The Next Big Thing: A Cookbook Authors’ Blog Hop

Chocolate Peanut butter truffles

Wild About Greens by Nava AtlasI was invited by the wonderful and prolific Robin Asbell to participate in this game of cookbook author tag, in which we each choose a few of our colleagues and answer the same questions about our foodie lives. Such fun to be in this great company! Aside from working on a new cookbook, I’m also traveling around like a crazy person, still promoting my previous two cookbooks, Wild About Greens and Vegan Holiday Kitchen; working on some juicy art projects which include my limited edition artist’s books (I’m excited and honored to be speaking on the subject at Duke University’s Perkins Library later this month); I just relaunched The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life web site; and when I’m finished with my next cookbook manuscript I want to get back to an engrossing nonfiction project I’ve been working on forever. more→


Nava’s Spring and Early Summer Speaking Schedule

Wild About Greens by Nava AtlasThis spring you will find me all over the map, traveling to various venues to speak about my personal work as well as to demo the joys of healthy plant-based food. Please join me if you are in the California bay area, suburban NYC, Raleigh-Durham NC, slightly upstate NY, or Portland, OR:

February 10-13, Richmond, CA: Codex International Book Fair

March 3: NY VegFest, NYC (past)

March 10, Great Neck Library, Great Neck, NY: A plant-strong plan for the spring holidays — a demo and discussion of Vegan Holiday Kitchen  and Wild About Greens– 2 pm.  (past)

March 23, Raleigh, NC: Wild About Greens — food demo, discussion, and potluck, co-sponsored by the Kadampa Center and the Triangle Vegetarian Society. 6 pm.

March 25, Durham, NC: Presentation and talk for the academic community and public at Duke University:  Clarissa Sligh and Nava Atlas in Conversation: Race, Gender, and Identity in Artists’ Books. 6:30 pm, Perkins Library, room 318.

April 12-14, New Paltz, NY: Mohonk Mountain House — Healthy Living: Culinary Tips for a Plant-Based Palate, a weekend of food demos and tastings with Nava Atlas, Fran Costigan, Leslie Cerier, and Whitecliff Winery. My demos will feature recipes and tips from Wild About Greens.

May 24-26, Portland, OR: Vida Vegan Conference — I’ll be speaking on several panels at this annual vegan food and lifestyle blogger’s event.

June 15, Guilderland, NY: Guilderland Public Library — Demo and discussion featuring Wild About Greens as part of Guilderland LIbrary’s Tastes Good/Get Healthy Series. 11 am

July 3-7, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, PAVegetarian Summerfest, at the grande dame of Veg Conferences, I’m a mere part of this amazing line-up of experts in the field of veg cuisine and nutrition.


Nava’s Late Winter – Spring 2013 Speaking Schedule — Food, Books, and Art

Postal Angst by Nava AtlasThis spring you will find me all over the map, traveling to various venues to speak about my personal work as well as to demo the joys of healthy plant-based food. Please join me if you are in the California bay area, suburban NYC, Raleigh-Durham NC, slightly upstate NY, or Portland, OR:

Feb. 10 – 13, Richmond, CA: Codex International Book Fair — I will be exhibiting my limited edition books (including Sluts & Studs, Dear Literary Ladies, Mislabeling Hillary, Postal Angst, Why You Can’t Get Married: An Unwedding Album, and more), as well as the trade editions of The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life, and Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife.

March 10, Great Neck, NY:  Great Neck Library — A plant-strong plan for the spring holidays — a demo and discussion of Vegan Holiday Kitchen  – 2 pm.

Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas - coverMarch 23, Raleigh, NC: Wild About Greens — food demo, discussion, and potluck, co-sponsored by the Kadampa Center and the Triangle Vegetarian Society. 6 pm.

March 25, Durham, NC: Presentation and talk for the academic community and public at Duke University’s Rubenstein Library with Nava Atlas and Clarissa Sligh, tentative subject: gender, race, and identity in artist’s books. Time TBA

April 12-14, New Paltz, NY: Mohonk Mountain House — Food and Wine Festival -“The Plant-Based Palate,” a weekend of food demos and tastings with Nava Atlas, Fran Costigan, Leslie Cerier, and Whitecliff Winery. My demos will feature Wild About Greens.

May 24-26, Portland, OR: Vida Vegan Conference — Speaking on two panels at this annual vegan food and lifestyle blogger’s event.

June 15, Guilderland, NY: Guilderland Public Library — Demo and discussion featuring Wild About Greens as part of Guilderland LIbrary’s Tastes Good/Get Healthy Series. 11 am


VegKitchen is Seventeen Years Old!

