HOLR is chatting with Hannah Sunderani to discuss her new cookbook The Two Spoons Cookbook.

In her debut cookbook- out May 31st- Hannah is sharing over 100 vegan dishes inspired by her time in France.

The Two Spoons CookBook is a must-read! It features a show-stopping blend of traditional recipes and trendy plant-based creations that reflect Hannah’s journey as a plant-based foodie in France. It also includes delicious, everyday recipes.

Today, HOLR is chatting with Hannah to learn all about The Two Spoons Cookbook- from some of her favourite recipes to how to assemble the perfect French charcuterie board- vegan-style.

Keep reading to learn all about Hannah, her plant-based lifestyle and her latest release!

Tell us about your new cookbook, The Two Spoons Cookbook.

The Two Spoons Cookbook showcases more than 100 vegan dishes – inspired by my time living in France (and where I started my blog, Two Spoons). 

The book is organized to take you through the day from beginning to end, to give you a real taste of what to eat in a day, starting with breakfast and ending with dessert.

It also features menu ideas to create brunches, sweet assortments for an afternoon tea party, memorable dinners, and unforgettable charcuterie boards with colourful dips, spreads, finger foods, and fauxmages! The recipes are made simple for every day and any occasion, and are intended for all eaters, whether you are vegan or simply trying to incorporate more plants into your diet.

Your cookbook features a ton of great recipes! We love that your flaky croissants and buttery brioche are prime examples that you don’t need to use butter to create your favourite baked goods. What are some helpful tips you can share on incorporating butter substitutes into vegan cooking/baking?

That’s right! You don’t need butter to create your favourite baked goods! The flaky croissants and buttery brioche are prime examples from The Two Spoons Cookbook because they taste like the real-deal. I’ve served them to many of my non-vegan friends and family and they, “can’t believe it’s vegan!” 

We’re so lucky to live in an era where vegan substitutes are becoming more and more like the real thing. The brioche and croissants recipe both use vegan butter as a substitute for traditional, but I also love using ingredients like coconut oil, used in My Darling Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies (p. 118) and olive oil for my Chocolate Almond Torte (p. 140) and my Feel Good Raspberry Muffins (p 146) as simple butter substitutes.

Why did you decide to adopt a plant-based lifestyle?

My adoption of a plant-based diet started from my struggles with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in my early 20’s. I didn’t have much luck with the medicinal route, so I turned to food for medicine. 

In doing so, I was introduced to a whole new way of cooking (not entirely vegan at the time, but very close). I couldn’t believe the positive impact it had on my digestion and how much better it made me feel! 

Then, when my husband and I moved to France I decided it was time for me to make the full transition to a plant-based diet; not only for my health, but because of the added benefits to the environment and animal humanity.  

Can you talk to us about your journey as a plant-based foodie in France?

Being vegan in France is a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it!? In a country that loves cheese, charcuterie and foie gras; I probably could have picked a better location! At times, it proved a real challenge, especially when travelling to smaller towns. But overall, it was a wonderful experience.

Regardless of my diet, I shared the foundational passion for cooking good food that’s rooted in French culture. I made use of the daily farmers markets, and conversed with vendors for tips to roast, slice and sauté seasonal produce. 

I also got to experience the vegan community flourish during my time in France, and made friends with owners of plant-based restaurants and little vegan shops. All-in-all, I’m grateful for my time spent in France as it really developed and honed my skills as cook and recipe developer.

With summer in full swing and entertaining occasions on the horizon, can you share some tips on how to assemble a French charcuterie board – vegan style

Absolutely! I have a whole section in my book dedicated to building show-stopping vegan charcuterie boards for L’Aperitif (cocktail hour). 

I love to give 3 easy tips when building out the perfect charcuterie board:

  1. Play with flavours: Sharing two or three types of vegan cheeses is a great way to play with flavour profiles. Try offering a creamy vegan cheese, like my Dreamy Cashew Cream Cheese (p. 155) with something bolder, like my Luxurious Baked Brie (p. 160). It’s a great opportunity to lead people through a flavour journey.
  2. Playing with colours: Nothing waters the palette better than a colourful spread! Think red and green grapes, pink radish, purple endive, cherry tomatoes, carrots and cucumber. I like to offer these with my Pink Beet Hummus (p. 168) and Golden Roasted Carrot Hummus (p. 171) for dipping. They really liven up a platter.
  3. Playing with texture: Cashew-based cheeses are often soft in texture, so I like to offset this with crunchy crackers, crisp grapes, and seasonal vegetables. I highly recommend my Super-Seedy Crackers (p.183), (which are gluten-free), as a base for spreading cheese and hummus.

Published by HOLR Magazine.