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‘How to be Vegan’ tackles food, non-food hurdles of going animal-free

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

Veganism has never been bigger. Not even during the founding hippie years did so many Americans look toward animal-free eating as a source of both wellness and environmental and moral peace of mind, and a new book from Elizabeth Castoria aims to help new vegans make the transition.

How to Be Vegan: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Cruelty-Free Eating, Living, Dating, Travel, Decorating and More” (Artisan, $14.95) covers exactly what the cover states: all the unexpected challenges that come up when you’re trying to avoid honey, leather, gelatin and hurting your mother’s feelings at Thanksgiving. She includes a lot of eye-catching ways to distill this information, including a chart comparing the costs of the many non-animal-based sources of protein, a Venn diagram on how to survive the holidays, a list of her favorite surprisingly vegan grocery store products and a lighthearted decision map about when it’s a good idea to buy a burrito at the airport.

The back of the book features a handful of staple recipes, including tofu scramble, black bean burgers and this pasta made with Soyrizo, a popular chorizo substitute.

Soyrizo Pasta

Hearty, homey and boasting a tiny kick, this pasta couldn’t be easier. You’d never guess that it only has five ingredients — it’s just as delicious as it is quick to prepare, which makes it a go-to for weeknight dinners when you’re short on time. A little bit of spice from the Soyrizo perks up the tangy tomatoes.

One (16 oz.) box of farfelle, penne or other bite-sized pasta

Salt, to taste

2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, chopped

One (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes

One (12 oz.) package Soyrizo

Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions. Drain well and set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and Soyrizo, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the cooked pasta, and toss to coat, stirring to heat through for about 2 minutes. Serve warm. Leftovers will keep, covered, up to five days in the fridge. Serves 4.

— From “How to Be Vegan: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Cruelty-Free Eating, Living, Dating, Travel, Decorating and More” (Artisan, $14.95) by Elizabeth Castoria