Silverstone dishes on veganism

Alicia Silverstone will be at the Boston Book Festival today. Alicia Silverstone will be at the Boston Book Festival today.
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / October 24, 2009

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When it comes to food, Alicia Silverstone is no simpleton. The “Clueless’’ star is a strict vegan, and she proves her bloodless bona fides in her new book, “The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet.’’ The 33-year-old actress is a foodie of the first order. Today, as part of the Boston Book Festival, the woman once dubbed the “Sexiest Vegetarian Alive’’ by PETA will be dishing at the Boston Public Library. We chatted with her by phone this week.

Q. Where are you?

A. At Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco.

Q. Eating? What did you have?

A. It was amazing. I’d give it a lot of stars. I had a breakfast lunchy thing. I had a macro bowl. They have the best kimchi and a garlicky tahini dressing. There were almonds, roasted with something yummy on them, and I had key-lime pie for dessert.

Q. You’re very into food.

A. I don’t ever remember not being into it. My dad cooked, but he wasn’t a fancy chef. We had a lot of Yorkshire pudding growing up, and roast potatoes and pork chops. We’re Jewish, so I don’t know why we were eating pork chops, but, anyway. . .

Q. Was there a moment when you decided to become vegetarian?

A. A few of them, actually. I was 8 years old and on a plane sitting next to my brother. They served lamb, and my brother started making the sounds of a lamb. But I didn’t have enough information at that point. When I was 21, I just went for it. By then, I’d seen how animals are killed for food, and I thought if I wasn’t willing to eat my dog, I can’t eat other animals.

Q. And you haven’t ever since?

A. As soon as I stopped, I started to glow. Really. People would say, ‘Your skin looks amazing.’ I felt lighter, like a huge weight had been lifted. My eyes became whiter, my fingernails got thicker, I had so much more energy, and I wasn’t sick as much.

Q. In the book, you have pictures of hot guys who are vegetarians. Is that because most people think you can’t be beefcake without beef?

A. I just want to dispel any myths that exist. I just wanted to show girls that some really cute men are doing this.

Q. How about your husband, Christopher Jarecki?

A. He’s a vegan who flirts with fish. Sometimes he gets naughty and has a little fish here or there.

Q. You have a favorite recipe in the book?

A. I love the cheesy, oozy guacamole bean dip. I also love the raddichio pizza with truffle oil and, of course, the cheesecake and the oatmeal cookies. There’s no shortage of deliciousness.