Variety is the Spice of Life – Cooking with the Experts On Vegan Cruise and Dining on Gourmet Vegan Food
It was such an honor and a treat to watch and meet with these expert plant-based cooking chefs on the Holistic Holiday Vegan Cruise: Julieanna Hever, Kim Campbell, Jessica Porter and Chef Mike Hanna!
While it’s fun to get fancy with recipes, sometimes a new twist or update on the basics is exactly what you’re looking for. Registered dietitian and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, lead three cooking classes: “Dressings and Sauces to Help You Fall (More) in Love with Vegetables;” “Soup Solution – How to Use Soups as the Key to Successful Healthy Meal Planning;” and “Hummus Should be a Food Group;” plus a boot camp called “Healthy Eating Made Easy”.
Did you know that the minimum recommended number of vegetable servings per day is ten? That may seem like a lot, but it’s easier to get than you may think. Not craving more vegetables? Julieanna says the secret to wanting more vegetables in your diet is all in the sauce. Her class helped make it easy, delicious dressings and sauces to use across the culinary spectrum and help inspire you to amp up your love of veggies.
Kim Campbell is the author of The PlantPure Nation Cookbook and The PlantPure Kitchen. She has developed more than 250 delicious, whole food, plant-based recipes using no processed oils. Kim lead two cooking classes. In “Bringing Back Our Favorite Comfort Foods,” Kim demonstrated how to build familiar recipes in a healthy form. She cooked chip and dips and Indian Malai Kofta.
Kim said, “Taste preferences are often rooted in our traditions and memories so in order to appeal to these preferences, we should strive to build foods with similar flavors and textures. At the same time, it’s important to use ingredients that are accessible, affordable, and most of all healthy. During this class, she covered a variety of techniques, ingredients, substitutions, and how they can be used to build very traditional style meals that are family and kid friendly. Included, I will cover gluten-free options and low-fat substitutions. Most importantly, we shared ideas and sampled everything during the class!
We got a chance to speak to Kim about Malai Koftas, garam masala (indian spice) and so much more! I told her about my favorite Indian dishes I made with my mom. We both agreed that with substitutions so many dishes can be mad as a healthier version.
Change the Way You Cook
Jessica Porter presented her cooking class, “Don’t Let Tofu Make You Lose Your Tempeh,” Jessica went into the benefits of both powerful foods and delicious ways of preparing them.
If you’re a bit confused on soy foods and how to cook with it, this class was for you! “There are two categories of complaints these days,” explains Jessica. “First of all, soy is getting a bad rap, and that topic needs to be thoroughly understood. Not all soy is a problem, and in fact, much of it is incredibly healthy and smart to eat, but we need to understand how quality and quantity affects our health. Is it GMO? Organic? In what form? Fermented? All these things matter.
“The second category of complaint is about cooking; people say that tofu is boring or has no taste. This is simply a matter of understanding the nature of tofu and its versatility and tastelessness need never be a problem. Ditto tempeh and other forms of soy.”
Sandy Clubb, of Cookware Health Clubb Inc., helps people understand the healthy benefits of whole plant nutrition and proper food preparation techniques. In her demonstration, “What’s the Cookware Got to Do with It?” Sandy will use the waterless cooking method (no water, no oil, no oven) to prepare 30-minute lasagna, veggies, and cake.
When recommending cookware to people, Sandy offers this advice:
- Ask questions and do research. Look behind the label because, after all, your food will touch it, cook in it, and sometimes be stored in it. Should your cookware be the highest quality or the lowest? There is very little regulation on cookware. Find out where it’s made and from what materials and why? After all, it is YOUR dinner.
- WHAT do you want your cookware to do for you? Save Time? Save Nutrition? Make your food taste better? Save food volume? Be easy to clean and last for decades? To cook without water, without oil? Why, Why, Why? After all, you can cook in a tin can or a hubcap!
Variety is the Spice of Life
So much vegan options to eat from breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Plant-Based Cooking Today
Often the best culinary techniques and methods are those that are based in tried-and-true traditions, and helped along by modern advancements.
“Plant-based cooking has become so much easier in the last ten years,” says Kim Campbell. “Mainstream grocery stores are beginning to carry a wider variety of ingredients and there are many great vegan chefs out there sharing their gifts and knowledge around food. Digital photography, videos, and social media make it easy and fun to allure, support, and sustain this lifestyle. When our family began this journey 30 years ago, there wasn’t the internet, beautiful vegan cookbooks, and restaurants offering vegan options. It seemed like everywhere we went there were roadblocks. We made it work and learned a lot along the way, but it’s a different world today and I think it’s much easier to transition to a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. My own parents have made this transition at the age of 83 and they did it overnight! They had a little PlantPure help but I can honestly say they didn’t struggle doing it.”
Whether you love rolling your sleeves up in the kitchen, or you’d rather just eat more healthily, these cooking classes will help expand your knowledge of plant-based nutrition and just how healthy and delicious it can be!
Meeting with Chef Mike Hanna – Sandy and head cruise chef Mark Hanna published a cruise cookbook, Greens and Grains on the Deep Blue Sea, which features the recipes served by Mark during the cruise.