One of the things I like most about the mainstreaming of Veganism, is all of the amazing vegan role models. My first exposure to Veganism came in 2009 with the publication of Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet. I remember picking up this book at Barnes and Nobles thinking that I love Clueless, I love diet books, and I was curious what the beautiful Alicia Silverstone had to say about both of these things. I was quickly surprised and intriqued that it was esentially a vegan manifesto with three different levels of veganism and a kind and empathic way of looking at why we should be eating this way. While I was not ready at this point in my life to adopt a vegan lifestyle, I was in pre-contemplation, and it was this book that first planted the seed for me. Looking back I realized that different people will be attracted to different role models and at 27 years old, I wasn’t all that interested in what world famous heart surgeons had to say, but I was interested in what the famous blonde hollywood starlet was doing to look so amazing. While obviously, I have evolved a bit since then, it is important to not knock anyone, no matter how frivolous they might seem, who promotes this way of life as there is surely someone out there who might not otherwise be exposed to these lifestyle changes.
It is in this spirit that I wanted to share with you a book I was generously sent by the publisher called: Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking & Easy Entertaining.
Cornelia Guest, author of Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining, is an activist, philanthropist, and businesswoman. In 2009, she founded Cornelia Guest Events and Cornelia Guest Cookies, catering charity and entertainment events with healthy, delicious vegan food. She is launching her own line of animal-friendly handbags, wallets, and dog accessories made with a vegan alternative to leather. She lives in New York.
The first thing that appealed to me was the beautiful coffee table nature of the book. Admittedly, my first thought was, “finally something for the country club set”. What I mean, is that we each need someone in our social circle or the circle we aspire to, to not only adopt this lifestyle but to show those in that particular group, that it is easy, chic, and worth while. Yes, we should all be doing this for moral reasons, yes we should do it for health reasons, but many of us start out by simply stumbling into it by seeing someone we admire who has adopted a vegan lifestyle.
Cornelia Guest is a beautiful socialite, daughter of the style icon, C.Z. Guest, and expert party host extraordinare. I really believe that there are people out there for whom she is a huge role model and they will see, that veganism doesn’t have to be mean rice and beans and only wearing hemp. As you will see, Cornelia Guest is the farthest thing from low-maintenance hippy.
Her book is beautifully organized by seasonal cooking as well as informaiton on a healthy vegan lifestyle, and stories from Guest’s life interwoven throughout. Some of the recipes I am most excited to make are:
Obviously I am mid-summer with easy outdoor entertaining on my mind. The recipes are beautiful and simple to prepare and I can’t wait to share the results with you. Ms. Guest’s publisher has graciously allowed me to share the following recipe with you guys- enjoy!
Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad
By Cornelia Guest,
Total time: 25 minutes
There is nothing like sweet summer corn. This pairing is smooth and crunchy, colorful, and totally delicious.
4 ears of corn, shucked
1 avocado, sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
1. Heat a grill to medium-high. Grill corn, rotating often, until lightly charred, about 15 minutes
2. Let cool slightly. Carefully cut kernels from cobs.
3. Gently toss corn kernels with avocado, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Serve right away.
The above is an excerpt from the book Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining by Cornelia Guest. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.