Goreng, tofu and vegetables with noodles, photographed
on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, is a vegan dish prepared
by Dan Neman in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch kitchen.
people become vegetarians because they love animals. Some,
as comedian A. Whitney Brown put it, because they hate
vegans are committed. Not only do they not eat food that
harms or kills animals, some don’t even want food that
honey. Hardcore vegans will not eat honey because, as Noah
Lewis of vegetus.org puts it, "the simple fact is that
the bees are enslaved." Similarly, some vegans will not
eat sugar because, while it comes entirely from a plant,
some sugar is whitened by using bone char, which comes from
the vegan diet lacks in meat, dairy and egg products — or
because of it — the diet can be better for you than that
which the standard American eats. In 2009, the American
Dietetic Association took the position that vegetarian and
vegan diets reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and
diabetes, and lead to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
be healthy, but there are some things to watch out for when
on a vegan diet: You have to make sure to get enough protein
and vitamin B-12 — and calcium, iodine, vitamin D, iron,
zinc and n-3 fatty acids.
a well-balanced vegan diet provides all of these essential
nutrients, though you may want to take vitamin B-12
supplements, just in case.
cooking a well-balanced vegan diet can be difficult, at
least if you want to stick to what most Americans think of
as normal ingredients. Many vegan recipes attempt to
re-create meatless versions of familiar meat-based dishes,
and to do so they rely on such potentially off-putting
ingredients as vegan chicken, egg replacers and nondairy
recipes use soy products such as tofu and tempeh for their
protein, and it is one of these that I tried first in
cooking a vegan diet for a day.
Goreng, which is a type of stir-fried noodles, is popular
street fare in the Philippines. When I have had it before,
it always had meat in it, usually chicken or shrimp or both.
But then I came upon a vegan recipe for it using tofu, and
tofu fans are sure to be instantly hooked.
they like spicy food, that is. As with a lot of street food,
Mee Goreng usually packs a kick. If you want it milder,
simply trim down or eliminate the amount you use of sambal
oelek, the all-purpose Indonesian and Malaysian ground chili
as is the case with much street food, Mee Goreng tends to be
a little oily. The recipe calls for 5 tablespoons of oil for
four to six servings; I got by with four tablespoons, but
that is still a quarter cup of oil.
need it? Yes. The oil brings the dish together, from the
spicy sambal to the faintly bitter bok choy to the sweet
sauce made from equal parts of soy sauce, brown sugar and
tofu, which has the amazing ability to soak up all the
flavors in which it is cooked, serves as a protein-rich
punctuation to the meal.
next dish, I dispensed with the tofu and received my protein
in the form of garbanzo beans, which are also known as
Vegetable Curry With Potatoes and Cauliflower (that name
seems a little over-descriptive to me) is another spicy
dish. I like spices; sue me. If less fiery food is more your
style, you can use a mild curry powder (but I wouldn’t use
much less) and leave out the serrano chile.
dish benefits greatly from the mutually complementary
flavors of potato, cauliflower, garbanzo beans and curry. A
bit of tomato paste and a cup of coconut milk make it deeply
satisfying, yet it is so healthful that you’ll practically
pat yourself on the back for eating it.
the kind of dish that calls out for basmati rice; if you
have it, use it.
I made a vegan version of one of the least vegan dishes I
could think of, pancakes.
pretty much need eggs, milk and butter. If you try to make
them from just flour, water, sugar, salt, baking powder and
a little oil, you’ll wind up with paste.
I thought. But then a colleague passed me a recipe for Vegan
Pancakes that she swore was excellent. And she was right.
know how this works. I don’t understand how they hold
together without becoming slightly sweetened hardtack. I’m
guessing the oil has something to do with it, but we are
only talking about a single tablespoon for 10 smallish
vegan pancakes are fine the way they are, but I incorporated
a couple of additions suggested by my colleague: I added two
tablespoons of soy milk (almond milk would also do) and a
teaspoon of vanilla, just to make the pancakes even better.
are a perfect foil for maple syrup. And maple syrup doesn’t
inconvenience any animal.
