I’m Kelly Peloza: Chicago-based photographer, cookbook author, baker, and vegan blogger behind Seitan Beats Your Meat. I used to blog at The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. After six years, I felt it was time to channel my energy into a new blog. The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur archives may be found here.
After becoming vegan as a teenager out of compassion toward animals, a fascination with baking followed. These passions, along with the online vegan community on The Post Punk Kitchen, inspired me to start a cookbook project. I wrote my first cookbook, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, in high school and then published it in 2010. I began a self-directed book tour and organized events in New York City, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Chicago, and my hometown of Grayslake, IL. My latest cookbook, Cheers to Vegan Sweets, was released in 2013. A new edition of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, which features a new cover and a brand new chapter, was released in 2016.
My background is in photography, and I am a full-time commercial photographer at Kelly Peloza Photo. Seitan Beats Your Meat is a place where I can experiment with food styling and other visual techniques without any rules. I thrive on creative problem solving. And I think the most exciting parts of making food are recipe development, food photography, and writing.
I believe dessert should be as decadent as possible, whether you enjoy it in moderation or regularly (pfft, healthy dessert?!). Tofu and egg replacer can turn people off of vegan baked goods, so I strive to use accessible, fresh ingredients in my recipes. I also think using black beans and kale in dessert is weird.
When I’m not working, photographing, cooking, baking, and blogging, you’ll find me spending time with family and friends, catching up on TV, reading, crafting, drinking coffee, vintage shopping, and ordering falafel from Sultan’s.
If you are a like-minded company or individual and have an idea, please check out the “Work with Me” page. Or email me below.
I know having my default email option as a contact form is The Worst. But can you believe how much spam email I get with an email address that contains “beatsyourmeat”? I even had to close my @seitanbeatsyourmeat.com address and switch to the slightly less professional Gmail. I want to spend my time having nice email conversations, not blacklisting every possible combination spammy email words. So here is a picture of my email address that you can use to type in manually. Alternatively, use the contact form below.
I submit to all of the following “food porn” sites: