Vegan Up! Healthy Gourmet Food that Can Save Your Life

What makes a man who was brought up in a typical French omnivore household eating creamy cheeses and fancy meats, who grew up to love BBQ and steak tartar, become vegan and a passionate vegan chef? Nothing from his past would indicate that chef Terry Botel would one day become the person he is now; a passionate vegan.

Despite being only 38, Terry was suffering from numerous health ailments. He was overweight; he had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, joint pain, varicose veins, and concentration problems. On top of all this, he also needed prescription pills to be able to sleep.  When Terry went for blood tests, the results confirmed what he had already known. His health was in dire straits. A friend of his suggested that he should try a vegan diet for a month. “Considering the idea, I thought that at worst I would lose one month of eating ‘good’ food,” he reflects back. Terry and his wife Tina, who had originally wanted them to become vegan for years, decided to go vegan together.

Mouthwatering Vegan Pizza

A month later Terry felt so good that he decided to continue his diet for another month.  Two month later he took another blood test and the results surprised his doctor. “I don’t know what you are doing, but keep on doing it,” his doctor told him. “I’ve become vegan,” Terry declared happily.  “Don’t do it for too long, it can kill you,” the doctor warned him. Terry decided to ignore his doctor’s orders and continued his vegan lifestyle. He has seen incredible health benefits since then. Within 8 months of veganism and without going once to the gym, he dropped 37kilo (82lb) and his body fat went down from 42% to 10%. Five years into his veganism, the scars on his body started to change their color and became almost invisible. Today at 51 Terry testifies about himself that he feels a lot better than he was in his early 30’s. “I wish I had started veganism when I was younger,” he says. 

Creamy Gourmet Nut Cheeze

Being vegan and a foodie Terry started to look at different vegan cookbooks and he was not impressed with what he saw. “Some of the recipes were too complicated or had ingredients that are so hard to find, or were simply just too bland and tasteless.” He started creating new vegan dished with his own imagination. Three years ago, he decided to take on himself the mission to produce a healthy vegan cookbook with taste being the main factor in each dish, and where all the recipes are simple and made from ingredients available at any market and grocery store. “There are very few unfamiliar ingredients in the book,” he notes.  “In those cases I explain in the book where to get them.” It took him and Tina 2 years to work on this book and another year to edit it with the help of a professional food editor. All the recipes in the book were successfully tested on omnivores, as a palatable control group, and all got the thumb-up approval. 

Wok Veggies and Shiitakes in a Miso Souce

The end result of his hard work is a hardcover, 240-colored page cookbook, named Vegan Up! The book is printed on recycled paper, and it contains 150 unique, tasty whole-foods recipes: 7 recipes of green juices and 143 recipes of different dishes: soups (traditional and raw), stews, salads, side dishes, oven dishes, party foods, finger foods, quick snacks, pizza, pasta, desserts and energy bars. Preparation time of most of the recipes in the book ranges from 15-25 minutes. Some of the snacks can be ready within 5 minutes. The oven dishes require the longest cooking time: 40-50 minutes. An eBook version is also available.

Avocado with Lemon Tomato Juice and Shoyu Souce

Vegan Up! also contains a wealth of information like the history of quinoa and black rice and many health tips from Terry’s years of experience and research. “Many people don’t know that mushrooms soak up vitamin D when left in the sun, or that half of an avocado curbs hunger very quickly. Muscles cramps are caused by lack of magnesium in the body. Quinoa is a great source for magnesium as well as almonds and flax seeds.” Listening to Terry, one can feel how passionate he has become about veganism, health, and education. “The rich countries in the world get sicker and sicker because of the processed foods and poor eating habits. About 80% of the so-called ‘foods’ on the grocery shelves did not exist 70 years ago,” he states. Besides being vegan Terry insists on a consumption of organic food or pesticide free produce, and avoids any GMO products. 

Sweet and Healthy Chocolate Mousse

When Terry started being vegan it was mainly for health reasons but his compassion for animals followed shortly after. “Many people become vegan because of their compassion for animals but they don’t know what it means to be a healthy vegan; eating a well-balance plant-based diet. Some become overweight vegans because their nutrition is based on fried potatoes, grains, avocado, seeds and hummus. The way to lose weight is to cut processed fats, such as vegetable oil, from the diet, and replace them with healthy fats that contain fiber, which are found in whole-foods. People need to eat more of a well-balanced nutritional diet heavy on vegetables, legumes, and fruits, and lighter on grains, seeds and nuts.” Terry is no fan of Tofu. “Tofu gained popularity with the 1990’s veganism. The reason I don’t like it is because it’s a processed food, not a whole-food. There is a huge unanswered question about the health factor of unfermented soy. Many health experts are questioning its safety. Tempeh is better, because it’s fermented soy and made with minimal processing. I personally don’t understand some vegans wanting to eat meat replacement products. Why would a vegan want to be reminded of the look and flavor of meat?"

