Anytime I'm interviewed, this question comes up -- and it's a good one!
Where do you get inspiration for your recipes?
For me, it’s a mix of trying to recreate foods I used to eat that were either not vegan or maybe not so healthy, responding to requests and suggestions by Herbies and being moved by an ingredient.
For example,I might spend all day playing around with chickpea flour because I think its a great alternative flour that is often overlooked. Or maybe I’ll see a really beautiful bunch of, say, rainbow chard, and think “gosh! I need to come up with a way to use that!”
Also, when writing both of my cookbooks, The Happy Herbivore Cookbook and Everyday Happy Herbivore (which comes out in 6wks!) I took care to find an ingredient that’s underutilized and create a way to celebrate it.
For example, with HHC, I realized I had no recipes for kidney beans so I set out to write one that really let the kidney beans shine. The result was Rajma Masala (p. 78), and it’s one of my favorite recipes.
I also cook on the fly and out of hunger a lot. One of my most proud and favorite recipes is my Chickpea Tacos. One night I was starving, standing in front of my empty pantry with a can of chickpeas in my hand wondering what I could make. Then my eyes rolled over a seasoning packet for tacos and that was it. Recipe born!
Putting meals together, creating recipes, its all very organic for me. I often have a hard to putting it into words beyond “it just comes to me! I just “know”!”
For example, when I was making a butternut soup, I had a taste and just knew I needed to add curry powder to it. So I did... and the rest is history... or more accurately, a really delicious 3-ingredient Butternut Squash Soup!
Now that's not to say I always get it right. I've gotten it wrong and things have fallen flat or been too spicy or just not that tasty. It happens. What matters is I keep trying. Keep experimenting. Keep exploring because I never know when I'm going to create the next kickass recipe!