Yahvinah and Azai
Yahvinah is holding her 2.5 year old son Azai, and three weeks after this photo was taken she gave birth to his little sister Tekia. Along with their dad, Darah, the whole family is vegan. Yahvinah is a top notch vegan chef and her delicious cooking always puts smiles on people's faces to match her own wide and cheerful grin.
Q: What made you become vegan and when?
Yahvinah: I was a student at the University in Chicago in 2001, I didn't even know any vegetarians. I was just trying to get by, and do well in my classes, but I was finding myself getting ill from the cafeteria's menu, specifically meat dishes. A friend of mine suggested that we should go vegetarian, and I thought, that seems like common sense, if something is making me sick, I probably shouldn't be eating it. So I became a vegetarian and immediately the sickness left, and my energy levels soared. When I cut out dairy, everything got even better for me, so I have had no looking back.
And Azai is a healthy and happy vegan toddler, everything I feed him is healthy and nutritious, and he doesn't crave other things.
Q: Whats your favourite meal?
Yahvinah: Vegan Burritos!
Q: What do you cook the best, do you have a favourite recipe you'd like to share?
Yahvinah: Well one dish that I enjoy is Zucchini Fritters:
1.5 Cup Flour
1 Cup Water
Salt and pepper to taste
Herbs - basil, parsley or oregano (optional)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
Oil for frying
1. Cut the zucchinis into batons
2. mix 1 cup water and 1 Cup flour, season mixture with salt and pepper
3. mix herbs with crumbs
4. dip batons into the plain half Cup flour to coat, then into the flour water mix, then into the breadcrumb/herb mixture
5. Shallow fry until crisp, serve with chutneys or Italian pasta sauces
Note: fresh breadcrumbs can be made by blending plain bread in a dry blender.
Q: Are many of your family and friends vegans?
Yahvinah: I know a lot of vegans and non vegans, but I would have to say most of my friends are vegan, and ALL of them are vegan friendly.
Q: What makes you happy?
Yahvinah: Spending time with my family, and doing creative things, with food, art and photography.
Q: What do you do to relax and unwind?
Yahvinah: I watch LOTS of movies, and I enjoy graphic design
Q: How do you keep fit?
Yahvinah: I am pregnant now, but after I give birth, I plan on returning to weight lifting, and joining my local netball team. (note: Yahvinah gave birth to a beautiful baby girl a couple weeks after this interview)
Q: Do you have a favourite movie/book/blog that inspired you that you'd like to share?
Yahvinah: Two blogs I really like are:Fat free vegan kitchen blog, and vegan lunch box
Q: Do you have a favourite restaurant?
Yahvinah: I really enjoy the food at Enlightened Cuisine located at 113 Queensbridge St, Southbank in Victoria.
Q:What's been the best part of being a vegan?
Yahvinah: The health benefits, and the peace of mind.
Q: Have you found any difficulties being vegan?
Yahvinah: At first I didn't really know what to eat, but as I progressed I found so many recipes, that now my biggest problem is choosing between them.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Yahvinah: Being vegan is a great choice, and I would recommend it to anyone, the health benefits, and environmental benefits are undeniable, and if you go with it, you will find yourself so much more creative in the kitchen, and confident. It's like a transformation!
Azai Morris, Vtoddler
Q: How long have you been vegan?
Azai: Since birth
Q: Why are you a vegan
Azai: Because the food I get is healthy and nutritious, and so I don't crave other things.
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