If you have been around plant-based cooking for any amount of time, you have more than likely heard of Colleen Patrick Goudreu.
Colleen is the author of three very popular cookbooks, The Joy of Vegan Baking, which won VegNews magazine’s “Cookbook of the Year” Award, The Vegan Table, and Color Me Vegan, which was released December 2010. Her first non-cookbook, The Vegan’s Daily Companion: 365 Days of Tips and Inspiration for Cooking, Eating, and Living Compassionately, was released in 2011.
Her latest book is entitled The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Cleaner, Getting Leaner, and Living Compassionately.
We are so happy to have her join us today! She will be answering some of the questions you had for her!
Reflecting your values – whether they are motivated by health or ethics – in your behavior sometimes means you may rock the world of people around you. To be in the presence of someone living their truth can be incredibly threatening to people. Unfortunately, as a response, I’ve seen far too many people react by abandoning their values lest they upset their friends or family members. But there is another choice – and a better one at that. It’s really just as simple as being authentically who you are. Anyone who meets me knows where I stand on certain things, namely my belief that animals are here for their own sake and not for my pleasure. That’s not something I have to apologize for. That’s not something that changes according to who invites me to dinner or who it might make uncomfortable. Being a joyful vegan in a non-vegan world is the art of walking the line between being humble and speaking the truth, and the power of example is the most profound gift we can give. If we are confident and joyful in our vegan-ness, others will respond in kind. By speaking our truth, we give others permission to speak theirs.
What was the biggest challenge for you when you started?
Honestly, my transition was pretty effortless. As soon as I made the connection between the violence I was contributing to by consuming animal’s milk, chicken’s eggs, and animal’s flesh, nothing that contained these things was appealing to me at all. I think the hardest part though – which is why I wrote The 30-Day Vegan Challenge – were the social aspects, the barrage of questions, the stream of myths I had to respond to, and the hostility with which some people responded to my being vegan. Now I know what was going on, and I can tell every single person who experiences this same thing to just hang on, because I guarantee it gets better as you remain true to what you believe in.
How have you overcome challenges?
Those challenges I experienced led me to find the answers I needed to respond to the myths and misconceptions and led me to be a guide for others. I know exactly what the process and transition is like, and I want to help others go through it joyfully, confidently, and healthfully.
Randi asked… what suggestions do you have for a family that is starting a plant-strong diet, but who needs an easy to pack, fun and tasty lunches for our kiddo at school every day?
There’s an entire chapter in The 30-Day Vegan Challenge with a number of ideas for just this need! My mantra is ‘if it tastes good, they will eat it,’ and that includes children and picky eaters a like. The suggestions in a chapter called Packing Lunches for School and Work are broken up by sandwiches, salads, wraps, snacks, and beverages, focusing on things that are easy to transport.
Katie asked… How did you come up with the concept of writing a cookbook based on the colors of vegetables and what veggie of each color is the one least known or over-looked that you wish people would use more in their cooking?
Hi Katie. I came up with the idea because it’s how I encourage people to eat. I always say if you want to eat as ethically as possible, live according to your values of compassion and nonviolence. It’s that simple. If you want to eat as healthfully as possible, eat by color. It’s equally simple. People are so ridiculously confused when it comes to messages about nutrition and health, and really the simplest thing we can do is eat by color. So the book is organized by the different colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, white/tan, black/brown – and then by a combination/rainbow of these colors. I highly recommend that people make green leafy veggies the most prominent color in our diets, because they’re quite literally a combination of all the other colors! (The green folate just masks the other colors, just as what happens on trees in the autumn when the green starts to disappear and reveal all the colors that were there the whole time!)
Nellie asked… What are the best 10 or 15 items to always have on hand so I can make breakfasts, lunch, dinners and snacks that cover my nutrition needs?
Great question, Nellie. I talk a lot about stocking your kitchen in the book, and I do think having the right staples on hand is essential for spontaneous, delicious, and easy cooking. OK – assuming “spices” can be one item (even though there are dozens!) and that we’re not talking about fresh veggies (which obviously should be staples in every fridge), my 10 favorite staples would be spices (cumin, caradamom, chili powder, cayenne, coriander), tahini, tamari, peanut butter, nutritional yeast, a variety of vinegars, sesame seeds, hummus, olives, and capers!
Luce asked What are some menu ideas when having die-hard meat lovers over for dinner? Also, what are great dishes to bring when invited to other’s homes? Thanks!
Hi Luce – I talk a lot about the fact that we don’t crave the flesh of animals (we’re NOT obligate carnivores who start thinking about lunch when a bird flies overhead or when we see deer grazing in a field!), but we do crave fat, salt, texture, flavor, familiarity, and a certain mouth- feel. In the book, I offer many suggestions for meeting each one of these needs (chewy mushrooms or frozen tofu for chewy texture or guacamole or cashew cream for a creamy texture, etc.). As for dishes to bring to other people’s homes, honestly stews are my favorite dishes to make in the world. Soups and stews. They’re so easy with endless possibilities, and they’re easy to double if I’m serving a number of people and also easy to transport when going to someone else’s home. Stews are hearty and warming and fabulous. You can make them even more substantial by serving them atop a nice grain like quinoa.
Where can people find you? And could you tell us about your latest book, “The 30 Day Vegan Challenge”?
People can visit my website www.colleenpatrickgoudreau.com or www.compassionatecooks.com, which is where they’ll also find the book. We’re revamping the website after all these years, which I’m very excited about! Signed copies of all my books can be purchased through my website (and yes, it means you’re supporting the author directly!), but of course they’re available wherever books are sold both in stores and online.
We want to thank Colleen for taking the time to talk to us today and answering some of your questions! If you would like to enter to win a copy of Colleen’s latest book, please leave a comment and tell us your favorite fall inspired plant-strong dish!