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The Gourmet Vegan

I'm the kind of guy who likes to grab something out of the fridge and eat it over the sink. Some of you know what I'm talking about.

If you can't imagine this, perhaps you're blessed with refined sensibilities, and a sophisticated palate. You need something more. Well, ask and you'll get it.

Presenting The Vegan Culinary Experience, Chef Jason Wyrick's amazing online magazine. Jason calls it "The only vegan culinary magazine in the world!" And I think he might be right.

This month it's all about picnic foods. (Last month's curry recipes were out of this world.)

Their "Features" list includes:

  • Fully detailed, photographed recipes
  • 35-40 new recipes every month from professional vegan catering and restaurant kitchens
  • Instructional articles, healthy eating articles, and more
  • Reviews of restaurants, products, books, and web-sites
  • Interviews with the hottest vegan chefs in the world and the new up and comers
  • A learning community to discuss all aspects of vegan cuisine with the chefs and other subscribers
  • Podcasts
  • Webcast Classes

It's online, it's free, and it's exquisite. What are you waiting for?

Even you Epicureans can Live and Let Live.

Are You Ready for Tomorrow? Find a Friend

Here's an idea:

Instead of doing it all by yourself, why not find a "Meatless/Mooless Monday Mate"? A friend with whom you can share one or more meals.

Have people over. Do a veg potluck. Swap ideas.

Or just meet a friend for lunch. Or bring a picnic basket.

There's no reason you can't have fun while you do something good for yourself and the planet.

Invite all your friends to join you as you Live and Let Live!

"God Does Not Eat Meat"

"God Does Not Eat Meat" by Arthur Poletti is a charming book, a fantasy that looks back (from the year 2065) to 2008, "when meat was taken out of the food chain." (If only!)

It's free and online.

Lots of inspiration to "Live and Let Live" in a fairly entertaining form.

A Little History

A friend asked me why so many "Meatless Monday" groups were "popping up."

One answer: It's About Time.

And although there is a mega-campaign going on currently, in fact the concept is much older. This is from that same campaign's page on Wikipedia:

"During World War I, the United States Food and Drug Administration urged families to observe 'Meatless Monday,' 'Wheatless Wednesday,' and other measures to help the war effort. Conserving food would support U.S. troops as well as feed starving populations in Europe where food production and distribution had been disrupted by war..."

"The campaign came back into play with the onset of World War II, calling upon women at the home front to play a role in supporting the war effort...."
Why the history lesson? Just this: Apparently the U.S. government, as far back as World War I, recognized what a tremendous strain the meat induistry puts on natural (and national) resources. Notice the "Wheatless Wednesday" campaign? Wheat, too, is precious ("the staff of life"), and beef production uses more than its fair share.

So give the resources a break. If you're a meat-eater, have a vegetarian Monday. And if you're already a vegetarian, go "mooless" and avoid dairy foods for a day.

Already vegan? Good for you! Now tell a friend!

So we can all Live and Let Live.

Are You Ready for Tomorrow?

Go to the market. Check the yellow pages. Clip those coupons. Get your information and supplies together.


Be Prepared!

Meatless Monday Recipes

Christine Kuhns ("Native American Momma") was kind enough to visit the various Meatless Monday groups on Facebook and post links to her page of "Meatless Monday" recipes. Check it out!

The Cows and the Amazon

From Beppe Grillo's Blog on June 5, 2009:


"The housewife that buys a steak from the supermarket, a pair of shoes from a main street store, a brand name handbag or a cosmetic product becomes an unwitting accomplice in the destruction of the largest green area on the entire planet."


Read more; a Greenpeace report on the Amazon, and great quotes on the effect of cows on the environment.

Are you ready for tomorrow? 10 Ideas

Be sure you have the ingredients on hand to cook veg tomorrow, or know where you're going if you plan to eat out.

A vegetarian friend wrote and said she would try to live on "cookies" on Mondays.

You don't have to do that! There are lots of vegan dishes!

Instead of giving you expensive, complicated recipes, let me just plant ten ideas in your head for things you might try tomorrow. With cheese, they're vegetarian. Without cheese (or with soy cheese), instant vegan!

  • beans and rice (lentils or Indian "daal," refried bean and rice burritos, or a simple bowl of cooked beans over steamed rice)
  • vegetables and rice (try cooking rice in a rice cooker with vegetables in the top tray; or do fried rice)
  • vegetables and noodles (stir fry style)
  • pasta w/tomato, basil, onion, garlic (if you can't live without cheese, use soy)
  • tofu tacos, burritos, etc.
  • veg sandwiches (try avocado, tomato, sprouts--it doesn't have to be boring; Subway makes a great "Veggie Delight" sandwich)
  • salads with extras (nuts, avocado--again, it doesn't have to be boring)
  • stews, chilis, and soups
  • pizza with no cheese or soy cheese
  • risotto or paella

And we haven't even mentioned all the products available for the veg market--the mock meats, etc.

So, live it up, while you Live and Let Live!

Mega-Meatless Monday Resource

I'm just a guy with a blog--well, actually, several blogs. I can't compete with the big boys.

But this isn't a competition. Veg campaigning is by its very nature cooperative. So let me tell you about a big, wonderful site that I hope you'll all join.

The Meatless Monday site is a cooperative effort of several major health educators.

Sign up for the newsletter (I did). Recipes, health information, and even "fun prizes" can all be had at

Here's their own overview:

Visit the homepage, where we link to Meatless Monday recipes, articles, and more.

Meal Planning - explore this week's recipes, celebrity recipes, Give it a Try and Did You Know archives, and much more.

