EverythingVeg Feature of the Month
hot for food - Lauren and John - Q&A
Every month EverythingVeg features vegan movers and shakers to showcase the always exciting and evolving world of veganism. This month we are very pleased to feature the hot for food blog run by Lauren Toyota and John Diemer in Toronto. Their blog shares mouth-watering vegan recipes, unique travel destinations, and vegan focused events!
1. As a vegan couple, what’s in your fridge?
It’s always a packed fridge and pretty much everything is organic as often as possible. We’ve always got kale, avocado, apples, frozen berries, frozen bananas, other frozen veggies and herbs for smoothies, hemp seeds, raw cacao, flax oil, almond milk, miso paste, tempeh, cooked quinoa, and usually some Gardein products on hand in the freezer for quick dinners. But if John did the shopping there would only be tortilla chips, salsa, coconut bliss ice cream, and sriracha!
2. Lauren, how much of a role did you play in John’s transition to veganism?
Lauren: I think I’m basically the reason John decided to go vegan and also stick with it. But also once he started feeling the difference in his body he was convinced.
John: Also because food is very important to both of us, it was important for us to enjoy things together as a couple. Once I tried Lauren’s cooking I knew I would enjoy eating vegan, but the real motivation to stick with it came from cooking together. I learned quickly how to adapt foods to be vegan friendly and had no problem sticking to this lifestyle.
3. What inspired you to start the hot for food blog?
Lauren: I started it when I was transitioning to a vegan diet. I did it over a several weeks and really got into cooking and experimenting more than I had in the past. The blog was a way for me to have fun with my food, post my triumphs and struggles, get feedback from the food community, and it became a really important passion of mine. Once John and I got together I knew it would be cute to do the blog as a couple and it kept me motivated to grow it into something bigger.
4. You have some great pics of travel destinations on your blog. What is the most veg-friendly place you have travelled to?
Lauren: Well there’s a lot more places we want to hit up, but I have to say the most surprising city was Las Vegas. It’s a place you associate with excess and gluttony, but I think because you can practically get any thing you want any time of the day they just had to grow a vegan scene out there to appeal to tourists and the local community.
John: There are so many options in Vegas and we ate really well in only 2 days. If you’re vegan or vegan curious, the Wynn Hotel on the strip is going to be your destination! They have 14 restaurants all with full vegan menus. I also travel a lot for work and found that Portland and Austin were a couple of my favourite places for really good vegan eats.
5. We love the recipes you have included on your site! If you had to choose one recipe to share with our readers, which one would it be?
Lauren: I think it would be vegan mac & cheese. This recipe blows everyone away. People who love traditional mac and cheese like the “homestyle” feel of this one and don’t seem to notice the lack of real cheese at all! http://www.hotforfoodblog.com/recipes/2013/05/20/perfect-vegan-mac-cheese
6. What’s next for the hot for food blog?
Lauren: I would love to be able to do more media and TV appearances demystifying veganism and showing off our recipes and ideas. I think we also want to start building an empire! No really. We want it all TV show, cookbook, products, events, catering the works! We’re also planning on holding a couple small exclusive dinner and brunch events to get the word out there and share our food with people before the end of 2014.
John: Having worked on set for a lot of cooking shows in Canada, I’ve noticed there’s a growing presence of vegan contestants and challenges. Veganism is here to stay and we know there’s a place for us in that world too! It’s not a fad and you’re really starting to see more and more of it in all facets of the culinary world. We want to get rid of the stigma and the old-world view of being vegan and eating plant based, give it a modern and friendly approach and make it easy for people to get on board.