My Vegan Story

In 1992, at the age of 12, I decided to become vegan.  I was spending some time with family friends, who as vegans themselves began sharing the horrors of factory farming.  I decided at that moment that I could not support factory farming.  My heart just broke upon hearing where our meat was coming from.  I returned home a few days later and told my mom that I was going to become vegan.  I think she was terrified, but told me that if this is what I really wanted to do, she would support me by making the vegetable portion of dinner vegan, but I would be responsible for making the main course. 

I soon went shopping at my first health food store.  I was amazed, overwhelmed and completely clueless.  I remember buying egg replacer and tofu, and having no idea what to do with them!  After a year of disastrous experiments cooking with tofu, I finally gave up deciding it was completely inedible.  I was very discouraged, and resorted to PB & J sandwiches, and French fries.  During this very unhealthy year I would wake up tired, feel tired all day and just want to sleep.  My Mom was concerned and began to encourage me to eat, at least, some dairy and eggs again.  I guess I looked as unhealthy as I felt.  It was enough motivation for me to begin exploring vegan cooking again.  I bought a couple vegetarian and vegan cookbooks and got to work.  It took a little while, but soon I discovered some tricks that made vegan dishes not only edible, but delicious!  I was even cooking dinner for my entire (non-vegan) family and I think they enjoyed it. 

Also, around this same time, I began working at a local health food store and found myself surrounded by other vegetarians and vegans.  I was relieved to be around others that felt the same way I did about factory farming and the vegan lifestyle.  One of these fellow vegans was my co-worker and long time friend, Jessica.  She was so completely clueless about cooking that she told me at one point that she couldn’t even boil water.  That was all I needed to hear.  It became my mission to teach her how to cook delicious vegan meals.  We began holding monthly cooking lessons in my tiny apartment kitchen and continued until I moved away to school.  This experience ignited a passion for me, a passion to teach people how to cook delicious, simple vegan food.

It has been many years since the cooking lessons in my apartment, but the passion for delicious vegan food is stronger than ever.  In this book, I have compiled the best results of my experiences with cooking vegan meals.  I hope you find these recipes helpful as you discover how delicious living a vegan lifestyle can be.