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Friday, December 31, 2010

For a VEGAN 2011: Vegan Inspirations from Seven Vegan Cookbooks

For more recipe-related articles featured in this blog, you can click this link.

The proverb, “you are what you eat”, has perhaps never been more relevant than it is in present times. The awful patterns of food consumption driven by powerful corporates that are responsible for a large number of people finding themselves in revolting hospital rooms and spending their life savings paying hospital bills, is not hidden from us any longer. What is the way out?

Simply put, the way out of this sorry state of affairs is awareness at an individual level, the ability to make the connection between the degradation of personal health and the health of the Planet to what we eat, and to act on this realization. Veganism, marked by a whole food, no animal ingredient diet is a plausible way out. Are you ready for it?

Courtesy: PETA
In our previous story we had presented a compilation of vegan food blogs/websites together containing thousands of vegan recipes from the exotic to the simple. Today, we present a compilation of seven vegan cookbooks. There are, in reality, scores of vegan cookbooks available in hard cover. It has been a very tough task selecting seven from among them. The list that we have here is purely a representation. You can search the internet for many, many more. We have tried to ensure that all suggested books are readily available. All the books, save one, are available at Flipkart. We hope there is a bit for everybody here: for the new vegans, for the long-term vegans, for the aspirants of raw vegan food, for vegans who want to eat healthy and whole as opposed to vegan “junk”… Wherever available, we have also included links to the reviews of each cookbook. You can click each link to learn more.

1.    ‘1,000 Vegan Recipes’ by Robin Robertson
As the name suggests, this book contains 1,000 Vegan recipes from different world cultures. You can also click the name of the author above to be led into her food blog titled, Global Vegan Kitchen. 

2.    ‘A Vegan Taste Of India’ by Linda Majzlik
This book contains 120 Indian-inspired recipes that are completely free of animal ingredients. The same author has published 16 distinct vegan recipe books inspired by different world cuisines that you could check out by clicking this link.

3.    ‘Spicy Vegan’ by Sudha Raina
This book contains recipes inspired from North Indian cuisine.

4.    ‘The RAVE Diet & Lifestyle Book – 3rd Edition’ by Mike Anderson
This path breaking, powerful book containing more than 220 recipes based on the RAVE principle, underlines the healing power of plant-based whole foods through an engaging narrative and supported by hard data.
Book summary is available at The RAVE Diet & Lifestyle website.
For a peek into the first few pages, you can click this link.

5.    ‘The Sunfood Diet Success System’ by David Wolfe
This is an exhaustive book on the raw food lifestyle containing recipes and meal plans for a raw vegan diet.
Book summary is available at EveryDiet.
Price and Purchase

6.    ‘The Vegan Girl's Guide To Life: Cruelty-Free Crafts, Recipes, Beauty Secrets And More’ by Melisser Elliott
This book is a compilation of all things vegan that a girl needs to know right from vegan recipes to tattoos, lingerie, pottery, bakeries, blogs, and so on from all over the world! Champion Vegan Baker from Mumbai, Rithika Ramesh of The Green Stove bakery, is also featured in this book!
Book summary is available at The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life website.
Price and Purchase

7.    ‘Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook’ by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
This book according to the authors is a “big, bold vegan cookbook that doesn’t hold back any punches”! It indeed is, with 250 recipes written in an utterly fun style! For more books by the same author/s, you can click this link. At Post Punk Kitchen, you can find Isa Chandra's recipes online as well.
Book summary is available at Vegan India!
Veganomicon is also available at Google Books! You can click this link to get it.
Is this the year for you? If yes, then please take the Vegan Pledge by clicking this link. Dear readers, best wishes to you for an uplifting New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

For a VEGAN 2011: Vegan Inspirations from Seven Food Blogs & Websites

For more recipe-related articles featured in this blog, you can click this link.

It is beautiful to see the internet space flourishing with hundreds of vegan recipe blogs/websites and thousands of people beginning to subscribe to a cruelty-free lifestyle. Is this New Year the year for you? Yes, it is that time of the year again – time to make New Year resolutions!

