Cara Reed is the creator of the popular blog Fork and Beans, which features creative gluten-free vegan recipes and whimsical food photography. Her first cookbook Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking was published last year, and it proved that it’s possible to eat delicious desserts on gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free diet. I recently had the chance to chat with Cara, and we talked about food allergies, donuts, and her cookbook.
Chic Vegan: Tell me a little bit about your book Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking and what inspired you to write it?
Cara Reed: Decadent Gluten Free Vegan Baking is a one-stop-shop for all things allergen-friendly baking. From donuts, sweets breads, and even to cakes and cupcakes, every occasion can be celebrated with a recipe in this book. I really wanted to create a collection of trusted baking recipes for those that cannot eat certain ingredients whether it is due to allergies, moral choice, or health reasons.
CV: What inspires you to create a new recipe?
CR: I’m that weird girl who has scraps of paper in my purse and is continuously writing ideas down whenever they come about in my crazy brain. It never gets old to me either. It’s been 3 years and I still get excited like a little kid when I go to the farmer’s market or grocery store and envision new foods and recipes to create.
CV: You changed your diet several years ago after discovering you were suffering from food allergies. Did you worry about the new limitations to your diet or were you ready to take on the challenge?
CR: I remember crying in my car after I was diagnosed with my food allergies. I had already made great strides in my diet at that point and was proud of what I was doing but I had no idea how I could adapt to a new set of rules. I also thought it meant I was left to celery sticks and lettuce leaves so I was freaking out that I would starve. Little did I know that my new diet would actually cause me to be even more creative.
CV: What advice would you give to someone trying to adopt a gluten-free diet but might think it might be too limiting?
CR: I typically don’t recommend anyone going gluten-free unless they have to and were told by their doctor that it would benefit their health. If that is the case then I’d say that there are so many great food companies out there these days that actually make going gluten free easy (and tasty!)
CV: What is your favorite vegan indulgence?
CR: Ohhh, I love a good cashew cheese spread. I will eat it all.
CV: Can we expect to see more cookbooks from you in the near future?
CR: I hope so! To be continued…
CV: In your wildest dreams what will your life look like in 5 years?
CR: To be known as the Martha Stewart of the allergen-friendly community. I want to prove to people that even if you had a couple of carrots sticks and a slice of (gluten free) bread you can still create the most fun food creation and I want to show you how. Having food restrictions should never mean that you have to skimp out on the creativity!