Vegan chef and book author Christy Morgan has been taking her food philosophy all over the U.S. "I want people to know that food is very powerful," Morgan said. "That cooking healthy is easy and doable."
This past Friday the chef stopped in Houston to give a cooking demonstration, tasting and book signing at One Green Street, an upscale one-stop organic products shop owned by Sherry Eichberger (first name "like the wine," she said) that offers everything from schmancy rock jewelry and "sustainable fashion" pieces, to Filthy Cock Soap -- all organic, of course. The place was filled with dedicated veggie lovers, from a casual vegan mom who just completed an 18-day juice fast to members of the vegansocietyofpeace.org and the owners of Green Seed Vegan.
Before Morgan could begin her demonstration, however, she made one thing clear.
"I am not a raw food chef," she said, referring to the slightly misleading advertisement posted around town about her appearance. "I am a vegan macrobiotic chef."
After setting the record straight, Morgan talked about her foray into the world of whole living, starting nine years ago, when she watched a video about the cruel methods of keeping and killing animals for human food consumption. It was a PETA production entitled "Meet Your Meat."
The very next day, she became a vegan.
What followed was a complete submergence into the world of veganism, as the fashion design graduate and former LA resident enrolled in Austin's Natural Epicurean culinary school, started to give vegan cooking classes, began blogging about her meals and eventually penned and published her own book, The Blissful Chef: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet, which is chock full of easy recipes for the new, experienced or even lazy vegan.
Morgan even shared a very personal and touching anecdote about easing her father into a vegan lifestyle after learning that he had prostate cancer. Six months into his plant-based diet, the cancerous development in her once anemic, alcoholic father had stalled.
"Food is our medicine," Morgan said. "You are in control of your health. You create your destiny."
For the recipe demonstration, Morgan made a Mac 'n' Kale Salad, consisting of nutritional yeast, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, one chopped avocado and sun-dried tomatoes.
"A little part of me dies inside when people say they haven't had kale," said the dark, leafy greens enthusiast.
In the cozy shop space, the intimate crowd pinged topics off both Morgan and one another, such as the importance of eating alkaline foods to combat cancer, the role of vegan diets in weight loss and how to get to avoid vitamin deficiency on a plant-based food plan.
Meanwhile, Morgan popped on a pair of gloves and massaged the yeast, oil and vinegar into the kale, and what started as a solo show turned into a roundtable bonding over living food. The final result was a good one; the green's infamously bitter taste was replaced with a mild, cheesy flavor, and the sundried tomatoes and avocado paired together were the perfect combination of chewy crunchiness. Everyone went back for more.
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Needless to say, Morgan had no problem getting guests to buy signed copies of her book after it was over.
Visit theblissfulchef.com to learn more about Morgan.