But I Could Never Go Vegan! Review + Giveaway

 

Citrus Herb Roasted Beets An Unrefined Vegan

At lunch with co-workers many years ago in Washington, DC, an intern who had joined us for the summer mentioned that he was vegan. We couldn’t help ourselves. 10 sets of eyes swiveled in his direction and locked onto the limp lettuce-and-tomato-on-hamburger-bun sandwich he – I’ll call him Tim – was holding. Tim seemed like a nice guy. Cute even. Totally normal. Except…except for that vegan thing. And as I bit into my juicy, drippy, cheesy Johnny Rocket’s burger I thought to myself: “I could never give up cheese.” I followed that with a deep, soulful sip of my chocolate milkshake that was gloriously garnished with a heavenly cloud of whipped cream and I thought: “No whipped cream?! I could never, ever go vegan. *sigh* Poor dude.”

I’ve told the story of my own “transformation” from meat-eater to plant-eater many times – and we all have our own interesting paths that led to “giving up” chicken and cheese and burgers and milkshakes. And we’ve all met people – lots of people – many of them dear family members and friends, who swear to us that they could never ever go vegan. (Though many of them say things to us like: we eat mostly vegetables anyway; or if my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/mom/dad wasn’t a committed carnivore, I’d totally go vegan!)

So how does one get from cheeseburgers and milkshakes at Johnny Rocket’s to tempeh bacon and cashew cheddar? A whole bunch of soul-searching, yes – but also with the help of amazing, creative, completely delectable, beautiful food! Food that makes you forget your love affair with animal flesh and (ahem) fluids. Food that is kind not only to your body, but to the living, breathing, thinking beings that inhabit planet earth right alongside us. Food like the food you’ll find in the pages of this cookbook.

But I Could Never Go Vegan! by Kristy Turner (with stunning photos by her husband Chris Miller) of Keepin’ It Kind is the no-excuses cookbook for anyone who has ever contemplated going plant-based, but just couldn’t see past the barriers of not having cheese, seafood, burgers, or decadent desserts in their life. Anything you might desire to eat is in here: creamy cheeses, loaded pizzas and sandwiches, soups, cookies, ice cream, party food, snackies, as well as meat and fish substitutes (I kinda hate that word, because to me they are the real deal, but what are ya gonna do?). The chapter names are really clever and will bring to mind to many of us the things we’ve heard non-vegans say: “It’s All Rabbit Food,” “Vegan Cooking is Too Hard,” and “Fake Foods Freak Me Out,” just to name a few.

BICNGV will without a doubt become a staple vegan cookbook in many households. The recipes are approachable, unpretentious, yummy, and easy to prepare; bottom line is: Kristy makes some damn good food. If you don’t already own a copy (what?!) or if you’d like to gift one to someone who needs a little encouragement to make the leap to veganism (and you’re living in the U.S…), enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy.

But I Could Never Go Vegan Book Cover

Feast your eyes on more deletable eats from But I Could Never Go Vegan! (All photos below are mine.)

Pictured Above: CITRUS-HERB ROASTED BEETS WITH MACADAMIA NUT RICOTTA

Below: ARTICHOKE CRAB CAKES WITH SRIRACHA TARTAR SAUCE

Artichoke "Crab" Cakes An Unrefined Vegan

Artichoke "Crab" Cakes An Unrefined Vegan

ICED OATMEAL COOKIES (to which I added raisins and chocolate chips…)

Iced Oatmeal Cookies An Unrefined Vegan

Iced Oatmeal Cookies An Unrefined Vegan

Iced Oatmeal Cookies An Unrefined Vegan

Iced Oatmeal Cookies An Unrefined Vegan

JACKFRUIT “TUNA” SALAD SANDWICH

Jackfruit Tuna Salad Sandwich An Unrefined Vegan

Jackfruit Tuna Salad Sandwich An Unrefined Vegan

MACADAMIA NUT RICOTTA

Macadamia Nut Ricotta An Unrefined Vegan

Macadamia Nut Ricotta An Unrefined Vegan

Thank you to Kristy Turner and The Experiment for providing me with a copy to review AND a copy to share with one of my readers. Entry is limited to those residing in the U.S. Giveaway ends at midnight U.S. CT on March 25.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

106 thoughts on “But I Could Never Go Vegan! Review + Giveaway

  1. The Vegan 8

    You write so beautifully and did such a wonderful honor to Kristy and her book. I’ve never read a better intro as to why somebody should buy a cookbook! If I ever do a cookbook, I’m calling you up! Haha! All that food looks glorious!
    I actually have a crab cake recipe coming up with artichokes too…I’m sure the recipes are completely different, but cool to see another blogger and I both thought artichokes would be awesome texture…they are so similar to crab. That means I’m smart like Kristy, right?! Lol!

