TasteMakers: Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry is an inspiration for all of us to take action.

The food activist, eco-chef, and author is doing more than his part to help make a more just, healthy, and sustainable food system. I first came across Bryant’s work when I moved to the Bay Area and he had just published first book, Grub. As I got more involved in the local food scene, I noticed his book popped up seemingly everywhere I turned. Reading that book was a big piece of my personal journey to become a more conscientious cook and a more eco-friendly eater and I’ve followed his work ever since. Though I don’t personally eat a vegan diet, I find that recipes like Bryant’s make eating meatless all that much easier and delicious.

He is this month’s TasteMaker because we can all learn something from where he’s been and the work he’s doing. He’s now splitting his time to spend more time with his daughter and she has become his muse for his work as you can tell from his interview below. Here’s a bit about Bryant and his latest project, but be sure to also check out his new web series, Urban Organic, and his latest book from which he generously shared this recipe for Chewy Lemon-Coconut Cookies with Lemon Icing.
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Sweet-Spicy Harissa Roasted Almonds

Aida Mollenkamp Healthy Easy Snack Recipe Roasted Harissa Almonds

I need a “pause” button for life. Last week, in 48 hours time, I flew from Los Angeles to New York to Los Angeles and finally to Hawaii, where I arrived beyond jet lagged. You’re probably thinking, “Hawaii, huh? Quit your complaining!” But, the reality is that I have a few more weeks of work ahead of me before I can really take a break. In the five days since I arrived on island, I’ve spent every waking moment indoors going line-by-line through the galley version of my cookbook. It’s an exhausting but necessary process that will bring the book one step closer to completion.

Needless to say, I’ve been in need of brain-food to keep me uber-focused and that where this recipe fits in. I wanted a roasted almond snack that’s a bit more exciting than almonds straight from the bag but quick enough to fit in my schedule. The result are these super low-fuss, but flavor-packed roasted nuts. They’d probably work fabulously as part of cocktail party or as a holiday gift, but, I won’t be thinking about those things for at least another 5 days. And, at the pace I’m going, that might as well be light-years away.


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Pomegranate-Vanilla Sparkler

Aida Mollenkamp Easy Recipe Pomegranate Vanilla Sparkler

One of the questions I’m asked most often is where I get inspiration for recipes. It’s a hard question to answer because most the time I know I’m inspired though I can’t really pinpoint why. Was it that trip I just took? That art show I just saw? The album I was just listening to? Or that hike I took the other day? Sometimes though I can pinpoint precisely where and when I got inspired, like with this non-alcoholic pomegranate-vanilla cocktail.

I worked with OpenSky to add these upcycled tumblers to my store because I’ve been giving them as gifts for my eco-conscious friends for the past few years and they’ve always been well received. When asked what I’d put in them, something bubbly and colorful came to mind and, in an effort to play up the festive nature of the green glass, I came up with this red-hued pomegranate soda.

For a homemade gift, you could gift the syrup in a large canning jar — perhaps even with a recipe for the drink and a few of the Bottlehood tumblers. If you’re feeling adventurous (and have a lot of spices on hand), go ahead and add a few cardamom cloves, or a star anise piece with the vanilla. And, if you haven’t yet had your fill of libations, feel free to spike it with a shot of your favorite booze — it’s safe to say either rum or bourbon would work especially well.


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Spinach Salad With Pears and Pomegranate

Raw Spinach Salad with Pears and Pomegranates Recipe

Some scoff at the idea of adding a salad to the Thanksgiving spread, but it’s an elegant way to start things off, and, if you’re watching your waistline, it’s an easy way to fill up on healthy calories before you dig into the rest of the meal. This seasonal salad works during the fall or winter, and brings a lot of festive color to the holiday spread with sliced pears, red onion, and tart pomegranate.
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Roasted Sweet Potato and Toasted Sage Dip

Aida Mollenkamp Easy Healthy Snack Recipe Sweet Potato and Toasted Sage Dip

My healthy-eating mantra is if you begin your meal off with a fiber-rich appetizer, you’ll fill up on healthy calories and eat better over the course of the night. So, I put that rule into effect when developing The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving menu and started things off with this Roasted Sweet Potato Dip and Toasted Sage Dip. It’s just a few ingredients yet packs tons of flavor and can accommodate almost any diet as it’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, lowfat, and low calorie.


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