4 to 6 servings
pound fresh Chinese noodles — yellow wheat or "stir
fried" — or 12 ounces dried spaghetti or linguine
cup packed dark brown sugar
cup soy sauce
large shallots; 2 minced and 2 sliced thin
garlic cloves, minced
teaspoons sambal oelek, see note
ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
pound bok choy, stalks and greens separated and sliced
scallions, sliced thin on bias
Sambal oelek can be found in the international aisle of
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot. Add noodles and
cook, stirring often, until tender. Drain noodles and set
Whisk sugar, molasses and soy sauce together in bowl. In a
separate bowl, combine minced shallots, garlic and sambal
Spread tofu on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and let
drain for 20 minutes. Gently pat tofu dry with paper towels,
season with salt and pepper, then toss with cornstarch in
bowl. Transfer coated tofu to a strainer and shake gently
over bowl to remove excess cornstarch. Heat 3 tablespoons
oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until
just smoking. Add tofu and cook, turning as needed, until
crisp and browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to
1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and heat until
shimmering. Add sliced shallots and cook until golden, about
5 minutes; transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
necessary, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty
skillet and heat until shimmering. Add bok choy stalks and
cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Clear center of
skillet, add garlic mixture and cook, mashing mixture into
skillet until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir into
Stir in noodles, tofu, bok choy leaves and scallions. Whisk
sauce to recombine, add to skillet and cook, stirring
constantly, until sauce is thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
Sprinkle fried shallots on top. Serve with lime wedges.
serving (based on 6): 665 calories; 26 g fat; 11 g saturated
fat; no cholesterol; 18 g protein; 91 g carbohydrate; 29 g
sugar; 6 g fiber; 1,624 mg sodium; 264 mg calcium
from "The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook," by
America’s Test Kitchen
VEGETABLE CURRY WITH POTATOES AND CAULIFLOWER
4 to 6 servings
(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
tablespoons vegetable oil
teaspoons curry powder
teaspoons garam masala, see note
onions, chopped fine
ounces red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
garlic cloves, minced
serrano chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
tablespoon grated fresh ginger
tablespoon tomato paste
head cauliflower (1 pound), cored and cut into 1-inch
(1 of 1): 0:12
(15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed
cups frozen peas
cup coconut milk
cup minced fresh cilantro
Garam masala can be found at international food stores and
the spice aisles of well-stocked grocery stores.
Pulse diced tomatoes with their juice in a food processor
until nearly smooth, with some 1/4-inch pieces visible,
about 3 pulses.
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until
shimmering. Add curry powder and garam masala and cook until
fragrant, about 10 seconds. Stir in onions, potatoes and 1/4
teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions
are browned and potatoes are golden brown at edges, about 10
Reduce heat to medium. Stir in garlic, chile, ginger and
tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add
cauliflower florets and cook, stirring constantly, until
florets are coated with spices, about 2 minutes.
Gradually stir in water, scraping up any browned bits. Stir
in chickpeas and processed tomatoes and bring to simmer.
Cover, reduce to gentle simmer and cook until vegetables are
tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Uncover, stir in peas and coconut milk, and continue to cook
until peas are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off heat,
stir in cilantro, season with salt and pepper to taste, and
serve over rice.
serving (based on 4): 429 calories; 21 g fat; 8 g saturated
fat; no cholesterol; 15 g protein; 53 g carbohydrate; 17g
sugar; 17 g fiber; 367 mg sodium; 161 mg calcium
from "The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook" by America’s
About 8 to 10 (6-inch) pancakes
cups all-purpose flour
tablespoons granulated sugar
teaspoons baking powder
tablespoons soy or almond milk, optional
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into
a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the water,
oil, vanilla and optional soy or almond milk. Make a well in
the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet
ingredients. Stir until just blended.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or skillet over medium-high
heat. Pour batter onto the griddle or skillet until it forms
a 6-inch puddle. Cook until bubbles form and the edges are
dry; check underneath to see if the bottom is lightly
browned. Flip and cook until browned on the other side.
Repeat with the remaining batter.
pancake (based on 8): 102 calories; 2 g fat; no saturated
fat; no cholesterol; 2 g protein; 19 g carbohydrate; 4 g
sugar; 1 g fiber; 125 mg sodium; 78 mg calcium
oil and almond milk were used in calculation.