Its rare to find a vegan chef, let alone a really good one! This is Knives and Needles first vegan chef feature, Mary of Nom Yourself! Her food looks amazing and she loves tattoos; so please read, enjoy and be inspired to step out of your animal-product box!
Molly: Tell me about yourself, please include what you are doing now
Mary: I am a 27 year old vegan cook living in NYC. I am currently developing recipes for my second cookbook that is currently untitled, and promote my first cookbook Nom Yourself – The Cookbook. I run nomyourself.com and advocate home cooking.
Molly: I always want to advocate to cook at home as well, especially these days. Have you always been vegan?
Mary: I haven’t. I actually became vegan 14 months ago while living in Baltimore, Maryland. I started teaching myself how to cook and found that adding meat and dairy to my dishes was actually taking away from the flavor of all these amazing fruits and vegetables I was buying from the farmers market. Most people find veganism through animal rights or health reasons. I found it through cooking.
Molly: Very cool! How did you get into developing Nom Yourself?
Mary: I started posting pictures of the food I was making on my personal Instagram account. Then a friend suggested I start a website. Within a week I had a thousand followers and a new love for the internet.
Molly: What a great idea! So on to tattoos. What was your first tattoo and what inspired you to get tattooed?
Mary: My first tattoo was a star I got when I was 16. Reading Andrew Parsons interview on Knives & Needles is making me think this is what a lot of people in our generation would answer. I wanted to get tattooed because my family did and still does mean the world to me. I wanted to make it permanent and have something that would remind me of that. So, I got the star to represent the 5 people in my family. I went to some seedy place in downtown NYC and probably used a fake ID. It was less about art and more about being a rebel child than the tattoos that came after.
Molly: Haha! Who would you want a tattoo from if you could get tattooed by anyone right now? And what would you get?
Mary: Dave Wah at Stay Humble Tattoo Company, from Baltimore. The work he does is just fascinating. I would have him do my whole fruits & vegetables sleeve. Bright, vibrant veggies. Arugala, Rainbow Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Avocados, Kale, Onions, all of it!
Molly: Food tattoos!! Do you ever go to any tattoo conventions? If so, which ones and did you have fun?
Mary: I went to the Baltimore Tattoo Convention last year. It was a blast, but short lived. I was only there for about an hour. I’m hoping to go to the NYC Tattoo Convention in March.
Molly: Who else do you admire in the tattoo industry?
Mary: Trevor Friedrich, who did my side. A truly multi-talented human being. Ashley Thomas, from Atomic Tattoo in Austin, TX. She’s vegan and rad. I’d love to sit in her chair and just shoot the shit and talk life.
Molly: Do you own any tattoo magazines?
Mary: I don’t. Mainly because I have the worst Wanderlust. My address is ever changing. I’ll pick up Inked every once in a while.
Molly: A girl after my own heart! What style of tattooing do you love the most?
Mary: I love black and grey portraits. With the exception of the vibrant vegetable sleeve, I would cover my whole body with black and grey tattoos.
Molly: Any vegan tips for beginners?
Mary: Teach yourself how to cook. A lot of vegans get frustrated because its inconvenient to eat out. Teaching yourself how to cook will not only make it easier for you to transition into a vegan lifestyle, but you’ll also find yourself getting creative and you feel a sense of pride with every meal. Your kitchen becomes your art studio.
Great advice, Mary, thank you!!
Mary wanted to share a recipe with all of us today, Salted Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie! Here is the link to the recipe on her website as well: http://www.nomyourself.com/#!salted-caramel-apple-pumpkin-pie-recipe/c1m7o
Enjoy and try it out, you just might be pleasantly surprised at how “unvegan” it tastes!
Salted Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbs. organic granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegan margarine
2 Tbs. vegetable shortening
3 Tbs. cold water
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 cup organic pumpkin pie puree
3 Tbs. all purpose flour
2 Tbs. organic light brown sugar
1 Tbs. organic granulated sugar
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Apple Pie Filling
2 medium granny smith apples
2 medium pink lady apples
1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
1/3 cup organic brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of salt
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
3 Tbs. vegan margarine
1 tsp. sea salt, coarse
1) Mix flour, sugar and salt in a small bowl until well combined.
2) Add in margarine and shortening while you mix it all together with your hands. Keep kneeding until all ingredients are crumbled.
3) Slowly add cold water 1 Tbs. at a time and mix with your hands until dough is a ball.
4) Wrap the ball in saran wrap and put it in the refridgerator while you work on the pie fillings.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1) Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until combined.
2) Set bowl aside.
Apple Pie Filling
1) Peel, core and thinly slice apples. If you have a mandoline, use it! Thin apples make the perfect filling. Place the apples in a large bowl with the lemon juice.
2) Add brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt.
3) Gently toss until apples are coated.
4) Set bowl aside.
Bring it all together
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) Take pie crust out of the refrigerator and roll out onto a floured countertop with a rolling pin.
3) Once the size of the outer rim of your pie dish, place the dough in the pan. When you get the edges, make sure there is no dough hanging over, or on the sides. Keeping your crust on the inside of the pan and off the rim, keeps the crust from burning.
4) Pour pumpkin pie filling into crust and smooth out until even.
5) Neatly place apples on top of pumpkin filling.
6) Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. (Some of you may be confused here because on my instagram video, I poured the caramel sauce in right before this step. After making it a second time, I feel the best outcome is making the sauce right before serving.)
7) Let cool overnight, or at least 5 hours.
8) Once chilled, proceed to Salted Caramel sauce directions.
Salted Caramel Sauce
1) In a non-stick skillet, combine sugar and water over medium-low heat and mix until the sugar is dissolved.
2) Increse heat and bring to a boil, without stirring.
3) Boil until the liquid is a deep amber color, 5-7 minutes.
4) Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in coconut milk, vegan margaine and salt.
5) Pour in a heat safe dish and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
6) Once cooled, top pie with your favorite ice cream (mines Vanilla!) and pour caramel sauce over it, and ENJOY!
Thank you Mary, this looks amazing!
Don’t forget to post your finished product on instagram, facebook or twitter and tag me in it when you’re done! I’d love to see your creations and what you think. @nomyourself or @knivesandneedles !