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Honey, there is no doubt that you will be writing an incredible cookbook someday – and I’d be honored to write about it :-).

      I never would have thought to use artichoke hearts as “crab” cakes, but as soon as I put the recipe together it was like – yeah, of course! Amazing how much the mixture resembles actual crab. And yes, you two are smart cookies!!

      Reply
  2. Mason

    Just yesterday, a friend who is FAR to young to be dealing with hypertension and high cholesterol told me he ‘needed’ meat because it “is just the only food that satisfies me.”

    Reply
  3. cmb0096

    I mostly get the “I am practically vegan except for the….” when people talk to me about being a vegan. But when people tell me their doctors told them they need meat/dairy/eggs and “won’t let” them go vegan I always cringe inwardly.

    Reply
  4. Chely

    “But what will happen to the animals we don’t eat? They will overrun the Earth!”
    The excuse that hurts the most is “I just like ___ too much to care about the suffering I’m causing.”

    Reply
  5. Cadry's Kitchen

    What a phenomenal review, and the pictures are gorgeous!! You make me want to eat all of it right this very second. I love those artichoke crab cakes, but I haven’t tried the rest of the recipes you made.

    Reply
  6. Amber

    This is a really great review. And, those crab cakes look so delicious! I’ve really been craving crab cakes lately. I hear a lot of reasons for people not going vegan, and unfortunately where I’m from, they just don’t WANT to. BUt I do have some open-minded, compassionate people in my life that want to learn more and try this vegan thing out, and I’d love to win this to pass along to them. It seems like it’d be a great resource for them! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Kirsta F

    I’m embarrassed to admit I still eat pizza w/ real mozzarella once a week. I just haven’t been able to give it up yet. I’m still quite new to being vegan so I’m trying to be patient with myself and continue being healthier and kinder to animals.

    Reply
  8. Alison L.

    Not exactly the craziest excuse but a trainer at my gym…yes, a trainer – who supposedly has a nutrition background claims that it is impossible to get enough protein on a plant-based diet…he and the rest of the gym are very paleo. I just shake my head! This is a great book…I have a copy but would love to win one to give to a friend who is taking baby steps toward plant-based…she needs all the encouragement that she can get. This would be perfect for her – she is quite the foodie.

    Reply
  9. Rachel

    The typical reason I hear is “Oh, I have to have protein and you aren’t getting protein with a vegan diet.” My doctor also questioned whether I was eating enough protein or getting enough calcium without dairy.

    Reply
  10. Jacky

    My excuse was can’t live without cheese or ice cream. Vegan ice cream is so much better and cheese is just baby food!

    Reply
  11. Rosanna

    That’s so true!.. I’m surrounded by omnivores and all the excuses remind me of the ones I use to have!.. My husband is the first I convinced that being vegan today is definitely better than years ago!.. There shouldn’t be more excuses today but unfortunately our society and the interest of certain groups make it harder to switch to a vegan diet. Knowledge is power and books like Kristi’s allow people to seek information about why and how!
    Thanks Annie!

    Reply
  12. Charity

    The craziest excuse I ever heard for not going vegan was “I could never give up bread.” I realized then, that educating those around us in a loving way could really be important.

    Reply
  13. Liz

    Someone told me just the other day that they could never go vegan because they can’t give up Goldfish! I think they were only slightly joking!

    Reply
  14. Melissa K.

    One reason I have heard (but not experienced) is that one cannot remain healthy on a vegan diet. That may be true for some, and I will respect that. But i do fine!

    Reply
  15. Courtney Howard

    I’ve heard that during evolution, the human brain became what it is only because our ancestors ate animal flesh. Pfft.

    Reply
  16. Deanne O

    The craziest reason I heard of for not going Vegan is from an ex friend who told me that She could never go
    Vegan because she is the top of the food chain. I was like, wtf?

    Reply
  17. michechou

    I’ve been eyeing this cookbook for a while, and I would love to win a copy 🙂 Most people I know worry they won’t receive enough protein if they were to eat a full vegan diet.

    Reply
  18. Paula

    The craziest excuse for not eating vegan that I’ve heard is that it’s too expensive. It’s really only expensive if you rely on convenience foods (which is also the case with an omnivorous dirt).

    Reply
  19. Linda @ Veganosity

    I actually had a conversation with an OB/GYN at a women empowering women conference about being vegan. She was overweight and said that she was on a smoothie diet, but always hungry. Then she said that she could “never give up cheese.” I told her that the smoothie diet, or any diet for that matter, was probably not going to work for the long term, and I suggested that she focus more on a plant based diet. Then I told her that she absolutely could give up cheese, she just had to want to. She proceeded to ask me all kinds of questions (because she was genuinely curious). I kept thinking how crazy it was that I was giving a medical doctor nutritional advice, and she was surprised by so much of it. That conversation really opened my eyes to how uneducated the general population is to nutrition.

