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15 Minutes With Candice Hutchings, Author of ‘The Edgy Veg’

YouTube star Candice Hutchings recently launched her cookbook, The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore Approved Vegan Recipes, featuring a vegan take on favourite comfort foods. Think Half-Baked Mac and Cheese, Famous Edgy Veg Fried Chicken and Buffalo Cauliflower Wings – these veggie recipes are far from boring! 

We caught up with Candice this week.

SDTC: What’s at the top of your bucket list?

CH: Moving to a Euro-cultured, hot climate country and living on the ocean in a small to mid-sized town or city. Obviously, I haven’t found that perfect town or city yet, but I’m working on it.

What’s your go-to song for getting stuff done?

“Killing in the name of” by Rage Against the Machine. [Editor’s note: Same!]

What advice would you give to your fourteen-year-old self?

Stop caring so much about what other people think. If they don’t get it, that’s probably a good thing. I often remind myself of this advice even now.

Who has made a big impact in your life recently, and how?

I’ve been very consumed with running a business and writing a book over the last two years. It’s been tough to nurture friendships and give those I love the attention they deserve – including myself. My wonderful neighbours (Dave & Ruth) have made this stressful time in my life more enjoyable by popping over with glasses of wine, and bringing with them an insatiable appetite for recipe tasting. This added a warm, family-like aspect to what would have otherwise been a stressful and lonely experience.

What does your ideal Saturday look like?

Getting a latte and taking my dogs to the park. Followed by a pastry on a sunny patio with a bottle of prosecco. Then wander into a few antique and vintage shops, in my buzzed state, and find the perfect treasure. Take it home…and listen to some tunes while I put together (and enjoy) a smorgasbord of vegan cheese, fruits, meats, olives etc. with friends. Is it obvious that I adore food?

What’s the best part of being your current age?

Having confidence. I know what I want, and I waste less time on the things I don’t. I was never a very confident person, and with age (a whopping twenty-nine years) I’ve been able to find myself and stop pretending to be someone else, and not put up with things that do not serve me.

What is your favourite quality in your best friend?

She’s honest as hell and calls me out on my shit.

What/who is currently inspiring you?

At this moment I’m really inspired by Julia Child’s journey of bringing traditional French cuisine to American wives. Except I want to bring it (French cuisine) to vegans.

What art work would you love to have in your space/on your walls, and why?

I’ve always had a love for surrealist art and design. I love the idea of suspending reality, and works of art that allow the subconscious to express itself. Many see it as a “dark” form of art, but I disagree. The surrealist artist isn’t hiding behind what is acceptable to the outside world- surrealism is honest. It makes you think. I like to provoke thought.

Fave rainy day comfort food? Or activity?

Baking (and then eating) warm cookies and almond milk, snuggled up in a blanket with the dogs, listening to a podcast or audiobook while meditating or colouring. Yes, I am an adult that colours.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to own my own bakery and cafe. I learned very quickly that I was terrible at baking anything other than cookies.

What was your favourite game/toy as a child?

My grandmothers’ clothing and jewellery. Playing dress up was my favourite game. I loved to dress myself up in my grandmothers’ scarves and pearls, and I would pretend her vanity was my own, in a lavish dressing room. I swear I was a twenties lounge singer stuck in the body of a five year old. If you saw our wedding photos, it would be very obvious that dressing up is still my favourite game to play.

What adult task would you like to get better at?

Budgeting. I grew up in a very low-income household, which may lead you to believe that I would be a budgeting expert, but exactly the opposite happened. I have no concept of money and I spend with a complete lack of self-control. It has lured me into some sticky situations.

If you could spend a year studying something, what would it be?

German. I used to be fluent as a child, but as they say, “Use it or lose it!” I lost it!

Fave recipe from your new book?

“This is Takeout” Butter Chicken

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