How Does One Cook Vegan?
Strict Vegetarians avoid meat, eggs, milk and all animal foods entirely. They eat vegetables and replace protein foods with soybean, legumes, grains, tofu and nutritional yeast. So, how does one cook a vegetable or a fruit? There is really no problem cooking natural, man has been doing that since the beginning of time. This issue is whether or not you choose to include dairy products and eggs in your cooking, or are you a "strict vegetarian." Cooking is fun using a grill, a pot of water, a fry pan, a microwave, or a glass-baking pan. There are so many ways to prepare Natural / Organic Whole Fruits and Vegetables right out of the Garden. Of course they can be eaten fresh out of the garden with nothing too. We always enjoyed popping cherry tomatoes and strawberries right into the mouth after washing the garden dirt off. Delicious! What could be better than going out the door and picking out dinner from your garden at home?
One of the reasons that most vegetarians do not eat any dairy or eggs products beyond the fact that they come from animals is that dairy products contain “fat.” Eggs are also on the list of do not eat. Eggs are used to clear coffee, soup and wines. Egg batter is used to soak potatoes and many fruit and vegetables before they are cooked. People sensitive to ingestant allergens should avoid eggs because the Albumen or “egg white” is a common cause of allergens that cooking the egg cannot deter. Foods containing eggs are many: A short list includes: buns, candy, cream sauces, custards, donuts, French Toast, frosting, fruit whips, glazing on bread, griddle cake, icings, ice cream, mayonnaise, meat jellies, macaroni, meat loaf, mousses, muffins, pastries, pretzels, pudding, salad dressing, sausage, spaghetti, tomato paste, waffles, basically most cake and desserts.
So what can we substitute for eggs?
•2 Tbsp. Corn starch = 1 egg
•2 Tbsp. Arrowroot flour = 1 egg
•2 Tbsp. Potato starch = 1 egg
•1 heaping tbsp. Soy powder plus 2 Tbsp water = 1 egg
•1 Tbsp. Soy milk powder plus 1 Tbsp Cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. Water = 1 egg
•1 banana - 1 egg in cakes
•Ener-G Egg Replacer - follow directions on the box = 1 egg
The life of the Vegan can be simple, but we are not all blessed with the time it takes to maintain a garden. Thanks to specialty markets, we can take advantage of that "garden like" experience. I remember when we lived in the country and had our backyard garden. Gardening is lots of work, but educational and fun as well. Our neighbors were great! We all grew different crops and would barter our beauties. Each taking some of that crop for this crop, and so on. That way we all helped each other live a healthy lifestyle. We used lady bugs instead of pesticides on our crops too! For fun, we also had monthly neighborhood feasts where we would gather together to share food and great recipes of the foods we brought to share. Today the “neighborhood feasts” idea seems to have died out, but some friends continue to carry on the tradition. One item usually included in the meal was a “Friendship Soup.” Soup eaten first begins the filling process and helps curb over eating. Here are some recipes I thought you might enjoy:
Ingredients:2 lb tofu, 1/3 cup Vegetable stock, 1 cup of dry Split peas, ½ cup barley, 1 cup of dry lentils, ½ cup minced onion, 2 tsp bouquet of Italian seasonings, 1-cup elbow macaroni, 1-cup rice, 2 cans diced tomatoes, Large skillet or pan, Oil for skillet, 5 ½ cups of water
Directions: Cook tofu in large skillet and season to taste. Drain off oil. Add 1/3-cup vegetable stock to skillet with the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until macaroni and rice is tender. Refrigerate in tightly sealed glass jar until ready to serve. Yields 24 servings.
Fresh Corn on the Cob
Ingredients: Corn, salt and pepper to taste, oil/ margarine
Directions: Soak the corn (in the husks) in cold water for 30 minutes. Then peel back the husks and remove just the corn silk. Return the husks over the cobs and close. Grill for about 15 minutes. Cool and then eat. You can add butter/ margarine/ salt and pepper taste.
Ingredients: 2 lbs potatoes, Water, Large pot, 1/4-cup oil /margarine, Fork, Vegetable brush, Salt & pepper
Directions: Wash potatoes under sink using vegetable brush to get off dirt. Place the potatoes into a pot. Boil potatoes on medium heat until fork tender (when you can stick in fork easily). Melt margarine in saucepan and pour over potatoes. Salt & pepper to taste.
Beet & Carrot Soup
Ingredients: 2 Sweet potatoes, 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, 7 raw Beets, 2 lb. Carrots, 5 c. Vegetable stock, 2 Onions, 2 cloves Garlic, Salt & Pepper, Cilantro seeds, Sprigs of parsley
Directions: Peel and slice garlic and onions. Wash peel & chop sweet potatoes, beets, & carrots. Heat oil in deep saucepan and add onions & garlic for 5 min. Add carrots, beets, potatoes & vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 min., or until vegetables are fork tender. Pour mixture into blender and puree. Return mix to saucepan & reheat. Season soup with salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro seeds & sprigs of parsley. Fry cilantro seeds for 2 min. or until golden brown. Remove and crush with rolling pin, or mortar & pestle. Place on top of the soup.
Banana Nut Bread
Ingredients: 1/2 c. Sugar, 1 1/2 c. Flour, 1 tsp. Baking soda, 2 Egg replacements, 1/2 c. Oil / margarine/Butter, 1 c. Ripe bananas, 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract, 1/4 c. flaked coconut, 1/4 c. Raisins, 1/2 c. Pecans, chopped
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl put in the egg replacements, using beater, beat the eggs about 2 minutes. Add flour soda, vanilla extract, mashed bananas, melted butter, sugar and stir mixture until moistened. Fold in pecans, coconut and raisins. Use non-stick spray and spray the 9x3 loaf pan. Pour in batter and bake until done, or until wooden pick comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool on wire rack about 10 minutes.
Another thing we all enjoyed about having a garden in the backyard was when we took the fresh vegetables and fruits straight from the garden inside and made our own healthy can goods. Our pantry was filled with food we knew was fresh off the vine, and using recipes we loved to eat. We made everything from ketchup to pickles. We also were able to regulate the salt and sugar content in the foods we ate. Having your own garden helps and thanks to the Organic Revolution, we who do not have our own garden can go to a Organic /Farm Fresh Market and have similar benefits. Of course the vegetables do not taste quite the same as home grown fresh but they are sure tastier in the can,and the health benefits are a plus!
Resources for Home Canning include:
National Center for Home Food Preservation: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home.html
Ball® Brand Fresh Preserving Products have helped consumers Preserve America since 1884. In 2009, the Ball® Brand Jar celebrates its 125th Year Anniversary.