Karo Tak’s Sea Shepherd’s Pie

KaroTakCookbookCoverLast month, on 7th September, I was lucky enough to attend the launch of a new vegan cookbook – one that possibly sports the longest title in my collection: “Karo’s nutritious delicious and cruelty-free dishes: a vegan cookbook with recipes, meal plans, nutritional information + more!” They say not to judge a book by its cover, but I urge you to judge this one by its title – because it encapsulates what the book (and its author!) is about!

I’d only heard about the launch by chance, via a friend’s tweet that I’d happened to see at the right time about a week before. As luck would have it, I was available on the night, it was to be held at the wonderful (and, for me, conveniently located) Jivamukti Yoga Sydney centre in Newtown, and I’m certainly always interested in adding another vegan cookbook to the kitchen bookshelf – as well as meeting new vegan friends!

KaroTakAtLaunchKaro Tak with her vegan cookbookOn the night, it became immediately apparent that the cookbook’s author, Karo Tak, is a total dynamo. She exudes positive energy, and her conversation on stage with Jivamukti Yoga Sydney founder Katie Manitsas was informative, uplifting, and enriching. Karo’s approach, as she stated upfront, is to be a joyful vegan, coming from a place of love and without judgement. A particular quote that stood out for me was “everything with love”. This ties in well with the Jivamukti message that anger is not helpful. Katie confirmed this with repeating the teaching, “What we think matters. What we say matters. What we do matters.”

While Karo has been vegetarian since she was five years old, it’s only in the past year or so that she’s become vegan. And she hasn’t wasted any time in the ‘doing’ part of things, having already spent time as a volunteer cook on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel the Bob Barker, and also put together and released her cookbook, which at over 120 pages really does contain “recipes, meal plans, nutritional information + more!”

Interestingly, though, despite creating a vegan cookbook with a multitude of recipes, Karo advocates experimentation in the kitchen, and recommends that we don’t actually follow the recipes to the letter but instead play with what’s in the fridge or cupboard on the day. In light of this, when it came time the next night to try out a recipe, I picked the ‘Lentil Shepherd Pie’ on page 40, but decided on three variations: 1. swap out the usual potato topping for sweet potato; 2. add some chickpeas to bulk out the filling so that we had more leftovers; and 3. add frozen peas to the recipe’s middle layer of frozen corn that provided an extra layer of colour and flavour between the lentil filling and the mash on top. TGO and I really enjoyed the end result, both on the night and in subsequent meals. 

KaroTakSeaShepherdPieHearty and delicious!

The whole recipe is available as part of the book’s ‘taster’ download that Karo has provided as a free resource, so you can try it out yourself – with any variations you like!

You can also purchase the complete cookbook itself by following these instructions – or even buy it from her in person at the upcoming Cruelty Free Festival, where she’ll be on a stall for the Soi Dog foundation.

Tomorrow night I’m going to a workshop Karo is holding at Sydney’s Alfalfa House food coop,  which I’m sure will be the basis for another VeganMoFo blogpost in the very near future!

VeganMoFo2012MainLogoI’m taking part in October’s Vegan Month of Food, along with hundreds of other bloggers! Check out the blogroll for extensive inspiration!

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