If you don't own Robin Robertson's cookbook, "Vegan Planet," run out and buy one today. Then you'll begin to understand why she's this week's Veggie Hero. This classic tome has been called the vegan "Joy of Cooking." No wonder! It's filled with more than 400 recipes and other great information to help make vegan living easy and delicious! Robin is the author of 11 other great cookbooks and has been a chef, caterer and cooking teacher in addition to her food writing career. You might recognize her by-line as the author of "The Global Vegan" column for VegNews Magazine. Robin lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with her husband and their two cats.
Vegetarian or vegan?
How long have you been veg*n?
Going on 20 years
What inspired you to go veg?
My love and respect for animals from an early age
What's your best story of trying to find veg food?
A family gathering where one relative encouraged me to eat "just a little bit" of chicken (as if that would make it okay) and the hostess made me a "special" spinach salad so I'd have something to eat -- but put BACON dressing on it. And these were people who were supposedly understanding and aware of my food preferences. I have much better luck at restaurants!
How do you handle family holiday dinners?
After that last experience (see above) I now host all family holiday meals. If relatives want to come, that's great, if not, it just means more great vegan food for us! (Leftover stuffed seitan roast with brown gravy anyone?)
What's your favorite veg food?
It's hard to pick just one. First of all I adore all vegetables. But for specific "veg" food, I'd have to say it's a toss-up between tofu for its chameleon like ability to become whatever you want it to be and seitan for its wonderful texture and versatility. As a former restaurant chef, I especially like cooking with seitan because I can make all my old favorite sautéed dishes.
Do you have a favorite veg book?
My personal favorite is my book "The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook" because it was inspired by my desire to make familiar, great-tasting veg food for my husband, family, and friends. I've been gratified to learn that many people choose it to give to carnivorous friends and family in an effort to win them over. It's also been a favorite of folks on the way to going veg.
Tofu or tempeh?
What did you have for breakfast today?
Oatmeal with dried cranberries and a splash of soymilk. Yum.