Colorado Springs is a hotbed for vegan enthusiasts

October 22, 2013 Updated: October 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Everything is coming up vegan.

Vegans are the purists of the vegetarian world, refusing to eat any animal-derivative foods, including butter, cheese, eggs and milk. This leads to fewer food choices and more preparation challenges. Coming to the rescue of vegan cooks are a few locals who share their experiences at cooking classes and in their cookbooks.

Alan Roettinger, a chef with 30 years of experience, has added a third title, "Extraordinary Vegan," to his list of cookbooks. His other books are "Speed Vegan" and "Omega-3 Cuisine." His new cookbook is filled with recipes that support healthy eating and burst with bold flavors. The photography is stunning and will make your mouth water in anticipation of preparing the dishes. The best part of Roettinger's books is that he has streamlined the recipes to make them easy for a cook of any culinary level.

You can find his new book online at You also can find it at Poor Richard's, 324 1/2 N. Tejon St.;Nourish Organic Juice, 303 E. Pikes Peak Ave.; and Chefs Catalog, 5070 Centennial Blvd. Cost is $19.95.

Looking for some vegan recipes for Thanksgiving? Meet Christina Summers, owner of Forks n' Spoons cooking classes, who will teach a Vegan Holiday Meals class at Gotta Love it Kitchen, 1625 W. Uintah St., at 6 p.m. Nov. 7. You'll learn how to make stuffed butternut squash, maple orange cranberry sauce, mashed coconut sweet potatoes and five-ingredient pumpkin pie in this hands-on lesson. Cost is $40 per person. Email, call 232-5593 or visit forks

JL Fields, author of "Vegan for Her: The Woman's Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet," also offers vegan cooking and vegan lifestyle classes. She offers online classes and private sessions where clients hire her to come to their home to learn how to make plant-based meals. Email or visit Fields is working on her second book, a cookbook, expected to be released in January 2015.

She will do a free Vegan Holiday Dishes cooking demonstration at Whole Foods Market, 7635 N. Academy Blvd., at 6 p.m. Nov. 13. Call 531-9999.

If you're a vegan business owner or a vegan looking to do business with vegan owners, Fields is working with the Colorado Springs Vegan & Vegetarian Group to develop an online resource - The Colorado Springs VEG Business Directory. Contact Fields for information about the directory. Visit to learn more about some of the other resources, classes and lectures available for vegans.

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