It’s A Vegan World: French

ShareI haven’t announced a new chapter of my occasional series, It’s A Vegan World, for a few months now because I’ve just been too busy at work and home. So when Graziana of Erbe in Cucina offered to host it in April, and even suggested a cuisine– French– I jumped at the chance to revive it.

I had considered a French edition of IAVW before but hesitated because veganizing French cuisine can seem a huge challenge to anyone. When I picked up a copy of Julia Child’s  Mastering the Art of French Cooking at a yard sale years ago, I thumbed eagerly through it hoping to find at least something that I might be able to veganize. I gave up because, honestly, it seemed almost impossible to pare down all the animal-rich ingredients in there.

But now I think I am ready to dust it off and thumb through it again.

I might not be alone in my fear of cooking French food. Although often simple and stark, the cuisine of France seems daunting to any cook who’s new at it, perhaps because it occupies such a hallowed place as one of the world’s most luxe cuisines. Just the minute attention to detail and technique is enough to drive an otherwise accomplished but time-pressed cook to throw in the apron and call for Chinese takeout.

Besides, it does seem to include a lot of meat and dairy products. But it also includes lots of fresh vegetables and lentils. And when you think back on all those French recipes you’ve run into, you’re bound to think of something that can easily be veganized or is even vegan to begin with. Ratatouille, for instance.

So toss aside those inhibitions and all those ideas about doing things just so and get cooking. We are not trying to win the Michelin stars here…we are just trying to make some healthy, wholesome, delicious food that we’d love to sit down to after a day’s hard work. And have some fun while we’re at it.

Here are some Web sites to help you get started:

French Vegetarian Recipes

Voila!Vegan Does French

I also came across this book of vegan French recipes, in case you want to check it out of your public library. And one of my favorite TV chefs to watch, Jacques Pepin, often demonstrates French recipes that are both simple and vegetarian or easily veganized.

Don’t forget to look up the event announcement page at Graziana’s blog with the guidelines, and to send her your recipes. The only thing you need to remember is that it has to be vegan– if you have any concerns about whether a certain ingredient qualifies or not, think about whether it involved some animal or insect. Honey, fish, milk, eggs, gelatin are NOT vegan, and not allowed.

I’ll see you around.


(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

IAVW: Chinese. The Roundup.

If you thought that you’d been there and eaten that when it came to Chinese food, this roundup of It’s A Vegan World: Chinese is going to make you think again.

Here’s an array of dishes so fabulous, so creative and so diverse, I challenge any one of you aficionados of Chinese food (and who isn’t one?) to find something you’ve never had before– and try it!

Thanks to all of you who cooked for this event. As some of you might have noticed, I did not announce a theme for this month, but that’s because I am going to make IAVW an occasional event from now on instead of a monthly one. I’m too busy right now with a new job and I want to make sure I do justice to your hard work when I announce and put together these roundups. I also know that this event is a great resource for many vegans out there, so trust me, I’ll be announcing a new theme in a month or two.

Until then, feast on this. And if you haven’t already, do go back and take a look at past editions of IAVW, including Moroccan, Thai and Indian. We’ve got something for everyone.

Enjoy, all!

Sangita’s Tofu Dumplings

Priyasuresh’s Vegetable Fried Rice

Nandini’s Scallion Pancakes
Nithya’s Chinese Dumplings

Malini’s Chilli Soya

Graziana’s Steamed Baos

Champa’s Gobi Manchurian

Cham’s Almond Cookies

As always, please let me know if I missed you, or if the links aren’t working or correct. The recipes are in reverse alphabetical order, so please be mindful of that as you look through for your dish.

Have a great weekend, all!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

It’s A Vegan World: Chinese

Pack your bags, or rather your woks–we’re taking off this month for the land of ancient wisdom, impenetrable mystique and delicious takeout.

Yes, it’s Chinese month here on It’s A Vegan World and I’m looking forward to bringing you along for the journey.

