Meet The Chef for The Beet’s Beginner’s Guide to Going Plant-Based
Do you scroll through Instagram and drool over recipes on the screen? The problem is your engagement usually ends there and you never end up making those beautiful recipes. We decided to bring you the perfect week of healthy plant-based eating from one such recipe developer, so you could not only make the meals but benefit by creating a plant-0based meal plant that is the perfect on-ramp for anyone considering going plant-based now.
We got so excited when we discovered @twospoons.ca by Hannah Sunderani because her recipes are both beautiful and healthy. Her feed is like a visual cookbook and she always has something interesting to say about her recipes, whether it's suggesting an alternative if you have a nut allergy or a giving you an original way to garnish a dish and make it more interesting: Like pumpkin seeds sprinkled on a soup or a sauce for dipping dumplings in.
Hannah's recipes are both healthy and hearty and will fill you up with plant-based protein. Do you need to make a snack in 5 minutes or less? Try Hannah's stuffed PB & J Dates. Do you need a little comfort? Try her Stuffed Black Bean Sweet Potatoes. Even better, she has a step-by-step video to create these sweet potatoes, so you can watch and follow along.
Hannah Sunderan who started her plant-based journey in her early 20's, lives in Toronto which is surprisingly vegan. The Beet loves Hannah's creative recipes she assembled for the Beginner's Guide to Eating Plant-Based because they're easy to make and any new vegan or plant-based dieter will appreciate how delicious they are.
If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time -- it started whenever you do -- and you will get 7 days of delicious vegan meals, expert advice, and helpful tips to stay on track. Click here. to sign up.
We chatted with Hannah Sunderani so you could get to know a little bit more about your amazing chef.
Q. Why did you go vegan or plant-based?
HS: It’s a long story, but I’ll try to keep it short. In my early 20s, I lost my first boyfriend and my first love to cancer. It was very stressful and I ended up developing IBS and a host of gut health problems. It was recommended by a few GI specialists to take pills for the rest of my life, to keep my digestion in check. But after about a year of struggle, I decided to search for another solution; turning to food for medicine.
I cut out many foods including processed foods, dairy, gluten, and refined sugars. It was difficult at first, but it taught me how to cook healthy wholesome meals that allowed my body to heal, and eventually led me to the world of plant-based eating. In just a few weeks my stomach problems began to vanish; I had more energy, I could think clearer, and I was able to wean off the pills. Since then I’ve introduced some foods back into my diet, like whole grains, but I’ve chosen to continue a plant-based lifestyle because of its benefits to health, humanity, and the environment.
Q. What inspires you when you create a recipe?
HS: Everything and anything! Seasons, markets, travel, art, culture, family, magazines, books, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Q. What do you want your followers to know or think about as they prepare to cook and eat vegan?
HS: Eating plant-based does not mean you have to compromise on taste! I think you'll be surprised by just how delicious a plant-based diet can be. There is no sacrifice, both literally and figuratively.
Q. Tell us your typical day of eating: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Dessert?
HS: For breakfast: It changes on my mood! If I'm craving something savory then I'll turn to avocado toast with hemp hearts and nutritional yeast.
If I want something sweet I'll make my blueberry banana baked oatmeal to enjoy through the week. Or, quick chia pudding with berries.
For lunch: It's almost always some sort of buddha bowl! Combining rice or quinoa with salad greens, nuts and beans, and any fresh or leftover roasted veg. Squeezed with lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt and pepper to sprinkle. It's quick and so tasty! And the combos are endless.
For dinner: I love a good stir-fry with rice. Or, a healthy noodle stir-fry like my vegetable lo-mein.
For snacks and dessert: Currently, I can't stop snacking on my cookie dough bites! They're so addictive. And my flourless chocolate chip cookies are always a popular request from friends and family.
Q. How do you stay so fit and slim?
HS: I used to spend a lot of time focusing on being "slim," but my whole attitude towards fitness has changed to being healthy. And being healthy is a lifestyle change, that begins with what we put in our bodies. Certainly, I've never felt so connected to my body on a plant-based diet. I rarely get sick now, and it gives me the energy I need to enjoy my daily exercise - be it yoga, walking, running, or other forms of cardio.
Q. Who do you want to join you on this path (mom or dad, significant other? Someone you care about?)
HS: Everyone! My hope is that my recipes can inspire change in all types of people, to show just how delicious plant-based eating can be and that it doesn't need to sacrifice on taste. If I can inspire someone to make one plant-based recipe a day, which differs from their regular routine, that's a step in the right direction and a big win for me.
Q. What is your Mantra? Words to live by?
HS: Be the change you want to see in the world. Certainly, change isn't easy. And adopting a plant-based diet came with some challenges in the beginning. It takes time to learn a new diet, and adapt to change. However, when I thought of my role in the future of this planet and all the unnecessary animal suffering, I knew that going vegan was the right thing to do.
Honoring my values was the best thing I've done for living my truest self. And for supporting the change I want to see in the world. If you're nervous about the learning curve associated with adopting a plant-based diet, just know that you're not alone! There are tons of resources to help you (including my blog with easy plant-based recipes). Now is the time; it's never too late to be the change you want to see in the world.
Follow Hannah at TwoSpoons.