When Confronted With The Protein Question As A Vegan

When It comes to protein in a vegan diet, we really have to look at the quality as well as the quantity.

Out of the 22 amino acid building blocks, 9 are essential amino acids.  These are tryptophan, histidine, methionine + cysteine (either can fill for the other’s role as amino acids), isoleucine, threonine, valine, lysine, phenylalanine + tyrosine (either), and leucine.  As I already posted before about tofu, I am providing more information that it’s possible for one to live on a vegan diet.

So let’s compare eggs to nuts and seeds (with information from http://nutritiondata.self.com/ and Becoming Vegan)

Here the chart shows that flax seeds (per cup) are better at providing the essential amino acids.  All 9 of them.

Besides the obvious flax seeds, walnuts are quite equivalent to eggs in terms of providing amino acids in percentage by weight.

Now, when I put tofu in there…  There is no competition.  Tofu wins by…  A lot.

Now, if you want to get the same amount of nutrients, eggs will provide you with the additional cholesterol, which nobody wants, and not giving you the good omega-3.

So hopefully when someone asks about where proteins are from again, we are all informed about how much protein we get from different sources!

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Dumplings? Noodles? The English Vernacular

I grew up knowing that buns ( 饅頭 , /man to/, ㄇㄢˊ ㄊㄡˊ ) are different from buns with fillings inside ( 包子 , /bao zi/, ㄅㄠ ㄗ˙ ), and buns with fillings inside are also different from “dumplings” ( 餃子 , /jiao zi/, ㄐㄧㄠˇ ㄗ˙ ) that are not steamed but boiled.  However, when I learned that sometimes lines are not clearly drawn between buns and buns with fillings (both are called buns) and between buns with fillings and dumplings (both are called dumplings), I really thought that the English language could have done more to differentiate them from each other.

It was a struggle to accept that Americans categorize buns as anything that appear bread-like, and dumplings are anything with fillings inside.  I was angry at the English language itself, which yielded no fruit (food puns intended).


But no foods of the world are immune to this kind of categorization.  Ravioli, tortellini, and even gnocchi are categorized as “dumplings”.  In fact, NPR had a quest to build a list of dumplings based on this broad agglomeration of different types of food.  Recently, I met two Italians who just couldn’t accept that people call spaghetti “noodles”, but the fact is, in the English language, all unleavened dough that are stretched and boiled are called noodles.

Misua noodle making Taiwan.jpg

Over the years, I have started to soften up and accept that there is a limitation to the English language, and I have stopped making a fuss about the whole buns-buns with fillings-dumplings situation.  I also accept that English, a language that is spoken so broadly in the world, does not have enough broad vocabulary to fit everything, I just have to embrace it.  Once in awhile though, I still take comfort in that “samosas” and “tamales” are disputed as dumplings and learned to go with the flow.

An “oversimiplified” chart of food categorization in the English language:
Buns (include 饅頭 and 包子 )
Dumplings (include 包子 , 餃子 , ravioli, tortellini, momo, pierogi, etc.)
Noodles (include 麵 , spaghetti, pasta of all shapes and sizes)

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The Vegan Table: Cuban Black Bean Soup

The Vegan Table: Cuban Black Bean Soup

The Vegan Table: Cuban Black Bean Soup

So yummy!  But if you are trying out the recipe, PLEASE do not do the whole portion suggested by the book, cut it down by half, as the soup is quite filling, and it took 3 people in my family 3 days to finish the soup.  It was rich with fragrance of banana, coconut, and full of spices.

The soup doesn’t look very appealing on its own, so I definitely suggest taking the advice from the cookbook to garnish the soup with finely chopped red bell peppers for the color contrast.

Other bloggers who tried it also seem to like the soup!  Although there is one blogger who mentioned some hesitance of having fruit (ex., banana) in the soup.  Here’s what other bloggers think about it:

Posted in autumn, banana, bell pepper, black bean, chili, Chinese mahogany/toona, coconut milk, cumin, Food and drink, ginger, red pepper, spring, summer | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Vegan Table: Potato And Seed Spread

The Vegan Table: Potato and Seed Spread

Like the Boston baked beans from the earlier post, I had no idea how this would turn out to be like.  And mine turned out to be quite tough and indicated nothing relevant to “spread” and “stuffing”.

Not a lot of people made it and reported about their efforts, but at least one other person did it and liked it:

Posted in basil, Chinese mahogany/toona, flour, lemon, oregano, potato, savory, sesame seed, sunflower seed, thyme | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Vegan Table: Delightful Date Truffles

The Vegan Table: Delightful Date Truffles

Loved them!  They were full of spices!  The white ones were rolled in powdered sugar while the dark ones were rolled in cocoa powder.  My friends enjoyed them, my family loved them, and I also think they were very yummy!  Very easy to make, and totally worth the time (under 1 hour).

Other people who tried this recipe also seemed to like them:

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The Vegan Table: Boston Baked Beans

The Vegan Table: Boston Baked Beans

I…  Can’t say that I loved this recipe…  I have never had Boston baked beans before, but I don’t think I will try it again anytime soon.  I still don’t know what Boston baked beans are supposed to taste like, but based on what I made…  I just don’t know how it can go with anything.

I didn’t find a lot of people using this particular Boston baked beans recipe:

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The Vegan Table: Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Spread)

The Vegan Table: Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper And Walnut Spread)

This spread was not like how the book pictured it.  Mine turned out to be a lot drier and also not brilliantly red, as the book illustration led me to believe.  The book’s looked more like a dip and mine more of a spread.  Although delicious in its own right, the illustration was just a little misleading.  So this is also an example of when buying a cookbook, never let the pictures sway you; look more closely to the content and feasibility instead.

Some other people’s turned out to be redder than mine, but it seems like it is variable:

Posted in agave, autumn, bell pepper, bread, cumin, Food and drink, lemon, nuts, red pepper, summer, truffle oil, winter | Tagged , | Leave a comment