5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
If you said they all steer clear of animal products, then ding ding ding, we have a winner!
From international bake sales to critically acclaimed documentaries, veganism is officially mainstream - but that doesn't mean the plant-based diet still doesn't have its skeptics. Even the most devout of vegetarians shudder at the thought of the other "v" word, pledging their allegiance to the United States of Grilled Cheese.
If nixing dairy, meat, eggs and butter still sounds just as fun as stubbing your toe or sitting next to that person on the subway, chef Chloe Coscarelli - the first vegan to win a Food Network cooking competition - is here to make her case.
Why Veganism Isn't As Terrible As It's Made Out To Be: Chloe Coscarelli
For example, rather than making plain ol' burgers that you could buy at any fast-food chain, I like to make 'Mexicali Sliders' that consist of savory black bean patties topped with spicy mango sauce and guacamole. The black bean patties are rich in protein, high in fiber, low-fat, and packed with flavor. Caramelized onions are the secret ingredient to these patties because they add moisture and sweetness.
And hold the mayo! My spicy mango sauce is made from mangoes and sun-dried tomatoes that make for a sweet, creamy, cholesterol-free condiment. These sliders are vibrant in color and packed with sweet, savory, and spicy flavor - the perfect low-fat easy fix for your burger cravings."
For the Black Bean Patties
For the Spicy Mango Sauce
For the Guacamole
2. Vegan food is safer
The biggest plus? When you're baking vegan, you can lick the spoon or taste the cookie dough because there are no raw eggs in sight and no threat of salmonella."
3. Anything you can do, I can do vegan
For instance, instead of making tacos with shredded pork, I like to fill my tacos with shredded oyster mushrooms, which are high in protein, cancer-fighting, and have a succulent, meaty texture.
Or rather than making pizza smothered in greasy cheese, I like to top my pizza with a creamy, garlicky white bean purĂ©e that adds much more flavor and nutrients than cheese.
Want creamy decadent fettuccine Alfredo without the cream? You're in luck because it tastes even better vegan-style. Blending raw cashews with water makes a perfect cream sauce base that can be infused with garlic, herbs or spices for savory dishes."
4. Vegan cupcakes rock
For the cake
For the frosting
5. Lipitor, be gone!
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.