Health & Nutrition - with this week's top news story, a new chart every week, and links to health and nutrition resources

Outreach & Action - learn about how you can bring the Meatless Monday Campaign to your school, workplace, or community.

Explore archived versions of our weekly e-newsletter, Eater's Digest. Or, if you haven't yet, subscribe!

Learn more About Us by reading our Frequently Asked Questions, exploring our newsroom, and meeting our Advisory Board.

Enter this week's Promotion for a chance to win fun prizes.

Check out Chili Monday, one of our most successful outreach programs. Learn all the chili terms and try out some meatless recipes.

(You'll see this same overview on the "Thank You" page after you sign up.)

Until next time, Live and Let Live.

More "Meatless Monday" on Facebook

Facebook has several "Meatless Monday" groups.

So why am I reinventing the wheel?

One reason is that activity on these pages is infrequent. I can sympathize: Meatless/Mooless Mnday is slow getting off the ground too. I think that my secret weapon-- Blogger's "Scheduled Posts" feature--will help.

I can write several posts at a time, and schedule them over a period of weeks. This keeps things fresh, and maximizes my efficiency. (I've already scheduled twice-weekly posts--plus a Sunday reminder--until the end of June! (I'm writing this on June 5.)

Another factor that sets M/MM apart from the others is that they mostly concentrate on one reason to "go veg," like the environment, or health. As you know, we have FIVE reasons (do it for Yourself, The Animals, Others, The World, and God/s).

Note that the "Groups" below can only be viewed by Facebook members; "Pages" (like mine) can be viewed by anyone.

Here are the groups, in no particular order:

Meatless Monday group created by JJ McCarthy

  • Tidbit from the page: "Miss a Monday? Don't worry, there will always be another one. Or pick another day."

Meatless Monday group run by Cari Lindahl and Christi Fields

  • Tidbit from the page: "You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for a year." (And don't miss Kris Rodney's great post "Why Meatless Monday")

Meatless Monday group run by Sam Mac and Sara Ann Macc

  • Tidbit from the page: Interesting facts on greenhouse gases

I'm Meatless on Monday to Save the Planet group created by Ophelia Reid

  • Tidbit from the page: As the title says, focuses specifically on environmental issues

Meatless Monday, page created by (Remember, this is a PAGE; anyone can see it)

  • This is the Facebook presence for a large health-consciousness campaign, found at I'll tell you more about them in my next post.

I encourage you to join the other groups and contribute to the activity there.

(And don't forget to contribute to the activity here, too!)

Until next time, Live and Let Live.

Are you ready for tomorrow?

If you're a carnivore who's decided to go vegetarian on Monday, or a vegetarian who's decided to go vegan, you might want to give a little thought to what you're going to do.

If you're going to prepare something (cook breakfast or dinner, pack a lunch), do you have the right stuff on hand?

If you're dining out, have you found a veg restaurant, or confirmed that there's a regular restaurant around with veg choices?

As the old saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

Or as they taught me in the Boy Scouts: Be Prepared.

Until tomorrow, then, Live and Let Live.

Make a Cow Happy!

Last time I told you a few easy ways to start eating veg on Mondays.

This time, I'll tell you something easier still: Find a veg restaurant!

And who better to help you than HappyCow?

Here's their site description:

HappyCow's Compassionate Eating Guide to Restaurants and Health Food Stores is a free worldwide guide created to assist travelers and people everywhere find vegetarian and healthy food options. We promote vegetarianism as a compassionate, healthy, and environmentally sustainable way of living. When planning a trip of travel, or just craving some delicious wholesome grub, be sure visit first!

The site has reviews of restaurants worldwide. There's bound to be one near you.

If you already know of a veg restaurant nearby, and it's not listed, why not write a review?

The cows will thank you.

Until next time, Live and Let Live.

Lest We Forget

Every meat you eat was some mother's baby.

Home on the range, Utah, 1995

Easing into Meatless or Mooless Mondays

The proposition is just this: If you eat meat, be a Monday vegetarian. If you're already vegetarian, be a Monday vegan.

Simple, right?

But the logistics are not so simple.

Let's start out slow. How can you "give up meat" (or dairy and eggs) one day a week?

I've taken some tips from Rudy Hadisentosa's online book, How to Successfully Become a Vegetarian, at In Chapter 4: "Where Do I Begin?" Rudy has a "Ten-Point Plan to Becoming a Vegetarian."

While this is about becoming "all veg, all the time," we can adapt some of the points for the Meatless/Mooless Monday once-a-weekers. Here I've adapted Rudy's first three steps.

Step 1: Eat meat-free dinners that you already enjoy.

Think of foods you love that are already meatless--salads, peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, spaghetti in tomato and basil sauce, beans and rice--and eat those on Mondays.

Step 2: Adapt three favorite recipes to make them vegetarian.

In other words, just take out the meat! I often eat cheese and tomato sandwiches; who needs lunchmeat? (Yes, I'm vegetarian, not vegan--but I'll be a Monday vegan from now on!) Do you really need meat in spaghetti sauce? How about trying tofu tacos?

Step 3: Add brand-new vegetarian meals to your repertoire.

Maybe when I said, "tofu tacos," you said "YUCK!" If so, you've never had tofu done right. Here in China we eat stuff that looks, tastes, and feels like fish, chicken, beef--and it's all veg. Check your supermarket for Boca Burgers or Morningstar Farms; you'll be surprised what you'll find (even ribs!)

OK, next time I'll tell you how to find veg restaurants, and give you a source for vegan recipes.

Until then, Live and Let Live.