Sen. Cory Booker and his girlfriend, Rosario Dawson, are finding new ways to spice things up after moving in together last summer: cooking whole food, vegan meals.
In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Booker, 51, said that the two, like many Americans, have been spending more time in the kitchen since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Booker, a longtime vegan, said that Dawson, 41, is a vegan as well. "She came to that on her own, which is great because we have, during the time of COVID, we've been working on cooking together a lot more," Booker said.
And while he told PEOPLE he's partial to Impossible Burgers, a plant-based substitute made to look and taste like real meat, the New Jersey senator said that he and Dawson are currently attempting to go, well, cold turkey, when it comes to processed foods.
"I am trying to go a stretch without any processed food whatsoever," Booker said.
In an effort to expand their culinary prowess, and make their meals that much more enjoyable, the couple has employed some tools to aid their new challenge.
"Literally she just bought a food processor, a Cuisinart thing, for our kitchen yesterday," Booker told PEOPLE. "So I'm very excited about just expanding my capability to make delicious, healthy, whole plant-based food at home."
In an October BuzzFeed News profile, Booker shared that the actress drove cross-country from Los Angeles last summer to live in his Newark, N.J. home.
"This is the first time in my life I've really lived with somebody — and obviously Rosario and I are enjoying and adjusting to that, right?" Booker said.
As he explained to Buzzfeed, they carve out quality time for meals, despite their busy schedules.
"I have not done that, really, as a bachelor, where I actually sit at a table and just, like, breathe and eat a meal," Booker told BuzzFeed. "And just set a table — I can't tell you how rarely do I set the table as a bachelor, you know, as a guy living alone. So it's just really nice to set a table, have somebody to say grace with, before a meal. It's just those small things really are, I'm finding, incredibly enriching."
While their time spent at home includes plenty of cooking and eating, it also includes some TV time.
Both Dawson and Booker are fans of the documentary Kiss the Ground, which highlights the benefits of regenerative agriculture on the American diet and farming system.
A new, 45-minute educational version of the documentary features scenes not seen in the feature film, including a series of person-on-the-street interviews with Dawson.
"I feel something coming in this country and this incredible film is such a powerful contribution," said Booker, who recently took a place on the Senate Agricultural Committee as a chairman of a subcommittee on nutrition and specialty crops. "I just think that this is a time where all of us have the power to choose right now, to surrender and accept things as they are, or be a part of the way things can, should and must be."
Booker continues: "We are a nation that has to lead with love, and the way we're living right now is a violation of love for each other, for our environment, for those who struggle often in shadows — be it the farmer, who's losing their farm because of corporate concentration, all the way to the consumers who are struggling with sickness and illness, that's entirely preventable … I am going to do everything I can with every fiber of my being to heal this broken system."
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