Vegan Versus Vegetarian


Veganism, and its close cousin Vegetarianism, are terms that you’ve probably encountered before as dietary choices that are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S.  Although these terms get thrown around a lot, it’s important to understand exactly what they mean and where they come from before knowing whether one of these lifestyles is right for you.

Both being vegan and vegetarian involve the absence of meat and animal products in a person’s diet, but to varying degrees. Vegetarian is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat. Any kind of meat including poultry and seafood are not eaten but animal by-products such as eggs and dairy can be eaten. Vegan is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of all animal products. This includes all forms of meat, dairy and eggs but also other animal made products such as honey.

According to the website The Vegetarian Times there are currently 7.3 million Americans that are vegetarian and another 22.8 million that have a diet which is vegetarian-inclined. There are many reasons as to why people choose to go this route. For some it is about the ethical treatment of animals while for others it’s about improving health as a vegan/vegetarian diet has been known to aid in disease prevention and weight loss.  Whatever your reasons are, if you want to lead a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, it is now easier than ever. To help you get started we’ve included a vegan recipe below!

Peas, Carrots and Tempeh with Miso-Almond Sauce

(Courtesy of The Vegetarian Times)

Serves 4 — 30 minutes or fewer

The sauce here is the sort of fusion you might expect if a Southeast Asian peanut sauce met a Middle Eastern tahini in Japan.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 Tbs. almond butter
  • 2 Tbs. lemon or lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. yellow miso
  • 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. plain tempeh, cubed
  • 4 carrots, halved and sliced into half-moons (1¾ cups)
  • 1 lb. sugar snap peas (2½ cups)
  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes.
  1. Whisk together almond butter, lemon juice, miso, ginger, and garlic. Whisk in 1/3 cup water. Set aside.
  1. Heat wok over high heat, until water droplets evaporate within 1 second. Add oil, and swirl to coat wok. Add tempeh, and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add carrots, and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add sugar snap peas, and stir-fry 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  1. Fluff quinoa with fork, top with vegetables, and drizzle with miso-almond mixture.

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