I’m Sam. I’m vegan, and an artist, but I’m not starving. Ba dum dum tsk.
I’m writing to you from Toronto, Canada. Yeah, I’m Canadian, eh?
Welcome to It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken! This is the place where I share all of my favourite vegan recipes, quirky thoughts, made up words, and super fun tips with you. Why? Because it’s my absolute most favourite thing to do. That’s why.
Let me be clear, I NEVER in a million and six years, thought I would go vegan.
I grew up in a household where we had a flock of chickens (both for eggs and eating), the freezers were stocked full of meat, steaks were cooked rare, and there were even real animal heads decorating the walls (not that I ever liked the heads). Now doesn’t that just sound like the most vegan household you have ever heard of? Probably not. I’m sure you can imagine, going vegan was a BIG change for me.
So how did a proud meat-eater like me swap overnight to never touching a piece of meat again?
As a kid I always loved animals. I had dogs, cats, gerbils, turtles, and even a rabbit named Gravy (no I didn’t realize how incredibly odd that was at the time). Even though I loved animals, I was still an avid meat eater. It made sense to me, animals were killed because we “needed” to eat meat and that seemed a-ok to me.
I thought vegetarians and especially vegans were so extreme and silly. They were all dying of protein deficiency for sure. (Insert eye roll here).
So that’s how I was coasting along through life. Loving my pets, being creeped out by fur and taxidermy, all while wearing leather and eating meat, eggs, and dairy.
One fine day in December of 2012, I made the mistake… er… best decision ever, to sit down, and watch a movie about being vegan called Vegucated.
Well that set off some uncomfortable questions in my brain, so I then followed that with:
- Forks Over Knives
- Hungry for Change
- Food Matters
- Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
and then read:
The result? You guessed it, here I am today: a vegan. Hi! 👋
By the end of my documentary and book binge fest, I knew two things were absolutely clear to me.
- I was officially going vegan.
- I didn’t want to be vegan.
After all of my research it made 100% logical sense to be vegan. The problem was, I actually hated the idea. I remember being so frustrated, almost wishing I could un-learn all of the facts I had learned. Well, I couldn’t un-learn, so I had to come up with a new plan of attack. Be the best damn vegan I knew how to be!
Becoming the best damn vegan I knew how to be
Growing up in a family of chefs, foodies, butchers, and hunters, they were not super excited to hear of my new food direction. There were jokes and teasing. I remember one time when a relative put a carrot on a plate and said, “look it’s Sam’s dinner!” Hardy-har-har.
I wanted to prove them wrong. I started playing around in the kitchen, and I soon discovered that any meal could be made vegan, and with a few clever tweaks, a large spice cabinet, and a dash of creativity, I was loving my recipes. In fact, I loved them more than the original animal product based recipes.
Not only were they satisfying, hearty, full of flavour, and straight up delicious, but they were just as easy to make as any other meal. With limitation came inspiration, and before I knew it, going vegan was one of the best decisions I ever made! Gone were the days of feeling bloated after eating, of getting drowsy mid afternoon, of unbuttoning my jeans, and feeling guilty and grossed out when I thought of what my dinner really was. I was now healthier, leaner, more energetic and just overall happier. The best, and most surprising part of going vegan was that I absolutely loved it!
When I first started cooking vegan, I thought I needed lots of fancy and expensive ingredients, that I would be living off of kale and quinoa, and that I would forever feel like I am limited in my choices. As I began experimenting, I realized that none of that was true at all!
What you WON’T find:
- Fake, mock, or “un” recipes. I don’t eat fake food. I eat real food. I don’t think there is any problem with creating familiar tastes and textures, but I call it what it is, and not what it isn’t.
- Fancy shmancy ingredients. I will introduce to you a few of my favourite ingredients that may seem a little odd, such as nutritional yeast (obsessed!), vegan butter alternatives such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread, and flax seeds, but these ingredients, along with all of the ingredients I use, can usually be found in your local grocery store. No bizarre flours, no things you can’t pronounce, or difficult to find health foods.
- Weird and scary looking food. You will find pastas, burgers, cupcakes, and all things delicious and familiar. While I have no problem with eating weird looking food, that’s isn’t what this blog is about.
What you WILL find:
- Easy, step by step recipes with clear instructions to make cooking a breeze. If you have a question, leave them in the comments, I do my best to answer them within 24 hours and you will receive an email with my response so you don’t even have to check back.
- Trust worthy recipes. I do my best to test my recipes over and over again before posting them, so I know they will turn out correctly for you.
- Vegan meals that will satisfy everyone, whether you are vegan or not.
Starting It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
I didn’t really know what a blog was at first, I didn’t follow any, I just knew some people shared recipes, and I thought, why not me? I started by taking pictures with my iPhone and posted horribly written (although tasty) recipes. It wasn’t long before I was getting new followers that were complete strangers, and these strangers actually started making my recipes, and then let me know how much they loved them!
I think I’m like a dog. Pat me on the head and tell me I am good and I will love you forever. As the feedback started rolling in, I grew a huge, HUGE passion for blogging. I began putting my heart and soul into my blog. I was given a Canon Rebel T3i for my birthday and I learned how to use it. I figured out how to properly start a blog, and I spent days in the kitchen creating my favourite vegan recipes to share with the world.
It worked! Vegans, vegetarians, veg curious, and even carnivores from across the world were making my recipes and I felt like a million, trillion dollars with every comment, like, and new subscriber that came in. Not only that, but I was helping to show people that a plant based diet can be totally delicious, easy, doable, good for you, and not at all weird!
I Got a Cookbook Deal!
Last year I decided to quit my job as an Art Director to take my blog full-time. Ah! Following my dream is SCARY, but it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have never worked harder, and never been more passionate for a job, and the best part is, I get to eat my work. Omnomnom.
It seems as if following my dream was the right thing to do because in the last year I got a cookbook deal with Appetite by Random House! I am currently working on writing the best damn vegan cookbook there ever was, and you can expect to see it published in 2017! Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the announcement for the early bird special (where you will get exclusive bonuses).
New to It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken? Start here!
Is this your first time visiting my site? First of all, wow, hi! I am so excited you are here.
If you don’t know what to look at first here are my most popular recipes:
- Cucumber Avocado Rolls
- 5 Vegan Sandwiches
- Melty Stretchy Gooey Vegan Mozzarella
- How to Make Homemade Granola Bars (Just 4 Ingredients!)
Here are a few of my posts on veganism:
- 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Vegans
- How to Eat Vegan at Any Restaurant (and not order salad)
- 8 Things Not to Do When Going Vegan
If you like what you see, subscribe below so you never miss a non-chickeny post again.