“That Vegan” is me – Rachel Acquaviva, Philly ‘burb native and passionate animal lover. In 2013 after years of talking the talk but not walking the walk, I finally bit the bullet and became vegan. And guess what? It’s awesome!
I find that being vegan hasn’t limited my food choices but instead I’m having a blast enjoying new foods and “veganizing” my favorite old standards. I’ve fully embraced my new vegan lifestyle and love sharing vegan stuff (like amazingly delicious recipes) with the non-vegans in my life.
Cast Of Characters
You won’t just hear my voice on this blog. I’m surrounded by so many wonderful people who support me by being brutally honest and telling it like it is (who doesn’t require that in their life?). So you know if they’re chiming in on here, you’re getting it straight up.
“The Funny Man”
(aka The Supportive Vegan Husband Who Also Happens To Be A Stand-Up Comedian)
Ant has been my partner in crime through my whole vegan journey. It’s incredible to have someone by your side who not only supports everything you do but makes fun of you while you do it.
Ant’s a comedian, so his thoughts on all things vegan will have a humorous spin. Take his comments with a grain of salt – he’ll do anything for a laugh. Oh, and follow him on Instagram (he’s @deepbellylaughs) or check out his website (ehem, shameless plug).
“The Jewish Mother”
(No aka. This says it all.)
Mix Rozalin Focker with a little of Regina George’s mom, then add in a muumuu, some wild red hair and a healthy dose of Jewish guilt. That’s my mom. I learned to cook from my family, and especially from this crazy lady and her mama, my Bubby. Many of my recipes (like my mini Jewish apple cakes) are vegan versions of hers.
She’s traditional and likes what she likes, and like every good mother she never hesitates to tell me so. She’s a harsh critic; she’s been known to literally spit out food I’ve served to her if she’s not crazy about the taste, so I know I’ve got to be on my game when she comes to dinner. She’ll let me know what she really thinks of my food, and I’ll let you know. Maybe.
“The Picky Eater”
(aka The BFF)
Mel’s been my best friend since 11th grade when she switched schools and found herself in my canoe on our start-of-the-school-year retreat. Nothing bonds two lazy teenage girls for life like paddling down a river hungry in oppressive heat.
Mel’s one of the pickiest eaters I know. I truly believe that if she could she’d exist on nothing but McDonald’s french fries and red velvet cupcakes. But you know what? I can always get her to eat her veggies! Not to brag, but she’ll try virtually anything I put on her plate. Through me she’s discovered a love of zucchini and even started roasting her own kale chips.
(Fun fact #1: Mel has always loved tofu. How bizarre is that? I’m vegan and even I had to be sold on the idea.)
Since Mel basically has the palate of an eight-year-old, you know the recipes she’s reviewing will be sure to please even the most finicky in your family.
(Fun fact #2: Mel’s the mom of triplets. Not sure how that’s relevant but it’s pretty darn cool!)
“The Omnipresent Omnivores”
(aka Some Of The Best People I Know)
These are family members who eat vegan when we go out for dinner just to show support. They’re great friends who “veganize” their Christmas dinner so we’ll feel welcome. They’re also the “veg curious” in our lives, those skeptics who are just not sure how much like mac and cheese the VegNews version* will be but they’ll try it anyway.
The thoughts expressed by the Omnipresent Omnivores represent, I think, the masses. Those who just want to eat something good. And if they like my vegan recipe, I know I’ve found a winner.
*VegNews’ macaroni and cheese is the best out there. Bar none, vegan or otherwise. Get what you need to make this recipe now. There’s something magical in the way that plant ingredients come together to form a creamy, rich cheese sauce. Or, as we refer to it in our house, “The Good Stuff.” Okay. I’m done.