j's Reviews > Vegan Yum Yum: Decadent (But Doable) Animal-Free Recipes for Entertaining & Everyday

Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm
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's review
Feb 06, 2011

it was amazing
Recommended for: the newly vegan, vegetarians

I have not actually seen or made a recipe out of this book, but Donna has been making stuff from the Vegan Yum Yum blog for about three weeks now. Let me tell you, it has gone very well.

Lots of vegetarians make up for the lack of meat in their diets by eating lots and lots of cheese. I know, because I developed quite a cheese habit over the last few years. But once you stop eating things that rely on cheese for flavor, you realize how many other, more subtle flavors are out there.

Recipes like these are good enough that I don't miss cheese and I certainly don't miss meat; anyone who thinks vegans are all about bland tofu and handfuls of nuts needs to eat chez nous.

I mean, look at what we had tonight; this is easily the best salad I have ever eaten. It's not exactly health food but it is way better for you than the average salad and you are missing nothing for the lack of cheese and dairy in the dressing (and real bacon):

Vegan BLT Salad

BLT Salad

1 Head Lacinato Kale (aka Tuscan or Dinosaur Kale)
1 Package Lightelife Organic Smoky Tempeh Strips
2 Tbs Peanut Oil, divided
1 to 1 1/2 Cups Baby Spinach, Packed
1 to 1 1/2 Cups Sweet Cherry Tomatoes (about 25)

1/4 Cup Vegenaise Mayo
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Agave Nectar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

I didn't know you could eat uncooked kale but the secret is to dress it first and let the dressing soften it for you. It doesn't taste bitter at all!


My other favorite so far is a little bit better for you:

Pan Fried Tofu, Kale, and Stir-Fried Noodles

Pan Fried Tofu, Kale, and Stir-Fried Noodles

1 Package Extra/Super Firm Tofu
1 Head Kale, deveined and torn
5 oz. Dried, Wide Rice Noodles (Mine come in 10 oz packages)
Soy Sauce

Tofu Marinade
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce or Tamari
1 Tbs Thinly Sliced Ginger (or minced)
1 Tbs Maple Syrup
1 Tbs Oil
1 Tbs Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/2 tsp Mustard
1/4 tsp Sriracha or Hot Chili Sauce
Black Pepper, to taste

Dipping Sauce
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce or Tamari
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tbs Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 tsp Mustard
1 tsp Sriracha


Word of advice: the best tofu for marinating and making into filets is West Soy extra firm. And it was on sale this week at Whole Foods for $1.49 a package! We bought 11.

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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! My mom has been having salad for 1st course dinner for a few years now, and she's got a few items that're just dynamite in your mouth. My favorites have been:

- toasted pistachios, buy them in the shell and crack them open while watching teevee or something, then sprinkle a handful on your salad...you know that feeling of greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts? roasting + salting + pistachios = heaven

- toasted seaweed sheets with raw walnuts. make sure to get a little of both in a bite and it's amazing.

- raw grated beets, for every 1 cup add 1/2 lemon's juice and 1T olive oil. no salt. scoop that on your salad and weep for joy.

message 2: by j (new) - rated it 5 stars

j seaweed sheets. they are sooooo expensive at whole foods (7 sheets for $5). i need to find an asian grocery. i want to make sushi!

message 3: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! Asian grocery! Muuuuuch much cheaper. Oak Park may be a little far from the Asian ethnic markets...aren't they closer to the lake and to the north & south? Spices are also muuuuuuch cheaper at Indian and Asian markets, even the ethnic aisle at grocery stores. Cinnamon and bay leaves and cloves and nutmeg from Hispanic markets/sections!

message 4: by j (new) - rated it 5 stars

j oh, i'll make the trek. it's not like you need seaweed every week. even when i lived in the city proper it was always on the west side. but i have a car!

the best was the six-month period where they opened a grand mart a few miles from my old apartment. it didn't last. probably because it was a korean market in the middle of a hispanic neighborhood. but they had everything for so cheap! they had durian!

message 5: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! I never did figure out all the ethnic areas in Chicago. I thought west was Puerto Rican and maybe Polish? So sad about the markets, all 4 stores in Chicago closed.

message 6: by j (last edited Feb 08, 2011 12:30PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

j yes i was very sad. they had pocky for like $.50. everywhere else it is a "specialty item" and costs $2.50. $2.50 for pocky!

there are defined ethnic areas in chicago but they are also sort of smeared all over these days. i actually used to live right by the big metal puerto rican flags that are near the heart of the PR enclave in chicago, but there are other areas as well. the polish areas are on the south side; you are probably thinking of the ukrainians (i used to live in ukrainian village, which is right next to aforementioned flags). lots of these designations are changing with gentrification, as the hispters of wicker park edge into UV and further west into areas that used to be considered "bad" neighborhoods like humboldt park.

you are making me miss the city. stupid commute.

message 7: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! When you lived by the PR flags, did you ever have that sandwich where the bread was replaced by flattened and fried plantains? I think it has a specific name. I think I've forgotten it.

Hah, Ukrainian Village! I remember thinking it was kinda small.

Speaking of gentrification, I've heard laments that Boystown is no longer a boys' town because of all the young hipster couples moving in and having babies.

Awww, you're still in the city! Less than an hour el ride away?

message 8: by j (new) - rated it 5 stars

j yeah, oak park is a honorary neighborhood in my mind. i am actually closer to the el than i used to be and it takes about 20 minutes to get to state street on the blue line.

i have had one of those sandwiches (jibarito) but i don't remember how i felt about it. i think it had questionable meat.

boystown is still pretty gay but that is true to some extent. there are a LOT of families there.

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