Sunday, April 17, 2011

365 Days of Vegan Dishes!

Vegetable Gyoza by Joan Hsu

Have you ever considered giving up meat and/or all animal by-products (eggs, dairy, leather, honey) ? With the "Meatless Mondays" movement gaining momentum it seems to be all the rage. Or are you already a vegetarian or vegan looking for inspiration? If so this post today is dedicated to you!

Truth be told I actually considered becoming a vegetarian at one point and I even tried it for a while - BUT that only lasted for 3 months! My mom's chicken curry was my tempter and I happily obliged. : j

Most likely because I couldn't become one (err..choose... : j ) much like marathon runners and computer programmers I have nothing but admiration for those who choose the vegan lifestyle. 

One such individual to whom I was introduced was Mrs. Joan Hsu.

Mocha Almond Biscotti by Joan Hsu
Joan and I are both Seventh-Day Adventists; where healthy living including vegetarianism and veganism is encouraged. As such, I have come across many vegetarians vegans and their yummy food over the years.

However, Joan is doing something quite different and remarkable from any of them.  She made the transition  from vegetarianism  to veganism, but she didn't stop there. Joan has decided to share  one vegan recipe for each day this year! She uploads 7 new recipes each Sunday along with beautiful pictures to her facebook account. She has shared over 100 unique and delicious recipes so far and will soon reach the 365 recipe mark!

She has made everything from simple sweet plantains, hearty bean and barley soup and decadent desserts to creative vegan takes on traditional dishes like macaroni and "cheeze". 

After looking through her album of delicious treats I knew many more would love to hear about her story and try her recipes! 

Here is what Joan wanted to share in her own words:

Curried Lentil Soup by Joan Hsu
"The idea for this project was a result of several events. First, a couple of years ago, having to go on my daughter Janae's diet for a while (she's allergic to eggs, dairy, soy, wheat, and nuts, as well as cats and dogs) which, while not the greatest experience in the world, made me realize that a vegan diet was very possible for me. After I got off Janae's diet, my husband kept telling me we should go vegan, but I wasn't ready for that yet. Then my friend Jed did a "photo a day" for every day in 2010, which I thought was really awesome. Towards the end of last year I was able to watch the movie "Julie and Julia" which is about a lady who did a blog of Julia Child's cookbook and made each recipe once a day for a whole year, which I thought was really cool. Finally I saw the movie "Forks Over Knives" (coming to theaters March 10, 2011). The movie made me realize that I had to do something about my chocolate and dairy (mainly cheese) intake. I eat waaayy too much of both! As a result, I gave away or threw out all dairy from the fridge, and our family is now vegan (at least at home).

Instead of posting a new recipe daily, I'll be posting seven recipes every Sunday. Some of the recipes are my own original ones but some are just copied or modified from cookbooks or the Internet. I know I'm taking on a big project here, but this is not only for my health, but for my family, and becoming vegan will teach me self-control when it comes to food. Also most people, when they hear the term "vegan", think "bland". But it's not like that at all, as long as you have some good recipes to work with. So I hope you'll join in with me on this ride, try some recipes for yourself, and let me know what you think!"

Indian Fajita by Joan Hsu

Heres the recipe by Joan for the beautiful Vegetable Gyozas seen at the top of this post:

#34 - Vegetable Gyoza

This is actually easy to make. Try making them for Chinese New Year.

2 cups, loosely packed minced napa cabbage
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup vegeburger
1/4 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 Tbsp green onion,minced
1 1/2 tsp miso paste
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 t red chili pepper
1/8 tsp sugar
20 dumplings wrappers

dipping sauce:
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
Several drops of sesame oil

Combine salt and cabbage and let sit 10 minutes. Squeeze all water out of cabbage. Add the rest of the ingredients except wrappers, well combined. Have a small bowl of water ready. Lay wrapper on a dry work
surface and place a heaping tsp of mixture in the center of wrapper. Moistened half of the edges of the wrapper and fold by pleating the edges. Heat 1/2 tsp sesame oil on medium-high heat. Place dumplings with the pleated-wrapper edge up. Cook 3 minutes until brown on bottom. Carefully add 1/4 cup water and when hissing and splattering die down, place lid on to trap in the moister and simmer. After 2 minutes, when
wrapper appear slightly translucent, remove the lid and raise the heat slightly. Continue to cook until all water has eveaporated and only oil remains (about 2 minutes). Make dipping sauce by whisking the soy sauce and vinegar together then the sesame oil.

If you would like to take a look at her album on facebook - here is the link! (link and all the above pictures are by Joan Hsu and have been shared with permission from Joan)

So go on. Try these recipes and see what veganism tastes like! (even if its only for a couple of months) : j


  1. This looks great! It's very inspiring and I WILL be trying some of these recipes and posting on my blog. I'll be sure to link back. :)

  2. Wow, all these dishes look wonderful. With Joan cooking for me, I could easily become vegan ;) Great post~

  3. Though I enjoy eating meat, it is difficult for me to do so since I tend to be anemic. But I do try and incorporate as much vegetables as possible in my diet. I still eat meat but not very often.
    I think it's wonderful of you to post looks so delicious and very healthy!
    Hugs & Happy Blessings,

  4. What a great post!!! I have so much to say! :D 1. My mom's side of the family is Seventh Day Adventist! and 2. We're launching a Meatless Mondays campaign in the Triangle (NC) and I'm on the volunteer team trying to get restaurants, schools, and hospitals on board! and 3. I love this recipe! Thanks for sharing and for introducing Joan!

  5. I think this is great. I don't know if I could manage for 365 days. The goya recipe looks amazing and simple. It is one of my favorite dishes. I will have to be on the look out for your friend!

  6. What a great line of recipes, and they all do look and sound delicious! I could not go without meat whole year is so hard! You said it beautifully and I do also admire those who choose the vegan lifestyle. It can't be easy!
    Have a great week!!!

  7. I'm always looking for more vegan recipes, even though I'm not vegan :) Great post!

  8. All of these vegan dishes look so delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  9. They are like pot stickers is it ? They sure do look amazing and I think I can eat these non stop :)

  10. What an interesting and inspirational post!!! I am not vegetarian or vegan, but I admire who chooses to be either one! Yummy yummy recipe as well!

  11. What a totally inspiring post. I used to be Vegetarian before moving to France. Now I enjoy a steak once a week, I have to admit, but I still love veggie dishes during the week. Your post, however, proves you don't need to rely on the meat with such gorgeous looking and healthy meals.

  12. i have a major sweet tooth and i would do anything to get my teeth into those tasty

    i love vegetarian dishes too but i can't seem to give up chicken biryani and become vegetarian....

    -Abeer @

  13. Thank you all for the kind words - Joan is definitely inspiring! Agree with you Abeer cant seem to give up chicken biryani/curry :( lol..

  14. Thats a wonderful dish ! Thanks so much for sharing ... it looks yum :)

  15. I was a vegetarian for 8 years. In college I attempted to be vegan, but with such limited options in the caf it only lasted about a week. Now I eat meat (although I'd say I still eat about 90% vegetarian) but love trying new vegan recipes. Thanks!