by Christine Galeone
Over the years, Colin McCullough has taught many vegan cooking classes throughout Central Massachusetts. At those classes, his students would ask for a book of the recipes he demonstrated. But there wasn’t one. He had searched for such a cookbook years ago and never found one that had delicious, healthy vegan meals. For both reasons, the Millbury resident decided to write a vegan cookbook. And the timing was right for an even more special reason. “Also, my two boys – now 17 and 20 – grew up eating these recipes, and I wanted them to have the book so that wherever they go off into the world, they will have the cookbook they can use!”
Although Vegan Publishers normally only publishes books about vegan advocacy, McCullough showed the company how sharing his healthy vegan recipes and answering new vegans’ inevitable question of what they should eat is a form of advocacy. Convinced, the Massachusetts-based independent publisher released McCullough’s book “The Healthy Vegan Cookbook” on August 4.
The book focuses on delicious, nutritious breakfast smoothies and 30 different flavorful sauces for vegan meals. But it also includes recipes for healthy, tasty salads, soups, appetizers, snacks and meals. Based on McCullough’s experience of preparing healthy, convenient vegan meals for his busy family, the book showcases his system for incorporating more healthy, whole-food meals into people’s diets.
When deciding which recipes to include, he was tremendously influenced by what worked for his family. “When the boys were younger, any recipes that I found or created that were healthy and nutritious but got the kids to come back for seconds were winning recipes that got saved…” McCullough recalled. “They might not be excited about a bowl of fruit, but a Black Forest Smoothie that tastes like cherries and chocolate was a hit! They didn't care about the kale if it was covered in Golden Cheezy Sauce, and they were too busy eating the Orange Chocolate Energy Bites to care that they were made of nuts, seeds, and dates.”
Among the things that he enjoyed the most while writing the cookbook were people’s reactions to his recipe experimentations. “The recipe testing was always fun – creating a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Smoothie and then watching people's faces light up when I got the recipe just right…” McCullough said. “I've been trying to up my smoothie game, over the years, by writing smoothie recipes that mimic the taste of desserts, and it's always a pleasure to come up with recipes that give me the same sweet dessert flavors I love but using healthy, whole-food ingredients that make me feel great!”
And McCullough, who will be doing cooking demonstrations at area libraries throughout the fall, hopes the cookbook will make others feel great as well. “Well....in a world of fast food and processed meals loaded with oil, salt and sugar, it can be hard to know where to start when people want healthier choices they can make themselves, especially meals that don't take hours to prepare and can be fast and fresh,” McCullough responded when asked how he hopes the cookbook will make a positive difference in the world. “He added, “So I hope the approach I took is something people find helpful to them, and being on Amazon, it's available to the far reaches of the planet!”
For more information about Colin McCullough’s cookbook and cooking classes/demonstrations, please visit his website, www.colincooksvegan.com. If you would like to suggest a Blackstone Valley author for this series, please contact Christine at [email protected].