Things Vegans Fry Book review and interview

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I had the “guilty” pleasure of being one of the recipe testers for Things Vegan Fry by Chef Johnna Gale. It’s not your every day cookbook but you will want to use it for Game Night, or movie night instead of pizza. Heck even when you just want some good ol’ comfort food.

Chef Johnna explains the different types of oils including a favorite oil blend. All recipes are clearly written, with photo’s. There’s recipes for  dips and sauces.I wish there was a garlic or ranch dip included (that garlic dip in the pictures is my own recipe). I love, love, LOVE the fried onions the most. So flippin’ tasty. Purchase your copy from amazon.

Chef Johnna Gale has agreed to an interview with us. Which is exciting.

Thank you, Johnna, for taking the time to answer the questions. We wish you all the best with all of your upcoming adventures!

FG-Was cooking always your pleasure?

J-I was cooking before I could reach the kitchen counter. My grandmother had me standing on step stool in her old kitchen. It was laid out like a galley. Stretched out almost the length of the house. I helped her make bread and cakes. I graduated to mixing and chopping. Eventually I was allowed to take hot things out of the oven and off the stove, and stir the food.

I also cooked at home starting at the age of 7 or 8 years old. By the time I was 10 or 11 I was making full dinners for my older brothers and father. As I got older I tried to fight the cooking thing, but found working in kitchens easy money.

When I went to college I took a different direction. I studied film and video, graduating with a B.F.A in Media Arts. During college, and after, I was always cooking and investigating new recipes. After college I found myself back in professional kitchens. I was 33 and stayed there until I was 53.


FG-Were you always a vegan Chef? Of not, why did you decide/ what was your eye opening moment that made you choose this lifestyle?


J-No I was not. Working in the industry one has to make all the food. I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. When my spouse and I got together, they were vegetarian. I cooked veggie at home. I investigated and studied vegetarian and vegan cuisine, and got over my fear of tofu.

Working in the industry really taught me how our food is handled from the farms to the factory to the table. The more I became aware the less I wanted to support the industry by being a part of it.

The cool thing was that learning vegan cuisine was to my advantage. I was a front runner cook when it came to cooperating with diners and their special diets. I was the “go to” vegan chef at the fine dining restaurant I worked at. While my peers scoffed at me for specializing, I’m grateful now. The industry is really changing and opening up its doors to different kinds of diners.

My eye opening really took a long time. I was exposed to vegan/vegetarianism in my early 20’s, and lived with a vegan for several years. While I didn’t understand it, I have a love of food and kept investigating what this way of eating/way of life means. Finally after running a blog for so many years and reading and learning about the farming industry, I felt it was time to go fully vegan myself.


FG-What motivated you to write your second book The Things Vegan Fry? As a recipe tester, it was extremely fun- and my kids loved every moment and recipe of it- but why fry everything?

J-Who doesn’t love fried food? The longest line at the vegan street fairs and festival are the fried food trucks. People give themselves permission to eat like that when they go to these things, why not make it vegan?

I put the book together because I figured out that I had amassed an insane amount of fried food recipes and methods. I felt the need to share with the rest of the world. Especially coming from the perspective of a Chef. I’ve deep fried a wide variety of foods. Why should the omnivores get all the fun?

I don’t fry everything – but it is one of my favorite methods of cooking. There’s a satisfying sizzle when dropping something into the deep fryer.

I hope everyone enjoys this book. It’s kid friendly, and full of comfort food. And you can find more fried food recipes on my website.


FG-I see Things Vegan Fry as a perfect game night book, any tips on how to make 2 or more recipes and keep them fresh until everything is ready to be plated?

J-Sure: Pair the Tater tots and French Fries and make a “combo basket”. Turn the oven on to warm, stick em on a plate and into the oven until your guests are ready to eat! If you want to go a little more “healthy” make the pakoras, a mix of the vegetables and the onion and serve with the various chutneys listed at the back of the book.

FG-What is type of fryer do you prefer?

J-Well, my preference is the kind you find in a professional kitchen. We call them standing fryers, but I no longer work in those environments, my second preference would be a Waring Professional. I’ve only had one countertop fryer and I bought it from a thrift store. I used it for a month and it broke. Right now my “fryer” is a heavy bottom seamless stockpot I purchased off a neighbor for $10.00. I firmly believe that you can stock your kitchen and not break your bank account.

FG- What services do you provide? Do you offer catering? Personal cooking classes? Make ahead meals?

J-Great question. I offer cooking classes, online and in person. I can help you with Recipe development: If you have an idea, I can walk you through it. I also offer to help you convert your grandma’s recipes into vegan versions. I also offer culinary coaching, much like a life coach, but I go through your kitchen with you, help you find useful tools and get rid of the junk. I can teach you how to shop, chop, and cook meals for a week.

