B.C. author Paul Jarvis spreads vegan knowledge with Eat Awesome e-cookbook
As a vegan,Paul Jarvis is frequently asked the same questions about his plant-based diet. So the 33-year-old website designer and musician, who lived in Vancouver before moving to Tofino three years ago, decided to put the answers, along with some recipes, in an e-book.
The result, Eat Awesome, came out on April 1. Jarvis told the Georgia Straight that his self-published cookbook, subtitled “A Regular Person’s Guide to Plant-Based, Whole Foods”, is aimed at vegans and omnivores alike.
“My hope would be that more nonvegans get it and find the recipes of value and find the information of value,” Jarvis said by phone from his home in Tofino. “But I know vegans love cookbooks. I’m a vegan. I love cookbooks. I buy every vegan cookbook that ever comes out.”
Spanning 74 pages, Eat Awesome offers 18 recipes and 14 additional meal ideas, illustrated with photographs by Marnie Recker. The recipes include dressings and sauces, meals, and desserts and drinks. All of them are gluten-free and, with the exception of the tofu scramble, soy-free.
Jarvis noted that the recipes in the $5 book, such as those for cashew cream, devilled potatoes, and raw cheesecake, are ones he makes at home on a regular basis. Many of the recipes eschew precise measurements, which he hopes readers will take as “licence to play with their food”.
“I don’t really measure when I cook,” Jarvis said. “I play with my food. If I’m making a recipe, it’s not really going to turn out exactly the same every time, because I don’t measure stuff. I just think of how much I think I want in it, and I know everybody’s taste buds are different.”
One chapter of Eat Awesome tackles common questions that omnivores ask vegans, such as “Where do you get your protein?” and “How do you get calcium if you don’t drink milk?” In the book, Jarvis explains that protein is found in nuts, seeds, and vegetables, and that the dairy industry has an “insanely good marketing team”.
Jarvis said he started writing the book in January. Digital publishing allowed him to put it out “really, really quickly”, and now he’s using social media to promote it.
While Jarvis is interested in doing a second cookbook, he’s waiting to see what the response to Eat Awesome is.
“If people are hungry for more, then, yeah, I’ll put out another book,” Jarvis said.