I’m Kelly Peloza: photographer, cookbook author, vegan baker, and blogger behind Seitan Beats Your Meat. I used to blog at The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, but 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 to practice 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. My first cookbook, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, was written in high school and then published in 2010. I began a self-directed book tour with 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 November 2013.
I hold a BFA in photography and writing from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and I do all the photography for my books and blog. My background is in fine arts and editorial photography, so the creative direction and photography of Seitan Beats Your Meat are hugely important to me. I thrive on learning and creative problem solving, so I think the most exciting parts of making food are recipe development, food photography, and writing. Cooking and baking aren’t so bad either (though I’d be thrilled to have a personal dishwasher or photo assistant at home).
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.
I currently live in the Chicago area with Gnocchi the bunny and Drake the dog keeping me company while writing, baking, and shooting. In my spare time, I love TV, crafts, yoga, reading, and travel.