Laura Theodore wants to show you how simple it is to introduce plant-based choices into your everyday diet. Gearing up for season 3 of her cooking show, The Jazzy Vegetarian, on the Create Channel, Laura is a high-energy host who even appeared on The Talk with Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert.
Recently, we spoke to this busy chef/host/singer, about her food blog and allll those other irons she’s got in the fire.
Why did you start your food blog? I was inspired to create my cookbooks, blog, television show and radio podcast to make delicious, plant-based recipes available to anyone looking to prepare tasty vegan meals in their own home. My mission is to make recipes available to dedicated vegans, and omnivores alike – with a jazzylicious twist, of course!
How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I focus on the plant-based approach by incorporating whole foods like veggies, fruits, beans and whole grains into my recipes and daily menu plan. I strive to stay away from overly processed foods as much as possible, while using vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans) grains and some nuts and seeds as the base ingredients for my recipes.
Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? I have been interested in healthy eating for over 20 years. For me, plant-based cooking is like singing jazz: making creative and spicy improvisations with a delicious twist! As a jazz singer, I love scatting a new phrase to enhance a classic song, so when I cook, I savor the process of improvising new, healthy versions of traditional recipes, depending on what’s in my kitchen or available at the local market.
What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen? I love reduced-sodium tamari! Sounds so simple, but it really adds taste and depth to so many recipes. Tamari helps to produce a rich “meaty” flavor and it has a more complex flavor profile than ordinary soy sauce. The reduced-sodium version has about 25 percent less sodium than regular tamari. I always buy tamari that has been made with GMO-free soybeans, is MSG-free, and contains no artificial preservatives. Reduced-sodium tamari is great used as a flavor enhancer in sauces, casseroles, pasta dishes, vegan gravies, steamed vegetables dishes, and in soups. It adds great flavor to both sweet and savory marinades for tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, or squash.