Kathy Freston Dishes on New Cookbook — The Book of Veganish

January 16th, 2017


Kathy Freston is a writer and plant-based diet advocate. Her latest book is The Book of Veganish, which is packed with plant-based recipes and interesting facts about eating less meat. We chatted with her to learn more about her remarkable new book.


You were interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011, the same show where Oprah announced she would be implementing Meatless Monday in the Harpo cafeteria. The word “veganish” popped up a few times during the interview. Is this a concept you’ve been thinking about for a while?

Yes, I think when most people hear the word “vegan,” and if they grew up like me eating chicken, hamburger and steak, they think vegan is so restrictive. Like “oh my god, all my favorite foods are going away. I’ll never be able to eat cheese fries again.” Veganish takes the pressure off to be absolute. There’s this joy and relief to explore other food choices.


The whole feel of your book is so fun and hip. Was it put together with millennials in mind?

Absolutely. Young adults are the ones who have the world in their hands. They want to make a difference. And eating less meat is one of the most focused ways to have a meaningful life – for the environment, for animals and for your own human health and your family. The book is meant to be happy! To be fun and inspiring. I love that most of the book is young adults weighing in. They’re young fresh voices. You really get a sense of this growing community.


Let’s talk about the recipes. What was your goal in putting this collection together?

Robin Robertson is the chef who wrote the recipes. She’s all about comfort food, speed and taste. For me, protein was the most important thing. Even though protein intake is not a problem in vegan diets, most people are still obsessed with it. So our goal was to get as much protein as possible and to get the veggies so they tasted good and weren’t boring. And Robin rocked it! You can make everything in 10 to 20 minutes using simple ingredients you have around the house.


We love that so many of the recipes are one pot meals. Apparently millennials aren’t even eating as much cereal these days because of the clean up!

Right. What’s nice is that a lot of the recipes are one-dish meals and are also great for leftovers. You can pack them and take them to the office or to class the next day.


What recipes would you suggest for newbies? Either someone new to veganism, or someone who wants to introduce their friends or family to meatless eating via Meatless Monday?

The mac and cheese is so comforting. And I love the tacos, they’re really “meaty.” There’s also a great burrito with tons of protein and some spinach or kale. It’s just really hearty!


Sounds like Mexican food is where it’s at! Thanks for chatting, we can’t wait to cook up these dishes!