Vegan Interrogated has come to be one of my favorite posts of the week. I love learning more about my fellow vegans and Cadry from Cadry’s Kitchen is no exception! I first discovered her website during Vegan MoFo 2012 when we were both interviewed by GiGi from Veganville. She is warm, endearing and you can just feel the love that goes into her recipes. I highly recommend you check it out! But first, read on to learn a little bit more Cadry!
Name: Cadry Nelson
Where Can We Find You on the Web?
I adore your blog, Cadry’s Kitchen. What made you want to start a vegan blog?
Writing has always been one of my favorite creative outlets. As a kid, I made a monthly “magazine” about pen pals. In high school, I worked on the school paper writing a column called Always Use a Condiment, where I reviewed local restaurants (before I was vegan). Then in college I took loads of writing classes and minored in English. Whether writing letters, sketches, non-fiction, or short stories, writing has always been something I did for pleasure. After I went vegan, I wanted to share with others how deliciously easy it is to be vegan and how much joy it brings to everyday life. It just feels good to live a compassionate life! So doing that online where one can easily connect with other curious or like-minded folks seemed like the obvious choice.
You’re a very creative person – your MoFo theme was so original and you also have an Etsy shop for your pottery. How does that creativity come into play in your kitchen?
What I love about cooking is that it is very immersive. It uses all of your senses – massaging the raw kale, smelling the fragrant roasted garlic, hearing the Vitamix whir the spinach to oblivion, tasting if a dish needs more lemon… In a world where many of us are tied to computers, phones, or other technology, cooking is single-focused. It requires you to be present. I love being in the kitchen and losing all sense of time, getting lost in the experience of cooking. First you get to play with your food, and then you get to eat it! It’s a win all around.
You used to live in L.A. and we share a lot of favorite restaurants here, but what restaurant have you fallen in love with in Iowa and what’s your favorite thing to order there?
In Iowa City there’s an all-vegan restaurant called Trumpet Blossom Café, where they focus on local and organic cuisine. On the weekends they offer brunch with things like biscuits and tempeh sausage gravy and Tofu Florentine with steamed kale smothered in a creamy cashew hollandaise. It always feels so indulgent and relaxing to have a leisurely, hearty meal after a trip to the Saturday farmers market. Plus, in small-town Iowa, there’s no waiting for an hour outside for a table before you can dig in!
You’re throwing a cocktail party, what’s the signature drink?
I would have to go with the Orange Creamsicle Cocktail. It’s actually a drink that my husband created one night when we were having gin and freshly squeezed orange juice. He suggested that we add vanilla soy milk to our glasses. I was initially put off by the idea, imagining that soy milk in a cocktail would be pretty gross. Far from it! It tastes just like those frozen Orange Creamsicles from summertime in your youth but in a grown-up form. Vanilla and orange were made for each other. http://cadryskitchen.com/2011/10/10/orange-creamsicle-cocktail/
What cruelty-free item in your closet could you not live without?
I absolutely could not live without my Vaute Couture coat. I got very used to the warm, sunny weather in Los Angeles, and so winter is definitely something I struggle with here. The coats from Vaute Couture are expensive, but they are incredibly well-made. Having something that keeps me so warm, especially when the temperatures are bitter cold, is a big help to my mood. Plus, during the winter months, you kind of live in your coat. That’s what people always see you in when you’re out and about. Having a staple that is beautiful and makes you feel good is important.
What has been your biggest take-away from living a more compassionate lifestyle?
The biggest take-away for me in living a more compassionate lifestyle is the awareness of how interconnected we are. I grew up with a Doberman Pinscher, Reggie. I was the youngest in my family and the only girl, and so Reggie and I spent a lot of time together. She was one of my best friends and dearest companions. Even as a child, I wouldn’t have been surprised that animals have emotions – likes, dislikes, fears, particular things that make them happy, ways they prefer to be held and touched. I knew all of those things about Reggie in the way that you do when you live with someone else and spend a lot of time together. So it really freed my spirit when I went vegan, because I was honoring that part of myself that already knew that like Reggie, other animals also had likes, dislikes, preferences, and whatnot. Of course a cow wants to keep her calf. Of course a chicken wants to go outside for a dust bath and to tend to her young. Of course a pig wants to roll in the mud. And of course, they all want to live out their natural lives free from fear. Knowing that I am doing my part to not contribute to the suffering of others is an expansive, hopeful, and joyous way to live.
Tell us a joke.
Did you hear about the new corduroy pillow? It’s making headlines!
He, he, he – good one! Thank you Cadry for sharing a little bit more about yourself. I’m totally with you on the Vaute Couture coats, they are amazing! I don’t have to use mine very often here, but sometimes I wear it anyway because it’s so cute