Spanish vegetable stew

Veggies2smIt just dawned on me that VegKitchen.com went live in January, 1996 — seventeen years ago, and ancient history in internet terms. Of course, it started small, but that’s how things usually start, right? And it has changed and grown ever since. I remember chatting with Mollie Katzen back then, comparing notes, as we seemed to be among the first food authors to go online with our own sites. We marveled at the prospect of having 500 visitors per day; now VegKitchen receives more than 5,000 visitors per day on average, and much higher in the fall due to the popularity of the vegan Thanksgiving area. The numbers continue to mount as interest in healthy, plant-based eating grows.

The biggest change to VegKitchen happened in November 2010, when we switched to the WordPress platform and went from vegetarian to vegan (lagging way behind my actual lifestyle change, as I had gone vegan in 2001). Not that I’m doing a commercial for WordPress, but it made it so much easier to grow the site rapidly and edit at will. We also began incorporating a lot more contributors from the food world, who share articles and recipes on the site, adding other voices to this fast-growing area. And by the way, when I say “we,” I’m basically referring to myself, my webmaster Allen Jezouit at Berkshire Direct, and my assistant, Rachael Braun, who tends to the site almost daily. I thank them for their contributions to VegKitchen’s recent growth.

VegKitchen is but one of three major careers I juggle simultaneously — the others include writing cookbooks and other non-fiction; and visual art (mostly text-driven — I guess I really like words!). It has become a great way to connect with others in the healthy food and vegan communities, and a platform for sharing information that people are seeking these days. It still boggles my mind that VegKitchen is seventeen, and I look forward to celebrating twenty years online in just three years from now.


Signed copies of Nava’s books — great holiday gifts!

I have a good supply of Vegan Holiday Kitchen on hand, so I’m putting them on sale here for the same price you’d pay on Amazon, with the shipping. In addition, I just received a batch of my 2009 book of humor, Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife, at a bargain price. These orders go securely through PayPal. You’ll see a space there for a message, where you can list to whom you’d like the books inscribed, or if you want them simply signed. So, here’s what’s on sale! These prices include shipping on U.S. orders; for Canadian orders, please add an additional $5.00 for shipping.


Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava AtlasVegan Holiday Kitchen: More than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipe for Special Occasions

With more than 200 mouthwatering recipes, Vegan Holiday Kitchen is your go-to resource for recipes and menus for major holidays. Vegans can at last celebrate the holidays with gusto and enjoy every course of the meal—from appetizers to desserts. What’s more, these lovingly crafted dishes will satisfy everyone who loves great food, no matter what their culinary preferences. There’s no reason to wait for a special occasion to enjoy these recipes—they’re healthy and uncomplicated enough for everyday fare. Read more about Vegan Holiday Kitchen.


secret recipes for the modern wife by nava atlasSecret Recipes for the Modern Wife: All the Dishes You’ll Need to Make from the Day You Say “I Do” Until Death (or Divorce) Do You Part 

Flavored with frustration, simmering with rage, and iced with affection, these “recipes” will make you laugh as you multitask your way through the challenges and joys of matrimony. Enveloped in them are the secrets — delicious, distressing, and everything in between — that accompany women on their marital journeys. Please note, this is NOT a real cookbook! But it IS a perfect gift for newlywed, newly divorced, and those in it for the long haul. And for anyone who loves retro art and imagery. Read more about Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife.


Shopping Organic on a Budget

Organic farming first emerged out of the natural grocer movement that arose early last century. In the last twenty years, the word organic seems to have permeated every level of consumer society. The term organic foods describes consumables grown without synthetic hormones, fertilizer or pesticides. Lately, it has also come to mean foods that are not genetically modified, irradiated or abused with non-nutritive food additives.

Organic food is the most rapidly growing element of the American grocery business. In the US, organic groceries grew 20% a year over the last five years. It had the strongest growth among the fruits and vegetables department. The very selective and careful nature of organic growing coupled with the rising demand for organic grocery items means that organic groceries are often more expensive than non-organic food. It becomes very important to save money while pursuing good health. Three ways to save organically include:

1. Bulk-buy at an organic grocery store or in the organic section of a standard grocery store. Organic fruits and vegetables often have very specific seasons. Bulk buying followed by a good bout with canning can help a family take advantage of cheap organic prices during sales. They can then store the products for use at a later time.

2. Farmers Markets – One of the great new renaissance features of urban and suburban life, farmers markets often have lower priced organics, and save you gas, you don’t have to make the trip to a local organic farm. Again, the best credit cards come in handy when cash is low, provided the vendors accept plastic. Preservation methods help the buyer enjoy their savings throughout the low availability seasons.

3. Neighborhood gardens – Another wonderful resurgence has come about with the rediscovery of neighborhood gardening. There are many community plots that are tended by groups of gardeners, many who grow organically. Pitching in and helping with the local organic garden project can be a wonderful, healthful hobby by itself, as well as way to save money on organics.

