A vegan since birth, Sarah was raised by loving, compassionate parents. Her father was a Registered Dietitian who toured the country speaking about the benefits of a plant-based diet. Her mother is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who has dedicated her life to saving animals. Sarah grew up in a home where veganism was the norm. When she’s not working as assistant manager at a local winery, she performs in theatre productions and sings on luncheon cruises.
1. How long have you been eating plant-based? Almost twenty four years. (My whole life).
2. What made you decide to go plant-based? My parents raised me that way. And why I have always and will always remain plant-based is for the animals.
3. What are the benefits eating plant-based have done for you? I’ve never lived any differently so I don’t have much to compare, but I feel happy and healthy! People always ask me how I’m so happy, and I think it’s chiefly because I live a virtually guilt-free life. No blood on my hands or my plate. I’m one of the lucky few to be given this immeasurable gift at birth. And I have the deepest admiration for all of you who, like my parents, come to the decision on your own. The rest of the world needs to join in your heroism ASAP.
4. What did you find to be the biggest challenge of eating plant-based?
Growing up, I never really encountered challenges-most everyone who found out I was vegan was intrigued, and would ask what I ate, etc.
5. What are your go to foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Breakfast: Berries with oatmeal, potatoes or pancakes on special occasions. But leftovers are often my favorite breakfast! Lunch: Salad with beans, sandwich or burrito-add grilled onions and guacamole to all of the above please! Dinner: Lasagna would always be #1, but a fully dressed veggie burger or mixed veggies with a Gardein (vegan meat) product are great too!. And I try to eat lots of leafy greens with every meal.
6. Do you have a favorite cookbook, tip or recipe to share?
Mama’s Lasagna: This is my go-to for potlucks, both vegan and not, and I’m always asked for the recipe. It’s primarily my mom’s recipe that I’ve altered ever so slightly over the years (it’s also my favorite food).
Lasagna noodles (oven ready are my preference)
Francesco Rinaldi Sweet and Tasty tomato (or sauce of choice)
Toasted wheat Germ
Kale ( or green of choice)- either pre-cooked or torn into small, bite-sized pieces
French fried onion rings
Daiya mozzarella shreds and/or Follow Your Heart mozzarella slices
Garlic powder (or fresh garlic)
Italian seasoning (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or as directed on the noodle box).
In a bowl, mash tofu with a fork, adding about 1 1/2 tsp garlic, 2 Tbl nutritional yeast, juice of 1/2 a lemon and a pinch of salt. (Note: I don’t measure anything, so that’s all approximate). Set aside.
Coat the bottom of the lasagna pan with sauce, then layer noodles. Cover with sauce, adding a generous coating of wheat germ, nutritional yeast, a sprinkling of French fried onions, and vegan cheese. Cover with another layer of noodles, again adding sauce, wheat germ, nutritional yeast and a thick layer of kale. Layer noodles on top and this time add the tofu “ricotta” you set aside before (sauce is optional for this layer). Another layer of noodles, sprinkling of French Fried onions, sauce, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, and top with vegan cheese. If desired, sprinkle with Italian Seasonings.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about an hour. (Follow the directions on the noodle box, adding a few minutes-better a little overdone than underdone). Enjoy!!
Website: www.happycow.net is an awesome resource for finding veg options in any area.