California cutie, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, earned VegNews magazine's 2005 Vegan Martha Stewart Award. And for good reason! Her "Compassionate Cooks" DVD has garnered national awards and her backyard vegan barbeque was filmed and aired on The Food Network. She leads popular cooking classes, nutrition courses, workshops, lectures, and farmed-animal sanctuary tours. Colleen's big smile and tasty recipes are proof that being vegan is not only compassionate, but it's fun, too!
Vegetarian or vegan?
A joyful vegan.
How long have you been veg*n?
Vegan for eight years; vegetarian 16 years
What inspired you to go veg?
I read John Robbins' book "Diet for a New America" when I was 20. I had already been doing animal advocacy but was focusing more on animals in labs and on puppy mills. I just had no idea how horrific it was for animals raised and killed for human consumption. It started me on a path to learn everything I could. When I read Gail Eisnitz's book "Slaughterhouse" several years later, I went vegan immediately. It was a powerful book that absolutely changed my life
What's your best story of trying to find veg food?
What I most enjoy is when we're at mixed dinners such as a wedding and people always covet what we're eating. Of course, the hosts make sure we have fantastic food, and the people at our table always say they wish they knew they could have requested something other than the "chicken" or "beef." However, we did have one bad wedding meal experience, which we still laugh about today: how can anyone think you'd be satisfied with a plain raw tomato with some steamed carrots?!
How do you handle family holiday dinners?
We host Thanksgiving every year, and all of our guests contribute to our feast. Our families live on the opposite coast, but when they visit for holiday dinners, they enjoy our delicious vegan menu; and the last time we visited our family for the holidays, in exchange for us cooking, they were happy to have an entirely vegan spread. Family and friends are more accommodating than people think they would be.
What's your favorite veg food?
That's a tough question! Let's just say it would be torture to live without tempeh, almond butter, chocolate and quinoa.
Do you have a favorite veg book?
Jim Mason's "An Unnatural Order "changed my mind about so many aspects of our human-centric society. My favorite cookbook is Jennifer Raymond's "A Peaceful Palate."
Tofu or tempeh?
I love tofu, and I LOVE tempeh.
What did you have for breakfast today?
The same thing I have every day! Green tea, plus a Berry Fruit Smoothie made with almond milk and almond butter. I'm drinking it right now! YUM!