Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Have you read any of Jo's books? Please send comments to Jo. Your comments may appear on this web site in the future.

Dear Jo,

My family is no longer split-vegetarian! My husband crossed over and became a vegetarian, too. He did this on Nov. 9, 2005, for my son's birthday. My son is three and very vocal about not eating meat. My son was so happy and proud of his father. I never would have thought that a child so young could care so much about an issue, but he does.

I'm writing to you about this because I know YOU made this possible. Every single recipe I've made that you created has been a tremendous success. My husband considers me to be the best cook he's ever known. In truth, that individual is you. You make me look like a raving success in the kitchen, and we are a happier household for it.

Thank you for understanding what an integral part of life eating is. People have so many emotional issues attached to food -- what they are or aren't willing to give up, that food was used in place of love in childhood, or comfort after mistreatment. Your care with making food a compassionate and enjoyable part of life has made my life easier. Thank you!

With deepest gratitude,
Rachél C.

Hi Jo,

I'm a vegan Brit with an addiction for recipe books, but yours stand out and so many of your recipes have been an inspiration.

I particularly love The Saucy Vegetarian -- genius! Give me a stick blender and I can now whip up a feast in minutes.

Keep up the good work.

Kind regards,

Dear Jo,

Thank you for being you and for existing--you are one of those people who touch the lives of others without even meeting them. From your advice on your Web site to your cookbooks, you make life as a vegan so much easier. I got The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and Table for Two this past Christmas and I can't keep them in my house. It seems that I am always loaning them out to people the second they tell me they are vegetarian or vegan. I worked in a vegetarian restaurant, and Ultimate Uncheese made the rounds to everybody who worked there (usually I would be approached by someone who would say,: "I hear you have this amazing cheese book"). Thank you for having such a positive impact on my life. Take care and keep up the amazing work.

Matthew K.

I have been reading your Q&As and I really enjoy them. As a vegan, I get these type of questions all the time and sometimes it is difficult to explain the answers to people. You have made it a lot easier to put the words together. Thanks! I have a seven-year-old daughter and she is also vegan and she loves it. Kids in school ask her about it and she tells them, "My mom can make what you had for dinner last night and turn it vegan for me." I just love this way of life. I feel healthier and enjoy knowing that my child is growing up strong and healthy.


Dear Jo,

I absolutely love your cook books. Your recipes turn out so much like the food I remember as a child that I am amazed.

My grandmother (mother's side) made lockshun kugel just like the recipe in the Ultimate Uncheese Book. My Aunt Debbie made chopped herring just like the recipe in the Vegan Deli. The Cottage Salad in the Vegan Deli tastes just like my grandmother on my father's side made. They have all been gone for many years now, so it is wonderful that I can re-live these tastes, but without the cheese and eggs that these foods were made with. I just made your recipe for gouda cheez, and it turned out delicious. Although, I never had it as a child, I love your onion, horseradish dill cheez. Your vegan chopped liver, made with green beans tastes so real. I laughed when I saw that you have a recipe for split pea soup with frankfurters. My family didn't make that, but I ate that many times at friend's homes. Your noodles and cheese, made with bow tie noodles reminds me of the time I spent with my grandmother, in the Bronx. You have really made my vegetarian life wonderful. These are really comfort foods for me.

I truly respect what you are doing for veganism. I know you are making a big difference in the lives of people and animals.

Irwin D.

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank you for your lucid remarks on veganism, especially in response to the question about film and other animal by-products. I have just discovered your site and enjoy it tremendously.

Thank you!
Noel (student, vegetarian, aspiring vegan)

I just wanted to tell you I really enjoy your site and have gained some great knowledge, most recently, the piece on "Picture Perfect". I feel that you made some very profound comments and I will reflect on them as I continue my path to veganism.

Keely S.

Dear Jo:

Your recipes are AWESOME! You enabled my husband and me to go one step further and become vegan about three years ago. We adore your recipes and we have even “fooled” some of our friends with them. I took your Gee Whiz Spread (from The Uncheese Cookbook) to a party, and one man wanted to know what delicious cheeses I had mixed together! The group also loved your Walnut Praline Cheeze Pie. I put pure strawberry preserves on top and everyone thought it really was cheesecake. I’ve told many people about your recipe books and how to order them for their own cooking adventures.

