There is no reason why vegan food cannot be fun, like other foods, say Lauren Toyota and John Diemmer. The couple is on a mission to convince people that being vegan can also mean eating delicious food, not the least of all, a plate of junk food every now and then.
Their Youtube channel is filled with great videos of delicious recipes, ranging from peanut butter cups made from dark chocolate to batter coated cauliflower with spicy sauce. What’s not to love there?
“I’m not even vegan but I love your channel ,” wrote one user.
“I made these for my family and they were shocked that I had actually cooked something that was so good, they praised me for it all night,” wrote another.
Lauren went vegan back in 2010 and admits that in the beginning she craved some meat. The feelings wore off when she started trying new foods. Even now on youtube, they have people who are not vegan trying the recipes – and loving them!
“I honestly don’t crave non-vegan foods. I often crave vegan versions of those foods. I crave vegan chicken, vegan cookies, vegan ice cream, vegan jerky. I don’t want to eat the versions with dairy, eggs, or meat at all,” Toyota admitted.
The couple admit that the secret to their vegan food tasting so good is all in the fat – the good fat! They use avocado, tahini, and nut butters to enhance the foods.
“Sauce and or fat,” Lauren Toyota said. “Fat doesn’t mean only oil either. It could be avocado, tahini or nut butter or nuts and seeds. It’s a must. Fat is flavour and I’m so bored of the fat-free movement. Fat is not the enemy.”
“And sauce up your food. I love making sauces. They’re the easiest thing to make at home from ingredients in your pantry and you can store them for the week to put on everything.”
“The main thing I can emphasise is you will not be missing out on anything,” she goes on. “I eat so much more variety as a vegan than I ever did as an omnivore and there are so many new innovations happening with plant-based foods that you can eat everything you ever crave whether that’s breakfast sandwiches, juicy burgers, fries and gravy, nachos. It can all be made vegan.”
When they met John was not a vegan but was impressed with the food that Lauren introduced him to, and that was when ‘hot for food’ started. The Youtube site has grown and now they are preparing a book. They now have the luxury of sending their recipes to testers to cook and report back on.
“I didn’t feel good after eating, ever!” recalls Toyota. “Once I finally made the switch I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner,” she adds.
“I just couldn’t ignore the information I had learned.”
“He loved food and cooking so much so to him it didn’t make sense to make separate meals. He was really interested and curious about how to make his favourite foods vegan and that’s where hot for food really started the way you see it now. It was just a hobby blog I had a few years prior and basically let it go dormant while I worked in a different career. Experimenting to make John’s favourite foods vegan is really how we started getting excited to make food that we just weren’t finding otherwise. ”
“Originally we just saw a lot of recipes that were too healthy looking. They had no batter and hardly any sauce, or no fat or oil which we advise against, always! Basically just roasted cauliflower with hot sauce on it, so adding a nice batter that gives people something to bite and chew on I think was the key to that recipe working out so well.”
“It’s still our most popular recipe and to us it seems kind of old, but we notice people online still commenting that they’ve never heard of such a thing,” she shared.
“But honestly, churning out weekly YouTube content is a hustle and so admittedly we don’t have the luxury of time to really develop and test things a bunch of times.”
“We find our audience is kind of doing that for us and luckily we know what we’re doing and things seem to turn out pretty spot on out of the gate.”
Lauren is of the opinion that being a vegan has changed her life in other ways as well. She feels better in herself now than before, and her outlook on life has changed in very subtle ways, leaning more towards spirituality and peace. She says that if you listen to your body you will find that there is a relationship between everything. It seems to make more sense to her to be vegan.
“It’s changed my life enormously in so many ways. At first it was just a physical change that I noticed. I felt better after eating. I wasn’t sick anymore. But then it started to change my life in other subtle ways emotionally and spiritually,” she said.
“When you are mindful of what you eat and listen to you body you realise there is a whole symbiotic relationship between everything. It just makes the most sense to me to be vegan.”
Source: The Independent