September 20, 2007

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Vegan blogger branches out
Erin Dame releases a cookbook
By Christina Nyquist news@hippopress.com

A sometime software engineer and sometime vegan blogger (www.vegandonelight.com) based in Stratton, Erin Dame has just published his first cookbook. Believing he could contribute to the limited universe that is vegan culinary literature, Dame collected his wisdom and made the final product, Vegan Done Light, available for online download. The book features healthy, gluten-free, low-sodium and low-fat original vegan creations, from Mexican mini-pizzas to bean muffins to the temptingly titled chocolate concoction “Mocha Moon Mud.”

Tell me a little about this cookbook.
The inspiration for it came from a year and a half’s worth of blogging. I had all these recipes and was competing in online vegan chef competitions for fun. So I had collected these recipes, and people were contacting me through e-mail saying, “That looks good. How do you make that?” The book itself is online, and the format is such that every recipe fits on one page with a picture and nutritional information.

When did you start your blog? How big is your readership?
I started it in April 2006.  My sister was my very first response. No idea it would evolve as it has. Readership is extremely hard to judge.

How long have you been a vegan?
Well, I’ve been a vegetarian since ’95, and my father was a vegetarian. Once I started tasting the food that he was creating, I started getting interested. What I finally did was, when I hit college — see, my mom was wasn’t vegetarian, so while I was living at home it was hard for her to always make vegetarian meals. But when I got to college, I was able to cook for myself. So that’s when I became a vegetarian, but I’ve been vegan for about a year and a half. I wasn’t much of a milk drinker to begin with, but I was a yogurt person. It wasn’t even cheese that was hard for me to give up, which is what most people have a problem with. The blog actually documents my transition from vegetarian to vegan. It wasn’t necessarily easy for me; I thought, “I can give up yogurt for two weeks, see how it goes.”

Why did you decide to become vegan?
I keep up to date on nutrition, and reports kept coming out about the association between dairy and prostate cancer.

And where did this interest in nutrition come from?
I’d say toward the end of college, when I became vegetarian, and was cooking and paying attention to food, it became a fascination.

How has being a vegan changed your personal diet habits?
It’s made it easier to deny the snacks that people bring into work, because a lot of them are vegetarian just by accident, for instance, a brownie’s vegetarian. But not many people bring in vegan goodies.

So why “vegan done light”?
The assumption people make is that, “Oh, if I go vegetarian, I’m going to lose weight.” Vegan cookies are really popular, and the big craze right now is a cookbook called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The author there makes no apologies, and she provides no nutritional information. It’s supposed to be an indulgence. Also, people forget how much fat is in some vegan favorites, like avocado.

Yes, I know many non-vegans who are very fond of vegan desserts.
Well, you can do desserts light, and there are desserts in my book. The cookbooks out there are just not necessarily advertising completely nutrition-conscious food.

Where did you get the recipes?
I created them all from scratch. I don’t cook from recipes; when I look at recipes I might combine three or four of them, and kind of wing it at the stove. When I found out that people wanted to make what I was making, I realized I had to go back and take it slowly and pay attention to measurements.

Had you always been interested in cooking?
When I first started being vegetarian, I wasn’t much of a cooker. I was spaghetti and frozen dinners — and there are a lot of vegetarians who fall into that trap. Once I started to pay attention to what I doing, it just kind of came naturally.

So where can one find this book?
The cookbook is available online as a download. I did investigate the paper route…. But the size of the book, for me, didn’t merit the process; it was taking long enough as it was to collect the recipes and work everything out.

What has the response been like?
Really good. At least, there’s been a great reaction from my blog readership. It’s not been a hot seller, by any stretch, but now we’re in that phase where we’re getting the word out to other vegans and vegetarians and organizations.

To purchase and download Dame’s cookbook, visit www.vegandonelight.com. For more information on Dame and his vegan adventures, visit his blog at www.zenpawn.com/vegblog.
— Christina Nyquist.



