Vegan Cookbook Author Dreena Burton Talks Planted Expo

November 8, 2021

Dreena’s Kind Kitchen is the latest of many plant-based cookbooks penned by White Rock-based Dreena Burton. A guest speaker at the upcoming Planted Expo (November 20 and 21 in Vancouver), we chatted with Dreena about all things food! —Catherine Dunwoody

Hi Dreen! Have you participated in the Vancouver Planted Expo before?  

Yes, I spoke at the first expo. It was an energized event! There has been so much growth in the plant-based community in the past few years, it’s very exciting—and promising.

What will be the focus of your presentation as one of the speakers? 

I will be showing people how to make two easy and delicious holiday dishes: my Cornucopia Salad and Guinnessless Sheet Cake, both from my newest cookbook.

What do you think of Vancouver’s vegan food scene?

Vancouver offers quite a diverse spread of vegan food options! I don’t travel to the city often, but when we go as a family, we love to dine at Heirloom restaurant, MeeT and Virtuous Pie. And there are many places we haven’t yet tried (but really want to) including Mila, Chickpea and BeetBox. 

What advice would you give to someone who isn’t prepared to go full vegan? What shifts in their diet are best?

I like to remind people that they are already eating a lot of plant foods. Most people already eat fruit like bananas, apples, oranges and berries, grains like rice and oats and nuts like almonds and pistachios. And they may even be eating some beans and some variety of vegetables. So, think of broadening the spectrum of plant foods, rather than mere removal of foods. Every day, include more plant foods in your meals, rather than just eliminating meat and dairy. With that expansion comes new flavours and cuisines, and as your palate opens up (as it does when removing dairy and meat), your food will be even more flavourful and exciting. Trust the process and give it time.

Are most of your recipes in the new book gluten-free?

Many of the recipes in Dreena’s Kind Kitchen are gluten-free, but not all are gluten-free. My recipes utilize mostly whole plant foods and so many of those are naturally gluten-free. Almost all of my savoury recipes are gluten-free, but some of my baked goods use flours like spelt and whole-wheat pastry. I do have several gluten-free specialties in the book, including my Mythical Cheesecake—a vegan cheesecake that is also nut-free and oil-free—and my Crackle Blender Brownies, which are prepped fully in the blender and made with red lentils.



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