After so many recipes, trips to the farmer’s market, yoga posts and going veggie posts, it’s finally time to share another one of the rockstars in my life. They might not know it, but the amazing people that fill this series are such huge influences in my life and in most cases occupy a seat at our wooden dining room table when we sit down to their scrumptious creations and ethics. Today, I’m featuring vegan chef, educator, animal activist, author and speaker Colleen Patrick Goudreau as our rockstar #2 (not that the number should give you any indication of anything other than first place in my book!). Colleen has inspired thousands of people to get started on their veggie way and has given them all the tools they need in order to do so, from the ‘why vegan?’ to practical tips through her fabulous podcast and books, and not to mention her incredible vegan cookbooks. However, giving you this little list of accomplishments doesn’t even do her justice so I’m taking you along my “relationship” with Colleen and how she has helped change my life.
I wish I could tell you that this gorgeous woman is what inspired me to go vegan. As you know from my Rockstar #1 post, it was Alicia SIlverstone and her book the Kind Diet who planted the first seed. I can tell you this though, if Colleen wasn’t the first seed, she was certainly the water that made the seed grow! Had I not found this incredible animal advocate who gave me support until I found my voice, perhaps my story with veganism wouldn’t have been as joyful and whole hearted as it has been. After being vegan for a while, I found Colleen’s inspirational talk “From Excusitarian to Vegan” and I was instantly hooked. She made me understand why I was making the choices I was making in such a simple and logical way, she gave me validation and courage to come out of the vegan closet, and she brought so much confidence and joy to my everyday life and choices.
I then began to follow the speeches she did around the US, I began to visit her website for resources, and then came the greatest present of all, discovering her podcast Vegetarian Food for Thought. Colleen has been called the vegan Martha Stewart, and although I believe that to be true, she is so much more than that. She is kind, compassionate, understanding, a tough cookie, an incredibly creative chef, a literary wise owl and transmits so much charisma and knowledge that you’re instantly entranced. In spite of being a regular listener of many fabulous vegan podcasts, there is none that compares to the work this woman is doing. After two podcast episodes, I decided to join her 30 Day Vegan Challenge program (an online multimedia program with everything you need to know if you’re going vegan or want to make sure you’ve been doing things in a healthy way). I wasn’t expecting to get that much out of it since I was already extremely happy being vegan but boy was I wrong! Filled with videos, sound bites, recipes, links, nutritional information, shopping tips, a community of vegans and her wonderful lifestyle tips, this is an absolute must if you’re planning on making the change or if you’re already vegan. I woke up every day with such excitement to see what was new in the program since she really takes the whole “one day at a time” thing seriously and gives you all the tools you need slowly to let you process and adjust.
After finishing the 30 Day Vegan Challenge I went on a mission to listen to all of her podcast episodes. I laughed, cried, cooked, and felt my life grow with every episode. I wish she knew how many times I used her tips to answer difficult questions, deal with the difficult images and footage I was seeing, not to mention how many times we practically licked the bowl that had previously housed one of her recipes.
Next stop, cookbooks and her yummy delights! Both the 30 Day Vegan Challenge and her podcast offer great simple recipes to get you started, but her books are must haves for any vegan kitchen. I recently bought her cookbook The Vegan Table and I’m obsessed with it! It’s beautifully illustrated and the recipes are simple and have easy to find ingredients. Her book on baking and desserts is also extremely popular (as are all of the others!), it’s probably the Bible of vegan desserts and baked goods. Here are some of the delicious recipes I’ve personally tried and that are part of my usual repertoire at home:
– Delicious creamy hummus
– ‘No queso’ quesadillas
– Vegan Pad Thai (which is to die for!)
– Vegan pesto
– Vegan chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (my aboslute favorite recipe for chocolate cake!)
– Pan fried asparagus with lime juice
– Creamy leek polenta
– Homemade tempeh and tofu bacon
– Chilli infused Soba Noodle Salad
– Muhammara dip (roasted red pepper dip)
– Black bean salad with corn and veggies
– Not to mention the fact that she taught me how to properly cook beans, tofu, tempeh and make delicious bean and grain salads, not to mention scrumptious sandwiches and wraps you can whip up in no time.
Enjoy the links below where I try to guide you to this lovely vegan coach and her resources, but before I do, most of the work she does through the podcast is completely listener supported (yup! she basically gives you all the support you need for free and even her cookbooks are a steal!). I was so happy when I got to send my first donation a few months ago (you can become a monthly sponsor or donate any amount). The money I sent to Colleen simply doesn’t compare to the amount of knowledge and support I have received from her work. If you get to know her and are inspired and helped by her work, please consider making a contribution with as much or as little as you can (every penny is helpful!). As a second thank you to her and as a way of honoring her through this post and beyond, I’m making my second contribution today!
Thank you Colleen for all your incredible work. Without knowing it you sit at our dinner table every night, go with me on every trip to the gorcery store, and hold my hand through every single one of my vegan adventures.
I leave you with my favorite quote by Colleen, and may you be inspired by her work as much as I have. Thanks for reading!
May our daily choices be a reflection of our deepest values, and may we use our voices to speak for those who need us most, those who have no voice, those who have no choice. – Colleen Patrick Goudreau
LINKS TO COLLEEN’S WORK
BOOKS (a list of her books is always available in our little online library of resources ‘I feel like reading’)