Thanks again, and most of all thanks for helping us to become vegan -- I'm not sure we could have done it without YOU!

Jackie S.

Not so much a question as a thanks. I have been a vegetarian for 9 years and recently decided to go vegan because of a strange rash I had for four months. I eliminated and altered skin products and then decided to change my eating. Because of meditational messages, I had been contemplating harmlessness for weeks and working to live this ideal as my reality. When I took the plunge and became vegan I naturally looked for books that would help me in a realistic way. I found a great wealth of information in your books, but most importantly that veganism is a philosophy as well as a lifestyle. Harmlessness, Ahimsa is the capstone of the philosophy, and when I realized this I knew that my body was telling me to make a transition, it was obvious that I was led here. Of course the rash which I had for four months went away and I have incredible amounts of energy. It is difficult to work with others so that they will understand what they see as fanaticism, but I am inspired by the philosophy of veganism which works perfectly with, and is enhanced by my spiritual foundation. Thank you so much for your great work, you are appreciated.

C. N.W., Michigan

I've just discovered your wonderful website after having borrowed Vegan Vittles and The Vegan Sourcebook from the library. What prompted me to investigate these books was information given to me by a co-worker about Farm Sanctuary and the wonderful work they do. I promptly sent off a dontation to Farm Sanctuary and will shortly order the above two books from you (with plans to order more).

Your books were just what I needed to make the transition from vegetarian to vegan. For the sake of the beautiful animals and the health of the earth I will now have the resources to enjoy healthy, tasty vegan meals while listening to the voice in my heart that has been urging me to adopt a vegan lifetstyle for some time.

Christine A., Ohio

My husband and I regularly use Vegan Deli, Ecological Cooking, and Vegan Vittles. Your cookbooks have truly changed our lives! As we have just had a baby girl, nutrition has been more important to us than ever, and we have never eaten so much delicious food, besides. So many people think that because we're vegan we don't eat anything good, but my husband and I agree that we have never eaten such a delicious variety of food. We love to cook, and eating has become a truly enjoyable family activity for us. Knowing we are doing the best we can to create a sustainable planet, cruelty free, makes the food taste that much better. Thank you so much!

Katrina, Jimmy, and Juniper

I love your cookbook! Though not vegan myself, I tend to eat like one most of the time. Every recipe I've tried in your book has been scrumptious! And I also appreciate how you illustrate the impact meat-based diets have on the planet as well as human health. I don't believe that any one diet is right for everyone, but I do think that animal products are alarmingly over-consumed. Whenever I get the chance, I tell people about Ecological Cooking, and I hope it impacts others as positively as it's impacted me.

Thank you for your genuine concern for the planet and all the life that shares Her. And thanks also for your obvious love of food.


I don't usually write to people just because I like their books, but I'm making an exception in this case because I'm particularly impressed with your recipes. I've had your Uncheese Cookbook for about a year now, and I feel as though I couldn't live without it. I'm vegetarian, not vegan, but within a year have managed to stop eating meat completely, cut back to minuscule amounts of egg, and drastically reduce my cheese intake. Although I still prefer real cheese on a pizza, in most cases I would rather use one of your uncheeses simply because they're more flavorful than the real thing. Since I was so impressed with your Uncheese Cookbook, I just very recently purchased The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook (I think the first book has created an addiction to yeast flakes for me). I made your Roasted Breast of Seitan Turkey last night for dinner, and it was incredible. I've never been a big turkey fan, but I will be making this for dinner often. It was a hit with the whole family.

I usually don't get much more from cookbooks than inspiration. I browse the recipes but take off in my own direction, but that's not the case with yours. I think you're a fabulous cook and that shows in your recipes. You're very much appreciated. Thank you.

Theresa L.

There is something amazing about your recipes! I need to let you know how different and special your recipes are. They are more than just recipes. I will find this hard to explain, but they are somehow nurturing. All of my cooking books are Vegan by many different authors, but yours is different. Whenever I make a recipe from The Vegan Sourcebook it feels like something of gentleness comes over me. I am more thoughtful, more gentle as I go, and I also treat the ingredients more preciously. Your measurements seem so precise (without being up tight), as though they have been carefully measured, but not mathematically calculated. The instructions are careful and observant. I know that all recipes advise quantities of ingredients, as that is part of what a recipe is, but there is something very different with the message received in yours. Everything feels valued.

