Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rachael Ray

I know that quite a few of you out there dislike Rachael Ray. I've always been able to see the glass half full when it comes to her because she takes the time to create vegetarian recipes and a multitude of her recipes are very easily veganized. While I was on the lovely vacation that I just took, I watched her daytime talk show every day. Over the last 2 weeks, she had 3 vegan snacks of the day (one of her daily segments is to plug a snack product and she gives each audience member a sample of that product): Divvies Kettle Corn, Bittersweet-ness granola by Feed Granola Co., and Betsy & Claude Baking Co.'s Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Cookies (I'm not counting the olive oil potato chips she had one day or it'd be 4).

Also over those 2 weeks, Rachael made two dishes that are completely vegan if you leave out the garnish of parmesan at the end: Mushroom Ragout and Caponata She featured several more recipes throughout the 2 weeks that could be vegan by substituting vegan butter and vegan parmesan for the dairy varieties.

What's more, she had Dr. Phil's wife, Robin, on one show to bake her favorite Christmas cookies, which just happen to be vegan!

While this post is not intended to be a love note to Rachael Ray, I think it's important to recognize that she is very enthusiastic about creating vegetarian recipes. She also refers to vegetarians as "meat free-ers," which I think is an affectionate term with a nice connotation. It's true that, in general, she is unabashed about her love for meat and dairy and I don't support her in that at all. However, she is helping integrate vegetarian meals into the American diet in her own way and I think every bit of help counts.


Anonymous said...

Glad you saw those Rachael Ray shows, too. Rachael should have made a bigger deal out of Divvies Kettle Corn. Not only is it vegan, but it is made in a dedicated nut-, milk- and egg-free facility, so it is safe for people with serious food allergies.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I don't really watch food shows, but my mom does, so I'll see one every now and then. On the last Rachael Ray show I saw, she made roasted chick peas that sounded so good I went and made them that same day!

Rural Vegan said...

I'm not a RR fan, but I do watch her show sometimes for giggles. My only problem with her "vegetarian" meals is that she sticks anchovies or fish products in a lot of them and still calls them vegetarian. Oh well, we can't win them all, eh?
Happy Holidays!

Jenni (aka Vegyogini) said...

Hmm, I've never heard her refer to a seafood-infested dish as "vegetarian." That's one of my pet peeves. In fact, I won't even go near a Moosewood cookbook because it bothers me so much that they call their cookbooks vegetarian even though many of them contain seafood recipes.

Thanks for stopping by, Vegan with Food Allergies! You're right about the precautions that Divvies makes. My brother has severe peanut and seafood allergies, so I understand the importance of those safety measures.

I'm surprised you don't watch food shows,'re such a foodie that I figured you would. Glad to hear that she made roasted chickpeas on her show once. Maybe she's been paying attention to Dreena's blog & cookbooks!

Liz Ranger (Bubble Tea for Dinner) said...

that's interesting... I watch her show sometimes when I think I'll be okay with the cuteness and lingo-y words for a while, but I'd never noticed if her dishes were veganizable or not. I guess I'll pay more attention! (it might have been all the ground beef being thrown around that told my subconcious that rayray ain't a recipe source)

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

While it IS great that she's featuring vegan-friendly "snacks of the day" and such, it irks me that for the majority of her "just for vegetarians" dishes are smothered in cheese and other dairy products. I used to be able to tolerate her, but she's definitely gotten overly annoying over the years (I own the first season of "30 Minute Meals" on DVD - yes, guilty as charged, haha - and in the very first episode, RR is so calm and collected, you'd SWEAR that she was a completely different person. I miss that version of her!!)

Ruby Red said...

so it's not a coincidence that there's a completely vegan recipe on the second page of rachael's new cookbook... my sister got it for christmas and i was looking through it skeptically, and i was quite surprised to find several vegan and vegetarian recipes. it's cool that she's been endorsing a few vegan snacks... but don't we all wish she would drop the meat and dairy thing and turn her nationally-aired cooking show into a vegan-only one!

Ashasarala said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by! I haven't tried to make the brownies from 'Joy of Vegan Baking' yet, but I do know that she got them from 'Sinfully Vegan' and tweaked it a bit. Do give the rest of the book a try. A lot of those recipes haven't let me down yet. :)

I'll definitely post the hot chocolate recipe in my next update!

I guess some people do roll their truffles in baking cocoa, but everyone that tried mine said the cocoa was too strong and I agree- it is very bitter. I think, idealy, people roll truffles in sweetened cocoa. I might just say heck with it and roll mine in sugar next time!

Personally, I am annoyed by Rachel Ray's on-screen personality for no good reason at all. Sometimes people rub ya the wrong way, you know? But you're right. It is still awesome that she looks out for the vegetarians.

Traci Anne said...

I have to say, I LOVE her magazine and talk show, but I'm not as much of a fan of her cooking shows... makes no sense, I know! I do like her though, I'm a fan of bubbly cooks! Anyway, just discovered your blog and I'm already a fan! :)