The Vegan Mennonite Kitchen

Mention Mennonite cooking to anyone and they conjure up tables laden with large servings of meat, potatoes, vegetables and comfort food that doesn’t coincide with a vegetarian lifestyle. But then comes along Jo Snyder who grew up in a Mennonite family and eventually moved to bigger cities where her personal diet turned to plant-forward eating. How do you reconcile your new life with the old? That became Jo’s mission as she scoured family recipes and turned them into dishes that embraced her new life plan.

Jo sets you up on how to stock a plant-based pantry, what to substitute for dairy and animal-based ingredients in the recipes, and how to use up bits and pieces in the fridge to make great meals. In providing a healthier version of true Mennonite dishes, Jo dispels the myth that comfort food has to be laden with heavy ingredients. Scattered throughout the book are pictures of Jo’s inspirations in her Mennonite family that imparted her love of cooking. A beautiful blend of the old with the new.

March is nutrition month and we thought you’d like a hearty and healthy dish from Jo’s cookbook, Red Lentil Stew – check it out in our Recipe section. This is a great base stew that can be easily converted to a carnivore’s meal – just add any protein. Although when we tested the recipe, I really didn’t miss the meat – it was hearty and filling. A dish my own baba would be proud to eat!

Jo explains “The Big Tent” philosophy in the Mennonite community and anyone that has grown up on a farm and with European roots (like I did in Southern Ontario), your world revolves around big gatherings and lots of food. For my wedding shower, hundreds of people showed up on our farm where we ate food spread across two hay wagons, with an impromptu live band, and lots of laughs. We can still generate that feeling of community with the people we love and expand our comfort zone to include friends and strangers. Open up your tent! 

To purchase a copy of this innovative book, go to or win a copy in our Giveaway section.

Contents and images used with permission by Pandora Press and The Vegan Mennonite Kitchen