Courtesy: PETA
Today we have put together a compilation of seven wonderful recipe blogs/websites written and managed by seven wonderful vegan women and their respective teams. Of course, there are many, many more vegan food blogs/websites as we have stated at the outset, but for the sake of brevity, we have selected some from among them. We have aimed to include food blogs/websites containing recipes that suit the Indian taste buds and whose ingredients are readily available in the Indian kitchen. We have also tried to include a bit for everybody: for those of us who want to go the vegan way this New Year, for the long-term vegans looking for variety, for the aspirants of raw vegan food, for those interested in oil-free vegan food… ah well, suit yourself, we hope there is something for everybody!       

The blogs/websites are arranged in alphabetical order. You can click the name of each blog/website to be led into their respective spaces.

1.    ‘Choosing Raw’ by Gena Hamshaw: This website, replete with semi-raw vegan recipes is one among the best internet references to consult if you are already a vegan who likes to eats a lot of raw food combinations. Or, if you are planning to take the ‘Raw Vegan’ pledge in the New Year. Or, if you occasionally and consciously like to binge on raw vegan food. Something about the website that greatly helps in imagining how raw vegan food looks like are the exceptional photographs. ‘Choosing Raw’ links up to other raw vegan foods blogs/websites as well.

2.    ‘FatFree Vegan Kitchen’ by Susan Voisin: This blog contains an incredible compilation of over 1400 low-fat delicious vegan recipes from across the world. These low-fat recipes, by and large, do not use oil, margarine, and shortening; instead, use water or broth for sautéing and apple sauce, flax seeds, and so on for baking. For the most part, the recipes use avocados, nuts, and seeds to lend the healthy and essential fatty acids into the food. Do check out the Indian cuisine section at ‘FatFree Vegan Kitchen’ by clicking this link. The blog is a super guide if you plan on getting rid of the unwanted fats in the body and still enjoy tasty food.

3.    ‘Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes’ by Vaishali Honawar: This recipe blog contains more than 300 vegan recipes from across the world. The recipes suit a wide variety of Indian tastes as many dishes represent cuisines from the different Indian states. One highlight of the blog is that you will find the healthy and delicious vegan versions of many traditional non-vegan dishes. A great place to start for the non-vegans amongst us! You can also read our recent review of ‘Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes’ by clicking this link.

4.    ‘Post Punk Kitchen’ by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: This website with dashes of humor and peppy stories interlacing the recipes is quite entertaining. The author makes vegan food sound like a lot of fun that it actually is! Suit yourself; there are some Indian-inspired recipes and many others from around the globe. There is quite a bit to explore at ‘Post Punk Kitchen’ as well. We found this very cool note entitled vegan Culinary Activism in 10 Yummy Steps and just loved reading it!
5.    ‘Tongue Ticklers’ by Harini Prakash: This blog containing recipes of hundreds of mouth-watering dishes accompanied by enchanting photographs and interesting stories of the trials and triumphs in a vegan kitchen, is both a culinary and visual delight! The recipes are largely Indian and here too, you will find the vegan versions of many traditional favorites. Most recipes in the blog use organically grown ingredients and whole grains to ensure that the dishes are nutritious alongwith being tasty. ‘Tongue Ticklers’ well establishes that you need to give up nothing but unhealthy eating habits to become a healthy, responsible vegan.

6.     ‘Vegan on the Prowl’ by Rithika Ramesh: This blog chronicles the culinary feats of a Mumbai-based Vegan Baker. The recipes are quite insightful – some simple, some requiring skill, but all the same, all recipes make use of ingredients commonly available in the Indian kitchen. After going through ‘Vegan on the Prowl’ and trying out the recipes in there, you might never want to ask – “What does a vegan eat, anyway!?!” The health bytes on the blog is another thing to look forward to.

7.    Vegan Recipes from ‘SHARAN’ by Dr. Nandita Shah: This website is an all-time favorite reference, especially if you are learning to integrate vegan cooking in your daily life for the first time. You will find a good number of recipes well indexed in every imaginable category and very much cut out to delight the Indian taste buds. Do check out the index for soups, you might go off the processed soup packets in the market after this! The desserts index contains recipes of a remarkable range of vegan sweetmeats that you can joyfully look up to, make, and share!  