I’m also available for cooking demos and parties. We call it edutainment. For a fee, I’ll come to your party and put on a cooking show. Then you and your guests get samples. It’s way easier than catering, and I don’t have to work as hard.

FG-Are you working on any projects right now? Anything you can share? Maybe a hint?

J-There’s a new e-cookbook I’m starting, but can’t reveal the topic just yet. I’m also in the process of making more recipe videos. We just released How to Make Falafel, it’s a companion video to the recipe book Things Vegans Fry.

My spouse and I have also started a brand new project that is not related to cooking called Radically Reducing. We are shedding 90% of our stuff. The plan is to get an RV and travel and live full time on the road. I’m hoping to line up demos and cooking classes around the country in order to make some money. And maybe even head up your way into Canada. This project is also deeply involved with video recording and editing, writing, and of course figuring out how to get rid of our stuff (selling, donating, tossing). Its nice to be doing work related to my college degree.

FG-Things Vegan Fry is your second book. Your first book is about soups, who doesn’t love soup? Where can one buy the soup book?

J-The same place: Both my books are available on amazon Kindle. Remember you don’t have to own a kindle to get a copy. There’s an app available. Head over to our website Kitchen Shaman , and order from there.

FG-Where can someone find you on the Internet, so they can enjoy the food porn, stories and connect with you?


@kitchen shaman on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, and pinterest. I’m not terribly active on pinterest, but I do post my books and recipes from my blog.

You can find our other project over at artistic nomads.


FG-Is there a recipe you want to share?

J-Sure! Onion rings are always a crowd pleaser!


Onion Rings the Vegan Way


2 cups soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar

1 onion, sliced into rings

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

1/2 cup oat flour

3 tbsp xantham gum

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika


Add the raw apple cider vinegar to the soy milk. Let sit for about ten minutes. The soy milk will start to curdle. This is what it is supposed to do. Just mix it up. Add the onions.

Let the onions soak in the milk for 45 minutes. Mix them around every once in a while.

Mix together the spices and the flours. Set aside.

Once the onion rings soak, drain them and coat them in the flour mixture.

Heat up a heavy bottomed sauce pot filled with frying oil to 375 degrees.

Drop the onion rings into the oil. Turn them over every so often while cooking. Cook until golden brown. Be really careful with the hot oil.

Serve with Ketchup, tamarind chutney, and cilantro chutney.


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What is your favourite deep fried food??

Made With Love CookBook, Interview, Review And More

We are excited beyond words to be able to post an interview with Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie the authors of Made With Love, More than 100 Sweet and Savory Plant-Based Recipes For Every Moment in Life.

Made with Love-1


See that gorgeous cover? Doesn’t it make you want cookies? All photographs are that delicious looking.

The book is sectioned off as Drinks and Smoothies, Breakfast and Lunch, Soup and salads, Sides-sauces and condiments.

Some of our favorites are Kelly’s Bikini Season Tonic, Lemon-Basil Lasagna (I thought I hated mushrooms, until I made this recipe), Best Ever Caesar Salad, Fettuccine Alfredo, Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Grandma’s Apple Crumble and I like the Sriracha Sauce. Kayla hasn’t tired the sauce. I can’t wait to try these next: Cauliflower wings, Yummy Vegan Quiche, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and Ranch Dressing. Then the rest of the recipes. I will be making every single recipe in this book- sooner or later. Kayla is eyeing up their Sweet potato and Quinoa Burgers, ginger chocolate cookies- I can’t remember what else she said, but she was raving about how wonderful these recipes looked and if she’s wanting to make them, you know the recipe has to seem easy. (She doesn’t like long winded recipes with a list of ingredients that doesn’t seem necessary)

Their bakery Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, located at 401 Brant Street Burlington, ON L7R2E9 offers plant-based, gluten-free, dairy free, egg-free and peanut-free, and all is made with natural organic ingredients. In fact their bake shoppe is THE FIRST Gluten free bakery in Canada. Their Lettuce Love Cafe is located at 399 John St. Burlington, ON L7R 2K3. Their cafe is also Canada’s FIRST Gluten free restaurant. With Made With Love they have shared recipes from their award winning Bake Shoppe and Cafe.

We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we do.

Q1: Kelly, We read that your dad, Russ Childs, had built an outside play kitchen and bakery in the backyard ravine. He provided you with pots and pans, muffin tins, and basically everything you could want to be able to create mud pies and dirt cake. Is this what inspired you to start your own bakery? Or what was the moment you knew that having a bakery would be your passion/hobby?

