It’s light fare, spring time thinking time again, and QG WD has been scouting delicious foodie ideas and fantastic recipes for our fab fans and readers to share with your families and even tote to work or school – we have a special treat this week, our exclusive Q&A interview with popular vegan chef, Chloe Coscarelli! As the famed winner of Cupcake Wars” and the author of her latest cookbook, “Chloe’s Kitchen” this energetic and optimistic young chef was sweet enough to take time from her busy schedule of TV and book signing appearances to share a few insights and tidbits with our QG gang.
We discovered chef Chloe c/o the many write ups and features as in Oprah, Martha Stewart Whole Living, Food Network, The Cooking Channel, the NY Times, and CNN. Our QG WD staff LOVES anything rich, gooey, sweet and chocolatey, and to know it can be uber-healthy is icing on the cake (weak pun but a pun all the same)! We all feel challenged with crazy schedules to eat smart these days, and Chloe’s creative take on some of the best tastes we all adore is fantastic. Her new book lends some great recipe options to “go vegan” painlessly and discover new, fun ways to eat better, eat deliciously and do it affordably. Take a sec and read what chef Chloe has to share in our QG WD Q&A;
QG) What cookbook are you reading right now (its OK to say its yours!)?
CC) I actually AM reading my cookbook “Chloe’s Kitchen” right now because I’m so excited that I just got my hands on it after working on the “idea” of it for two years!
QG) We think it’s stuffed full of awesome recipes for things we never would have though of as “vegan.” What is unique about it for you?
CC) Every single recipe is extremely easy-to-follow, and calls for accessible, everyday ingredients. I wanted this book to offer healthy versions of America’s favorite foods that are easy to put on the table in a jiffy! Let’s face it, no wants to follow long complicated instructions when they’re hungry!
QG) Why Vegan?
CC) Vegan food means no dairy, eggs, meat, or fish. It may sound strict, but it opens your mind to new foods and flavors that are so delicious and also nutritious. For example, instead of eating boring bar food sliders, I like to make Falafel Sliders with Avocado Hummus. The crispy savory falafel patty is topped with creamy avocado and a garlicky tahini sauce. The whole stack is so delicious that I would never prefer real meat!
QG) What do you think people can gain by trying a vegan lifestyle?
CC) By incorporating more vegan meals into your diet, you can gain energy, lose weight if that’s important to you, and actually eat more and sitll feel great! The vegan recipes in CHLOE’S KITCHEN are packed with protein, fiber, and other nutrients, and are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s a win-win when you opt to cut out greasy animal fats.
QG) Are you concerned about the health of Americans? How can a family be vegan affordably?
CC) Yes, heart disease, child obesity, and diabetes on are the rise like never before. It’s a scary reality. Luckily, it is very easy for a family to eat delicious balanced vegan meals when you’re cooking at home! In my new book CHLOE’S KITCHEN, there are many one-pot meals that require no more than a few veggies and a can of organic beans. In my “Vegan Pantry” chapter, I teach you how to buy a few essentials that will take your vegan meals very far!
QG) Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls – OMG where did you come up with this recipe?
CC) Actually, I was born into this recipe- it has been in my family for many generations! My mom and I took the fmaily recipe and “veganized” it. The result was actually better than the original! I promise that no one will ever guess they are vegan!
QG) Which cookbook writers or chefs inspire you?
CC) Pastry Chef Anne Baptiste at Millennium Restaurant in SF. As a college student, I walked into the restaurant one day and begged her to let me intern with her. She took me in and taught me everything I know! For anyone thinking about becoming a chef, the best way to start is by helping out in the back of a restaurant kitchen to see if you like it!
QG) What about chefs? Is there something unique to their personality that makes you ideal for this career?
CC) If you love to eat, you will be a great chef. My love of food and flavor drives everything I do and keeps me working hard!
QG) What would you throw together from your kitchen if you had only 10 minutes?
CC) Pancakes for dinner! They take 5 minutes, are oil-free, and totally addicting! Recipe in CHLOE’S KITCHEN
QG) What are your guilty and guiltless pleasures?
CC) Salty-anything! I used to be a sucker for sea salt and vinegar potato chips, but then I created a recipe for oven-baked Sea Salt and Vinegar French Fries. They have way less fat, but still have that amazing tangy salty flavor that I love!
QG) What’s your favorite cheap eat?
CC) Pasta! It’s so cheap and my sauces are always easy to whip up!
QG) Is there something about baking that drives you crazy?
CC) Vegan baking is a lot easier which I love. No stress of cracking eggs or worrying about dangerous under-cooked baked goods. Vegan batters and doughs are egg-free so they are always safe to eat, which makes them much more carefree to bake with!
QG) Any current ingredient obsessions of yours?
CC) Avocados! So creamy and good for your heart. Check out my Avocado Pesto Pasta in CHLOE’S KITCHEN- it totally satisfies my avocado cravings.
QG) And what’s the benefit of using day-old bread in your recipes? We hear this is a popular option to stretch leftovers…
CC) I love using day-old bread to make croutons for Caesar Salad. My trick is adding a tablespoon of maple syrup to give them a sweet crunch.
QG) We’ve tried the Chocolate Layer Cake recipe and it was really amazing but dry when we did it; what’s the secret?
CC) Perhaps it was overbaked or overmixed. Try my Mocha Almond Fudge Cake- I promise it is fool proof and extremeley moist!
QG) If you could be anything else other than an award winning chef, what would you be doing?
CC) Something with animal rescue. I love dogs!
Queen Grace is so pleased that such an in-demand young chef like Chloe could take time to answer our foodie questions and help us share the idea of trying vegan! It’s not for everyone, but QG think if you get even the little-ist bit excited about the thought of saving time, shaving some calories and boosting your healthy options, giving a few of Chloe’s recipes a try might just convince you to fool the kids, the hubby and actually dig in and enjoy your tasty vegan treats! You gotta’ try the cupcakes, she’s the Cupcake Queen!
For a full history on how chef Chloe Coscarelli got her start, her delicious recipes, super cute blog and all her upcoming print and on-air highlights, go to; http://www.chefchloe.com. Chloe’s book’ ‘CHLOE’S KITCHEN’ can be purchased in advance of the March 06, 2012 release on Chloe’s website, or on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Indie Bound. Follow chef Chloe on Facebook at; https://www.facebook.com/ChloeCoscarelli
Chef Chloe Coscarelli Book Tour:
3/12/12 – 6pm
Omnivore Books (San Francisco)
3/13/12 – 6pm
Book Passage (San Francisco) – Ferry Building
3/14/12 – 7pm
Books Inc. (San Francisco) – Marina location
3/20/12 – time TBA
Barnes & Noble (Santa Monica) – 3rd Street Promenade
3/22/12 – 7pm
Vroman’s Bookstore (Los Angeles) – talk & signing w/ demo
NYC Book Signing… TBD