She can sing. She can perform. And she can cook! She is the fabulous Laura Theodore (aka, the Jazzy Vegetarian)! Laura is a widely recognized television personality, and her current show–the Jazzy Vegetarian–airs on PBS nationwide, with an accompanying podcast. I was lucky to have the chance to talk to Laura about the show, building such an amazing career, and of course, living in the Big Apple!
Allison Rivers Samson: First of all, congratulations on being inducted into the 2015 Taste Hall of Fame! Such a well-deserved honor. Could you share with us any advice for gaining notoriety as a cookbook author and television personality?
Laura Theodore: Oh goodness! Commitment, patience, perseverance, hard work, talent, creativity, and then more hard work! Never giving up is key in the television arena, and in the publishing world too! I work 60 to 80 hour weeks, 7 days a week, most weeks. People think writing books and being a television personality is a glam job. It is not. It requires very long hours and takes a great deal of discipline to be successful.
ARS: Your show, Jazzy Vegetarian, is broadcast nationwide on PBS. What do you enjoy most about making the show and how can viewers tune in?
LT: Thank you for asking! I love sharing tasty plant-based recipes, fun and fabulous music and compassionate lifestyle choices with the world! I am an entertainer at heart (I am also an actor and recording artist), so I’m most at home in front of the camera, recording a tune, or on stage. Helping people to cook delicious, vegan meals in their own home kitchen and receiving thousands of emails and Facebook posts from folks who have been helped to live a more enjoyable, healthy and happy life is certainly the greatest reward!
ARS: How is putting together a TV and radio show different from writing recipes for a cookbook?
LT: It is really one-in-the same. I choose from a list of about 300 to 400 recipes to put together each season of television and the companion cookbook. I choose themes for the 13 shows, by referencing recipes that I think people will love. Then I write the cookbook to reflect the theme of that television season. Of course, I include many more recipes in the cookbook than we can pack into a season of television. I love writing the show and the cookbooks!
ARS: You have such an interesting story outside of cooking as well! I'd love to hear about your theater and musical passions.
LT: I was a child actor and performed in over 40 musicals before I was 17 years old. I am a recording artist with 6 CDs out and another in the works to be released in 2016!
ARS: You are a busy woman! Do you have a favorite Big Apple vegan restaurant?
LT: Oh I do! I do love Blossom on Columbus! Thanks for the awesome opportunity to share my story, Allison!
You are so welcome, Laura. Thank YOU for taking the time to chat with me.
BONUS: Laura was kind enough to offer our readers a free recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse!
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mousse
By Laura Theodore
Makes 4 to 6 servings
This super creamy and delightful mousse will please the
chocolate and peanut butter fans at your table. Piped into
small dishes, this is one special treat.
½ cup nondairy milk
1 block (14 to 16 ounces) firm regular tofu, drained and cubed
3 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter
¼ cup vegan powdered sugar
½ cup vegan dark chocolate chips
1. Heat the nondairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming hot but not boiling.
2. Put the tofu, peanut butter and sugar in a blender container, then add the chocolate chips.
3. Pour in the steaming hot nondairy milk and process until completely smooth. Spoon or pipe the mixture into dessert dishes and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours. Serve chilled.
Photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky
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