I’m really excited about this one not just because I, like almost everyone out there, love Chinese food, but because I’ve always been smitten from afar with this land so rich in culture and tradition and billion-plus life stories. In fact, if there was just one country I could visit before I died, it would have to be China.

But exotic as China is to those of us who live elsewhere, its food is anything but foreign almost anywhere around the world. Here, in the United States, it is rivaled only by pizza as the most popular takeout food and in my home it beats pizza hands-down any day because it’s not just delicious but also usually loaded with delicious veggies like broccoli and eggplant. It helps of course that there are at least three Chinese takeouts within a quarter mile radius around my house :)

What makes this event more fun is the fact that Chinese food has been adapted into so many different versions around the world. There are thousands of great recipes and variations to choose from and try, and I am hoping you’ll try at least one– or more — this month.

So get cooking folks, and if you need a nudge here are some helpful resources:

The International Vegetarian Union’s page of Chinese recipes.

VegWeb’s extensive collection of Chinese recipes

Vegetarian and vegan Chinese recipes from

The guidelines are the same as always, but here they go again:

The deadline is Dec. 1, 2009.

These foods are no-nos in vegan cooking, so please leave them out: honey, butter, eggs, cheese, ghee, milk, yogurt (basically no milk-based products), gelatin, and, of course, no meats or fish. Vegan meat or cheese substitutes are fine.

Link back to this announcement, and feel free to use the logo below.
The recipe should be cooked for this event, but if you’d like to send a recipe you’ve already posted, you do need to link back to this announcement and repost it.

Non-bloggers are also very welcome. Just send me your recipe and a picture.

As for bloggers, send me an email with your post to myveganworld[at] Include these details:

Your name

Blog name

Post url

A photograph of your dish (any size)

Happy cooking, all!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

It’s A Vegan World: Malaysian. The Roundup.

This past weekend I was at the amazing D.C. VegFest, an event celebrating cruelty-free living and the most delicious vegan food.

The place was buzzing with cooking demos and speakers like Rory Freedman of the fabulous Skinny Bitch books. Best of all, I made some great new friends like Marya and her beautiful, vibrant, smart-as-a-whip four-year-old who’s been raised as a vegan since birth.

Then there were the super vegan eats from designer cupcakes to sizzling Indian food to mouthwatering vegan pizzas. All of which really made me wonder why anyone in their right senses chooses to eat dairy-loaded desserts and oil-soaked pizzas piled high with dead animals. Hmm…

Meanwhile, we’ve had our own little celebration of compassionate eating going on here at Holy Cow! — It’s A Vegan World, an attempt to explore the vegan possibilities in global cuisine. And trust me, not since Christopher Columbus has anyone had an opportunity to do so much exploring.

This month’s theme is Indian food, but today I am here with the roundup of last month’s theme– Malaysian.

To all of you who participated– bravo and a ton of thanks! You proved that Malaysian food is not just diverse and delicious, but it can also be gloriously cruelty-free, and that’s no small feat. What’s more, you’ve helped create a great resource for compassionate cooks everywhere looking to explore new cuisines. There’s everything here to satisfy any craving for Malaysian food: from scrumptious satays to ravishing rices, incredible curries and delectable deserts.

For those who didn’t participate, not all’s lost– this month we’re featuring Indian vegan cuisine which should, honestly, be easy as pie. Or curry. So what’re you waiting for? Get cooking and rush in your entries to Graziana of Erbe in Cucina who’s hosting.

But first, feast on this:

Claire’s Tofu Curry

June’s Muah Chee

…and June’s Sago Gula Melaka

Meera’s Vegan Laksa

Minu’s LacyPancakes (Roti Jala)

Priya Narasimhan’s Malay-style Noodles

Priyasuresh’s Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

…and Priyasuresh’s Spicy Okra Kheema

Shri’s Fried Shallots

Stephanie’s Char Kueh Teow

…and Stephanie’s Claypot Tofu Rice

Sudha’s Mee Curry

Susan’s Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce

Susana’s Mango Tofu Curry

…and Susana’s Eggplant Tofu

Sweatha’s Apam Balik

…and Sweatha’s Cucur Kodok

My Murtabak

As always, please send a heads-up if you spot any glitches, broken links, bad links and such. And, of course, let me know if I accidentally overlooked any of your entries.

