A New Zine for Veg Lovers

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erin alderson of casual
Photo from Erin Alderson's Instagram page for Casual.

Former local food blogger Erin Alderson (“Naturally Ella”) has pivoted to a semi-new career as the writer and publisher of a seasonal vegetarian cooking zine called Casual. The handsome bimonthly publication, available in both print and digital formats, features Alderson’s trademarks: clear, easy-to-follow recipes, stunning color photographs, and enthusiastic odes to all things vegetable.

The winter issue (her third) is devoted to vegan cooking in honor of “Veganuary,” when many people resolve to cut animal products out of their diets. The 38-page publication includes recipes for fried delicata squash rings, polenta with chipotle braised kabocha squash, beans with winter pesto, pizza with leek-kale sauce and ricotta, and gochjang-BB tofu sandwiches. Each recipe includes bonus content on cooking techniques, such as braising and quick pickling, and tips on creative ways to use up leftover ingredients.

The issue also features a look at Alderson’s favorite ingredients (Anson Mills polenta, Kuali’s salsa macha and Diaspora Co. spices, among others); a piece on miso, including recommended book titles and a link to a heritage Japanese cooking instructor if you want to learn how to make your own;  and a section on noteworthy new cookbooks (“The Korean Vegan,” by Joanne Lee Molinaro, “The Little Pine Cookbook” by the musician Moby and “Provecho,” a book on Mexican vegetarian cooking by Edgar Castrejón).

Casual is a first-rate examination of plant-based cookery by one of Sacramento’s top practitioners of the craft. A yearly subscription costs $30 for digital-only, $60 for digital and print. To subscribe, go to https://www.cookcasual.com/zines/subscription.