A1: Back then when I was 5 or 6 years old, I didn’t know I wanted to be a baker but I knew I loved the deep feeling of magic within my soul. My dad sparked a passion within me to always be tap into my creative talent and go that extra mile to be different and to make people feel good about themselves. So whatever I did, I did at full warp speed. The bakery “AHA moment” was in 2010, at our restaurant, and I saw how many people LOVED what we were doing in the bakery dept of the cafe. People were begging for healthy options in a world that did not always provide that. Erinn and I were so excited to be able to provide this to our customers, families and friends and worked day and night on our incredible recipes.
Q2: Kelly or Erinn, have either of you taken any cooking/baking classes/courses, or did your love for cooking/baking wholesome, nutritious food and desire to be healthier play a big part in where you are at now with the success of your bakery, restaurant and cookbook

A2:We are both self taught! We’ve always been avid home cooks testing and trying out the latest and greatest new recipes. We love baking and cooking and it was just natural for us to open up Lettuce Love Cafe and Kelly’s Bake Shoppe.

Q3: Kelly, we know you were diagnosed with two masses on the liver and afterwards you found The China Study and with your plant based lifestyle you were able to get a clean bill of health. We hear so many struggling with giving up food that contains animals – but where do you get your protein, but I could never give up cheese- but bacon…. We’ve heard it all, and know at one point in time you loved cheese- what one piece of advice would you give to those who struggle to give up those foods?

A3: After my life-changing year in 2008, I delved deep into learning about the truth of the nutrition in our food system. Why we’ve been told we need a certain percentage of daily protein, why do we think that the only source of protein is from animal products, why do we think we need to drink milk or any animal-based product for that matter. I decided to get my protein where the cows, horses, apes, ox, and other herbivores get it from…. From plants. For me, it was cleaner, more sustainable and more readily available for my body to assimilate and use to make me healthy. I feel great!

Q4: Erinn, we know you became plant based for ethical reasons- was it just that one trip to Farm Sanctuary that convinced you, or did you do more follow up research to back up how you felt during your road trip?

A4: Farm Sanctuary was the catalyst for adopting a plant based diet for sure. I did a ton o research and realized that our current food system has had a very negative impact on the environment, animals, and our bodies. After learning all of this information there was no going back for me.

Q5: What advice would you give someone that is thinking about going plant based?

A5: I would tell them to take it slow, and to not feel like you have to go all in 100%. Make little changes to your diet here and there, and by eating a plant based meal even a few days a week, you’ll notice a huge difference with your body and the planet!

A5: I agree with Erinn. We always suggest for people who are plant-based curious, to take it one meal at a time or maybe even one full day at a time. Treat ‘plant-based’ cuisine as you would Thai, or Chinese or Italian food and like it is another genre of food. We feel that the proof is ALWAYS how you feel after a meal. Don’t feel stressed that you have to commit to long journey of eating this way. Reflect of your body after a meal and pay attention to your mind, your stomach and your energy levels. Do you feel good? Do you feel less bloated? Do you feel more energized? With plant-based foods, you will see a noticeable effect on your moods too but don’t listen to us…try it our for yourself.

Q6: What recipe from Made With Love would you recommend someone who’s just starting their journey to the plant based lifestyle?

A6: I love our smoothie recipes in the cookbook. They’re so fresh, fun and delicious, they’re bound to convert even the toughest critics.

A6: (Kelly) Yes! Smoothie are instant nutrition. They are in your blood-stream in 5 minutes. Quick, easy and really, no excuses. We always have our blenders on the counter.

Kelly and Erinn, we thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. We know you  have been really busy with your cookbook launch, on top of taking care of things at the Bakery and Cafe. We are glad to have met you, even though it’s been only online. One of these days, Kayla and I need to take a road trip to Ont- just for your food. But for now, this cookbook will be like having your home cooking/ baking all the time.

This juice is nice and refreshing and in our opinion a good anytime juice. In fact, this has been our go to juice lately. I like my juice in general ice cold, and while this is perfect ice cold, I don’t mind drinking this straight from the juicer.  We hope you like it too.

Bikini Season Tonic


K   This was a best-seller at Kindfood from the day we opened. Women, especially, love that it helps them  to lose body fat. it’s perfect for the summer or any time  you think you need a quick  detox. Chosen for their  fat-flushing properties, these ingredients will make you feel vibrant and healthy.

Active time: 5 minutes Total time: 6 minutes Makes 2 servings

1 red grapefruit, peeled and quartered

2 red apples, cored and quartered

2 cups kale, including stems

½ cup fresh mint leaves

1 lemon, peeled and halved

  1. In the order they are listed, add the grapefruit, apples, kale, mint and lemon to a juicer.
  2. Juice, then serve as soon as possible to get the maximum vitamin C

from the citrus fruits.

By juicing in this order, the lemon cleans  out  the machine and pushes  through the mint and kale.

Excerpted from Made with Love by Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie. Copyright © 2016 Childs and Weatherbie Inc. Cover and book photography: Alyssa Wodabek and Chris Sue-Chu. Excerpted by permission of Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd. a Penguin Random House company. All rights reserved.

