Vevanite Spotlight: Meet Lavender
I was featured on Vevan's blog! If you don't know who they are yet, they're a cool new vegan cheese brand. Check it out!
Tell us about you! What are your interests and what inspires you to make dairy-free/plant-based food choices?
I am a plant-based chef working in Los Angeles. I have a cookbook called “Vegan in a Weekend” and a podcast called Lavender Lunch where I interview vegan chefs about their food journeys. I have been vegan since I was 17, when I looked into the eyes of a divine cow at the San Diego County Fair (where I’m from) and swore off eating animals. It was a rocky journey with mistakes and a slow trickling off of animal products, but now it’s easy and it feels like second nature. I have always been allergic to dairy, so eliminating that was the easiest and most imperative choice.
What are your must-have kitchen ingredients?
My must-have kitchen ingredients are Maldon sea salt flakes, rice – mainly sushi rice but any kind will do, as many seasonal vegetables as possible, olive oil, some type of vinegar or citrus, garlic, onions or shallots, and lately chili crisp or something of the like.
What prompted you to try Vevan for the first time?
I had a good friend who recommended Vevan to me and I was so excited to try a new vegan cheese! I feel like I have tried them all, so something refreshing was very cool for me. I loved doing a vegan cheese board with all the Vevan cheeses and tasting the different products. They were all so delicious!
What was the first dish you made using Vevan? How did it turn out?
The first dish I made using Vevan was my plant-based burger recipe. I put the Vevan Ched-Melts on top of the burgers and they melted so well! It’s honestly insane how they can do that! I love how they melt on vegan burgers or breakfast sandwiches.
What else have you been cooking with Vevan since then?
Since then, I’ve been really obsessed with vegan breakfast sandwiches with Vevan cheese. I either use P’Jack-Melts or Ched-Melts and a plant-based breakfast sausage and vegan egg. I like to make some kind of vegan aioli with it, too, and add homemade jalapeño pickles.
I also made a really yummy, comforting pizza with a mix of all of the Vevan cheeses and homemade pizza sauce, homemade vegan, gluten-free crust and some plant-based sausage.
My favorite thing I’ve made with Vevan is something I call Touchdown Toasts that I made for the Super Bowl. They had plant-based burger meat and sausage, Worcestershire sauce and a lot of Vevan cheese melted on tiny rye toasts! So addicting.
Have you shared Vevan with friends, vegan or otherwise? What was their reaction?
I have definitely shared Vevan with friends. I took the Touchdown Toasts over to a friend to try and they couldn’t stop eating them.
Everyone has also replied to my posts about Vevan saying they tried it and they absolutely loved it. They were so excited to see it at the Costco in LA. My mom also couldn’t believe how good Vevan is and she kept eating little squares by themselves. My boyfriend is obsessed and does the same thing – slices straight from the fridge to his mouth.
Do you have any advice for someone who’s new to plant-based eating?
My advice to someone who’s new to plant-based eating would be to find good replacements for everything you loved eating so you don’t have to miss it. Make hearty meals so you don’t feel hungry and make sure you are getting all of your nutrients. Listen to your body. I have more information on this in my cookbook “Vegan in a Weekend” that I wrote for people starting out on their vegan journeys. It consists of seven recipes plus a bonus recipe from my early days of veganism that really helped me transition.
Subscribe to my email list or buy my cookbook for more recipes! Watch full video on my IG!