I am very happy to announce the March 4th release of my newest cookbook, Straight from the Earth – Irresistible Vegan Recipes for Everyone. This project was extra special for me because I wrote it with my daughter, Marea. We’re thrilled at how beautifully the book came out, and are particularly pleased that it so perfectly conveys our passion for fresh, healthy food. Plus we had so much fun creating it together.
Straight from the Earth is for everyone: it’s a collection of vegan recipes for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. We want all kinds of eaters to enjoy these dishes, and we’ve proven through our taste-testing that the recipes in this book can even tempt hard core meat-loving carnivores. Our goal in creating Straight From the Earth was to create 100% plant based recipes that feel like a treat, not a sacrifice. And I’m happy to say we succeeded at that goal.
Only a small percentage of us will ever make the commitment to go 100% vegan, but we can all benefit from eating more whole, plant-based foods. It’s great for our health, because eating less animal products reduces our risk for heart disease and many types of cancer. It’s also a great way to protect the environment, because eating lower on the food chain is one of the most effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
In addition to promoting the many benefits of organic food, I’ve made it my mission to encourage people to eat more plant-based foods and to avoid factory farmed animal products. And I’m always looking for new ways to do that. A few years ago, Marea was living in a vegetarian co-op while attending UC Berkeley, and she was cooking vegan dinners for 60 people every Sunday night. Her recipes were original and mouth-watering, and eating her food inspired me to ask her to collaborate with me to create this vegan cookbook.
Marea is a fearless cook who has a lot of experience using ingredients that make vegan food extra healthy and delicious: things like coconut oil, nutritional yeast and hemp seeds. Her wonderful creations encouraged me to be more adventurous in my own recipes. And I was Marea’s mentor as she learned the ins and outs of writing recipes for a cookbook – the weighing and measuring and precise directions that a cookbook requires was a huge shift from her spontaneous, creative cooking style.
Marea was lucky to grow up on the original Earthbound Farm raspberry farm where my husband Drew and I still live today. She was gardening as soon as she could toddle around, and was fed baby green salads in her highchair. She doesn’t understand the appeal of processed foods or fast foods, and has always loved fresh, whole foods. Promoting healthy, delicious foods is a natural extension of who she is and how she has always lived.
I, on the other hand, I was raised in New York City on a diet of TV dinners, sugary cereals, and buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Considering that background, I’m a very unlikely cookbook author. So I guess you could say I’m living proof that no matter your past, it’s possible to learn to cook and appreciate fresh, healthy food.
I hope the recipes in Straight from the Earth will motivate more people to cook plant-based meals more often. Try our Cabbage and Carrot Crunch Salad to bring color and freshness to your table during these cool March days.
It’s just one of the more than 100 mouth-watering recipes Marea and I want to share with you in our new book. We hope you love these recipes as much as we do, and that they bring the inspiration of our farm and love for delicious, healthy food directly to your kitchen.