Vegan cooking, as most vegans who love to cook would testify, is a form of meditation. Meditation moves you to center within and make modifications in the internal programming. When you emerge from the state of rumination, you are an individual with greater control over your actions. Simply put, your actions become more mindful than ever before and are guided by love and caring. Vegan cooking is all about love and caring – towards yourself and towards all other sentient beings that inhabit the Planet.

Won’t you give veganism a chance this New Year… hope you Can! Do take the Vegan Pledge for 2011 that PETA has so thoughtfully put together by clicking this link.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

‘’, Online Vegan Cooking Classes

For more recipe-related articles featured in this blog, you can click this link.

“I propose to do nothing less than redefine what we think of as good nutrition. You need to know the truth about food, and why eating the right way can save your life.”

This is a quote from Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the author of the path-breaking research, The China Study. Following closely on the heels of Dr. Campbell who they regard as their hero, sisters Heather and Jenny Goldberg have set out to become vegan angels for many – healing people through their cooking and providing them support to understand what “good nutrition” is all about.

Jenny & Heather
Awareness calls for change
Heather and Jenny, both students of Environmental Studies in college inspired by their course material, decided to embrace vegan 11 years ago. As they learned more about how the meat and dairy industry linked to the degradation of the Planet, the sisters grew firm in their resolve to stay vegan. Their decision to adopt a vegan lifestyle was initially founded on political and environmental principles; soon, animal rights and health concerns became more and strong reasons to go cruelty-free. For more about Heather and Jenny, you can click this link.

Founding Spork Foods
After Jenny had attended culinary school in New York City, the sisters took up private work as vegan chefs. In January 2008, they laid the foundation for Spork Foods. Spork Foods is a Los Angeles-based organic-vegan cooking company through which Heather and Jenny offer in-person cooking classes, consultations on healthy eating, and recipe development.

However, the sisters realized that inspiring one or two families to eat healthy was not their ultimate goal. They envisioned educating more people in large numbers. Therefore, they decided to collaborate with Open Road Films, a professional film making company, to launch Through Sporkonline, the sisters teach anybody who is willing to learn about how to create delicious vegan food. Anyone, anywhere in the world can take up the online vegan cooking classes offered by Sporkonline! Below are photographs of some recipes created by Heather and Jenny.

Apple Tarte Tatin
Fettucini Alfredo with Vegan Parmesan Crisps

Through Sporkonline, the sisters conduct online cooking classes for both vegetarians and meat-eaters who approach them with the simple quest of how to integrate healthy eating habits into their diets. According to the sisters, some of their favorite students who started out eating meat have gradually made the shift to a meatless diet after realizing just how delicious vegan cuisine can be!

How does Sporkonline operate?
Sporkonline is a membership-based website for anyone who wants to learn how to prepare fun, easy, and delicious vegan recipes to serve anytime! The cooking classes are shot and edited in HD (High Definition) to create a precise, entertaining, and engaging experience.    

What does membership with Sporkonline offer to you?
•    The online classes are filmed with an eclectic group of students (including celebrities, authors, activists, farmers, parents, and entrepreneurs) that spark interesting conversations around the dinner table. As a member, you get to watch these conversations unfold!

•    A cooking class featuring a four-course meal built around a specific theme (for example, Italian, Southern Comfort, Fresh, Fast and Healthy, and Sushi Party) is posted online and is available to all members once a month.

•    Each month, Sporkonline offers exclusive bonus classes and recipes focusing on specific holiday and seasonal culinary traditions. As a member, you have access to the archived classes such as the Brunch Class, Chinese Food Class, and an Aphrodisiac Class.

•    Along with the cooking classes, members have the opportunity to travel with the sisters to see how vegan food and products are manufactured, meet the faces behind the products, shop for organic goodies, and while at it, meet with celebs and non-celebs alike!

•    As a member of Sporkonline, you can also ask questions to Heather and Jenny. The sisters will get back to you in writing or via a video shot for the other members to view as well.

To learn more about the benefits to members and get answers to your FAQs, you can click this link.

How to become a Sporkonline member
To become a Sporkonline member, you need to go to, click "Become a Member", and fill in the blanks! If you face any issues signing in, you can contact Heather and Jenny at

In Conclusion
Sporkonline is a great medium for you to use to give vegan cooking a chance! Heather and Jenny meticulously guide you towards unlocking the doors to a lifetime of good health (sans medicines, diseases, and trips to hospitals) as they demonstrate how uplifting vegan cooking can get!

