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What do you get when you mix vegan chefs like Mariano Caino, Allyson Kramer, Lee Khatchadourian-Reese, Christy Morgan, Heather Pace, and Kelly Peloza, sprinkle in a few well-known writers like Carol J. Adams and Rory Freedman, add a healthy dash of bloggers such as Jason Das, Gena Hamshaw, Courtney Pool, and Ali Seiter, and stir them all with a heaping tablespoon of egg replacer? The Queer Vegan Food Cookbook, of course.
The brainchild of Sarah Brown—the mastermind behind QueerVeganFood.com—this e-cookbook is jam-packed with appetizers, comfort foods, desserts, smoothies, and entrees. Best of all, the whole thing benefits animals. Sarah’s goal was to put together, as she puts it, “the weirdest, most unique and delicious recipes from top vegan chefs, bloggers, and authors around the world,” the proceeds from which would be donated to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York. “I’ve always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, and my culinary style has always been playful, fun, and exploratory,” she says. “I thought that creating an assemblage of recipes from chefs who push the boundaries of creativity would be really fun and that people would respond to it.”
Respond they have. Sarah says the cookbook has been a big success, and looking at the recipes and mouth-watering photos, that’s hardly a surprise. “The goal was always to reach as many people as possible to spread awareness about vegan cuisine and raise funds for the sanctuary, so I think we’ve been pretty successful so far in that!”
One of my favorite recipes from the book is for Corn, Black Bean, and Cherry Tomato Cupcakes with Sweet-Sour Guacamole Frosting (contributed by Rory Freedman and Jason Allen).* “I love that recipe, too!” says Sarah, who clearly has an affinity for culinary creativity. “I almost always make a really funky superfood smoothie every morning for breakfast. I toss in everything: chia, maca, stevia, hemp seeds, mesquite, lucuma, cacao, and fruits and sometimes greens. Sometimes it looks strange, but it tastes so good and is quite nutrient-dense!” (I confess I only recognize about three of those ingredients.)
So what exactly makes food “queer,” you ask? “It’s food that challenges the norms of cuisine in the United States,” answers Sarah. “In some ways, all plant-based food is queer vegan food, but especially plant-based foods that do not imitate animal products.” Like mock meats, which I do happen to enjoy. “They’re fine if you’re into them. I personally am not a fan anymore. For the first few years of being vegan I ate a bunch of those, and they helped me transition from vegetarian to vegan—I went vegetarian at age 12—and now I don’t really eat them very often or at all. I find that I can enjoy a variety of vegan protein sources, including homemade veggie patties, beans, legumes, greens, and superfoods, without missing fake-meat products, but I think if folks love them, that’s fine for them! Why should there be a one-size-fits-all vegan diet? As long as folks feel good and enjoy what they’re eating and it’s as ethically sourced as possible, I say great!”
In addition to her blogging, Sarah advocates for animals through letter writing, petitions, and social media activism-awareness campaigns. “I also spread veganism through cooking for non-veg friends and family.”
You’ll find more details on The Queer Vegan Food Cookbook, including a complete list of the contributors—and a simple way to purchase the $15 e-book—here.
*For some delicious, traditional Mexican recipes, check out veganmexicanfood.com