For this second installment of our newest feature, We’re excited to bring you our interview with Marly, a vegan blogger who writes about names, food and life in general on her beautiful blog Namely Marly.
Allison’s Gourmet: Your seasonal recipes are so creative – especially the green spinach in the shamrock cookie you created for St Patrick’s Day. What are some of your all-time favorite recipes, both sweet and savory?
Marly: Most people I know are so surprised to learn what great foods vegans eat. It’s as if they think that all we eat is granola and raisins. That’s one reason I began adding vegan recipes to my site because I’m passionate about sharing delicious vegan food. That said, I happen to really enjoy my spinach smoothies. I know they’re not for everyone, but I throw 2 or 3 cups of raw spinach in a blender, a banana, some frozen strawberries, 4 or 5 raw almonds and a cup or two of filtered water and I’m one happy camper!
Some of our family savory favorites include Vegan Chick Nachos, Perfect 7 Layer Salad, and Sesame Tofu. On the sweet side, we enjoy an endless variety of chocolate cookies, Banana Streussel Muffins, and Vegan Cream-filled Cupcakes. This all sounds so good I think I’m starting to get hungry!
AG: What are some of your most-liked blogs to read for inspiration?
M: Well, of course there’s the Allison’s Gourmet blog where I love to find ideas for vegan dishes. I find myself regularly checking on Karen Walrond’s blog Chookooloonks. She’s like a walking fountain of wisdom and she shares a lot of this inspiration on her blog. I also enjoy other food blogs, some vegan and some not. Grace’s La Mia Vita Dolce blog is all about her sweet life and I like reading about her desserts and finding ideas on new recipes to veganize. Allyson has a blog called Manifest Vegan which is not only vegan but also gluten free. I also regularly read Paul Krugman’s blog, Dooce, Jen Lee and Goop.
AG: Your America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches Veganized project is so inspiring and looks delicious. What is your favorite sandwich, and which Allison’s Gourmet treat would you pair with it?
M: I was inspired to begin this series when I saw the original article repurposed for the Huffington Post. I couldn’t believe the ingredients in these recipes, particularly one of which called for an ingredient named suckling pig. I had never heard of anything like this before and had to look it up to see if actually was what the name implied. It was.
I was spurred to action, so I quickly put together a production schedule for the sandwiches and reached out to some favorite vegan bloggers. Our vegan sandwich series was born! The Vegan Sandwich Series was picked up by Endless Simmer (who published the original sandwich series) and the Huffington Post. We were so proud to showcase these delicious vegan sandwiches! I loved all of these sandwiches, but one I would select for today would be The Maple. This sandwich features two hot slices of maple-currant french toast loaded with a savory tempeh/white bean sausage and smothered with “mapleized” onions and vegan chipotle cheddar cheese. I would couple that lovely sandwich with country potatoes on the side. As for dessert, I think the best finale for such a fine meal would be Allison’s Gourmet Cherry Chocolate Brownies.
AG: You’re very into names on your site. If you could collaborate with Allison’s Gourmet on a new product, what would be your dream creation and what would it be called?
M: One of the most difficult things for me to give up when I went vegan was milk chocolate. Interestingly enough, now that I’ve been without it for several years, I’ve found that I prefer the taste of dark chocolate. A year or so after making the vegan leap, I tried a piece of milk chocolate again (for nostalgic reasons), and it actually tasted sour to me. I used to love Almond Joys so if I could collaborate with Allison on anything, I would encourage her to create a vegan version of this sweet coconut bar topped with an almond and drenched in chocolate. And I would suggest that she name it Allison’s Joy. I talked with my daughter, Adee, about this idea and she suggested that we should call it Alli-mond Joy. Whatever name you choose, Allison, if you make this sweet vegan treat, can I be the first one to order a box?
AG: What’s been the most exciting aspect of blogging thus far?
M: I love the challenge of learning new skills. Blogging combines so many things – creativity, technical skills, networking, writing, photography, and most definitely time management! But more than anything I’ve really enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people – both authors of other blogs and readers of my own site. I love to talk to people about their names and so on my site I publish interviews with people about their names and that has been a real bonus – the opportunity to talk to a wide variety of people about something we all have in common (a name). See Marly’s name interview with Allison here.
AG: Fill in the blank: I wish Allison’s Gourmet would add ________ to the product list…..
M: This may sound a little over the top, but I would love to see Allison’s Gourmet vegan ice cream. I know it wouldn’t be an easy thing to ship individually to people’s doors, but maybe it could be a product you could take to market. I can imagine walking into my favorite health food store (or the health food section of my local grocery store) and buying a carton of Allison’s Gourmet Chunky Monkey Chocolate Ice Cream. Or Allison’s Gourmet Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. Or Allison’s Gourmet Rocky Road. You get the picture!
We certainly do. Thank you, Marly!