Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Veggie Hero: Susan Neulist

My favorite advocacy groups is Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and one of their best outreach efforts is The Cancer Project, which hosts outstanding cooking classes. I took one last year led by Susan Neulist. Susan is a Veggie Hero for sure and she recently moved to my home town of Asheville. She's been teaching cooking classes for The Cancer Project for more than two years.

* Are you vegetarian or vegan?

* How long have you been veg*n?
I have been vegan for approximately 12 years and vegetarian for 4-5 years before that.

* What inspired you to go veg?
I was inspired by T. Colin Campbell and his research on the China Project. I was living in Ithaca and my sister-in-law, Marilyn, was his assistant for many years at Cornell University. After hearing his thoughts and information it just seemed like the most sensible way to eat, for my health and for the health of the planet. Through the years I find so many reasons including health and environment – animals and also for my spirituality.

* What's your best story of trying to find veg food?
I guess the biggest challenge for me was hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. Meals were prepared for us along the way by wonderful Peruvians but not always were they clearly vegan. I did my best and ate lots of quinoa and vegetables. The interesting thing was that of the 13 folks who were on the trail with us, the ones that were not vegetarians were the ones who got very sick – must have been some meat somewhere that caused the illnesses.

* How do you handle family holiday dinners?
The easiest way is for me to make many of the parts of meals myself and mostly my extended family likes whatever I make. I have made large Thanksgiving dinners in the past that were vegan and it always goes well. Over half my family is vegetarian which of course, makes it easier. Since I enjoy cooking and serving it is easy for me to make things that people love. My dear husband, Richard loves everything I make and recently he has begun to enjoy cooking too – which makes me happy.

* What's your favorite veg food? I guess my favorite is salads – with lots of things in it – seeds, nuts and vegetables. Sometimes with beans too. My favorite cooked vegetable is sweet potatoes – with ginger! Yum….

* Do you have a favorite veg book?
I guess presently the one I use the most is "Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure" because I love using a pressure cooker. I also like the "Survivor's Handbook" put out by The Cancer Project. This is the handbook that I use for my cooking classes and it has loads of great, simple vegan recipes. You can see this book online at

* Tofu or tempeh?
Tempeh, though I do not cook it often myself. I love it when I go to restaurants.

* What did you have for breakfast today?
Eight grain cereal made with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and served with some raisins and banana. My husband and I eat this at least four days each week.


Anonymous said...

I think "The Cancer Project" does such a wonderful thing by educating people about how diet relates to cancer. It's criminal that this information isn't already widely known in this country.

iGurman said...

Very nice. I have also a site for recipes for cooking, but you have to translate the Google translate. I am from Slovakia.

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India Pharmacy said...

Susan thanks for all your advices and veggie recipes... You don't know how difficult has been my life since I'm vegan... I can't find good recipes to prepare, and when I go to a restaurant waiter looks at me like a freak.

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