If she can cook a meal for Adam L'Impatient, then anyone can do it!
Marie-Michelle Chouinard used her passion for cooking to create "Une Maman Végane". It's where she creates and shares comforting and simple vegan recipes while also motivating other families and mothers to get into vegan food.
Whether you're looking for a family meal or vegan dessert ideas, Marie-Michelle has a recipe for you!
You brand yourself as “une maman vegane”. What’s the trick to making vegan meals that kids (who let’s face it can be pretty picky!) can also enjoy?I think the secret is in the sauce and seasoning as I'm not into cutting everything in cute shapes ahah. Add a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce to tofu and it's a win every time.
Same for veggies: if they don't like it plain, add a little vegan butter and nutritional yeast or even vegan cheese. When they'll finally taste it, it will be easier for them to like it the plain way after a few tricks.
What’s your go-to dinner?
Now, it's tofu cooked in barbecue sauce with some summer veggies. In winter time, it's my tofu ham with potatoes and root vegetables. We're big fans of tofu here and it's always better cooked in a sweet and savory sauce!
What inspired you to adopt a plant-based diet?
I was a pescetarian for a few years. I knew they were horrible things behind the dairy and egg industries but I didn't knew what specifically. Back then, I was living in Quebec City (not the most vegan friendly city at the time) and it was the debut of Netflix. I watch every documentary available and I promised myself I wouldn't close my eyes. I cried a lot, it was not easy to watch, let's be honest and I began my transition to veganism right after.
Your book “La Cantine Végane” is available for presale! What can people expect to find in your book?
It's filled with comfort and junk food (my fave!) There's also a breakfast and soups chapters with a few fresh recipes such as "crabcakes" and homemade ricotta raviolis. It's mostly Quebec recipes veganized, some comforting pasta dishes and everything that gravitates around fries, burgers, pizza and even cheese sticks. There's also a BIG chapter of amazing and decadent desserts. Some recipes takes 30 minutes to make, others longer. There's also some more advanced recipes!
How does it feel knowing your book will soon be in stores like Indigo?
To be honest, I've worked so hard and I still don't realize it. I hope I will when I'll hold the final version in my hands and see it in stores. It's crazy. Writing a book was on my bucket list for so long and now it's done!
Your blog is unique in the sense that you also make your own cheese and bacon. What’s the hardest part about taking a non-plant based recipe/ ingredient and veganizing it?
We see a lot of people make their own vegan recipes but not their own vegan cheese! What made you want to make your own ingredients?
My melting mozzarella for pizza or lasagna was actually a mistake! It was a test for cheese curds for my book. I didn't want to waste cheese tests even it they were not what they were supposed to look like. This recipe test was too soft and I put it on pizza and it was amazing. The best part of it is that the recipe is made with basic vegan ingredient (I mean, every vegan has agar agar, tapioca flour and coconut oil right?) and because of that, it was super cheap to make. The cost and ease of the cheese is the reason I've published the recipe. It's cheap, easy to make and it takes 5 minutes to have an amazing melting cheese.
How have you grown from your first recipe to your most recent?
The first recipes I ever wrote was for a ebook I sold in 2015. Everything is so different now! I've leaned more about seasoning and cooking techniques. I don't use the same ingredients for the same dish too. For example, I used to make a "pâté chinois" with lentils, mushrooms and tofu. Now it's made with lentils and TVP.
Which ingredient do you enjoy working with the most?
I really enjoy making desserts. Suprinsingly, I don't have a sweet tooth myself but I love making cookies and cakes. I run Mousse Meringue (@MousseMeringue on Instagram) before my pregnancy. I find it really soothing and creative to decorate cakes. That's why there's a lot of sweets recipes on my blog and also a desserts chapter in my book!
What’s one recipe you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t yet?
There's a few but probably vegan french macarons. I used to make a lot of aquafaba meringue for Mousse Meringue and I've always want to try making some salted caramel macarons but I didn't. My son is starting day care soon, so I hope I'll find the time to finally make them!
Where can we follow you?
Blog: Une Maman Végane
Facebook: Une Maman Végane
Instagram: Une Maman Végane
Order her book! La Cantine Végane