9/13/2007 Get ready to eat

9/6/2007 Fifty years of fair
8/30/2007 The buzz about peach fuzz
8/23/2007 Enjoy the Caribbean, sans hurricanes
8/16/2007 Festival weekend
8/9/2007 Still time to scream
8/2/2007 Perfecting a pound of pasta
7/26/2007 Gourmet Concord?
7/19/2007 Tart treats of a New Hampshire summer
7/12/2007 Reintroducing ratatouille
7/5/2007 Time to hit the grill
6/28/2007 Peanutty dinner delight
6/21/2007 Spicy meat, grilled meat and saucy meat
6/14/2007 Holy Barbecue
6/07/2007 A wine for Red Sox
5/31/2007 Pinot noir romance
5/24/2007 Josh Logan eats (not before shows)
5/17/2007 Baklava, spanakopita and souvlaki — a.k.a. dinner
5/10/2007 Cremeland celebrates 60 years of burgers and shakes
5/3/2007 New eats in bloom
4/26/2007 Pho sure
4/19/2007 Cakes, cow-free
4/12/2007 Serving up the first square
4/5/2007 More than just a chocolate bunny
3/29/2007 New 'nuches
3/22/2007 A taste of genuine sweetness
3/15/2007 From homemade to home business
3/8/2007 Shop the farmers' market year round
3/1/2007 Feeding Mama Kicks
2/22/2007 Keepers of the vino
2/15/2007 Noodly comfort food
2/8/2007 The luxury of osso bucco
2/1/2007 Super platters for the Super Bowl
1/25/2007 It's a wrap
1/18/2007 The writing foodie
1/11/2007 Where the beef is, piled high and hot
1/04/2007 The healthy foodie
12/28/2006 The return of pasta and fall of the diet: the year in eats
12/21/2006 Organic on the ice
12/14/2006 French but not fussy
12/07/2006 Southeast U.S. culture, in sandwich form
11/30/2006 Bites of comfort with chips of happiness
11/23/2006 Cityside adds class to conveniece
11/16/2006 Easier-to-enjoy Thanksgiving feasts
11/9/2006 The new classic
10/26/2006 Whip up a quiche
10/19/2006 A new way to crepe
10/12/2006 Comfort food for blokes and birds
10/05/2006 Smaller crop but still red and delicious
09/28/2006 The crunchier, lighter, healthier wrap
09/21/2006 City bagels in suburbia
09/14/2006 Cracking the custard code
09/07/2006 Eat your way down the block
08/31/2006 New flavors for an old summer dish
08/24/2006 Way down south in Hollis
08/17/2006 Frappe vs. milkshake
08/10/2006 Enjoy the bluest month
08/03/2006 Death of Toro
07/27/2006 Vacation on a plate
07/20/2006 Hitting barbecue big time
07/13/2006 Relishing the raspberry
07/06/2006 Are your edible souveneirs kosher?
06/29/2006 Fish, upscale
06/22/2006 Sweet rosey taste of summer
06/15/2006 When to pull out the EVOO
06/08/2006 What can you grill?
06/01/2006 Taste of downtown Nashua
05/25/2006 Deulge at farms
05/18/2006 Adorable and delicious
05/11/2006 Rub down
05/04/2006 Pinot to go
04/27/2006 A bit Italian, a bit egg foo young
04/20/2006 Meatier than breakfast...
04/13/2006 Let yourself eat cake
04/06/2006 Fear not the Risotto
03/30/2006 Making Friday a fishy delight
03/23/2006 The Thin Mints are here
03/16/2006 Divining your personality from pizza
03/09/2006 Cooking up a big bowl of comfort
03/02/2006 Dumplings demystified
02/23/2006 Carbs and comfort all the way
02/16/2006 She sells sushi by the sea shore
2/09/2006 Biting into the burger with bling
02/02/2006 Forget formal dining, head to the bar
01/26/2006 Goodbye rooster, hello year of the dog
01/19/2006 The secret lives of chefs
01/12/2006 Cooking up a pot of delayed gratification
01/05/2006 A sunny Italian side dish
A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
abel
A picnic — it’s romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Empanadas
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead — run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
It’s not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken — no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: it’s what’s for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
You say tomato, writer says lunch