Hegan is the term coined by the Boston Globe to give a name to the growing number of men who are giving up their carnivorous ways to become plant eaters (they often, also eschew animal by-products, thus, vegan — Hegan).
There is definitely a growing trend to this movement as seen by some of the newest Vegans/Vegetarians:
Former President Bill Clinton, Prince Fielder (Milwaukee Brewers), Biz Stone (co-founder of Twitter) , Russell Simmons (hip-hop mogul), and Steve Wynn (Las Vegas casino magnate). There are also longtime vegan/vegetarians: Joe Namath, Bob Harper, Tony LaRussa, Robert Parrish, Dave Scott, Carl Lewis, to name a few. I wrote a post about working out and eating a plant based diet here.
There is such a deep connection between “Man” and “Meat” that meat-eating is almost a proxy for virulity and “what it means to be Man”.
“Look, honey, I can eat meat for breakfast, meat-on-a-stick for lunch, and still consume the entire backside of a cow for dinner!”
Of course, I am just poking a bit of fun at the man-meat connection, but as Gene Bauer of Farm Sanctuary points out in Quick’s article, until recently there was really very little thought given to what we ate and what this might be doing to our bodies and our planet, let alone the animals themselves.
What or who is responsible for helping men change the way they look at meat?
I think one thing that has tipped the scale a bit is that women have come to realize (with our changing understanding of what we are really eating) that if their “man” continues his love affair with meat he won’t be around that much longer. From Quick’s article:
[Recent] events…have come together to make everyone, including some meat-eating males, more aware of the importance of eating a diet based on plants, not animals.
Baur cited popular movies and books such as “Food Inc,” “Fast Food Nation” and “The China Study”; repeated news stories about E. coli bacteria outbreaks and mad cow disease; the awareness provided by the health and social media; and an increasing array of vegetarian and vegan restaurants and cooking classes spreading across the nation.
“People are recognizing that the way we are eating is killing us,” says Baur. “Eating plants is simply a more efficient and healthy way to feed our planet’s growing population.”
And, of course, there is always the Oprah Effect. If you didn’t see Oprah’s (Feb 1) segment on going vegetarian/vegan check it out.
Whatever the reason for the growing trend, I am happy about it.
Jimmy said that the increase in men who are asking about vegetarian/vegan products at Trader Joe’s has greatly increased over the past year and since the Oprah Show has tripled. We can never, ever underestimate the Oprah effect. Thanks, O! Oprah also has a Vegan Starter Kit you can check out.
Let’s all give a big cheer for Men Going Meatless! Yayyyyyyyyyy! Men!
Today’s Meatless Monday recipe is brought to you by Veggie Num Num who has veganized one of America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches (posted in the Huffington Post). The original sandwich is called “The Drunken Chicken Baguette” made by the Baguette Box in Seattle. The veganized version, “The Drunken Not Chicken Baguette” just looks too yummy for words. We will make this sandwich this week, but if you beat us to it, let me know.
Drunken Marinated Tofu
14oz (400g) firm tofu
1 lemongrass shoot, white part only
2 garlic cloves
1 vegetable stock cube
1-2 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
¼ tsp ground white pepper
¼ cup rice wine (or white wine) vinegar
Crumble the tofu into chunks (you want them to be about the size of fried chicken pieces) and set aside.
In a food processor or mortar and pestle, process the shallots, lemon grass, garlic, stock cube, palm sugar and white pepper until pulpy, add the rice or white wine vinegar and combine well to form the marinade.
Transfer the marinade into a large bowl and toss the chunks of tofu, coating evenly. Refrigerate while you prepare the remaining sandwich ingredients (tofu can be left to marinate overnight if you desire).
Sweet Tangy Sauce (note: we will just buy the sauce)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2tsp fresh minced ginger
2 small red chillies, minced (optional)
1 tbs peanut oil
4 tbs kekap manis (Indonesian soy sauce)
2 tbs tomato paste
1 lime, juice only
Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat, add the minced garlic, ginger and chilli (if using) and fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and soft.
Add the kekap manis and tomato paste, whisking over a medium/low heat until the sauce is well combined and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
1 large brown onion, thinly sliced and then separated into rings
1-2 tbs vegetable oil
1-2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
½-1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a small frying pan. Add the onions, turning down the heat to cook slowly for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are lovely and soft. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and cayenne pepper if using and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until the onions begin to caramelize and become beautifully golden and sticky, set aside.
Battered Crispy Tofu in Sweet Tangy Sauce
2 oz (50g) plain unbleached flour
2½ oz (70g) cornstarch
1½ tsp baking powder
Good pinch of salt flakes
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ cup cold water
Peanut or Rice Bran oil for deep frying
Sift the flour, cornstarch and baking powder into a medium sized bowl, add the salt and pepper and make a well in the centre. Gradually add the cold water, whisking until the ingredients just come together to form a smooth batter.
Heat enough oil in a good saucepan for deep frying; the oil should be deep enough to fully submerge your pieces of tofu. Bring the oil to a high heat watching it carefully, the oil is at the right temperature for deep frying when you can see the surface start to shimmer, you can also check by adding a small crust of bread, it should fry and brown up immediately.
Take your marinated pieces of tofu and carefully, using chopsticks or tongs dunk each piece individually into the prepared batter, hold it over the batter allowing any excess to drip off and then carefully dunk it into the hot oil.
Cook the battered tofu in small batches for 1-2 minutes each, allowing them to golden nicely, remove and set aside on absorbent paper. Repeat the process until all the tofu is golden and crispy, allow to cool slightly.
Thin the prepared sweet tangy sauce by whisking in the juice of 1 lime. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl, add the battered tofu and toss gently to coat the pieces evenly in the sweet tangy sauce, set aside.
Have a peaceful, loving, and healthy Monday!