Nepalese-Style Thall

“My ultimate goal is to be able to convince more mainstream people to try a well-balanced, taste satisfying vegan diet and love it so much they stick with it. By doing so, people will be healthier and the environment would be better. We are living in a time where heart disease, diabetes, and obesity rates are rapidly escalating each year, while our environment is slowly but surely falling apart. My hope and dream is that by teaching people an alternative, safer, healthier, and humane way of feeding themselves, I will be doing my little bit towards helping reduce modern day diseases and fixing our environmental issues. ” Terry sums up his life mission.  

Cauliflower and Potato Crumble

To get the Vegan Up! book out to the public Terry is asking for your help. When he was looking for a publisher, some publishers rejected him by claiming that the subject is not interesting enough, publishers who were interested in the book planned to publish it only in 2016. Terry and his wife decided to self-publish the book, which has already been edited professionally. To be able to get the book print-ready and print his first 2,000 copies he needs to raise $50,000 and he is hoping to do so by pre-selling the book.  If you are interested in helping Terry to publish Vegan Up! you can pledge to buy the book on the IndieGoGo fundraising website, the world’s largest crowd-funding platform.  Currently one printed copy is priced at $35, the eBook is priced at $10. The price could come down if more people will order it. Terry promises risk free investment: “If we don’t reach our set fixed funding goal, people will automatically be refunded their contribution by IndiegoGo."

Vegan Up! Fundraising campaign ends by August 21st. If you want to support the book publishing please make a pledge and show your support in Terry’s mission.  

You can read more about Terry on his website and follow him on facebook , twitter, and Pinterest.

Bellow three recipes from  Vegan Up!

Avocado, Carrot and Cucumber Barley Salad 


This truly amazing barley salad, infused with chia and sesame seeds, is easy to make and tastes sensational.

Serves 2 to 3 (main dish)

Total time: 1 hour           Preparation time: 15 minutes


1 cup [200 g] barley
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and finely diced
1/2 English cucumber, finely diced
1 large carrot, grated
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp tamari
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1/4 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika


1. Cook the barley with 1/2 tsp salt according to package directions.

2. Strain and drain the barley under cold water till it has cooled. Let sit in the strainer for 5 minutes to drain completely.

3. Meanwhile, combine the avocado, cucumber, and carrot in a mixing bowl.

4. Add the drained barley and mix thoroughly till well combined.

5. Add the Herbes de Provence, garlic, vinegar, tamari, chia seeds, and sesame seeds, as well as salt and pepper, if desired. Mix thoroughly.

8. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle the pine nuts and paprika over the top.


  Oven-Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms


These aromatically roasted mushrooms not only look sensational, but smell and taste divine. They go great with any whole-grain pasta or quinoa.

Serves 2 with pasta or quinoa

Total time: 50 minutes                                     Preparation time: 15 minutes


5 oz [150 g] large shiitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 can (14 oz [400 ml]) coconut milk
2 Tbsp yellow Indian curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
2 sprigs parsley, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 480°F [250°C] (bottom heat only).

2. Place all the mushrooms, tops facing up, in a baking dish.

3. Crush the garlic into a mixing bowl. Add the sesame seeds, turmeric, and tamari. Mix well.

4. Dip a bakery brush into the mixture, and lightly coat all the mushroom tops.

5. Add the coconut milk, curry powder, and cumin to the mixing bowl. Whisk in evenly and carefully pour into the baking dish around the mushrooms.

6. Place the baking dish on to the middle oven rack. Let bake for 30 minutes. 

7. Then turn the broiler on high and roast the mushrooms for an additional 5 minutes. (Note: Be vigilant at this stage - The mushrooms should be golden-brown, not burnt.)

8. Take the baking dish out of the oven. Sprinkle the paprika and parsley on top.


 Oil-Free Chickpea and Lentil Dal

This simple, healthy recipe is fun, quick and easy. A delicious, protein-rich and very economical dal with the rich flavors of India. May be eaten on its own or with your favorite whole-grain rice. It will keep in the fridge for over one week.

Tip: When reheating, adding a little coconut milk will make it even creamier.

Serves 5 (8 to 10 with rice)

Total time: 30 minutes        Preparation time: 15 minutes

2 1/2 cups [500 g] dried yellow lentils (split and unhulled), rinsed well under cold water
2 Tbsp Madras curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground ginger
1 can (8.5 oz [240 g]) chickpeas, rinsed well under cold water
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pol Sambol to taste (optional)
Red chili flakes to taste (optional)


1. Put a 4-quart [liters] pot with 1.5 quart [liters] hot water on high heat.

2. Add the lentils, the curry, turmeric, cumin seeds, cumin, garam masala, and ginger. Stir.

3. Once it’s come to a rolling boil reduce the heat to medium-high, and let simmer for 12 minutes.

4. Add the chickpeas, stir and let cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Take the pot off the heat. 

6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in well and transfer to a serving bowl.

7. Serve the Pol Sambol and chili flakes separately.