UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

Ripe from Around Here

For holistic nutritionist, eating well is vital to being well

By Caley Moore

Ripe from Around Here
By jae steele
(Arsenal Pulp Press) $24.95

Some people see veganism as a joyless austerity: no meat, no eggs, no cheese, even no honey. What’s left to eat? Plenty, as jae steele demonstrates in her new cookbook, Ripe from Around Here, a follow-up to her popular Get It Ripe.

For steele, a holistic nutritionist, eating well is vital to being well. The first 75 pages of Ripe from Around Here offer a host of tips about how to eat more locally and in season.

While a plant-based diet tends to be easier on the environment, steele’s approach to veganism is all carrot (roasted in a yummy ginger glaze, perhaps) and no stick. She doesn’t issue rigid commandments but simply urges us to embrace food choices that nourish our health and ground us in our community. As steele told the National Post, “I’d rather see everyone eat 25 percent fewer animal products each week than have four or five people become strict vegans.”    

I stopped eating meat over a dozen years ago but have no immediate plans to abandon cheese. That being said, I think some of the most creative cooking right now is happening in vegan kitchens. Just as a formal constraint can give life to a poem, so too does the absence of animal products open up a new world of flavours.

Chipotle pepper and molasses, for example, lend a rich, smoky quality to steele’s slow-cooked baked beans. And homemade almond milk, a cinch to whip up, adds a nutty depth to cinnamon-laced peach and pecan muffins.

While you’ll need to visit a health-food store to find certain ingredients, a surprising number of recipes call for standard pantry items.

Whether you’re a committed vegan or merely curious, Ripe from Around Here will put a spark in your cooking routine with tasty, inventive dishes good for both you and the planet.

Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image


David Wilson%


by David Wilson

If statues could talk

Promotional Image


ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

by Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

Promotional Image


July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots


June 2017

A suitcase for Cuba

by Christopher Levan

You’ll find more than giveaway toiletries and hand-me-downs in the writer's luggage. Each carefully chosen gift offers a glimpse into the lives of Cubans today.


June 2017


by Kristy Woudstra

Up to half a million people are living in Canada without official status. The ‘sanctuary city’ movement is growing, but the fear of deportation persists.


June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.


April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart


March 2017

Called to resist

by Paul Wilson

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

Promotional Image