PETA releases new edition of Vegan College Cookbook

On Tuesday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released the second edition of their Vegan College Cookbook, that includes 275 “easy, cheap and delicious” recipes for college students.

In preparation for the launch of the book of recipes, PETA hosted their Vegan College Cookbook  launch party at the Bob Barker Building in Echo Park on April 2.

The event included a cooking demonstration and food sampling of a couple recipes from the cookbook that was available for purchase a couple of days before being released to the public.

The Vegan College Cookbook, catered to busy college students lacking many cooking utilities, boasts its convenient recipes — none of which require a stove. These simple recipes make vegan cooking easily accessible for college students. Originally released in 2009, the success of the first edition prompted the release of the 2016 second edition, which includes 40 new recipes, an updated recommended products section and a new cover.

Featured at the event was the seven-layer Mexican dip, eggless egg salad and peanut butter mousse. Presented by enthusiastic PETA employees, each sample burst with flavor. Luckily, taste does not supplant nutrition, as each dish contains healthy ingredients without sacrificing taste.

Marta Holmberg, co-author of the Vegan College Cookbook and Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns at peta2 (the youth division of PETA), demonstrated the preparation of these three dishes. She began making the seven-layer Mexican dip, which is comprised of vegan cream cheese and vegan taco seasoning, refried beans, guacamole, vegan cheddar cheese, salsa, lettuce and green onions. This seven-layer dish, served with tortilla chips is absolutely mouth-watering.

Holmberg next prepared the eggless egg salad, made mainly from tofu, vegan mayonnaise, chopped fresh parsley, sweet pickle relish, onion and celery. In addition to tasting like the real deal, the salad’s vibrant yellow hue, due to a small amount of mustard, further made this eggless salad indistinguishable from the original. Served on crackers in half scoops, the soft and savory salad was accentuated by the crunchy and mild cracker. Aside from being spread on crackers, this eggless egg salad can be spread on bread, incorporated into sandwiches or eaten alone.

Next up was a delectable dessert, the peanut butter mousse. Holmberg mixed three ingredients together: peanut butter, powdered sugar and food-processed tofu. The mousse, served in gallops on white spoons and topped with nuts and chocolate chips, is a delicious treat. For a health nut who refuses to prepare food with artificial sugar, the mousse would have been just as indulgent if made without powdered sugar and instead with a natural source of sugar, such as ripe fruit — a peanut butter banana mousse would be even better. That’s what is great about these recipes — they are guidelines, but modifications can be made for individual preferences.

After the food demonstration, the crowd gathered on the outdoor deck to indulge in more samples, take pictures in front of the peta2 backdrop, purchase the cookbook and engage in conversation with the friendly and personable PETA staff.

“Going vegan is healthier and also saves the environment as well as more than 100 animals’ lives every single year. According to a study by food-service provider Bon Appétit, the number of college students who identify themselves as vegetarian has risen by 50 percent [in four years following 2005] and the number of vegan students has more than doubled during the same period” Holmberg said.

She also mentions the large variety of easy recipes the book contains for college students. “PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook makes eating vegan in college super-easy — you’ll find everything from a Pancake in a Mug to One-Bite Pizzas in the cookbook. We focused on what college students already like to eat — we just made everything easier to make and took the meat, eggs and dairy foods out. Whether you’re a vegan newbie or a veteran, this cookbook is perfect for you.”

The Vegan College Cookbook can be purchased online on PETA’s website.