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Viva Vu, Vegan

June 10, 1993|CHARLES PERRY

Vegans--those rigorous vegetarians who won't even consume milk or eggs--are pretty careless about calling food "yummy" as long as it follows their dietary restrictions. But there actually are good Vegan cooks, and even non-Vegans enjoy Paulette Vu's Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant in Anaheim. Vu has produced a 75-minute Vegan cooking video that offers 14 main recipes plus sauces, all based on supermarket ingredients. It's $24.95 plus $3.95 shipping; call (800) USA-TAPE.

Mushrooms: the Ultimate Health Food Mushrooms contain a fair amount of fiber and a relatively broad spectrum of vitamins, says Martha Powell, past president of the Mycological Society of America. Plant pathologist Paul Wuest, pointing out that mushrooms are low in calories, low in fat and high in potassium, adds, "They are the ultimate health food."

Mushrooms: the Final Gourmet Food The selling price of some wild mushroom varieties is up around $100 a pound, and last fall, a wild mushroom picker was shot to death in the Winema National Forest in Oregon--apparently by a rival mushroom hunter. At least that is what forest service special agent Bill Reanier, who routinely wears a bullet-proof vest in the woods, told the Associated Press.

Lighter Than Margarine? Land O' Lakes, which makes pretty good regular butter, has a compromise to suggest: Light Butter, which is only 40% butterfat (margarine is 80% fat, though that's all vegetable fat). The product can be used as a spread, but because it is lower in fat and higher in moisture than regular butter, it shouldn't be used for baking or frying. In supermarkets.

Bite the Chefs Cookbook co-author Jessie Tirsch (Emeril Lagasse's "Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking," Paul Prudhomme's "Seasoned America") now edits a newsletter about restaurants and chefs. It's called Megabites and is possibly a little too cute for its own good--the restaurant openings column is called Baby Bites and the chef profiles are called Biofeedback. Included in each issue is a recipe from one of the featured chefs. A 12-issue subscription is $30; send check to Megabites, Box 13583, New Orleans, La., 70185-3583.

So What's the Secret Ingredient? The No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 best-selling barbecue sauces (Kraft, Bull's Eye and Thick 'n Spicy) are owned by Philip Morris, and No. 3 (KC Masterpiece) is owned by Clorox.

Czech It Out "Dana's Czechoslovak Home Cooking," a video introduction to the cuisine of the former Czechoslovakia, shows how to make savory appetizers, roast duck and other Czech (and Slovak) dishes, including unique dumplings and kolaci (something between a pie and a rich fruit pizza). Convenience- and food processor-oriented, the video is $19.95 from Aja Bufka, (310) 391-1074.

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