan and non-vegan. Living a vegan lifestyle does not have to be isolating and every recipe can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of their diet-preference.

 

What exactly is veganism? Why is veganism important in this modern age of fast food?

Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

In this modern fast food age many have a disconnect between the food on their plate and the nameless, faceless, emotional beings that are treated and commodities. Just like cats and dogs they are individuals with unique personalities and emotions. Avoiding animal products is one of the easiest ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and exploitation.

Animal products also place a huge burden on our planet. The crops and water required to feed, transport and process the animals, not to mention the amount of grain required for meat production, is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and one of the main contributors to climate change. One of the most effective things you can do to lower your carbon footprint is to avoid all animal products and eat vegan recipes instead. With all the advances in food technologies living a delicious and indulgent vegan lifestyle is easier than ever!

 

What are, in your expert view, the greatest errors the average person commits when it comes to making vegan recipes?

Forgetting to season their food and trying to reinvent methods of cooking! Vegan cooking does not need to be difficult. We use traditional methods of cooking and familiar spices to recreate all our favourite meals. If you steam kale and serve it without salt or spices it will of course taste like, well kale. But add some olive oil, garlic, lemon and salt and it’s kale bursting with flavour. Seasoning mushrooms with a traditional steak rub gives you that familiar steak-like aroma, and coating deep fried cauliflower with buffalo sauce makes them taste like wings! Don’t re-invent the wheel- just cook!

 

Is there a lot more food preparation in eating vegan? Do I need special equipment?

Not necessarily. Just like traditional cooking, there are dishes that require more prep than others. Once you know your basic substitutions it’s actually quite easy. Any good home Chef (whether vegan or not) should have basic kitchen equipment like a blender and food processor.

 

What do you think are the key upcoming food trends for 2018?

·       Plant-based meats will become mainstream

·       Farm to table and responsible eating will become more mainstream

·       Resurgence of cauliflower as a main. Preparing cauliflower in new and exciting ways.

·       Plant based fast food becoming more readily available in major urban centers, drive-thrus, pubs etc.

·       Natural, back to basic eating comes more popular. ie: ancient grains, vegetable forward meals, vegetables as mains, fewer but recognizable ingredients.

·       Reduction in use of sugar

·       Word or ethnic flavours become more mainstream in new “fusion-style dishes”

·       Label transparency

·       Jackfruit to replace meats like pulled pork.

·       Rise in plant based milks and dairy replacement products

·       New and fun colours are being used in foods like blues, purples and even black.

·       Importance of food moments and snacking. Making snacking better, healthier choices, Instagram-able snack foods, marketing the snacking experience

·       The evolution of meal delivery

 

How does your own health philosophy tie into this book?

Personally, I believe that health, but also eating specifically, is all about balance. I believe that you should enjoy all the food that you eat, whether it’s a super green smoothie or a huge plate of cauliflower wings. Indulging shouldn’t be a guilty experience, it should be a satisfying one. Beginning with pure, clean and simple building blocks of ingredients allows more room for indulgence.

 

What would your top tips be for someone just starting to eat vegan?

Using the fantastic vegan substitutions available, repurpose your favourite meals. For example, if you love spaghetti bolognaise, replace the meat with veggie ground round, replace meat in tacos with slow roasted mushrooms, or replace the cream in soups with soy or almond milk. Don’t eat what you think vegans “should” be eating - eat what you love, and take the time to enjoy learning how to cook with new and exciting ingredients.

Take the process one day at a time. If giving up everything is too scary, start by eliminating one item at a time until you have learning how to cope with that transition. Don’t be too hard on yourself and make it a fun and curious experience instead of a daunting one.

 
 

And, just for fun…

 

My last meal would be…Ramen

 

The most underused vegan ingredient in the world is…mushrooms and jackfruit

 

My earliest food memory is…making pancakes with my Omi Renate. They were the size of dinner plates and she served them with lemon and powdered sugar.

 

My guilty food pleasure is…chocolate - except I feel zero guilt!  

 

 

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