Just ten years ago, we never could have imagined that we would be living in a world where, every week, it seems like more pop culture figures are ditching or cutting back on meat and dairy and singing the praises of a plant-based diet — yet here we are! In September, for example, two NBA players, Jahlil Okafor and Wilson Chandler, announced that they were switching to a plant-based diet. And today, we have yet another celebrity who is shining a positive light on plant-based eating.
Craig Robinson, an actor/comedian known for his role as Darryl Philbin in the U.S. version of The Office, his lead role in the new Fox series Ghosted, and other roles, has revealed that he has dropped 50 pounds since the beginning of the year. Earlier this week, the comedian sat with Harry Connick Jr.’s for his talk show, Harry, and gave the details.
According to Robinson, his weight loss journey started as an experiment with quitting alcohol. “I haven’t been drinking,” Robinson told Harry. “Since January I just put down the alcohol, I was going to detox. … I was like let me see if I can go six months and I just haven’t gone back.”
In addition to that, Robinson has also been experimenting with eating a plant-based diet and exercising regularly. “[I’m] working out and I’ve been trying this vegan lifestyle too. It’s amazing,” Robinson said. “There are so many great vegan restaurant and dishes. It’s much easier than I thought it would be.”
We love that Robinson is speaking so positively about eating plant-based and that he’s been given a platform that will reach many viewers. In the past, media representations of vegans or vegetarians were limited to hippie stock characters and bleeding heart types (we love you, Lisa Simpson). Not the most diverse scope of individuals, if you ask us, because the reality is, anyone can eat plant-based — not just those who love granola.
We also have to give a shout out to Robinson for saying that eating plant-based is easy, as that’s another misconception that might make some shy away from making a lifestyle change. However, there is one thing we have to contest. When asked what food he misses, Robinson answered “mac and cheese” without hesitation.
Giving up dairy doesn’t mean an end to cheese, nor does it mean an end to mac and cheese. There are so many ways you can make it, too. Here are a few of our favorite examples from the Food Monster App:
You can make a rich, creamy cheese sauce using just veggies. Rachel Hanawalt’s recipe for Butternut Mac and Cheese swaps high-fat butter and cheese for more nutrient-dense butternut squash, cashews, and nutritional yeast. With all the ingredients combined into a creamy sauce, the recipe really does taste like mac n’ cheese.
This White Mac and Cheese by Melanie Sorrentino is easy to whip up on days you come home from work and school drained of energy. It relies on vegan cream cheese and vegan cheese shreds to make a gooey, creamy sauce that’s similar to classic, homemade mac and cheese. All of the sauce-making and seitan preparation can be done in just the amount of time for the pasta to cook!
These decadent Fried Mac and Cheese Balls by Ashley Hankins are comfort food personified. The creamy, fiery jalapeño mac and cheese shaped into balls, coated in a flour and panko crust, and then fried until the balls become golden-brown orbs of deliciousness. Oh, and they are served with a zesty cheese sauce on the side.
For more vegan mac and cheese-making tips, read These Ingredients Will Take Your Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese to the Next Level.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock