Is there anything more important than joy?

No. No, there isn’t.

(Almost) Fat-Free

New Orleans Food from the Heart

There I was, zig-zagging along my path, when life jolted me awake when my skinny and athletic husband of 32 years, Ray, had a heart attack. He was told he has a rare heart disease and basically can’t eat any fat—not even avocados. So we went into survival mode about three years ago, dropped all meat and became basically fat-free vegan. Coincidentally, I’d been cooking some vegan food for myself for over a year, so there it was, divine timing. I knew Ray had to be feeling isolated and fearful; all of this new stuff; another life; a new diet. The recipes in this book came pouring from my heart to fill his—as simple as that.


I’m not pushing or selling veganism. That ain’t my gig. I simply figured out how to cook good food right here in New Orleans, Louisiana that also happens to be vegan and fat-free, and I wanted to share my discoveries and triumphs with you. As my son Weston sweetly put it, “These recipes are for everybody and dey mama.” Thank you, dawlin Weston. You really are a dawlin...


When I first put on my apron as a fat-free vegan cook for an ex-carnivore, the first thing I wanted to know was, “How do I make plants taste like Charlie’s Steak House?” No, seriously—how does one cook a roux without oil? How do I do anything without oil? How do I bake without eggs? I knew the vegan-cooking world had already tackled most meatless conundrums, but those guys also use a lot of fat, like vegan margarine, oil, and nuts, while I couldn’t. But the food angels were whispering, “Get it done, girl.” My goal was to make fat-free vegan food taste enough like the stuff Ray thought he’d never eat again. Well, I did what I set out to do, and his friends now keep telling him that they don’t feel sorry for him at all.


In my book, you’ll learn how to bake without butter, oil, milk, or eggs. You’ll also learn how to make “fake meat,” as my son calls it—seitan, pronounced “SAY-tahn” and it has nothing to do with the underworld. I’ve got 11 different fake-meat recipes in the book, including sausage, pastrami, roast beef, chicken, beef jerky, and meatballs. If you’re clueless about how to make seitan, as I was, I’ll walk you through it in more detail, but briefly, seitan is made from dough. The main ingredient is vital wheat gluten, which you can buy at most grocery stores, in a bag. There are a number of ways to cook the dough, resulting in different textures and tastes. Did you know that four ounces of seitan has the same amount of protein as four ounces of beef steak? Yep, that’s right, roughly 21 grams. Supposedly, seitan was invented by monks some thousand years ago after they got sick of eating tofu. I can understand that.


Copyright © 2015 Vegan Dawlin

Book publishing and site creation by High ISO Music, New Orleans, LA