Prepared Food Focus: Vegan Variety

Prepared Food Focus: Vegan Variety

Attract devotees and omnivores alike with these recipes completely free of animal by-products.

by Joanna Pruess

Claire Criscuolo, along with her late husband Frank, co-founded the highly successful Claire’s Corner Copia, a then radical vegetarian restaurant in New Haven, Conn., in 1975. “I remember when we first wrote vegan on a food sign. No one would order it,” the cookbook author recalls. Health claims, such as no cholesterol, helped warm skeptics to the cuisine, as it still does today.

For retailers just starting to offer vegan food, Criscuolo suggests simply finding out what customers are asking for. “Also, a good supply of beans and whole grains, quinoa, wheat berries, rice [and] millet would be lovely,” she notes.

Vegan offerings don’t have to ostracize non-vegan customers. Chealsea Conroy, a programmer with a passion for vegan cooking for more than 20 years, is happily married to a meat-and-potatoes Irishman. “When I first started cooking vegan for my husband, Ronan, I would do things that seemed familiar to him,” she explains, such as sauteed seitan with vegetables. Ethnic recipes, many of which are already naturally vegetarian or vegan, such as Indian and Thai cuisine, can also offer inspiration.

Try the Recipes:


Joanna Pruess is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK FERRI; FOOD STYLED BY AJ BATTIFARANO; PROPS STYLED BY FRAN MATALON-DEGNI NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS BY LAUREN BRAUN, NUTRITIONAL LIFESTYLE DESIGNS, MIAMI, FL