    Love the book, and the pictures are beautiful. 🙂

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Oh wow! That is incredible! I’ve read many times that medical students don’t get training in nutrition which makes absolutely no sense to me. But then I’d rather heal from the inside – with whole foods – than by taking medications. It will be interesting to see if your OB/GYN makes some changes to her diet because of your conversation.

      Reply
  20. Kiri

    I’m a newbie vegan (finally transitioned right around New Year’s) and would love this book to help me get more creative with my food! I’ve been doing lots of veggie soups, rice and beans, and vegetable sushi. Gets a little repetitive lol. Thanks for giving everyone the opportunity to win!

    As for my crazy excuse I’ve heard “I could never be vegan. I’m from Texas.” from my meat-and-potatoes-loving coworker. Sometimes I worry about how little he eats any fruit or vegetables. 😐

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      I’ve known people like that, Kiri. A fresh fruit or veggie never seems to pass their lips. Tomato sauce on pizza is the closest they come!

      With time and with awesome resources like this book, you’ll be making all kinds of delicious and different vegan eats :-). Hang in there!

      Reply
  21. Beth B

    The craziest thing I ever heard as an excuse not to go vegan was just the other day from my roommate. She said: “It’s so hard to find chicken that’s free-range, and like you only know if you go to an Amish farm and see how they treat their chickens or whatever. And I only eat chicken if my mom makes it, or if I go to a restaurant, like I don’t want to be rude and say no.” At an earlier point in time, this same roommate – let’s call her Allie – said another crazy thing. “If they made something that tasted exactly like meat I would totally eat that so that animals wouldn’t have to be killed.” Allie, it’s called Beyond Meat chicken, or any kind of vegan meat substitute. Seriously. It’s great! I think the real reason is that she can’t be bothered with veganism or even vegetarianism, but can’t actually admit to herself that she is unwilling to exert effort to save animals’ lives. Even though she is a self-proclaimed animal lover and goes out of her way to avoid products tested on animals. The incongruity of logic she employs is somewhat baffling.

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      So many people fail to make that connection – animals they “love” and animals they eat. Strange that she understands that animal testing is wrong, but that consuming animals (and turning a blind eye to the conditions under which they live during their short lives) is…okay. You might respect your roommate more if she just admitted that she doesn’t want to give up eating animal products. At least that’s honest.

      Reply
  22. coconutandberries

    I don’t know why I don’t have this book yet! Love Kristy and her blog. I’m especially excited about the fishy section as,unlike most vegan converts, it was fish not dairy that was hardest for me to give up.

    Reply
  23. Anna Lee

    I’m from the South, so I get a lot of, “God put animals on this earth to eat!” So you can’t reason or even give your opinion/views with them; their mind is already made up. And the funny thing is, when you mention you don’t eat animal products (mostly when you say you don’t eat meat), they get so offended! Like you just said something about their mom. It’s completely absurd, and almost 100% of the time, the only ones who have a problem with it are men. I’m not sure if it’s some macho, I’m-a-man-and-I-hunt-and-eat-meat mentality, but almost every guy I know has something to say about me being vegan, whereas the women I know are generally just more curious and ask what I eat and if anything was hard to give up.

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      I’ve had similar experiences, Anna. It’s apparently a deeply personal thing about which some people feel offended or attacked. My guess is there is a deep-seated guilt that they just can’t face.

      Reply
  24. Heather

    We are made to be omnivores. I could never give up meat. I love cheese too much. I have to have protein. I’ve heard so many excuses I can’t think of only one.

    Reply
  25. Danielle

    Worst excuse I have heard is ” I have no time” and “it’s to expensive”. Really? How much money and time did it take you to cook that roast!?

    Reply
  26. Kayse

    I’ve had toooooo many people tell me that certain animals were raised to be food, so we should eat them since that’s what they’re meant for. People that can snuggle their cat and adore their dog and not understand that a cow or a chicken have as much value as the animal that’s currently laying on their couch. Verrrry interesting disconnect.
    Anyways, this book looks AMAZING! I need it. Those artichoke crab cakes?!?! I want.

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Yeah, I don’t get it – – even though I also considered myself an animal lover before I went vegan. It seemed entirely logical and understandable at the time. Once the light bulb goes on, you can’t turn it back off.

      Reply
  27. conniefletch

    I was one of “those people” who said…”I could never eat like that!” But I can and do!!! AND I LOVE IT!!!! I would love to win a copy of Kristy’s book!!! I think that if we (as vegans) can just plant a seed or two in someone’s mind, someone else will come along and water that seed….another kind soul will provide some great plant food…no pun intended….and with hope and prayer, those folks may, in fact, decide to change the way they provide their bodies nourishment. That makes a change not only in their health, but the health in society as a whole and the planet….win-win!!! Just remember….all we have to do is plant seeds….others will come along and do the rest. If we feel responsible to do the whole task, that’s way too overwhelming and not truly how it works….so keep on planting seeds!!!

