Join us as we explore the captivating journey of Katie White, Australian vegan cookbook author of The Seasonal Vegan. Discover how her upbringing shaped her passion for plant-based cuisine, the unique native ingredients that inspired her recipes, and the creative process behind crafting vegan versions of beloved dishes. Embrace the flavours and spirit of vegan cooking, Aussie-style!

Can you share how you first became interested in veganism, and what inspired you to write a vegan cookbook?

I initially became interested in veganism when I was already a vegetarian, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't quite enough. Despite refraining from meat, I was still consuming eggs and dairy, which seemed somewhat contradictory given my concerns about the dairy industry. In a serendipitous turn of events, I experienced a life-changing incident where I broke down overnight near a pig abattoir. Although it was a harrowing experience, it ultimately spurred me to take the final leap and embrace a fully vegan lifestyle without turning back.

As I delved deeper into veganism, I became more aware of the environmental and health benefits associated with it. Having always had a passion for food, it felt like a natural progression to combine my newfound lifestyle with my culinary interests. I aspired to become a vegan influencer in the food world, using my pre-existing skills to promote this wholesome way of life. The culmination of my journey led me to write a vegan cookbook, which I'm thrilled to have finally brought to fruition.

How has your Australian upbringing influenced your approach to plant-based cooking and the recipes you’ve developed?

My rural Australian upbringing has played a significant role in shaping my approach to plant-based cooking and the recipes I've developed. Growing up in a farming region, I became intimately aware of the importance of seasonal produce and the richness it brings to our meals. This understanding and appreciation of seasonal foods became a cornerstone of my cooking style, which ultimately led to the creation of my cookbook, The Seasonal Vegan. Furthermore, my upbringing instilled in me a deep respect and fascination for native Australian ingredients, which I diligently incorporate into my culinary creations.


What are some of your favourite native Australian ingredients, and how have you incorporated them into the recipes in your cookbook?

Some of my favourite native Australian ingredients include Warrigal greens and Lilly Pilly, both of which are wonderfully versatile and unique. I've made it a point to feature these underutilised ingredients in my cookbook and frequently showcase them on my social media accounts, encouraging others to embrace their potential.

In my cookbook, I suggest using Warrigal greens as a nutritious and flavourful spinach alternative in various recipes. As for Lilly Pilly, I've incorporated this ingredient into dishes such as Lilly Pilly jelly and custard pots, as well as a delightful Lilly Pilly syrup. These creative uses of Lilly Pilly make the most of their abundant availability in Australia, all the while adding a bright pink pop of colour to the dishes. It's always a pleasure to introduce people to these indigenous ingredients and witness the excitement they bring to their culinary experiences.

What challenges did you face when creating vegan versions of dishes, and how did you overcome them?

Creating vegan versions of dishes posed several challenges, particularly when it came to replacing meat. However, substituting dairy has become considerably easier in recent years, with a wide array of vegan alternatives readily available, like swapping dairy milk for soy milk. Additionally, I have found that replacing eggs is relatively simple in most recipes. For instance, tofu is a perfect substitute in quiche-style recipes, and for baking, often just adding more liquid is sufficient. In cakes, a combination of oil and water can take the place of eggs, ensuring a moist and delicious result. There is rarely a need for any other egg replacement, especially given the binding nature of the gluten in flour.

To replicate meat-like textures, numerous options can be employed, such as jackfruit for burgers, and a combination of lentils and pulsed mushrooms or walnuts for a spaghetti Bolognese. These alternatives not only provide a satisfying texture, but they are also dense in nutrients, making them excellent choices for plant-based dishes.

For someone new to veganism, which recipe from your cookbook would you recommend they try first and why?

For someone new to veganism, I would recommend starting with the mouthwatering lasagna recipe featured in my cookbook. This dish has all the comforting, satisfying elements they might expect from non-vegan lasagna, making the transition easier. The flavours are rich and familiar, with a delightful homemade vegan cheese that tastes great and brings a delicious touch to the dish, ensuring a genuinely scrumptious meal. That being said, I have designed each recipe in my book to be both delectable and accessible for vegans at any stage of their journey.

Can you describe your creative process when it comes to developing new recipes and putting together your cookbook?

My creative process for developing new recipes and assembling my cookbook begins with a focus on the main ingredient that is currently in season. For instance, if it's the middle of winter and broccoli is thriving, I meticulously contemplate the various attributes broccoli can contribute to a dish. This could include its flavor, the chewy texture from the stalk, or the smooth consistency when blended.

With a clear understanding of the primary ingredient, I then draw inspiration from its unique properties, brainstorming ingredient pairings that would complement and enhance the dish. By doing so, I gradually paint a mental picture of the culinary masterpiece I wish to create. Ultimately, my recipe development process is deeply rooted in the produce we have available and its inherent characteristics.

What do you find most rewarding about sharing your passion for vegan cooking with others through your cookbook and blog?

The most rewarding aspect of sharing my passion for vegan cooking through my cookbook and online content stems from the connections and relationships I build with readers and social media followers. These interactions allow me to empower and inspire individuals on their plant-based journey, bringing me immense joy. When people reach out with questions, express their inspiration from what I do, or even adopt a vegan lifestyle because of my recipes, these moments are invaluable.

For me, it's about cultivating an environment where people feel encouraged to try new things and develop confidence in the kitchen. Additionally, I'm reminded that each small change contributes to a larger, more compassionate world, sparing countless animal lives. This awareness fuels my passion for vegan cooking and motivates me to continue sharing and connecting with others.

What are your future plans for your vegan cooking journey? Are you considering writing more cookbooks or launching any other projects related to vegan cuisine?

My future plans for my vegan cooking journey include the potential for writing more cookbooks, contingent upon the success of my first book release. In addition to cookbooks, I aspire to pen a novel someday. Fueled by my passion for teaching and vegan cuisine, I envision launching a product line and establishing a charming stall on my property where I can sell exquisite products, food, books, and beverages.

Teaching vegan cooking brings me immense joy, and I cherish the moments when I see the spark in people's eyes as they realise they can easily recreate these delicious recipes in their own kitchens.


The Seasonal Vegan- Katie White

Embark on a journey to explore delectable plant-based recipes created by Katie White in her captivating cookbook, The Seasonal Vegan. To experience these rich, flavorsome dishes for yourself, purchase your copy of her culinary masterpiece below.


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