Contest is now closed. Congratulations CINDY R!! You have won a copy of Made With Love 🙂 

Appetite by Penguin Random House did send me a copy of Made with Love to review, and is going to give one lucky winner a copy. Click here for your chance to win Made With Love

The winner will be contacted by email and any social media name if they have used it and will have 24 hrs to contact us with their info. If we don’t get a response within 24 we will have no choice but to announce another winner.

When you enter the giveaway make sure you  leave a blog comment, we want to know your answers 🙂 If you don’t want to enter or can’t, let us know your favorite juice combo’s anyway- fresh juice is the best! Cheers 🙂

The Abundance Diet Review

Somer McCowan wrote The Abundance Diet: The 28-day Plan to Reinvent Your Health, Lose Weight, and Discover the Power of Plant-Based Foods. I’m kinda late to the party as this book was released in June of 2015. To be fair, it seems just like yesterday I bought the book. And honestly where does the time go? For anyone who doesn’t know about this book or is sitting on the fence, I have a few words for you- if you want to redevelop your relationship with food, and want to be able to eat as much as you want without gaining weight- this book is for you. Do you want recipes packed with flavor with each time you lift your fork or spoon to your mouth? This book is for you.

This book is divided by 4 parts. Part 1 includes Somer’s personal journey. Did you know she was diagnosed with a severe autoimmune disease, but when she went 100% vegan- she was able to get off all meds and is in FULL remission…. see the power plants have?) She  talks about how we as a society,  look at food and talks about how to rethink our eating habits by replacing them with healthy ones. There’s a part  about reinventing our Kitchen, which is interesting because I’m nosy and I like to find out how others are organizing and what they are buying. I like to be able to take a sneak peak.

Part 2: The 28 day meal plan, she makes things easy for us,  as she made a menu for us. No excuses. NONE!!!!

Part 3: The recipes, including a bonus 1-3-5 day juice feast (she also talks about the basics).  She’s not pushy with her opinion, her recipes are down to earth and tasty.

And she wraps this gem up with Fitness and maintenance tips. She doesn’t leave you wondering “now what?” “where do I go from here?” I love the fact that she knows you need realistic goals and she doesn’t try to tell you if you follow this plan, then you will be model skinny. She’s trying to give you a gift by making you be the healthiest you- you can be. Weight loss is going to happen, because she’s not making you starve and is telling you to eat as much whole foods as you want.

These are the recipes I have tried and LOVED!! In fact many of them I’ve made a few times already and I will never get bored with them!!!

Cheesy cauliflower and potato bake


You can find the recipe on Somer’s site.

Cheesiest potato soup, homestyle mexican casserole, minted cucumber melon juice, easy applesauce snack cake, chocolate chip mini blondie muffins, “cowboy special” one pot pasta, roasted tofu veggies stir fry with garlic ginger sauce (includes up to 3 variations plus a Kung Pao recipe) creamy vegan ranch dressing. Australian carrot, apple, celery juice, chia limeade.

Somewhere I have pics, and I may- read WILL add more later when I update this post with new dishes I make.

Bottom line, she makes this food taste like comfort food. But really? It’s healthful, so you don’t feel guilty about eating it 🙂 I hope you check out the book. Somer has lots of recipes on line for you to try.

Follow her on SM


I would like to know, what is your fave Vedged Out recipe? I cant decide my favorite.


Stuffed Shells

I knew I had to make these, it’s been a long time since I’ve had shells and Ginny had me at broccoli. It did take some time to make only because I’m one of those people who do not like store bought sauces. I like making mine “fresh” even if I do cheat and use canned crushed tomatoes. It’s winter here and produce is so damn expensive. I will make more sauce in the summer with fresh tomatoes so I can freeze some for winter. If you are interested in a really good pasta sauce check this one out by Laura Theodore. I don’t add the wine, but I’m sure it would give it a little something extra (not that it needs it).

Now back to  Ginny’s shells. I used tofurky, as I realized my field roast sausage expired. Which still makes me mad, as it’s not cheap. Oh well…. Used daiya cheeze, but I’m sure follow your heart fiesta blend would shine here. I didn’t add mushrooms, because I’m not a big fan. And I didn’t blanch the broccoli as I knew it would cook in the pasta sauce, and I like a little crunch. Other than that I followed the recipe (trust me, use field roast as those sausages add extra flavor, I find tofurky to be on the bland side, my sauce was flavorful, so it made up for the lack of spices missing from the sausage).



Would I make these again? Heck to yes!!!!!! Only like I said before, I will use field roast and follow your heart. I would also make the pasta sauce the night before, to make this an easier dish to put together. But 110% worth the time, and ummm….. the mess I made.


What do you like putting in your shells? Let us know, post a comment, and if you like what you’ve read- share it with your friends via social media. They might even make you some 😉