Do you like to be jazzed? Are you a bit of a rebel? V Cuisine is for vegans, vegetarians and anyone seeking fresh flavors, colors, textures and fun. Never boring, rarely fattening and packing a big nutritional boost, V Cuisine is the evolution of the best of vegan food and cooking.
V Cuisine is bold and exciting -- it's all about creativity. It includes decadent dinners, velvety soups and sensual sauces. It's about fruity sweets laced with tiny traces of vanilla and cinnamon and other tongue-teasing extracts. If food is sex, then V Cuisine is the ultimate orgy.
V Cuisine means no dieting, no counting calories and no starving. It's all about giving your body what it needs. There's no bland food here -- it's about vitality and taste.
Whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits (and as little processed food as possible) star in this cuisine. Since there's no deep-frying at all, no butters or margarines, and only olive oil used moderately, the fat content is low.
V Cuisine is fantastic for kids because the meals and snacks are colorful and portable. Finger foods in various shapes served with tasty dips and spreads captivate kids. Most of these foods are easy to prepare so that parents can easily incorporate them into their day.
V Cuisine is spicy. Discovering new flavors is the name of the game. Your kitchen is an experimental lab. Sage isn't just for stuffing and hot sauce goes way beyond Mexican fare. Try curries, cumin and organic dill. Dive into fragrant basil, chervil and mints. It's about infused olive oils, peppery sauces and bright hits of lemon. Nutmegs, citrusy-sweet orange rinds and woody cinnamon sticks will rev up your senses. And garlic! Roasted, toasted, pickled and raw, garlic always gives a boost and a jolt.
The image of the long-haired, sandal-wearing, granola-crunching, tie-dyed hippy of the '60s is blasted away with V Cuisine. It's cool and people are interested in a big way. Some want to embrace the lifestyle; others just want to taste what looks good. It offers something for everyone -- V Cuisine is the surprise hit of every gathering.
And V Cuisine is friends and family-oriented. just because there's no turkey at Thanksgiving, doesn't mean there's no gathering! V Cuisine includes rich sauces, seasonal vegetables, fluffy stuffings, heavenly salads and scrumptious desserts. It's about creating new traditions that don't pop the zipper on your pants or put you to sleep for 12 hours afterward.V Cuisine is about spending time with people, not stressing over what to eat.
I'm Angeline. I hope that by the end of this book you'll feel like you know me. want to be like your friend, your big sister; your mom -- but without the judgment, only the fun. Whatever your age, whatever your situation, I want to jazz you about eating well. So, if I can help you create recipes you love, I'm all over that.
In the early '90s, when was 29 years old, I was fat. I'll never know my exact weight because I had long since quit weighing myself. Put ft this way: I'm 5' 2" and I would guess I weighed at least 200 pounds. I didn't have an eating disorder. I was, however; a social eater who had plenty of occasions to attend. I never perceived myself as a fat person but I knew it wasn't really the way I was meant to be.
I was too dumpy to exercise and could barely breathe when I tried. Even if I went for a short walk. I'd end up gasping on the ground. Every time I went to doctors, they said I was asthmatic and tried to put me on inhalers. I always said no.
I was popping antacids like a maniac, but still always had what they would now call acid reflux disease. Then I developed hormone problems. My body wasn't producing enough progesterone. Although this is common in women in the menopausal zone, I wasn't prepared for it at 29.The symptoms were ugly; I felt disgusting in general and drastic measures were in order
I gave up dairy and within the first week. I was no longer popping antacids and my lungs felt better. I also lost several pounds. Then I decided to give up red meat and pork. never cared much for them anyway, so it was no big sacrifice for me, to be honest.
Within a couple of months, I knew I was onto something big. I'd lost about 30 pounds and loved everything I was eating. I had discovered a whole new world of food. Every day I was excited about another new ingredient or recipe. Suddenly I was eating a lot of things that as a kid I heard were "bad" or fattening, like potatoes. My lungs were absolutely clear and I had energy to burn. It was exhilarating. I felt light.
I had cut down on eating fish and chicken to a couple of times a month. Even though I still liked them, I found that after eating them I felt heavy, less energetic and as if something unclean was in my body. I'm not suggesting that anyone else should feel this way -- it's just me. So I cut it out. The big deal was not only the health improvement, but also the energy boost. I wasn't dragging myself around any more.
After cuffing out a final few products, I was basically vegan. The only exceptions were honey and Worcestershire sauce (which contains anchovies). I had lost all the excess weight and was fit and healthy. The hormone problems went away and I went on to have three more kids (I'd had a boy before all this started, then three little girls later on).
I've raised my three daughters on a vegan diet and my husband became vegan too eventually, which was a shock because he loved meat. He loved all the stuff I was making, and even said things like: "Wow, you can really taste all the other things on the pizza when it's not covered with cheese." Trust me, I practically fainted when he said that.
I never would have continued if I'd found it boring, or if the vegetarian ingredients just didn't cut it. I had taught cooking classes before, but began specializing exclusively in vegan classes using all the new ingredients I'd discovered.
That's how I've come to write this book. I love creating new recipes around this lifestyle every day and I want to give it to you with a fresh, fun attitude.
The Honey Thing
Normally, vegans don't eat honey. I do feed it to my family on occasion. It has been said that honey products have health benefits related to the ingredients in royal jelly, bee pollen and the honey itself.
If you don't want anything to do with honey, just ignore any reference I've made to it. It's the only non-vegan ingredient you'll find in the book. You can easily replace it with any other sugar. I've used agave syrup, brown rice syrup and barley malt syrup (available in natural food stores) as alternatives to the honey in these recipes. These are vegan products that have distinct flavors and work perfectly. They're also similar in consistency to honey. So use what works for you.