Emani Corcran
By Lezlie Mitchell, Best of Vegan Editor, Author and Blogger

Meet Emani Corcran, creator of BLK AND VEGAN, and cookbook author. Emani, whose journey to veganism was driven by a desire to transform her family’s health narrative, challenges stereotypes within the vegan community and creates recipes that seamlessly blend nutrition with flavor. Through her debut cookbook and online presence, Emani aims to inspire and connect with her community, making veganism accessible and enjoyable for all.

BLK + vegan book cover

Introduction: Emani Corcran’s Childhood Food Favorites

Lezlie Mitchell: For those who may not know you yet, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Where did you grow up and what were some of your favorite dishes you liked as a kid?

Emani Corcran: My name is Emani and I am the creator of @blkandvegan on Instagram where I show my vegan recipe creations with a nutritious and delicious perspective! I believe that food has the power to heal, inspire, and intrigue. I always try to show that through my platform and now, my book! I grew up in California Bay Area and some of my favorite dishes as a young girl was my great-grandmother’s greens, my aunt’s mac and cheese, and my mother’s cheesecake!

The Inspiration Behind the ‘Blk and Vegan’ Blog and Cookbook

LM: What was the main inspiration behind your blog, Blk and Vegan, and later your cookbook by the same title?

EC: Honestly, it all started with me deciding to go vegan after watching What the Health Documentary. I immediately gave up meat and dairy and wanted to share with me figuring this “vegan thing out!” So I would share my recipes and ideas with my audience, and eventually – 0 grew to 10, 10 grew to 100 and 100 grew to over 100,000 people!

RECIPE: Emani’s Favorite Vegan Spiced Waffles

Vegan Spiced Waffles

From Pre-Vegan Days

LM: Are there any flavors or textures you miss from before you went vegan?

EC: I am always a sucker for cheese. It was the hardest thing for me to give up, but – when vegan cheese is done correctly, it can be so delicious and the texture can be spot on. In terms of meat, there are already so many textures that mirror meat that plants provide – so not missing anything there!

Changing Family Health Narratives

LM: You mention in the introduction to your cookbook that you wanted to change your family’s narrative when it came to health and that that influenced your decision to adopt a plant-based diet. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

EC: My family has experienced heartbreaking illnesses like diabetes and a variety of cancers. I always believed that it was hereditary, but through research, I found that food can give us power and control over our outcomes. Once I discovered that, I dove into the vegan diet full force, and by doing so – I hope that I can change the narrative that has been placed on my family, and inspire others to do the same!

LM: How did your family react to that decision? Did anyone give you a hard time?

EC: At first, it was extremely difficult for them to comprehend my drastic change. They definitely gave me some strange looks and a reasonable level of doubt. That all changed as I started introducing vegan restaurants (first) and my recipes (second) into their diet. Now they are begging for me to cook for them!

Balancing Nutrition and Flavor

LM: Your recipes smoothly (and skillfully) combine nutritious ingredients with comforting flavors. Do you ever find it challenging to make healthy foods taste great and if so, what are some of your favorite kitchen hacks to remedy these challenges?

EC: Honestly, nothing tastes better than foods that are in season. You’ll notice a lot of my recipes are easy to create and simple – it’s mostly because the art of cooking in my eyes is glorifies foods that are in season and embracing seasonings and different cultural blends!

RECIPE: Smoky BBQ Shredded Jackfruit


Breaking Stereotypes: The Journey of Blk and Vegan

LM: You’ve written about the stereotypes associated with a vegan lifestyle (the stereotype that veganism is mostly a trend for white people, for instance, even though in reality a higher percentage of African Americans identify as vegans) and you started blogging very soon after going vegan.

How much of that decision was impacted by a desire to break these stereotypes? And what were the initial responses you were met with after launching your blog and Instagram account?

EC: Although I knew how radical it was to be a black vegan and proclaim it the way that I did, I didn’t quite understand the power of my name “blkandvegan”. I was simply stating who and what I was and that in itself was a very quick decision. I will say that once I settled into the vegan food space and saw the representation of veganism online, I understood why people would believe that white women particularly held the space because they were most popular! Could it have been because their food matched the vegan stereotype?

Or could it be because their cultural dishes were more approachable? I am still unsure – but one thing I do know is that there are more black vegans than the latter, and in many African cultures, vegan food is not quite labeled as such, but it in fact is. Think Ethiopian lentils, and African stews. I am saying this all to say, that just because something is marketed as one thing, doesn’t mean it actually is. Lastly, I would say the community as a whole embraced me, championed me, and supported me! The space was welcoming and therefore, I happily received limited pushback.

LM: What are some misconceptions about vegan food you’ve noticed specifically within the African-American community?

EC: That people inherently believe vegan food is a cause for pause – that it is something that needs to be investigated and questioned. But once you break past that, they are quite open.

LM: Where do you see the vegan movement going over the next few years and/or where would you like to see it go?

EC: I see more people of color inserting themselves into the space and holding space with other creators. I also see, non-vegan food creators implement vegan dishes into their cooking regime to encourage meatless Mondays (nothing wrong with that!). I also see veganism and nutrition being more of a focal point as people start to become more curious about the diet!

A Few Words For New Vegans

LM: Would you say your cookbook is a good option for people who may be reluctant to try vegan food?

EC: Yes, beginner-friendly, recipes you know and love, and if you are skeptical try the vegan ribs!

LM: A word of advice for new vegans?

EC: Don’t re-invent, simply veganize your favorite dishes and you’ll be fine! Trust me, and if you’re scared, buy my book or head to my page.

RECIPE: The Best Vegan Ribs

the best vegan ribs

More About Emani Corcran’s Life

LM: Outside of veganism, what drives and motivates you?

EC: The Lord has driven me from a very young age! My family, my fiance, and also, my following. Inspiring them and chatting with them always gives me joy.

LM: What are your 5 favorite ingredients to cook with?

EC: Garlic, Onion, Bellpeppers, Soy Sauce, and Tofu!

LM: What’s a dish you could eat every day?

EC: My Lentil Bolognese

LM: What’s your favorite quote or words you live by?

EC: Maya Angelou “ Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it” LOVE THAT QUOTE. So true, so real so raw.

The Future of Blk and Vegan

LM: What’s next for Blk and Vegan?

EC: This is the year of yes for me! I am hopeful to build my community even larger to help impact more lives, more speaking engagements, consulting, cooking classes, and most importantly, more meaningful conversations with my platform to build real connections.

LM: Anything else you’d like to share with Best of Vegan readers?

EC: Thank you for reading this article, if you ever need any help with the vegan diet please do not be afraid to reach out to me. Also, if you are vegan-curious, I am proud of you. If you have been vegan for 10+ years I am proud of you. Let’s cherish each other for where we are, and meet each other where we’re at.


Lezlie Mitchell is pictured with her child. Lezlie is one of Best of Vegan's Los Angeles Basededitors. She's a writer, an actress and a model, as well as a mother of three. Lezlie recently published her first children's book "All of Us". You can follow her on social media @LoveLezlie. Click here to find out more about her.

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