I wish I could make sense of the whole experience of cooking with your recipes and give words to it. But something doesn't allow me to because it is that element of the cooking with one's whole being that feels like it goes beyond cooking. I connect somewhere differently to a place that I feel these recipes came from when I cook with them.

Well, even if I can't make it sound right, it certainly feels right to cook with your book so far. My husband loves whatever I prepare for him from The Vegan Sourcebook -- he even speaks differently about your food (without knowing which of my many Vegan cook books it may have come from). Your food has more than just TLC -- one can sense the Compassion, Loving, Kindness, and it takes me to another place and that's not in the physical sensual experience of the food. But the food *is* absolutely delicious. Interestingly, I have not over-indulged in your food. It seems too perfect, and it would almost be blasphemous to do so. (I hope this is not sounding too weird).

I especially love the Hot Spiced Milk, and will often make it before bed to feel really nurtured.

Your recipes are like being gently rocked in the arms of compassion even though I'm the one standing in the kitchen, over the stove, doing the cooking! Thank you for what's gone into your recipes -- they are more than just that.


Just a note to let you know how much I really appreciate your Vegan books. I've just ordered Vegan Deli, Ecological Cooking, and Compassionate Living to complete the family. Your cookbooks have never failed to produce tasty results and, most especially, do not require many hard-to-find ingredients, which is a BIG BONUS for those of us who have limited access to big city health food stores. I've enjoyed your books for their simplicity, humour, warmth, and ease of use, and I encourage you to write even more!


I just wanted to tell you how much I've enjoyed your books over the last two months -- Being Vegan, The Vegan Sourcebook, as well as several of your cookbooks, including The Uncheese Cookbook, Table for Two, which is perfect for me and my wife, who have no children, and The Saucy Vegetarian.....

The last two months have been quite a journey for me. [Several months ago] I was still occasionally frequenting McDonald's, ordering Big Macs with fries and Coke, and super-sizing it! For the past two months, I haven't eaten an ounce of animal flesh and have ingested nearly no animal products. For me it was less of an epiphany and more of an idea that had been simmering on the back burner for a while, which reached a full boil when my wife decided to give up meat for Lent. In late March, after having gotten used to vegetarian meals at dinner, I proposed that we try to continue this after Easter. After convincing myself that meals would not be boring (by putting together a list of all the vegetarian meals we cooked together since knowing each other for over 12 years), I was on my way.

After reading your books, and others....there was simply no turning back ... in fact, there was a natural progression forward with vegetarianism leading into veganism within days. After eating animal flesh for nearly 39 years, I am confident that I will never go back. I've already lost over 15 pounds (I'm below 160 pounds for the first time since college), 1.5 inches off my waist and (incredibly) I have lost nearly all traces of the terrible seasonal allergies that I experienced since boyhood -- and given the fact that this spring was the worst on record (with pollen counts in excess of 5000 when 500 is deemed dangerous), I am seeing immediate quality-of-life improvements. In a way I'm coming to realize once again that what goes around comes around -- eating animals is morally wrong, and those who continue doing so must eventually face the consequences ... and they do.

Let me thank you once again for your inspiring writings which I have found to be both compelling and compassionate. Keep up the great work.

Dan B., New Jersey

I want to let you know that I think The Vegan Sourcebook is wonderful! It covers every aspect of veganism in a concise and simple manner. I think I'll start loaning it to acquaintances who ask me why I'm vegan. Thanks for putting together such a complete reference manual!

Jen B., USA

Wow! Your site is great! I've just come across it whilst looking for some reference material for a discussion I was having regarding veganity on a message board, and I've learnt a lot of stuff I didnt know about the origins of the term and the principles that I try to apply in my life. Thanks very much!

Alan B., New Zealand

Your information concerning ethical, moral and philosophical issues is greatly appreciated and respected. It is hard in these modern times of media orientated and socially stereotyped worlds to find a genuine opinion that addresses concerns that are relevant to us all. Your passion for veganism and humane acts is overwhelmingly overdue. Thank you for your compassionate expressions and having the drive to be able to share all your knowledge.

