Saturday, I was thrilled to see actress Alicia Silverstone give culinary demonstrations followed by a discussion as part of the Food Network’s New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure magazines, Whole Foods Market and hosted by and benefiting the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength.
The veg star tied her hair back and walked us through how to prepare recipes from her new book, The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet, set for release this Tuesday, October 13.
In her book, Alicia discusses the powerful life-altering choice to become cruelty-free and the breakthroughs she experienced. She also addresses common nutritional concerns faced by those new to a plant-based. The book covers every nutritional base, from the standard protein and calcium issues and beyond.
Alicia was fun and very natural in her presentation. You could tell she was not scripted or rehearsed as she joked while adding and mixing ingredients. She’s a proponent of organic whenever possible, and Alicia is all for clean ingredients, natural sugars like brown rice syrup, “Grade B” maple syrup and Earth Balance, her go-to alternative to butter.
After demonstrating how she makes pecan-encrusted seitan (“Kids will love it and you don’t even have to tell them what it is,” she joked), Caesar Salad with croutons and a creamy tahini dressing, followed by a light cheesecake topped with fresh berries, Alicia answered questions. My mind went blank and I couldn’t think of anything to ask.
Then, I raised my hand and had the last question, “What’s your favorite snack on the go that you never get tired of?”
“Mmmmm, that’s a really hard question,” she replied, because she likes so many foods. The audience laughed. Brown rice crispy treats are her favorite; they last for days and she sometimes adds chocolate chips. “Oh, and I like a good sandwich, too.” Alicia thanked us and with a smile bid farewell.
I really enjoyed the event. I only wish the staff on hand could have provided samples to the audience, as there were many omnivores present. Then perhaps they could experience how good The Kind Diet is.