Cooking Superstar

Vegan Recipes and Vibes

Cook along with #CookingSuperstar Sarah from Vegan Recipes and Vibes

Sarah Ottino
United States
Recipe Creator

When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?

I've been cooking ever since I was little, and I loved to cook my way through the Alpha-Bakery Gold Medal Children's Cookbook. It had a recipe for every letter of the alphabet, and the "E for Elephant Ears" was my all time favorite! This was basically biscuit dough with a ton of butter and cinnamon sugar on it, then rolled up, sliced, and baked. I've even created a vegan version of them! I've learned all my cooking skills from my mom, and we've had fun making Italian food together throughout the years. Now I'm teaching her my vegan tricks and enjoying creating new and different meals together!

What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?

My boyfriend and I currently work remotely, so we live out of Airbnb's during the week and camp in our Toyota Tacoma on the weekends. During the week, my kitchen sometimes consists of everything from a full oven to an espresso maker, and sometimes I only have a microwave! On the weekends we rely on our propane two-burner camp stove and a small tote of kitchen supplies. We move around very frequently, so it's a bit challenging to be in a new kitchen each week, but it's been so much fun to explore the country and try new restaurants, cook new meals, and eat local foods and produce.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?

If you try a new adventurous recipe, start small! I've made the mistake of making huge portions of new recipes, only to fail at the end. Then I'm stuck with a ton of leftovers of something I didn't care for. Not fun! So if you try a new recipe, I'd advise to maybe cut it in half, take your time, and follow the directions to a tee. But also don't let the fear of failure stop you from trying something new!

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?

I would invite Earthling Ed, a vegan activist who I've learned so much from over the years and who helped me to start my vegan journey. He's someone I can always turn to when I have a question about veganism, activism, or just want to keep up to date with what's happening in the community. He's helped to build a great brand around veganism and has created a lot of helpful educational materials and podcasts. He also recently opened up a sanctuary, so I would love to have dinner there of course :) I would cook my melt-in-your-mouth curry with a side of homemade spring rolls, and bring lots of veggies to feed the rescued animals!

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

Since we're constantly traveling, my hobbies change with the seasons and areas we're in. I enjoy lots of outdoor activities including snowboarding, skiing, surfing, hiking, and camping. When I had a permanent home, I greatly enjoyed crocheting, crafting, and refinishing trash-picked furniture. I've been into photography since I was little and enjoy snapping photos on my DSLR Canon camera. And of course cooking is at the top of my hobby list!

Which cooking blogs do you love to read?

So Vegan, Rabbits and Wolves, and Vegan Vogue

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

To anyone who is interested in learning more about veganism, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram (@veganrecipesandvibes) if you have any questions, need some advice or tips, or would just like to chat! :)

Sarah Ottino
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What's your favorite...

TV Show
Seinfeld, Breaking Bad, Outlander
Led Zeppelin, Cage the Elephant, Deer Tick
Sedona AZ, Savannah GA, Bend OR
Into The Wild, Finding Nemo, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Cook Book
I travel lightly so I don't own any cookbooks, but I love the So Vegan recipe blog!
Italian, Asian, Mexican
Tempeh, Pasta, Basil
Kitchen Gadget
My Bobble Press (a French press travel mug)! Perfect for making fresh coffee on the go.