Tofino Resident Pens a Vegan Cookbook

Paul Jarvis’ e-cookbook Eat Awesome: A Regular Person’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.

“Is being vegan actually healthy?”

“Where do you get your protein?”

“You don’t make friends with salad, right?”

Photo by Marnie Recker

In the book Jarvis answers these questions and poses one of his own: “If you are what you eat, why not eat awesome?”

A musician and web designer based in Tofino, this is Jarvis’ first cookbook. He’s hasn’t always been vegan either, but since he’s adopted a plant-based diet he says he’s been able to control allergies and asthma, and has “turbo-charged” his immune system.

Photo by Marnie Recker

He maintains he’s not trying to push veganism on anyone, but rather he’s simply satisfying curiosity about plant-based diets by describing the benefits. He also encourages readers to do their own research.

“I’m not trying to convert or preach to anyone,” writes Jarvis, “although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t smile a little every time someone tells me they’ve adopted a plant-based diet or tried a vegan meal for the first time (and loved it).”

An excerpt from Eat Awesome

Jarvis said the e-book has sold well beyond his expectations: “I get emails daily from folks who are veggie-curious and/or making recipes from the book.”

The point of offering the book as a download was to distribute information about “creature-free” living as easily as possible, said Paul. The price – at $5 – has made widespread distribution possible.

Photo by Marnie Recker

“Looking at the number of copies I’ve sold, it was definitely priced to sell – which is good since more people are exposed to plant-based recipes.”

According to Jarvis, the Devilled Potatoes recipe is the “run-away top recipe” 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.

Jarvis’ recipes are ones he makes at home on a regular basis, and he doesn’t include measurements because he doesn’t use them himself.  “Play with your food and play with these recipes,” he instructs.Photo by Marnie Recker

Not all the dishes are “five-minute recipes,” 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, Jarvis’ book fulfills his goal to encourage people to try plant-based meals one day, week or month at a time.Photo by Marnie Recker

As an added bonus and in his witty way, Jarvis also gives advice on where to kick those who may disagree with the statement “veganism is love”.

Eat Awesome is 74 pages with 19 recipes and many more meal ideas and tidbits. For download and more information, please visit

About jen

Originally from Barrie, Ontario, Jen is a long-time Tofino resident, although not quite long enough to be considered a full-fledged local. Jen has been writing professionally for the past seven years. In that time, she’s worked for the Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News as both a part-time and full-time reporter and photographer. Jen has been published in a variety of publications, including SBC Surf Magazine, the Native Journal of Canada, the Victoria Times Colonist and the Vancouver Sun.
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