Sisters share their vegan recipes
if you’re looking to put something new on your plate come dinner time, how about an order of cauliflower buffalo wings?
Perhaps a zucchini enchilada boat with a maple upside-down cake for dessert?
all of these recipes and more can be found in a new cookbook recently released by two women from the Timmins area – and they promise, all of the meals are quick and easy to whip up.
it’s called the lifestyle notebook, and it was written, photographed, designed and published by 24-yearold sisters Janelle and Josée Berthiaume.
Janelle, an employment consultant at Collège Boréal in Timmins, and Josée, who teaches high school math and cooking in Kapuskasing, decided to create the vegan cookbook about a year ago.
The two had always hosted dinner parties, where they would often serve their own creations, and eventually decided to compile their best dishes into a book for everyone in the community to try.
after committing to a plant-based diet a few years prior, they found that many of recipes they encountered were taxing to duplicate and often included sometimes hard-tofind items.
The Berthiaumes wanted to offer a solution to that problem for those in the community looking to eat more vegan dishes.
“a lot of vegan cookbooks are very complicated with complicated recipes, and this is not complicated, and the ingredients are accessible and not very expensive,” said Janelle.
her sister, Josée, also noted that all of the ingredients can be found locally in northeastern Ontario.
“i live in Kapuskasing, so i had in mind, my grocery store when i was doing this,” she said. “since we only have one store in Kap, i thought, if we could find everything in Kapuskasing, we’re good.”
The book was released on dec. 3 at a local eatery in Timmins.
The sisters say they have sold about 200 books so far and have received a great deal of support on the project.
“a lot of my students are super excited for me, and the response has been awesome from them, which is great,” said Josée. “it’s kind of surreal. We would have never expected all of this.”
The sisters also point out that although they are vegans who have created a vegan cookbook, those who eat meat and dairy can certainly still enjoy their meals, as well.
“They can see for themselves if it’s something they want to consider. i’m not trying to change people or make people vegan, but even if they eat one plant-based meal, that’s something,” said Janelle. “But take it for what you will. if you like the recipe as is, that’s fantastic! But, you can always adapt it to whatever your needs are.”
she also stressed that the cookbook isn’t a way to promote a certain lifestyle, it’s just about offering different meal options.
“We’re the only ones in our family who are vegan — we come from a family of hunters and trappers,” Janelle said, laughing. “so, we’re not there to push our views on other people; we just want to open people’s eyes by having them try our food.”
While there are many health-conscious recipes in the book, there’s also a fair share of more indulgent options.
“Just because you’re vegan, that doesn’t mean that you are just eating fruits and vegetables every day,” said Josée, noting there are a wide variety of desserts and comfort foods like pizza in the book, too. While this is currently a passion project for the sisters as they both hold full-time jobs (and joke that the profit margins on a self-published book are nothing to write home about), they encourage anyone with a similar goal to go for it.
“don’t let people’s comments stop you from doing what you want to do, try it out,” said Josée. “now, one of my students want to self-publish a book, too, so i’ve been showing him the software. he was like, ‘This is so cool, i’ve always wanted to make a book!’ so i love hearing stuff like that.”
For more information, recipes or to purchase a copy of the book, visit the blog, http://thelifestylenotebook.blogspot.ca.
Two sisters from Timmins and the surrounding area, Josée Berthiaume, left, and Janelle Berthiaume, recently released a new vegan cookbook which they published themselves. The 24-year-olds titled the book the Lifestyle Notebook and it can be purchased in Timmins and online.