When a friend of ours in Seattle found out that we were moving to Salem, Oregon she connected us to two of her friends via Facebook. One of the friends was Summer Keightley, author of The Glad Cow Cookbook. As we began to prepare for the 12 Days I decided to approach Summer about getting a cookbook to represent the local vegans of our new city. She gladly participated and was also willing to answer a few questions so we could get to know her better.
How long have you been vegan?
I became vegan in January of 2001.
What prompted you to become vegan?
It was a lot of different things. My husband had been raised vegetarian, so he was encouraging. My son had a dairy allergy when he was a toddler, which prompted us to stop buying dairy & start buying non-dairy cookbooks, many of which happened to be vegan. My in laws were experimenting with a plant based diet for health reasons at the time. Everything kind of fell into place.
You are married. Did your husband begin his vegan journey at the same time as you?
Yes, our whole family went vegan at the same time. Our son was 2 & I was pregnant with our daughter.
You also have two children. What have been the greatest challenges raising vegan children? What are the greatest rewards?
The hardest part for me in raising vegan kids is making sure they are included in school & friend functions. So much of our celebratory traditions revolove around food, and many times schools aren’t able to be as accomodating as I would like. I used to keep frozen cupcakes in the school refrigerator for my kids to have when an unexpected celebration popped up.
I am most rewarded by two things. One, my kids have a compassionate yet realistic view of the world. They are aware of things that some adults don’t acknowledge about how our food effects us, which makes me proud. Two, they are becoming excellent food advocates (ie they like to cook for their friends as a way of spreading delicious vegan foods).
What inspired you to write, “The Glad Cow Cookbook?”
What are your three favorite recipes in, “The Glad Cow Cookbook?”
Cheezish Macaroni! Every year on the Glad Cow Cookbook Facebook page, we have a week of cooking from the book. On Groundhog Day, we all make cheezish, and post pictures. It’s a delicious way to honor my favorite recipe.
Scones! I love to start my day with baked goods, and scones are my favorite. This recipe is made to be customized however you like, chocolate chip is my favorite.
Lemon Garlic Pasta, lovingly referred to as LGP. My friend’s son is a huge fan of this, and he made up a nickname for it. It’s that good.
Writing my blog there are recipes I have revisited and modified, are there any recipes you have changed in the book?
YES! I am constantly adjusting recipes, and have been mulling over a series on my website about how I’ve changed recipes from the book (for the better, or just to use different ingredients).
I heard there is a possibility of a second cookbook in the future. Can you give us a hint of what to expect?
The next book will be much like the Glad Cow Cookbook, but MORE. More recipes, added nutrition facts, hopefully pictures, and more text. I want to continue the theme of accessible customizable delicious home cooking from the first book. There will also be some veganized recipes from my family’s history.
I guess I would liken veganism to a marathon. It’s very easy to go too hard & burn out. You don’t need to start out fast, changing everything, and being anxious about hidden ingredients. Make small changes, pace your learning curve, and enjoy the experience. Also, don’t be too hung up on how other people approach their (or your) veganism. Live life compassionately, including how you treat yourself as you change your diet.
In honor of Summer and The Glad Cow Cookbook, I made her Lemon Garlic Pasta for my sister and her family, who are not vegan. My 11 year old niece found it hysterically funny that a vegan recipe could make the house smell cheesy. The dish was a hit. My sister has already copied down the recipe!
Speaking with Summer, the idea of being compassionate to ones self really hit home. I try to be patient and understanding with others, but will easily beat myself up for not being perfect. It was a good reminder to continue to work on this.
Make sure to check out Summer’s blog at http://gladcow.com
Let’s be clear this isn’t a ‘contest’. We’re giving away gifts to our friends. However the limit quantities available gifts means we need to make some choices. If you want to receive a gift, please leave a comment on the Don’t Fear the Vegan blog post for that day. Commenting on Facebook doesn’t count. Around midnight Pacific time the day after a post, a recipient will be randomly chosen from the comments section. We will reveal the gift recipients in individual posts the following day in a new post, a reply in the comments and a fair attempt at emailing. The giftee will have 48 hours to contact us from the time of post, otherwise we will choose another lucky reader will be chosen who then has 48 hours to get back to us, and so on…. We have learned from past give aways that it is sometimes very difficult to get a hold of folks. Lastly we can only afford to ship within the United States. Sorry the rest of the world.