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Eat Their Words: Try A Spoonful Of Spork-Fed

By John DiGilio in Food on Feb 8, 2012 9:20PM

2012_2_DiGilio_SporkFed.jpg We have all heard of the spork - that marvel of human ingenuity that marries the forms and functions of every eater's two best friends. Part spoon, part fork, it is the culinary equivalent of a Swiss Army knife. But how many of us have heard of the "Spork Sisters"? They too are a revolution in the kitchen. With their emphasis on making vegan cooking fun, affordable, and full of flavor, they are challenging the notions that animal-free food is work-intensive and boring. From their kitchens at Spork Foods comes their first cookbook - Spork-Fed.

Jenny Engel and Heather Golderberg are not just sisters. They are business partners and healthy eating visionaries. Based in Los Angeles, their Spork Foods is a gourmet vegan food company that offers organic vegan cooking classes, in-home consultations and even private cooking parties. With Spork-Fed, these evangelists of healthy eating are making a foray into the world of publishing. A wonderful collection of appetizers, soups and sides, salads, entrees, and desserts, the recipes are wonderfully presented (check out the "For Your Smarts" and "For Your Parts" notes) and the end results are beautifully photographed. For our wheat-senstive friends, there is even a bevy of gluten-free options. The recipes themselves are fairly simple and mostly call for ingredients that are easily found in larger supermarkets and health food stores.

In taking Spork-Fed for a spin, we found some instant favorites. The Tofu Satay with Decadent Peanut Sauce was a cinch to make and fully lived up to its name. Add a bed of white rice and this appetizer could easily make for a main dish. The Velvety Carrot Soup with Mint Oil was a little more work, but off-the-wall tasty. Who would have thought you could thicken a soup with potato the way you can with heavy cream? For something really delicious and different, we suggest the Cornmeal and Herb-Crusted Tofu Feta Croquettes (think hushpuppies that are high in protein!). And the Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Spelt Bread Crumb Topping? All we can say is YES PLEASE! It almost made us forget the dish was vegan! Finally, for those with a sweet tooth, we recommend the sinfully delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse with Crunchy Topping (it actually calls for tofu, but your guests will never know) and the melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Mint Truffles.

Whether you are a hard-core vegan or just someone looking to reduce the amount of carcass in your culinary creations, Spork-Fed is a must-have for your kitchen. At a cover price of $19.95 (even cheaper from online booksellers), this tome is worth every penny. Vegan cooking does not have to be bland, boring, or even expensive. What is does need to be, however, is flavorful, healthy, and fun. Thanks to the Spork Sisters, these goals are well within the grasp of anyone than can wield a pan.

Spork-Fed: Super Fun and Flavorful Vegan Recipes from the Sisters of Spork Foods is published by St. Lynn's Press.