Favorite Pig-friendly Recipes

What if your dog tasted like porkIf your dog tasted like pork, would you eat him? Most meat-eaters would answer “No way! That’s gross, dude!” But really, what’s the difference between pork loin and poodle loin?

Most people know very little about pigs. They are fascinating animals. Pigs are curious and insightful animals thought to have intelligence beyond that of an average 3-year-old human child. They are smarter than dogs and every bit as friendly, loyal, and affectionate.

Covered this month –

• Favorite pre-made pig substitutes
• Cruelty-free bacon
• BLT’s
• BBQ sandwiches
• Baked five-spice seasoned tofu
• Mu-shu “pork” without the dead pig
• Soy foods: Tofu vs. Tempeh

Pre-made pig substitutes

Living vegan in 2006 is almost embarrassingly easy. To all those folks who went veg and vegan before Soy Delicious and Riblets: You have my utmost respect. If you don’t like to cook, please buy, heat and serve some of these great products the next time you’re cooking for meat-eaters:

• GardenBurger BBQ Riblets

• Lightlife Smart Bacon
• Lightlife Fakin’ Bacon

Smart Bacon is more processed and more bacon-like, Fakin’ Bacon is less processed, a little healthier, but not exactly bacon-like.

• GimmeLean Sausage

+ Sausage links from several different companies

If you do like to cook, the first Millennium cookbook has a yummy recipe for sausage, and here’s a recipe for your own bacon.

Cruelty-Free Better Than Bacon

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
1/2 lb. extra-firm tofu

• Mix the soy sauce, yeast flakes, maple syrup and liquid smoke together in a shallow container. With a cheese slicer, shave the tofu into very thin slices. Marinate the tofu in the soy sauce mixture for 1 day or more.
• To cook, heat a lightly oiled, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, fry the tofu slices until they are golden-brown and almost crispy on both sides, scraping underneath the slices as you turn them with a sturdy spatula. Turn several times during cooking and let cool in the pan; the slices will crisp up as they cool.


Buy a better-than-bacon product, or make your own. Use Veganaise vegan mayonnaise, sliced tomatoes, and fresh lettuce on toasted bread. Old-fashioned diner food at it’s best! For a delicious twist, use the new Annie’s salad dressing instead of vegan mayo. It’s called “Woodstock” and it’s scrumptious, rich and tangy and slightly tomato-ey.

BBQ sandwiches

2lb of extra-firm tofu OR tempeh OR pre-made seitan
2 bottles of BBQ sauce—Annie’s makes a very good one—or make your own
1 cup water
8 fluffy buns
½ head of lettuce, finely chopped

½ yellow onion, finely chopped (Use a sweet onion, like a Walla-walla, for an extra touch)
Veganaise or Nayonaise

• Slice the tofu, tempeh, or seitan into thin strips. Mix with the BBQ sauce and water. *Place in a glass pie or casserole dish and bake for at least 30 minutes, at 350 degrees.
• Slice the buns in half and toast them
• Serve the BBQ “pork” on the buns, topped with lettuce and onion and vegan mayo if you like it.

• Add some vegan coleslaw or potato salad, chips, and a dill pickle…voila; you’re back in a Midwestern backyard BBQ.

Baked Five-Spice-Seasoned Tofu

1 lb. firm tofu
1/2 pint vegetable stock
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder

• Preheat the oven to 350°F.
• Slice the tofu into thin slices.
• Lightly oil a glass oven dish, place the tofu slices in the dish in a single layer and set aside.

• In a small bowl or measuring jug, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour the mixture over the tofu slices.
• Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, carefully turn the tofu and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
• Use as sandwich slices, add to a stir fry, or dice for use in salads, sandwiches and side dishes. The tofu will keep for 5 to 7 days if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Mu Shu ‘Pork’
12 oz. package faux ham or Canadian bacon deli slices, cut into matchstick-sized pieces (try Yves brand—www.yves.com)
1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. sweet Marsala wine
2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. peanut oil
1/4 cup fresh ginger, cut into slivers
8 green onions (white and light-green parts only), cut into 2-inch lengths and slivered
1 lb. savoy cabbage, cored and sliced 1/8-inch thick 2 carrots, peeled and grated
10 shiitake mushroom caps, sliced 1/8-inch thick Water, if needed

Plum sauce, warmed
8 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed

• Place the faux ham or Canadian bacon, soy sauce, Marsala wine, sugar, sesame oil, and salt and pepper into a small bowl. Toss until the faux ham or Canadian bacon is coated and set aside.
• Heat the peanut oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the ginger, green onions, cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are wilted—about 5 minutes.
• Add the contents of the small bowl, along with a little water if needed. Toss and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.
• Serve immediately with the warm plum sauce and the tortillas for wrapping.

Soy Foods

Soy is certainly getting a lot of flack lately. I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor, so for the health benefits and/or possible risks of soy, I recommend the absolute best sources of nutritional advice:

www.DrMcDougall.com (search for “soy”)

I trust these guys because I know they will admit when they’re wrong and I also know they keep current on all new research.

