Should we cook with oil? Opinions differ wildly on that topic within the plant-based community, and there are many people out there who avoid all oils as much as they can. As a result, as a professional meal planner, I often get asked by prospective clients whether my vegan recipes contain oil. The short answer is: “It’s up to you.” Here’s what I mean, and why.

Based on the most authoritative sources I have been able to access, it makes no doubt in my mind that the healthiest diet consists mainly of whole plant foods including vegetables, fruits, whole grains…


Not all plant-based burgers are created equal.

There are environmental and ethical benefits to animal-free production of protein foods. But can we count on science-based culinary innovations to decrease the incidence of chronic disease and improve our health?

According to a widely circulated industry figure, Americans eat on average 3 burgers per week, or 17 kg of red burger meat annually (from a total of 100 kg of meat per person). If they replaced all their beef burger patties with plant-based meat alternatives while the rest of their meat consumption remained unchanged, would they experience significant health benefits?

Plant-based meat alternatives such as burgers vary in their…


What I eat in a day as a vegan is mostly whole-foods, usually healthy, always plant-based food. In this post, I share what I ate on a typical weekday (Friday May 7th, 2021), and what guides those choices. I will mention what the rest of my family eats in passing, but this is really about me.

Because, let’s face it, if I am not nourished, I am in no position to nourish my loved ones… at least not in a sustainable manner.

When I talk about the importance of vegan meal planning and batch cooking, of course I highlight the…


What happens roughly 24 billion times per day on Earth? Humans having a meal. About a third of all of the resources we extract or use from the planet are funneled toward our insatiable appetites. If we are to continue living together on this planet for a little longer, we have to smarten up and adopt some more eco-friendly eating habits. Especially those of us with privilege who enjoy access to an abundance of food options.

When tackling our food’s environmental footprint, it’s easy to get distracted by small issues on the way to making big changes. Let’s focus on…


In April 2011, I quit drinking coffee. This was an unexpected move for me because I loved coffee. Back in the mid-1990s, I had a blog and many posts were about the art and pleasure of coffee making and drinking. My espresso machine was my most beloved appliance. I wrote my whole PhD dissertation by waking up at 5 a.m., pouring myself a double shot, and sitting down to write by 5:04. I really enjoyed the taste and culture of coffee, it was a pleasurable part of my life, and it helped me write. Why quit coffee now?

Content warning…


Eating more plants, as opposed to animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs, seems like the right thing to do. That’s true whether you look at it through the lens of ethics, health, or environmentalism. Whether I like it or not, not everyone is willing or able to go 100% plant-based overnight. But just because one can’t do everything doesn’t mean that one doesn’t have a duty to do something. We do not control everything in our lives, but nothing and no-one can stop us from getting started in the smallest of ways.

Many of my vegan friends disagree with…


2020 sucked. But millions of amazing humans kept on showing up, day after day, to make our world a better place. Show your gratitude. Here’s mine.

Even I, the perpetual optimist who was taught to always “look at the sunny side of everything,” can agree: there are many reasons to loathe 2020. Many humans weren’t exactly on their best behavior, which shouldn’t surprise us as uncertainty, isolation, stress, and fear spread faster even than any virus. Nevertheless, there are many stellar people out there who have nurtured my faith in humanity during this year unlike any other I have lived…


Are one of the many home cooks trying to figure out how to eat less meat and more plants? I have a new idea for you: try going Vegan After 6.

“Oh, yes, we are trying to cut back on meat,” or “I hardly eat meat anymore, except at my mother-in-law’s house.” I hear such comments every time I meet new people. Often, the type of meat matters: “I don’t eat red meat at all anymore, just chicken.” Or “We don’t have meat at home anymore, but the kids are picky and they like fish so we do have that.” Significant others often get pointed at: “I like to make a big salad for myself but my husband needs a chicken breast on top.”

If the conversation goes on for a…


Élise Desaulniers is Quebec’s foremost reference in matters related to animal agriculture, food ethics, and veganism. Coming from a marketing background, she started learning about how food gets on our table around 2008 and developed an irresistible urge to share her findings with others. She started publishing a blog (penseravantdouvrirlabouche.com) which led to her first book, Je mange avec ma tête: Les conséquences de nos choix alimentaires (“I Eat With My Head: The Consequences of Our Dietary Choices”), published in 2011. Her second book, Cash Cow: Ten Myths About the Dairy Industry (translated from “Vache à lait”) was released in…

Brigitte Gemme

Vegan mom and cooking coach, runner, writer, reader, PhD in sociology, morning person. Chief Meal Planner at Vegan Family Kitchen.

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