Rebecca Coleman and I met through the local blogging community in Vancouver. She has long impressed me with her social media skills (she’s taught social media at BCIT) and also her cooking. She recently wrote a book called Aquafabulous: 100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba. You can find it in bookstores or you can also order it from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com and Chapters-Indigo. She’s going to be doing a cooking demo at the upcoming Wellness Show as well if you happen to be local and want to check it out.
Did you ever expect to write a cookbook? Is it what you thought it would be like?
I often joke that writing a cookbook was the bucket list item I never knew I had. I had thought about it, but it wasn’t anything that I really thought would happen to me.
I don’t really know what I was expecting it to be like. I tried to go in to the whole experience with an open mind and to learn as much as I could. I learned a ton! Both positive and negative things.
What did you find most challenging?
Failure, failure, failure. My cookbook is based on a newish ingredient and while there was some stuff on the net, this was one of the first cookbooks published on this particular ingredient. I was responsible for a minimum of 100 recipes (the final count ended up being closer to 125), and most of those had to come out of my head. There was constant trial and error, and that meant constant failure. I made macarons about 50 times before I finally figured them out.
What did you enjoy the most?
I love being in the kitchen. It’s my happy place. It’s creative and fun. I lose myself there, my brain is constantly saying “what if we sub out applesauce for butter? How would that work?” It’s super fun.
What do you love about aquafaba specifically? Why this ingredient?
It’s so freaking cool! You take bean water–the water you drain off of a can of chickpeas–and whip it up with some sugar and a bit of stabilizer, and it makes this fantastic meringue. I have done it hundreds of times and it still blows my mind every day. It opens up worlds of possibilities to vegans and those with egg allergies. And let’s not forget how cool it is to find a use for something that is essentially a waste product.
What inspires you to be so creative with food?
I am an artsy, creative type. I started out as a writer, then abandoned that for a 20-year love affair with the theatre. I have since come back to writing, and food, travel, wine… these are the things I love the most. It’s a passion project.
What is your favourite thing to cook?
I cannot choose a favorite child. 😉 I do love making vegetarian or vegan dishes for carnivores and seeing their reactions. “Oh, this actually tastes good!” (I should be offended, but I’m not).
So you’re not Vegan, but so many of your recipes are. Why do you explore Vegan cooking so much?
I haven’t eaten meat in several years. People make those choices for different reasons, for some it’s love of animals and concern for their welfare. For me, it’s more about the environment; if we all just ate a little less meat, it could have a huge impact on our world. I love to challenge assumptions about vegetarian and vegan cooking–anything you can make, I can make vegan. And delicious.
What are you most looking forward to about The Wellness Show?
I know I’m supposed to say my own cooking demo (Saturday afternoon at 5:30 pm), but honestly, the highlight for me every year is getting to hang out with Tojo. That guy’s a rock star.
I’m looking forward to seeing Rebecca at the Wellness Show and hope you join us. I also encourage you to check out her book, Aquafabulous!
Disclosure: While Rebecca provided me generously with a copy of her book (and a cookie!) and tickets to the Wellness Show to see her cook and so I can try all the samples like I do at trade shows (yum!) my enthusiasm for her awesome is genuine. She is a delight and it’s my privilege to tell people about her. She’s an awesome mom, a multi-talented individual and a supportive friend and collaborator.