While you tip-toe through the confusion of soy health, I would like to point out one thing that you could share with your anti-soy acquaintances: Unnaturally high amounts of unnaturally processed soy may have some slight health risks. However, we know that eating dead animals causes heart disease—guaranteed. Eat meat, clog your arteries. And it will most likely cause one or more of the following problems: Cancer, diabetes, impotence, obesity, etc., etc. Meat is packed full of hormones and chemicals that we know cause harm to humans. So perhaps the folks who eat meat should first go veg, and save their health, and then worry about whether to eat Boca burgers or not.

One of the top ten questions I get at cooking classes: “What is the difference between tofu and tempeh?”

Tofu is cheese. Cow cheese is milk curd, and tofu is soymilk curd. They are made the same way. The next time someone wrinkles their nose about tofu, ask them if they eat cheese. When they say yes, you can politely point out that you would rather eat healthy vegetable milk than cow’s milk full of fat, cholesterol, blood and pus. Tofu is not seasoned. It is like eating a plain potato or plain chicken breast. The sauces, herbs, spices, salt and cooking methods make it delicious—just like meat.

Tempeh is pâté. Instead of just the milk from the soybean, it is the whole soybean that has been fermented and pressed together in a cake. Thus, it has more fiber, flavor and texture than tofu. Some people prefer the taste; some folks prefer the milder tofu. Also, some people seem to digest tempeh better than tofu—but not all. Try both and decide for yourself. Tempeh is not good raw. It is delicious steamed, sautéed, braised like pot roast, or crumbled into tomato sauce. It is a good, whole food.

Soy processed foods are Spam. Did you know that Alaska and Hawaii are the two highest per-capita consumers of Spam? I’m from Alaska. That’s disturbing. Anyway, soy “treats” like burgers, TVP, sausages, etc., etc are highly processed foods. They have been manipulated to a point where the soy protein becomes highly concentrated and many of the original vitamins, minerals and fiber have been lost.

Many people believe these foods are the culprits of the “soy-is-bad” debate. I don’t eat them at home. However, I think they are excellent foods for advocacy. Because I eat vegan all the time, and eat whole foods most of the time, I have absolutely no qualms when faced with a plate of mock duck or Golden Era drumsticks when I’m eating out. And most importantly, when I’m cooking for and eating with meat-eaters. Riblets and Tofurky BeerBrats and GimmeLean breakfast sausage and Tofutti Cuties and Veganaise…animals in slaughterhouses must have had some input into these products, because they help so many people go veg!

Seitan is not soy. It is made from pure wheat protein (or gluten). It is one of the best textured foods, if you’re looking for a meat consistency. It is delicious when marinated well.

If you are one those people who feels allergic to both soy and wheat, which deletes all four of the above protein foods from your diet, never fear. Nobody needs tofu, seitan, fake sausage or seitan. Humans in this country are addicted to protein, and it’s making them sick.

As Dr. McDougall says,

People worry more about protein in their diet than any other nutrient. The obvious truth is: there is enough protein in plants to grow an elephant, horse, or hippopotamus. Certainly there is enough protein to grow relatively small people. Furthermore, all plants contain all of the amino acids in proper balance for ideal human growth. In other words, it is impossible to make up a diet deficient in protein or individual amino acids from any unrefined starches (rice, potatoes) and vegetables. You must get over this common myth in order to comfortably follow a diet that is best for you and the family. The only real problems with protein come from eating too much.

Source: http://drmcdougall.com/med_hot_protein.html


  1. Adam Victorino [Visitor] says:

    Thank you for the straight forward information. Soy products have been heavily attacked recently. My diet includes soy milk and yves/tofurky products in my sandwiches and tofu for dinner a few times a week. And those concerned with my “unusual” eating habits often get scared for my health because of the negative portrayal of vegetarianism and the alternative products…mostly funded by big industries like the dairy (ie milk). I look forward to reading your columns!

  2. Pati [Visitor] says:

    People with thyroid problems are usually allergic to soy. That includes hyper- as well as hypo-thyroid.
    I am very allergic to soy and hypothyroidism is the the reason for me. Miso is the exception, whcih is good for me. I can have a small amount of tamari in something but the amount of soy tolerated is small. the main symptom I get from eating soy is extreme sudden fatigue but sometimes it can make me feel really ill. Food that is more concentrated soy such as tofu or soy beans is indigestible and gives gastro-intestinal symptoms.
    I didn’t know that I was allergic to soy for a long time. If you have thyroid problems check out soy as a possible allergy for you.

    Many people who did not grow up eating soy have trouble digesting it.
    For anyone who can eat soy it can be a really great food with a lot of benefits.
    Be sure to eat organic soy only because non-organic soy products are virtually all genetically mutated (GMO).
    Also, vegan men who eat too much soy can develop fertility problems because the phytoestrogens that are good for female hormones are bad for male hormones. Too much phytoestrogen in men can make them infertile.

  3. Hunter Cashdollar [Visitor] says:

    Soy causes all kinds of problems for some people. Hunter Cashdollar

  4. Gregory Ostrovsky [Visitor] says:

    Dear Alex Bury:
    How can I make a fermented soy beans?
    How can I make a soybean milk?
    Thank You very much in advance.
    Sincerly ,

    Yours Gregory.
    Phone: 651. 554.. 0510 . St. Paul., Minnesota ,USA

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