In the Spotlight

Derek Haley

Derek is a graduate of Southern Maine Community College with a degree in Culinary Arts.

How Long have you been plant-based?
I have been eating plant-based since February 2016.

What made you decide to go plant-based?
I first went plant-based mainly for health reasons, however the environment and the welfare of animals quickly became a large factor in my decision to eat a plant-based diet.

What are your go to foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
My go to food for breakfast is a banana or some toast with Earth Balance. For lunch, I love hummus and carrots, unsalted almonds or pistachios, a handful of blueberries and whatever is left over from the night before (whole wheat pasta or stirfry). For dinner I make a pizza with vegan cheese, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and jalapenos or I will make some roasted sweet potato with broccolini, kale, and onions with tahini maple dressing.

What did you find to be the biggest challenge to becoming plant-based?
I really missed cheese in the beginning of being plant-based.

What are the benefits that going plant-based has done for you?
Going plant-based has lowered my cholesterol to perfect levels, has helped me lose weight, and has made my mind feel better about the good karma I am creating by not indirectly killing animals for food!

Do you have a recipe, favorite cookbook, or tip to share?
My favorite book of all time is called Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts by Fran Costigan. It is right up my alley.

A fun Tip: You can make vegan meringues out of auqafaba-the water that is left after you drain a can of chickpeas.

Recipe: Maple Tahini Dressing
1/4 c Tahini
1 Tbl Maple Syrup
1/2 of lemon, juiced
2-4 Tbl hot water to thin

Mix all ingredients together.