Paul Jarvisâ€™ e-cookbook Eat Awesome: A Regular Personâ€™s Guide to Plant-Based, Whole Foods is essentially an answer, interspersed with recipes, to the questions the author is constantly asked about his vegan lifestyle.
â€œIs being vegan actually healthy?â€
â€œWhere do you get your protein?â€
â€œYou donâ€™t make friends with salad, right?â€
In the book Jarvis answers these questions and poses one of his own: â€œIf you are what you eat, why not eat awesome?â€
A musician and web designer based in Tofino, this is Jarvisâ€™ first cookbook. Heâ€™s hasnâ€™t always been vegan either, but since heâ€™s adopted a plant-based diet he says heâ€™s been able to control allergies and asthma, and has â€œturbo-chargedâ€ his immune system.
He maintains heâ€™s not trying to push veganism on anyone, but rather heâ€™s simply satisfying curiosity about plant-based diets by describing the benefits. He also encourages readers to do their own research.
â€œIâ€™m not trying to convert or preach to anyone,â€ writes Jarvis, â€œalthough Iâ€™d be lying if I said I didnâ€™t smile a little every time someone tells me theyâ€™ve adopted a plant-based diet or tried a vegan meal for the first time (and loved it).â€
Jarvis said the e-book has sold well beyond his expectations: â€œI get emails daily from folks who are veggie-curious and/or making recipes from the book.â€
The point of offering the book as a download was to distribute information about â€œcreature-freeâ€ living as easily as possible, said Paul. The price â€“ at $5 â€“ has made widespread distribution possible.
â€œLooking at the number of copies Iâ€™ve sold, it was definitely priced to sell â€“ which is good since more people are exposed to plant-based recipes.â€
According to Jarvis, the Devilled Potatoes recipe is the â€œrun-away top recipeâ€ in the book, with the cabbage rolls (with quinoa, sweet potato and apple) as a distant second.
There is also a recipe for squash risotto, cashew cream and raw cheesecake (among many others) that look especially tasty.
Photography by local Tofitian Marnie Recker makes the recipes in the book also look truly awesome.
Jarvisâ€™ recipes are ones he makes at home on a regular basis, and he doesnâ€™t include measurements because he doesnâ€™t use them himself. Â â€œPlay with your food and play with these recipes,â€ he instructs.
Not all the dishes are â€œfive-minute recipes,â€ but Jarvis stresses they are all simple to prepare.
Included in the book is a list of pantry essentials, from oils to spices. The author also offers advice on topics such as dining out and finding hidden animal ingredients.
For those (like me) who are not vegan, Jarvisâ€™ book fulfills his goal to encourage people to try plant-based meals one day, week or month at a time.
As an added bonus and in his witty way, Jarvis also gives advice on where to kick those who may disagree with the statement â€œveganism is loveâ€.
Eat Awesome is 74 pages with 19 recipes and many more meal ideas and tidbits. For download and more information, please visit www.eatawesome.ca.