Any ’90s-era kid worth her Reeboks remembers Blossom. Mayim Bialik, who played the starring role in the hit sitcom, continues to act (she plays Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory), but she’s garnered much attention for her stance on attachment parenting as well as her support of companies like Elephant Heart, the latter which is clear from her devotion to the charm necklace often worn around her neck. It bears the birthstones of her two sons, Frederick, 5 and Miles, 8.
Now, the Emmy-nominated actress and mom is expanding her repertoire even further with a vegan cookbook. Carnivores need not fear: Mayim’s Vegan Table (with Dr. Jay Gordon) is fit for every eater. Bialik does an excellent job of convincing readers that the foods that are good for us can taste good, too. Furthermore, she asserts that it doesn’t matter what you “call yourself,” but “that you get useful information and delicious recipes” from the book.
Mission accomplished (and that’s from an unabashed carnivore). Check out the two totally vegan recipes below. These are ones that kids and parents alike are sure to enjoy…without ever wondering where the meat is!
Dilled Chickpea Burger with Spicy Yogurt Sauce
1 cup plain vegan yogurt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, well-drained and rinsed
1/3 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 cup shallots, minced
2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
About 1/4 cup vegetable oil, for oiling the pan
6 pita pockets or buns
1. To make the yogurt sauce, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until blended thoroughly.
2. To make the burger, lightly mash half of the chickpeas in a medium bowl. Add the dill, shallots, bread crumbs, and lemon juice and mix well.
3. In a food processor, combine the remaining chickpeas, tahini, salt, pepper and cumin until smooth. Add to the mashed chickpeas, mix well, and form into six to eight patties.
4. Oil a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and cook the burgers until very crispy and dark golden on both sides, about 6 minutes. Don’t flip them too much! Drain on paper towels or brown paper bags on a wire rack.
5. Stuff the patties in pita pockets. Drizzle with yogurt sauce.
Vietnamese Banh Mi with Do Chua and Sweet Sauce
Makes 4 sandwiches
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 pound daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 baguette or loaf French bread
1 (14-ounce) container firm tofu, drained and cut into strips
1. To make the do chua, place the carrots and daikon in a medium bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Knead vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes to expel their water. Soon some liquid will pool at the bottom of the bowl. Stop kneading when the vegetables are wilted. Drain them in a colander and wash under cold, running water. Press the vegetables gently to drain the extra water. Place in a quartsize jar.
2. Mix the sugar, vinegar and 1 cup of warm water in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this liquid over the vegetables, covering them completely.
3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Do chua will keep in the fridge for about 4 weeks.
4. To make the sweet sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, remove the garlic cloves, and serve.
5. To make the banh mi, cut the baguette in half lengthwise into 4 to 5 pieces and toast. Spread vegan mayonnaise and dipping sauce on both sides. Lay 3 strips of tofu on each sandwich. Add do chua, and more dipping sauce, if desired.