Alternative Vegan

So I’m trying to add more vegetables into my diet, and trying to eat less* processed food, and generally edit my unhealthy habits, for a healthier life. Without doing anything crazy like cutting out coffee or booze, of course.

Vegetarian cookbooks often involve long moralizing harangues on converting to vegetarianism, or attacks on meat-eating cavemen types, which is sort of frustrating when I’m just looking to eat a bit healthier. Sometimes — especially in the books that promise to be easy — recipes involve taking a soy-chicken cutlet, battering it in fake egg and gluten-free panko, and frying it in canola oil. Which doesn’t really seem much healthier or less processed, and also, if something is called FAKE CHICKEN, I probably don’t need a special book to tell me to prepare it like chicken.

But when I got Alternative Vegan: International Vegan Fare Straight From The Produce Aisle on my Kindle, it was quite a different experience. First, the recipes seemed like things I would want to eat. They had ingredients I like! With actual flavor! No eating a bowl of quinoa and unseasoned tofu! And no fake-meats!

The author was just so cheerfully chatty about substitutions, and excited about variations, and had such lovely stories about the recipes’ inspiration, that reading Alternative Vegan felt like talking with a foodie friend. I kept reading, and kept feeling like a friend was talking to me…

Then I realized that I’d met the author, Dino Sarma Weierman, at a party at Nate and Andrea’s place a couple months ago, where he’d had enthused about food and adding vegan meals to an omnivore’s diet with me! It took me a surprisingly long time to catch on to this. I mean, how many flamboyantly hospitable foodie vegans called Dino are there?

The cookbook has the same enthusiasm for cooking and sharing food that a chat with Dino has, and the book’s been such a great help in turning vegetables from a side dish into a main dish.


*I gave a lot of thought to whether this should be less or fewer, but actually, I mean both food that is less processed and fewer foods that processed.

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3 Responses to Alternative Vegan

  1. Bill says:

    One thing I’ve found helpful in regards to eating ‘less processed’ which isn’t to say that you’ll lose weight or anything but you’ll at least feel better about the weight you have is shopping at farmers markets. I don’t know what is available in NY but at the very least farmstand fresh butter is AMAZING.

    • Meg says:

      That sounds amazing – there are some great farmer’s markets in Brooklyn, but it hasn’t occurred to me to try butter when there are so many summer berries and fresh breads to eat.

      (This isn’t a plan to lose weight, mostly thinking it’s probably better to stay away from long ingredient lists of unpronounceable words.)

  2. Dino says:

    Thanks for the kind words! I knew that your name sounded familiar! Thank goodness you made the connection, else I’d be lost trying to recall where I’d seen you before. I’m so glad that you enjoyed reading my work.

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