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I adore recipe books, culinary magazines and pretty much everything that touches the topic of the art of setting the table. I spend a lot of time on social media taking in all the beauty that is created with food pictures. I truly am fascinated by it, and borderline obsessed with it. I obviously have my favourites on social media, like Chloé Carne Leroux is perfect in every way. I love scrolling through her pictures, both the home décor ones but most of all her culinary ones. When she works with her friend, who is a chef & a stylist, Julie Zyromski, their work is phenomenal. So when I found out that they were launching a recipe book, believe me when I say I bought it during pre-sale and waited every day for it to come out. It would be my very first vegan recipe book.
I waited (not so) patiently for the book to come out for weeks. The day it was delivered to my door, I pretty much gave my boyfriend a heart attack when I heard the doorbell ring and danced around like a crazy person while holding the box. Once I had calmed down (a little) I started going through the beautiful pages one by one with great care. I spent weeks going through “Saisons. La table Végane”, without doing even one single recipe. This is actually a problem for me; I very often buy them for the pictures and texts and didn’t even end up making any of the recipes!
Never the less, it was on a cold winter afternoon that I decided to start with a basic vegan recipe: a “cheese” spread. I was no doubt inspired by my new vegan friend (Hi Emmanuelle!!) who talks about veganism with such passion and it’s quite inspirational.
We had the conversation once, at home, on why a plant-based diet is most often associated with a gluten-free one? I’m sure you have already noticed this before. But the question is, why? How would such a diet benefit a coeliac? First off though, I’ll admit that this association often offended me. Not with the vegan diet in itself, I truly admire people who embark on that journey, but the truth is that this exact misconception often was the cause of a contamination for me.
Let me explain: you will often find gluten-free options in vegan restaurants, up until now that’s all good, we thank the restaurant owners for this opportunity, I’ve even often congratulated chefs for their gluten-free options. Until that time when I got very sick because of one.
It’s true, vegan-gluten-free options are RARELY a safe option for coeliacs. But is this a vegan’s fault? Of course not. Now for a long time, I couldn’t see the association that could be made between gluten-free (by obligation) vs vegan (by choice), but today I can see why a coeliac would change its diet for a plant-based one. We quickly become masters of ingredient reading and easily detect gluten-filled foods. Our lives rapidly start revolving around food prepping, snacks etc., and while this might be difficult to understand for someone who does not live this in his/her day-to-day, I’m sure that if you are reading this, you get it.
Lunches always have to be homemade, never mind grabbing a quick lunch at the cafeteria (in school or at work!) sure some grocery stores offer different options, but the variety ranges from excellent to zero. The idea of eating out with co-workers can quickly become worrisome and stressful. Anyways, what I want to say is that our lives revolve around what we can and cannot eat.
Now back to being vegan. People who decide not to eat any animal byproduct, have made this decision based on moral values, while gluten-free people do it as a necessary health obligation. But both think their diets through, all the time, and that is where the association can become interesting. That is where the association can begin for gluten-free & vegan people alike. Therefore, while this association made by many used to bother me quite a bit, I now take that energy and transform it. I much rather broaden my horizons and learn how to make different kinds of recipes with ethical foods, seasonal goods and local products. While remaining the coeliac defender I have always been.
I say yes to 100% gluten-free meals, either deliciously homemade or carefully prepared in a restaurant, and for them to be shared with people you love.
Now I’ve got to let you guys go; I’m spending the afternoon cooking with my new vegan friend and my best friend who is lactose intolerant.
It will undoubtedly be a very trendy meal ;) and of course we’ll be going through my new favourite recipe book “Saisons. La table végane.”