Rowena A., Sydney, Australia

Thank you for your books (Being Vegan and The Vegan Sourcebook) -- they have helped so much to inform and support me as I move from being a vegetarian on and off and sometimes struggling with the choice. In England at the moment we are witnessing the most dreadful murder and carnage with Foot and Mouth and it has led me to inform myself. I hope to take the final step and never go back. I feel with your books and the images from television and joining various organisations I will have the decency to opt out of animal products wherever possible. I have simply had enough of being a part of their inescapable suffering. Thanks again for your gentle, kind, and deeply inspiring words.

Barbara W., Taunton, UK

I have read both the Vegan Sourcebook and Being Vegan, and I had to write to say you have a fan for life! It's been so helpful to not only learn about vegan nutrition or get recipes, but to really read in depth about the vegan way of life. Reading both books has strongly reinforced my decision to be vegan!

Dina K., Phoenix, Arizona

I really enjoy your work. I recently read Being Vegan and have started The Vegan Sourcebook. I also picked up Vegan Vittles from Farm Sanctuary. These books are wonderful and have helped me a great deal. Thank you for them, and thank you for being such an inspirational and compassionate human being.

Chris P., Sacramento, California

I wanted to write you a fan letter (my first ever) because I just finished reading The Vegan Sourcebook, Being Vegan, and three of your cookbooks (from which I have made many recipes). You are such an intelligent writer! I really feel supported in my new vegan lifestyle by your materials. I feel a weight lifted, and I feel part of a community through your writings....Thanks so much. You are a blessing to me!

With gratitude,
Constance M., Pennsylvania

Years ago I made a decision to become a vegetarian, but more and more I find "hidden" animal ingredients in things other than food (although there seem to be many in our food), and have worked toward eliminating them.

I've read your articles on the Web -- thanks for those. You are a shining star for so many, and I, for one, am very thankful you're there. There aren't enough resources to help people make informed decisions about [being vegan]... I may be just one person, but I can make a difference by the choices I make. It would be wonderful if more people could realize that, and I think you help immensely. Thank you for doing what you're doing. Folks like me need and appreciate it -- it's worth far more than the cost of your books!

Nancy M., Minneapolis, Minnesota

I have just completed Being Vegan, and I thought it was great! Splendid! I enjoyed It from beginning to end. "Thumbs up!" Thanks much!

- Debra S., USA

I love your book!!! I am a young vegetarian, and it gave me a good insight. I am 12, and kids all wonder why I don't eat meat. I just tell them, you know, you are eating a dead animal when you eat meat. Then they understand!

- A good fan

I recently purchased Vegan Vittles and I LOVE it.... Your writings inspire me and your recipes make my taste buds dance! I'm so grateful that there are people like you on this planet -- you give me hope and put joy in my life.

- Lynn W., Ontario, Canada

I have recently started to change my views on eating. Over the past several months I stopped eating beef and chicken and then gradually fish as well. It wasn't long before I realized that I was a vegetarian. I started talking with some friends and they recommended The Vegan Sourcebook to me. It has literally changed my life. What started out as a health-based diet change has become something more meaningful and personal. After eating and living a certain way for over 30 years, learning how to live a vegan lifestyle will take some time. I have made that first step, and that was due in great part to you.

- Rad B., San Francisco, California

I just wanted to take opportunity to offer some positive feedback on The Vegan Sourcebook and your positive influence. We have close friends and family who, although may not go vegan, have adopted alot of our changes and opened their minds and are becoming more aware -- which is a first big step. I have an incredibly close extended family that I am blessed to have and even my only brother who is 34 now has given up all meat and dairy in his diet. Please know that people do notice your work and appreciate the information. What ignorance we have lived in for so long and trust me when I tell you that I would have been the last person every thought to turn vegetarian, let alone vegan. I thank you and the others in the vegan community for informing us and educating us on all the nutritional, diet, humanitarian, and environmental information. Personally, my family does not like to consider our new and progressing changes to be any form of a diet, rather, we think of it as a developmetal, life-changing point in our lives. I think many people truly want to do right and be healthier and are compassionate, they just become so bombarded with the hidden agendas, propaganda, and blind faith in the powers that hand feed us misinformation. We all can make a difference through sharing our own continually growing knowledge on the issues, and as your book stated in one of it's quotations: Once the curtain is open and we see behind it, we can not pretend we don't know. You have a great gift with your writing.

