Whether you are vegan or gluten-free or not everyone that loves ethnic food and experimenting with new ingredients will love Allyson Kramer’s second cookbook Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats Around the World! I made the Vietnamese Salad Wraps (which I share with a video over at Wellness Reboot) and the Bulgogi-Style Tofu (which you can get on Manifest Vegan). Both were amazing! Here’s a hint for you: save half of the marinade from the tofu and soak two sliced portobello mushrooms in it overnight. Use those mushrooms to make tacos or to top a salad. You won’t regret it!
I was super thrilled to receive my copy of GGVE Around the World! Being a world traveler I crave ethnic food that uses unique spices or foods I’ve never heard of or used before in my cooking. Cooking should be an adventure! That being said if you are someone that follows a restricted diet (low fat/no-oil) you may find you have to adjust some of the recipes to your liking. Allyson uses all kinds of the amazing vegan foods we have at our disposal; vegan butter, vegan cheese, vegan mayo. But if that’s not your thing then there are plenty of whole food based recipes in the book too! You can just skip over the recipes that don’t appeal to you. No need to start ranting and raving about how it’s not “healthy”. In my opinion, everything that is vegan is healthier than it’s non-vegan counterpart and while I don’t eat those foods all the time I’m sure glad they are available so more people feel encouraged to switch to a vegan diet. We are all on different journeys. And that’s all I will say about that!
Some of the ingredients can be hard to find depending on where you live, but if you are already gluten-free everything will be familiar to you. As a chef and a health-conscious eater I have been experimenting with gluten-free flours for years and actually before to go GF even though I don’t have celiac or a serious gluten-intolerance. I just feel better when I eat less. How about you?
Now onto the interview with someone that I am proud to call my friend for she is a constant inspiration to me through cooking and activism. And she’s just gorgeous!!!
And be sure to check out the other blogs, recipes, and giveaways that are part of Allyson’s blog tour!
What prompted the decision to do worldly eats as your 2nd book?
My publisher (Fair Winds Press) actually came up with the theme—mainly because I have a lot of experience cooking foods from “around the world” and of course, veganizing and de-glutenizing these foods, so we thought it would be a great fit. In the end, I loved doing the research and development for this book, so I’m super happy to have the opportunity to write such a collection of recipes.
What countries have you visited and what is your favorite and why?
I haven’t been to nearly as many countries as I’d like… yet. But Italy and The Netherlands are definitely my favorites—but, I’m a sucker for many places in Europe (such as France and Greece) specifically because of the art and architecture.
What countries are on your bucket list to visit and why?
Australia is definitely somewhere I’d like to visit as I’ve always been intrigued with the native animals and the land. (editor’s note: Australia is at the TOP of my list too! 2014 baby!!)
After doing all this research on ethnic food, which countries did you find lend themselves to being more vegan-friendly and were any of their dishes vegan by default?
South Indian cuisine typically has many vegan options mainly because the recipes often eschew meat and dairy and instead rely on coconut milk to deepen the dish—such as vegetable curries and chutneys. Also, there are a ton of vegan friendly sides and soups in various regions of African cuisine—mainly because of the lack of or lesser availability of animal products in these regions—think Ethiopian cuisine with its Injera and vegetable heavy stews or w’et.
Gluten-free cooking is a relatively new term, but did you find that ethnic cultures have traditional foods that were gluten-free by default because they focused more of whole foods?
I guess I found it to be about half and half. There is a lot of wheat-based cuisine scattered across South America and Europe. Asian cuisine is pretty gluten-free; for example Indian cooking uses chickpea flour often and Japanese and Korean cuisine is rice heavy… although both have their fair share of glutinous eats as well. Sticking to whole foods definitely keeps the fillers and other ingredients that may have sneaky gluten lurking inside to a minimum.
Do YOU have any questions you’d like to ask Allyson? Leave them in the comments!
Be sure to head on over to Wellness Reboot for a cooking video and recipe of the salad wraps!