I had the amazing honor to interview world famous, award winning, vegan chef Mark Reinfeld! He’s won countless awards and runs the site Vegan Fusion, and has co-authored a bagillion cookbooks! Mark Reinfeld recently collaborated with Sarah Taylor for the cookbook Vegetarian to Vegan, and helped fill it with a ton of amazing recipes! Check out my review here!
Alex: How long have you been a vegan?
Mark: I became vegetarian in 1990 while on a kibbutz in Israel. Vegan came slowly over time as I felt better physically once I gave up dairy and eggs. It was only later that I learned about the treatment of animals on factory farms and environmental impact of a vegetarian diet compared to a vegan one.
Alex: Vegetarian to Vegan is specifically geared towards vegetarians looking to make the switch to veganism. What do you think, in terms of food preparation, is the biggest obstacle that non-vegans make or experience before attempting the switch?
Mark: Most people have a hard time giving up cheese. There are now lots of plant based cheeses available on the market. Daiya is a great brand. You can also make your own simple seed and nut based cheeses.
Alex: How did you overcome your obstacles when first starting out with veganism?
Mark: Once I learned about how the animals were treated for dairy and egg production, it strengthened my convictions. It gets easier over time and I would allow myself to eat analogue products such as vegan cheeses or meat substitutes.
Alex: What advice do you have for those aspiring vegans who aren’t very well experienced in the kitchen?
Mark: Start slowly. Get creative with salads. Introduce a new ingredient a week and learn how to work with it. Pick up a few cookbooks (30 Minute Vegan is a good one to start with) and start learning the basics.
Alex: What advice or motivation can you provide others who are afraid of feeling as if they’re sacrificing too much in order to cut animal products from their diets?
Mark: Part of my mission is to show people that there is actually no sacrifice involved, once you learn a few basic tips and tricks in the art of vegan food preparation.
Alex: Or claim that vegan food is weird?
Mark: To me its weird to eat the decomposing flesh of innocent creatures, or the lactation (milk) or other fluids (eggs) from other species.
Alex: What is your favorite vegan dish?
Mark: Quinoa, steamed vegetables, marinated and grilled tempeh with some hemp oil, nutritional yeast and a splash of wheat-free tamari.
Alex: What is your tip for new vegan chefs?
Mark: Be patient and persistent and keep a positive attitude in the kitchen.
Alex: What is your favorite ingredient?
Mark: There are lots of answers to that. Coconuts are probably my favorite.
To see what amazing recipes Mark has to share be sure to go buy your copy of Vegetarian to Vegan today! Its an amazing resource to have for vegans and non-vegans alike! Go check out his site Vegan Fusion for more information on being a vegan chef! Be sure to check out my review of the book as well as my interview with Sarah Taylor!
I hope today’s interview was inspiring for you, as it was for me! What are your reasons for going vegan? What are your food tips for vegans? What are you struggling with? Leave me a comment below! Or join the new facebook group to chat with one another!
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