“A Compassionate World Begins With You,” ~Farm Sanctuary~

Sunday, December 19, 2010

‘Holy Cow!’, A Compelling Online Vegan Recipe Blog

For more recipe-related articles featured in this blog, you can click this link.

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”

~Khalil Gibran, the great mystic poet and artist~ 

Her blog is a compelling read that combines aesthetics, beauty, exotics, compassion, food cravings, varieties, color, love… !

She unlearns, she re-learns, she experiments, she creates, she inspires, she challenges, she teaches, she entices, she leads you to the “threshold of your mind”, she has turned the world upside-down for many!

You may either sit back relaxed and let yourselves be lead by her or may argue and debate with her; but what you will not be able to do is avoid her! She speaks the truth and what is: she speaks candidly about the politics of food. She follows her talks with action.

She is Vaishali Honawar, a former journalist with the Times of India Group, The Telegraph – Calcutta (Mumbai Bureau), and The Washington Times; and who, as many in the vegan world know is the creator and writer of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes. You can click this link to get into this amazing space. Born in a non-veg eating family and an all-time animal lover, Vaishali explains:

I gave up meat and fish and all other animal products, including dairy, eggs and honey, because I finally made the connection between animal cruelty and the food we so thoughtlessly put on our plates. As someone who loves to cook, I have gained a lot by becoming a vegan. I've become more experimental in the kitchen, and I discover and eat new foods every day. I decided to write Holy Cow! because I wanted to record all the new recipes I was trying, and a blog seemed like a great place where I could not just go back to them myself but also share them with anyone out there who is interested in leading a compassionate lifestyle.

Thus Holy Cow! was launched in November 2007. Holy Cow! now contains more than 300 recipes from all over the world. One highlight of the blog is that Vaishali has veganized many common recipes rendering them healthy and delicious than what they were. Examples are the egg-less French Toast, “not mutton” Mushroom Curry, ghee-less Carrot Halwa, dairy crème-less Navratan Kurma, dairy butter-less Bombay Pav Bhaji, dairy cheese-less Pizza, egg-less Quiche, and many more! For the recipe index on Holy Cow!, you click this link.

What you are likely to find at Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes

•    How to make your vegan dish look alluringly beautiful, delicious, and healthy. All these gorgeous pictures you see here have been borrowed from Holy Cow! and they link to their respective articles when you click them! The person behind the lens is Desi, Vaishali’s husband, who as Vaishali describes, “patiently takes all the pictures before I will let him eat”. Desi definitely has a way with the camera which suitably captures the love and thoughtfulness that has gone into preparing each dish.

•   The vegan substitutes you can use for eggs and honey, and animal-derived milk, yoghurt, cheese, buttermilk, and butter.

•   How to cook some not-so-commonly cooked vegetables and grains, such as plantain, wheat berry, avocado, edamame, bitter gourd, and squash to name a few.

•  Where and how to use herbs such as rosemary, sage, marjoram, basil, mint, and so on. (did you know you can grow the herbs in your gardens or balcony pots to lend that super taste to your cooking?)

•    How to make unforgettable, luscious vegan desserts, especially on festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and so on.

•    How to effectively use nuts and seeds such as almond and cashew in your cooking for that extra ‘richness’ most associated with non-vegan food.

•    How to cook meat substitutes such as temph, seitan, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), and miso.

With each of her recipes, Vaishali dispels the various myths about vegan food and lifestyle. Get into the world of Holy Cow! and you will find that vegan food offers unlimited varieties, is sublimely delicious, and brimming with life-giving nutrition. The vegan diet does not cause chronic diseases rampant in today’s society because it helps feed our immune system rather than our disease-causing cells. A strong immune system protects us at all times from diseases. What’s more, vegan food keeps your mind stress-free because it is available minus the needless cruelty, chemicals, and hormones.

We wish more power to Vaishali!

“By replacing mindless eating with mindful compassionate eating, each of us can really make a positive difference that will benefit ourselves and future generations, our children and theirs, who depend on our goodwill, as they will inherit what we leave in our wake.” ~Dr. Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado and Author of, 'The Emotional Lives of Animals'~