Enjoy, all!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

It’s A Vegan World: British. The Roundup.

I learned about British foods by name in the books of the wonderful British authors who I read growing up. Scrambled eggs and sardines in P.G. Wodehouse, hot buttered scones and ginger beer in Enid Blyton, salmon and asparagus in Somerset Maugham… I had almost no idea what they would taste like, but they sounded strange, exotic and attractive at the time. Still my first introduction to British food on British soil was anti-climactic, if anything.

I had just spent the whole night and half the day at the airport and in a plane. I had butterflies the size of eagles in my stomach: it was my first trip abroad and I was joining a group of 12 journalists from around the world on an eight-week fellowship to learn all we could about journalism in Britain. I was already more than a day late because of passport-authorizing delays in India and although I’d been up nearly 24 hours I had no time to stop or grab a bite before I had to rush off to join the others who were already touring the BBC and were about to leave for the office of the legendary London Times.

My first meal was a dinner buffet laid out for us by the Times as we chatted with the top editors there (Rupert Murdoch — who owns the Times– wandered in at one point, realized he was in the wrong place, and excused himself immediately. But at the time it was a huge thrill for all of us to see one of the news business’s biggest moguls in the flesh).

I picked up a piece of tuna fish and some salad and immediately regretted it. Perhaps it was the fatigue, or my spice-ravaged tastebuds were just not used to it, but the fish tasted terribly bland and the salad was– well, I’ve said it many times before, I am not a fan of raw salads.

Over the next few weeks, though, I had enough time and opportunity to try out all kinds of British food and I am happy to say that I never again ate anything I absolutely didn’t love. Of course, we always ate at restaurants, but the restaurants were certainly doing a great job of making the local food nothing short of delicious even to tastebuds as diverse as those in our group– we had fellows from South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, among others.

But the food I ate was either meat-based or dairy-based (this was in my pre-vegan days), so when I got ready to announce It’s A Vegan World: British last month, I confess I was just a wee bit worried– how easy would it be to strip meat, fish, eggs and dairy from British food and still make it spectacular? I decided to go ahead because I reminded myself of all you adventurous cooks out there. You didn’t let me down and thanks to you, we have a great feast here that would convert any skeptic.

So here, without further delay, are your wonderful creations (in alphabetical order, by your names). Thanks to each one of you for participating– what can I say, you’re amazing!
Brown Scone by Arathi of Arathi’s Kitchen

Irish Soda Bread by Champa of BangaloreBaker

Leek and Potato Soup by Claire of Chez Cayenne

Spotted Dick by Jaya of Jayaspace

Oatcakes by Jules

Cranachan by Jules

Shepard’s Pie by Maria of Vegan Dinners

Mulligatawny Soup by Meena of Chettinad Fiesta

Soda Bread Scones by Pavani of Cook’s Hideout

Blueberry Cake by Priya of 365 Days of Pure Vegetarian

Cherry & Peach Crumble by Priya of Akshayapaatram

Scones by Priya Narasimhan of Priya’s Vegetarian Recipes

10 Vegan Pickles from the British Raj by Ramki of One-Page Cookbooks

Vegan Tattie Scones by Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf

Colcannon by Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf

My recipes:
Savory “Lamb” Stew (Scouse)

Scottish Shortbread

Sandwich Bread

Cucumber Sandwiches

Whole-wheat Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Jam

Do let me know if I missed anyone– it is not by design, and I’ll add you immediately.

Also, if you haven’t already, do catch up on past editions of IAVW. We have meat-free, dairy-free, fish-free and egg-free feasts from Morocco, Thailand, Mexico and Italy. And this month we’re featuring Malaysian vegan cuisine, so don’t forget to send in your recipes!

Cheers, all!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.