- Victoria B., Newport News, Virginia

I have long admired your work in the spreading of information on veganism and related subjects while enjoying many of your recipes on a daily basis (I have had friends baffeled-thinking there was no way some of the uncheezes were dairy-free!!) I first encountered the Sourcebook in Boulder, Colorado when my roomate at the time allowed me to read a copy. I found myself quite often bringing up some issues that were covered in the book. I think the book is insightful and a must for any person wanting a true source for clear and concise answers to almost any question on veganism.

- Sam P., Kapaa, Hawaii

Just a quick Thank You for all your help in the past year answering questions on veganism. I feel as if you are our life line with only being vegan for a year and a half now. We are, however, loving every minute of it and with your help it has become soooo much easier.

- Karen S. and Family, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada

You truly are a Vegan Culinary Genius!! I have 6 of your books and they are all incredible. The Saucy Vegetarian has really changed my life in the kitchen - it has been my most recent purchase. Table for Two has been a life-saver when it comes to making yummy and exciting breakfasts and lunches for my toddler and myself. Vegan Vittles, The Uncheese Cookbook, and The Vegan Sourcebook have been my bibles since becoming vegan. The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook has shown me lots of great ways to include my FAVORITE vegan ingredient (I just LOVE the stuff!!) in my cooking. I have twelve other vegan cookbooks besides yours (yes, TWELVE!), and yours are the only ones where the recipes consistently TURN OUT, are DELICIOUS, and are EASY and FUN to make! Thanks for doing such wonderful work!

- Tracey R., Portland, Oregon

I just wanted to thank you for your website, especially your question and answer section. I have not checked out your books but plan to do so. Your intelligence and compassion shine through. It helps to have a vegan role model-- veganism is a way of life but can be very alienating sometimes. Thanks!

- Tracy D., Austin, Texas

I made the decision to go vegan while reading the intro to Vegan Vittles. Everything clicked. I guess I never realized that cows only give milk after birthing. I thought, well, they always give milk so it is a natural part of the process of their lives. Your words suddenly stunned me and made me realize my part in contributing to the horrors of the veal industry by consuming dairy products. I have been vegan almost eight months now and cannot foresee, in good concience, ever going back to my old lifestyle. I sing your praises to veggies who are contemplating the switch but are trying to solidify the reasons (to others and themselves). Thank you for illuminating my life!

- Marlene S., Sacramento, California

I have always loved cooking, but I have to admit that when I first became vegan I was a bit intimidated with the prospect of such an extreme change in our eating habits. But because of our love for animals, I was determined to make the change a success. I have benefitted the most from The Uncheese Cookbook and especially Vegan Vittles. Cooking has long been a way of expressing my love for my family. Cooking vegetarian makes it an even more emotional experience and totally vegan meals puts it all "over the top." I can't tell you how much it touches my heart to read your expressions of love and compassion for animals with each of your recipes. And of course, all the Farm Sanctuary stories with each chapter. I've read them over and over and never tire of them.

Not a week goes by that I don't use those two cookbooks and, believe me, I have MANY cookbooks and recipes. I've accumulated quite a collection in 29 years of marriage. Frequently used recipes are Smoked Crock Cheeze, Edna's Peach Kuchen, Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce, Tofu Mayo and Sour Cream, Oven Roasted Tom Tofu, Miracle Black Bean Soup, Hungarian Mushroom Soup, All Season Blend...I think you get the idea. I think our hands down favorite tho is Southern Fried Tofu. My family starts crying and whining with withdrawl symptoms if we don't have it at least once every other week. If our house were on fire, I think one of the things one of us would have to save is my Vegan Vittles Cookbook. (Hopefully, that scenario will never be a reality!)

I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate you indirectly being a part of our lives. Your recipes and insightful input have helped make being vegetarian even more enjoyable and rewarding. Thank you so much for all your efforts in behalf of those who have no choice with their lives.

- Debbie G., Cape Coral, Florida

There is no question that I haven't found the answer to on either your website or your latest work The Vegan Sourcebook when making the transition from vegetarian to vegan and pondering over the ignorance about and constant injustices to our earth. A truly enlightening experience! Thank you!

- An admirer

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