    Reply
  28. Carla

    “It’s not that bad, is it?” in reference to the treatment of the animals or the impact on the environment. I always answer, “Yes. It is.” : [

    Reply
  29. Tara

    People say some crazy stuff to me about why they aren’t vegan! Mostly the “But cheese!” thing- but I’ve had people tell me that they just literally do not care at all- which breaks my heart! The other day I was in a discussion about the difference between eating a dog and eating a cow and the logic people use to justify eating animals is so wild!

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Wow, that’s heartbreaking. I’ve never had anyone say to me they didn’t care – – but I suspect that’s a reason for many people. Animals are nothing but commodities to them.

      Reply
  30. Alicia Woody

    When I told my holistic chiropractor that I became a vegetarian over Christmas break she said “God made us to need meat and dairy”. I have continued going to her since and, as long as I’m not eating a lot of soy, she is coming around. She seems open-minded and asks me questions every visit about how I make sure I’m getting enough ___”. I have explained B-12 is in nutritional yeast; protein is in legumes and quinoa is a complete protein; calcium is in broccoli, carrots and kale, and iron is in spinach, lentils, and chickpeas. It has become a game to see what her next question will be. She isn’t sold on me eating wheat gluten or soy, but I think she sees that I’m healthier now – even if it has only been 4 months.. If I can only get past cheese and eggs I’ll be fully vegan.

    Reply
  31. Pingback: Monday Announcements: 3.23.15

  32. Dave

    The lamest excuse I heard was “humans advanced to where we are because of meat, it’s part of our heritage” to which I replied “The same goes for slavery. Does that make it acceptable?”

    Reply
  33. Jenny K

    I really like this discussion going on! I’m glad I checked back in to read the other stories in the comments because oh noes, I don’t see mine 🙁
    Well, I’ve heard quite a few lame excuses, but I think in this day and age, with all the wonderful blogs out there, the lamest one is “it’s too hard”

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Hey Jenny! I’m sorry your earlier comment didn’t show up (I just checked the Spam folder and didn’t see it – so not sure what happened!), but I’m glad you came back to see what other people are saying.

      I don’t understand the “too hard” excuse either. Why does plant-based eating have to be complicated?! It’s just a different set of ingredients!

      Reply
  34. Shannon

    Hmm, I guess the craziest one I can remember is a comment from someone saying they would die without meat.

    Reply
  35. Jesse

    I’ve been thinking about buying this book. I was slowly transitioning from vegetarian to vegan when I got pregnant. I didn’t have cravings but had strong aversions to so many foods that I fell off the wagon, so to speak. I’m ashamed to admit that 9 months after the birth of my daughter I am still a vegetarian. I need to stop the excuses!

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Hey Jesse – thanks for commenting! This is a great book and I think you’d find it very inspirational. Please don’t beat yourself up about what you’re eating. Go at your pace, make small changes – and you’ll get there!

      Reply
  36. Melissa

    I don’t think I’ve heard any particularly crazy excuses for not going vegan besides the whole “I like meat and cheese too much” thing. I can’t help but roll my eyes, though, when I hear the idea that “humans are supposed to eat meat.”

    Reply
  37. conniefletch

    For all those folks who keep hearing how we are “supposed to eat meat”…..have them read Genesis chapter one…..we were not designed to eat meat…we were designed to eat plants….and if that doesn’t resonate with them, have them look at their teeth…and identify which teeth perform which function…not too many meat eating teeth there!!!!!

    Reply
  38. sb8857

    “But you need meat for protein!” Read the labels people, and you’ll see just how much more protein comes from a whole lot of other sources than meat!! 🙂

    Reply
  39. Lily Yvonne

    …even animals eat animals…well I say. Of course not all of them and again only because they have no choice.

    Reply
  40. tearoomdelights

    I’m probably one of those very people who say they could never go vegan. More accurately, I sometimes say I think I might one day go vegan but I don’t feel ready to make the leap yet. It will be interesting if later in life I can look back from a vegan standpoint and wonder why it took me so long. My brother used to say that after being a vegetarian for 20-odd years, because once he finally made the commitment it seemed so natural to him. In any case, it looks like a great cookbook and I like the humor of it.

    Reply
  41. Shan

    I know its been over a year since this post but I just bought this book and I was hoping to find actual and true reviews on it. I am not vegan, but trying to go vegetarian and I’m so glad to see that with this book its not going to be as hard as I originally thought.

    Reply

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