Wednesday, April 4, 2018

10 Questions: Vegan Foodie with Sarah Woodcock of Trio Plant-based...

One of the brightest lights in the messy morass that is oftentimes social media, Sarah Woodcock is not only a tireless vegan advocate but also adds a vital and distinctive voice that draws attention to the need for racial justice, feminism and a holistic, pro-intersectional approach to the vegan movement. As someone who became inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and fighting against injustice (you can read more of her inspiring story here), Sarah, along with her partners Louis Hunter and Dan Woodcock, will be bringing a unique vegan restaurant to Minneapolis - the first of its kind that is primarily owned by people of color - with Trio Plant-Based, serving their commitment to anti-oppression activism along with fabulous plant-based comfort food, already showcased in three successful pop-ups. With a newly launched Kickstarter (please share and donate if you are able!), Sarah and company have their sights set on opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Minneapolis as soon as possible. I am so excited for Trio Plant-based and to have a new place to check out the next time we are in Minnesota. I am honored to feature Sarah as this week’s Vegan Foodie.

1. How did you start down this path of creating delicious food? Was a love for food nurtured into you? Did you have any special relatives or mentors who helped to instill this passion?

My mom is an excellent cook with a real passion for cooking. Growing up, she was always cooking for the family, and she definitely instilled the love of cooking in me. I would often get inspired, as a child, to bake bread or cook meals. And just so you know, I never added Cherry Coke™ to a bread recipe that called for soda (i.e. baking soda).

2. What was your diet like when you were growing up? Did you have any favorite meals or meal traditions? Do you carry them over today?

My diet was a Midwestern meat and potatoes diet. But come to think of it, I do recall a family vacation to Maine where we ordered clam chowder, and I exclaimed, “There are animals in my soup!” I could not finish it.

3. It’s late at night and you just got home: What is your favorite quick and simple vegan meal?

I love cooking up a Gardein™ Beefless Burger on a Pretzilla bun with Vegenaise and ketchup! Yummm!

4. If you could prepare one meal or dessert for anyone living or dead, who would it be for and what would you create?

If I have to pick just one person, I would make a meal for my husband Dan…probably vegan eggs benedict because that was his favorite nonvegan breakfast! You have inspired me; I will make that for him now.

5. What do you think are common mistakes in vegan cooking and how do you avoid them?

I really enjoy getting what I cook to match the nonvegan version as much as possible. Not getting it to match is not a “mistake,” but I am not satisfied unless it is similar or as delicious, and it ought to be more delicious!

6. What ingredients are you especially excited about at the moment? Also, what ingredients do you always like to have on hand?

Kala namak salt (i.e. black salt) is magical for eggs! Purely magical. And I always have garlic and onion on hand!

7. What are your top three cuisines from around the world?

I love US American food and Italian food, and third place is shared by Thai and Korean food!

8. Who or what has been most influential to you on your vegan path? Individuals, groups, books, films, etc. included.

It has not been one person or group or thing. It has truly been the individual vegans who I have observed, supported, and been supported by who have been most influential to me. A special mention to my dear friend Rhonda Anderson, who has been there for me inside and outside the vegan movement. I would not be who I am today without her loving friendship.

9. What issue is nearest and dearest to your heart that you would like people to know more about?

Oppression. I know that is really broad, but our world would be a hugely better place if people gained a better understanding of the power dynamics of oppression especially as they play out with racism. People really do not get it. I recommend the powerful and groundbreaking anti-racism work of Catrice Jackson for those who are sincere in wanting to start getting it. I know vegans really want to just focus on animals, but they fail to realize animals will never be free if we do not unite with our fellow humans. And uniting with our fellow humans means supporting, truly supporting, those who are oppressed by racism.

10. Last, please finish this sentence. "To me, vegan food is…"

…so good for animals; it can have benefits for human health and is less harmful than nonvegan food from an environmental perspective.

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