With a little creativity and ingenuity, organic food can become a part of a family’s regular grocery habits without the family going broke in the process.


Vegetariana – special sale!

vegetariana cover2014 will mark the 30th anniversary of the publication of my first book, Vegetariana: A Rich Harvest of Wit, Lore, and Recipes.* When it was first published, Publisher’s Weekly declared that “this book should prove itself a classic.” Vegetarian Times called it “a treasure,” and the Detroit News flatteringly described it as a “one-woman masterpiece.” Many years and many books later, many people still tell me that it’s their favorite of my books.

To mark its 30th anniversary, I’m working on a slightly updated new edition (try not to do the math — I was young when it was published!). At this point, I still have a number of copies from the 1999 edition, which is very close to the original 1984 edition. I’d really like to get these collectible books out of my studio and into your kitchens (or bedrooms, as it’s very much a cookbook for reading). I’m offering a number of signed copies through Amazon for $5.00 plus shipping. To access this, go to this link on Amazon and make sure to order your copy through Amberwoodinc, which should be the first seller listed — that’s me.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!


Celebrate Great American Meatout

meatout 2011For most Americans, the arrival of spring on March 20 is cause enough to celebrate. But for millions of others this date brings another reason to celebrate—the annual Great American Meatout, sponsored by FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement). This grassroots diet education campaign, which began in 1985 has become the world’s largest annual grassroots diet education outreach.

According to FARM, “Thousands of caring people in all 50 U.S. states and a host of other countries welcome Spring with colorful educational events. These range from simple information tables, exhibits, and cooking demonstrations to elaborate receptions and festivals. Visitors are asked to ‘kick the meat habit’ and explore a wholesome, nonviolent diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”

Modeled on the original “Great American Smokeout,” Meatout urges everyone to try to “kick the meat habit, at least for the day,” and offers encouragement to anyone exporing a more healthful and humane diet. To find out how you can participate in this year’s events taking place all over the map, or to create an event of your own, go to the campaign’s Action Center.

Those who have chosen to give up meat appreciate knowing that their food choices can not only be tasty and healthy, but compassionate and humane as well. Not to mention the enormous benefit of plant-based diet to our rapidly deteriorating environment.Did you know that plant-based diets:

…are arguably the most healthy way to eat. Numerous studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans tend to have lower rates of obesity, heart disease, hypertension, kidney disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and adult-onset diabetes.

…give their practitioners the edge against cancer. Research has shown that fiber-rich plant-based diets may reduce the risk of cancers of the digestive organs.

…help guard against gender-related cancers such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, and prostate cancer.

…protect against heart disease. Health experts agree that eating foods high fiber and complex carbohydrates can help reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, plant-based proteins reduce cholesterol levels, while animal protein raises them.

…help avoid some of the most virulent forms of food-borne illnesses caused by e coli, salmonella, and listera. Food-borne illness, a majority related to contaminated meat, sickens 750,000 Americans each year enough to send them to hospitals (this doesn’t count unreported cases) and is believed to kill about 5,000.

Other benefits of plant-based diets are numerous and include:

Weight control: It’s hard to get fat—or stay fat—on a balanced vegetarian diet. Grains, legumes, many types of vegetables, and soyfoods are bulky and filling, yet contain little or no fat.

Economy: It’s hard to match the economic value of bulk grains and legumes supplemented with fresh produce carefully chosen in season. Even a ready-to-eat food such as tofu aver ages about $1.75 a pound—less expensive than quality meats and fish.

Ecology: Many environmentally aware consumers derive satisfaction from “eating low on the food chain” —that is, getting the bulk of their diets from plant-based foods. It’s not only good for the body, reducing the intake of pesticide and animal antibiotic residues, but also for the planet as livestock deplete enormous land and water resources. Consider that:

  • Raising livestock contributes to the loss of millions of tons of irreplaceable topsoil each year.
  • It takes 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat, as compared to 390 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef.
  • Livestock produce massive amounts of excrement, which has been shown to pollute soil, water, and air.

Compassion: Animal agribusiness is one of the cruelest practices imaginable. Millions of sentient creatures are subject to confinement, overcrowding, disfigurement (as in the common practice of debeaking poultry) only to face an equally cruel demise in the slaughterhouse (which, by the way is no picnic for its human workers). A primarily plant-based diet is a humane way to enjoy the fruits of the earth.

There are so many more resources on the web for delicious plant-based recipes—you need only type “vegan recipes,” or if you’re just diving in, “vegetarian recipes” into your Google search. I invite you to start with the Recipes Galore section of VegKitchen, and explore the delicious offerings on numerous other sites on the web and in the plethora of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks available.