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Recipe From the Heart

CHS staff, Jeri Schneider, enjoys being in the kitchen. Cooking has become a big part of her daily life as it’s something that brings her comfort.

Since 1997, Jeri Schneider has explored many recipes to accommodate her vegan diet. At first, finding recipes was difficult, but as time went on, she found solid recipes and tweaked them to taste as good as she wanted them to.

Schneider loves to cook and bake and everything involving food. She enjoys perfecting her foods by veering off from recipes and exploring.

Having over 200 cookbooks — most of which are vegan — and Google, Schneider has a variety of recipes to choose from.

One dish Schneider loves to make over and over again is her alfredo sauce. Every time she makes it, it always tastes amazing. This has been a staple in Schneider’s life even be- fore she turned vegan; and when she wasn’t vegan, she made a tasty and creamy alfredo sauce that combined heavy cream, butter and egg yolks.

“It was completely unhealthy and had really heavy cholesterol and saturated fats,” Schneider said. “But it was so delicious.”

After steering away from many ingredients in her original recipe, Schneider wanted to make a vegan version of the alfredo sauce.

To make the vegan alfredo sauce, Schneider usually uses cashew cream instead of dairy milk. She still adds lots of garlic, a similarity between her vegan and non-vegan sauce. The sauce also includes mushrooms, plant milk — usually almond milk — sage and spices like nutmeg and pepper.

Schneider found a way to make her alfredo sauce using tofu as well. One helpful tip she’s learned is to taste the dish throughout the cooking process. This helps her be able to experiment and explore without a recipe and add what she thinks will make it better along the way.

Cooking has become part of Schneider’s daily life. Whenever she has a few hours of free time, she’ll make a list of things that she wants to do for the day. Almost always, there’s something on that list that involves her kitchen, whether it’s cooking or baking.

“I make something whenever I feel like it,” Schneider said. “It’s kind of an obsession.”

When she first became vegan, Schneider would often take a non-vegan recipe that she loved and substitute or leave out certain ingredients that didn’t fit in her new diet. Having explored the world of veganism enough to know what ingredients will work well together, Schneider’s love for cooking has grown even more.

For many homemade recipes, she has looked at a multitude of recipes, compared the basic ingredients and made sure she knew what flavors she wanted to have in the dish. Then, she’s able to whip up a delicious dish that is fitted to her preferences and can tweak it in whatever way she desires.

Cooking is a creative process for Schneider. She tries new things like tweaking dishes that she has made before, creating new foods or substituting ingredients based on what she has in her kitchen.

Schneider has always loved cooking, even from a young age. As a kid, Schneider would join her mom in the kitchen. Whether it was cutting an onion or stirring a pot, Schneider would have an enthusiastic energy to help out in the kitchen. She would ask her mom to teach her how to make some of her favorite dishes, and her mom happily obliged. Cooking with her mom is something they both enjoy doing together.

“We both just feel good when we’re doing it,” Schneider said. She enjoys the kitchen environment, as well as the creativity and relaxation that cooking brings.

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About the Contributor
Janaki Nallamothu, Journalist
Janaki Nallamothu is a sophomore at CHS. This is her first semester on staff and she's super excited. Outside of school, Janaki loves playing tennis, taking her dog on walks, baking, and playing the violin. Janaki can't wait to start her journalism journey at the Communicator.

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