Plus recipe for Very Spicy Asian Vegetable Salad and more

I’m familiar with vegetarian and its variations lacto, ovo, lacto-ovo and vegan. I’ve heard of freegan, and I can figure out pescatarian, beegan, flexitarian and fruitarian. Before today, I had no idea what pegan is and had never heard of “vegan before 6 p.m.”


A plant-based dietary lifestyle in which people do not eat actual meat, poultry or seafood, but may eat animal products such as gelatin, eggs, cheese, milk and other dairy products. One of its tenants is ethical treatment of animals.

Vegetarian encompasses a number of dietary lifestyles:

Vegans eat absolutely no animal-derived products, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products or gelatin.

Lacto vegetarians may eat dairy products, but no meat, poultry, fish or eggs.

Ovo vegetarians, sometimes known as “eggetarians,” eat eggs, but no meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat dairy products and eggs, but do not eat meat, poultry, or fish. 


This is tricky. Beegans have given up all animal products except honey. However, the argument is made at that in the maintenance of hives or harvesting of honey, bees may be starved, injured or harmed in some way. That would violate the ethical treatment of animals principle. If you are going to eat honey, suggests the Web site, you could research local beekeepers and buy only from those whose methods you consider ethical.

Fruitarian, Fructarian

This diet is comprised of fruits, nuts and seeds, but no vegetables, grains or animal products.

Really Vegetarian?

I suppose it depends upon whom you ask whether pescatarian, Paleo, pegan, freegan and flexitarian are actually vegetarian variations because they do allow consumption of meat, fish and poultry.


Introduced in the late 1990s, “pescatarian” is a combination of pesce, the Italian word for fish, and “vegetarian.” It describes folks who eat fish and seafood, but do not eat meat or poultry. They may or may not eat eggs and dairy products. If they do, they would technically be lacto-ovo-pescatarians, according to 


The Paleo diet, also known as the Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet and caveman diet, is based on foods similar to what might have been eaten during the Paleolithic era, approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. It typically includes foods that would have been acquired by hunting and gathering such as lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and limits foods such as dairy products, legumes and grains that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago. 


In 2015, Dr. Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, wrote that this style of eating combined the best parts of the vegan and Paleo diets. To me it is a confusing cross between Paleo, in which meat is a mainstay, and vegan, which allows no meat or animal products.

In a post titled “The pegan diet isn’t actually as awful as it sounds,”’s Jelisa Castrodale explains: “The majority of what you put on your plate (around 75 percent of what you nosh) should come from fruits and vegetables, preferably organic ones. The remaining 25 percent of each meal will be a combination of high-quality fats (think: avocados, nuts, olive oil, and coconut oil) and, if you choose to eat animal products, (they should be) grass-fed, antibiotic-free, and sustainably raised meats, poultry, and fish.”

So it is vegan, unless you decide to eat meat. Got it.


Freegans’ decision to avoid buying food is a political statement against consumerism and factory farming. They sustain themselves by foraging and receiving donated food that grocery stores would otherwise throw out. (I am guessing this includes some foods made from animal products.) They may also engage in “dumpster diving,” salvaging unspoiled food from supermarket dumpsters. 


The term emerged in the late 1990s to describe someone who is reducing their consumption of meat and animal products, but is not ready to commit to a total vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

Programs such as Meatless Mondays or Weekday Vegetarian may be helpful in the transition to vegetarianism. Folks who eat only meat they believe is ethically sourced may also be considered flexitarian.

Vegan Before 6 p.m.

This is self-explanatory. I guess participants could also be considered flexitarians.

Carnivore Diet

Not surprisingly, this diet includes only meat, poultry, fish, eggs and certain dairy products. It excludes fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. Unlike the Paleo diet, which allows some carbohydrates, the carnivore diet aims for no carbs.


Being a locavore is more of an aspirational goal than a widely practiced diet, says, pointing out that few folks are willing to give up coffee, chocolate, wines and seasonal produce that are not locally available. That said, eating local is a powerful idea that has raised awareness of sustainability and carbon footprints. Many consumers, including yours truly, are checking labels for geographic origins of foods and frequently making earth-friendly choices. 

Very Spicy Asian Vegetable Salad

8 snow peas (about 2 ounces), strings and ends removed

6 large bok choy leaves (about 8 ounces) cut across into quarter-inch strips

1 cup shredded (1/4 inch) Napa or Chinese cabbage

4 ounces daikon, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks

1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribs removed, cut into 2-inch by 1/4-inch strips

2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally


1/4 cup salted cashews, optional

1 small bunch enoki mushrooms


1/4 cup soy sauce, preferably tamari

1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 to 1 tablespoon hot chili oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Up to 2 tablespoons untoasted sesame oil

Bring 3 cups water to a boil over medium heat. Add snow peas; cook for 30 seconds or until they are bright green. Drain, rinse under cold running water and thinly slice diagonally. Set aside.

Toss together the bok choy and Napa cabbage; place in center of a platter or bowl. Toss together daikon and yellow bell pepper; place on top of cabbage.

Top with snow peas, sliced shiitakes and scallions. Sprinkle with cashews, if using, and place enokis in center.

Dressing: Combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar in a small bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Whisk in hot chili oil, toasted sesame oil and enough untoasted sesame oil to equal 1/2 cup dressing.

Serve on the side.

Makes 8 cups.

From “Vegetable Love” by Barbara Kafka

Cashew Curry

1/2 pound whole cashew nuts

2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee

5 shallots, thinly sliced

2 small bay leaves or 5 curry leaves

1 2-inch piece lemongrass or grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 serrano chilies, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 slices ginger


1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided use

Soak cashews for 6 hours, changing the water several times so nuts will whiten. Drain, put into a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water; simmer until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste them as they cook to make sure they don’t get mushy. Drain and set aside.

Heat butter in small skillet, add shallots. Cook over medium heat until golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add bay leaves, lemongrass, coriander, turmeric, chilies, garlic, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until fragrant; add coconut milk, 1 tablespoon cilantro and cashews.

Simmer over moderate heat until sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves; garnish with remaining cilantro.

Serves 4.

From “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison

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