Youth Librarian and workshop presenter Kristen “Kris” Siegel demonstrated how to cook easy, delectable vegan comfort foods this past weekend, proving that opting for vegan does not equate a sacrifice for the palate. The spread included demos and taste samples for brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert, using a multiple-table spread spanning half the width of the Wyoming KDL community room.
“I’m a vegan for animal rights, environmental and health reasons,” said Kris, who has been vegan since 2009. She admitted to the audience that switching to vegan wasn’t easy, initially. It took practice, preparation, trials and errors and a great deal of help from her ever-growing collection of vegan cookbooks. She’s found a routine, formed her own adaptations, and she’s willing to share her tips for cooking vegan with all who seek the knowledge.
Being a taste-tester myself of each of the samples, I’d say it is absolutely time for Kris to write her own cookbook. Who knew the secret ingredient in Tofu Scramble was the sulfury-smelling black salt? Or that pulverized cashews could replace cheese for a creamy, comfort-food pasta? Or that nutritional yeast can be substituted for cheese in thousands of recipes, including Vegan Basil Pasta?
But wait, did I mention there was dessert? A 95-calorie serving of Genius Chocolate-Chip Blondies, created with the unlikely combo of a 15-ounce can of white beans and peanut butter, among other ingredients.
After successfully entrancing us with the kind of spell only expertly prepared comfort food can induce, Kris sent us on our way with an impressive list of her favorite Vegan resources in Grand Rapids (email Kris Siegel at email@example.com for a copy), a brochure highlighting her favorite vegan cookbooks (circulated by KDL!) and eight pages of vegan honorable mention comfort food recipes. The recipes included her own addendums with tips on substitutions and meal leftover uses.
While the Wyoming KDL Vegan Cooking Demo left vegans, omnivores and multi-faceted dabbler like me, dazzled and impressed, Kris finds a comfort of her own in her vegan venture. “It makes me feel like I’m in alignment with my beliefs,” she said.
The workshop was not only impressive and educational, but also incredibly genuine.
Next up for Wyoming KDL: Parent and Child Yoga. Visit the KDL Events Website for more info on upcoming events.
Carrie Bistline is a freelance writer, blogger and marketer with an MFA in Creative Writing. She divides her free time amongst family, work, sports and Jane Austen, and uses what’s left to chip away at her every-growing bucket list.