Friday, October 30, 2009

Hallow's Eve

I'm vegan, so technically this is a "vegan" post, but it's not about food. It's about the costumes I've had the past couple years. I am friends with people who LOVE party themes and getting dressed for said themes. The few years I've gone to a college party, dress-as-your-favorite-christmas-character party, halloween (obvs) parties, and my favorite (possibly because it was my idea and all) Onesie party (this is when you wear something that is a one piece outfit that gathers at the crotch, as in, not a dress! I need to do another one of those because that was fun and I feel like I could've done better with my outfit).

A couple years ago I was going to a Halloween party and my friends balked at the idea of me going costumeless. My friend Kathleen had a wolf mask so I went with it. 
As you can see, all I did was wear all black and then wear my new bright pink plaid shirt I had been wanting to wear. I can't remember what I told people I was. I was, more like, dude, I have a wolf mask on! Obviously, I'm a.....girl wolf. Or something. If I had known about the Twilight series I would've said I was Leah...

Last year was my first Halloween as Missy's roommate and we wanted to go as a duet. We decided on a favorite duet, Popeye and Olive Oyl. 

As you can see, Missy went all out. She whipped this awesome outfit up in one night and I think she did a hell of a job. She helped by sewing on my lace to a red shirt of mine and the yellow ribbon on to my black skirt. I wore some white socks rolled down and a pair of shoes that I had. I wasn't happy with my hair, but I wasn't about to spend money on a wig. What's ridiculous is how long it took me to remove the ribbon and lace from my clothes. Months! And more months! Seriously....I think it was in the spring...

So what are y'all dressing up as tomorrow? I'm not totally sure as of yet. Me, Missy and my friend Corinn were going to go as TLC (I was going to be Left Eye Lopez), but we're no longer doing that.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Portland Vegan 100

So these lists have been all over the place. I did the generic vegan one awhile back. Jess has compiled, with the help of friends and fellow vegan bloggers, a list of stuff from Portland.

You're supposed to bolden the ones you've done or cross out the ones you'll never do. Since I don't know how to cross out words HTML style, I'm just going to do it my own way. I'm sure you'll figure it out....

1. Fries with spicy tofu sauce at Dots- yes
2. $1 Corndog from Hungry Tiger Too- oh, hells, yes!
3. Chick-o-Stick doughnut from Voodoo Doughnuts- i think so
4. Tiramisu from Portobello- yes
5. Vegan Mulita from Gorditos or Gorditos II- yup
6. Nanotear Ham and Cheeze sandwich from Tube- oh, hell to the yes!
7. Milkshake from Sip- yup
8. Gnocchi from Portobello- yes
9. Caramel Nut Bar from Sweetpea Baking Co.- yes
10. Soft serve from Blossoming Lotus- yes
11. Local cherry tomatoes from a farmers market-yes
12. Dong Po Tofu from Bay Leaf- i don't think so
13. Jerked chickun from Assase Ital- no
14. A Big Big Lunch Special from an Indian cart- yes
15. Soy latte made with Stumptown espresso- yes
16. A crappy tofu scramble- yes
17. Cornmeal pizza from Dovi Vive.- yes, mmmm
18. Weeping Tiger sandwich from Bye & Bye- no
19. Bye & Bye or Floor Punch from Bye & Bye- yes!
20. A Bowl meal from a cart- yes
21. vegan nutella from freddy's hazelnuts- no
22. soy curls in bulk from food fight or proper eats- yes
23. buffalo wings from Vita- yes
24. the weekday vegan pancakes from Laurelthirst- yes
25. Maple vegan sausage waffle from flavourspot- yes
26. Drunken noodles with pepper steak from Thai Food Cafe- no
27. Macnocheeto from Homegrown Smoker- no 
28. Veggie platter from an Ethiopian restaurant- yes
29. Blackberries picked from a public place- i think...
30. Baba Ganouj from Ya Hala- yes!
31. Coconut Mashed Yams from Papa G’s- yes
32. Butternut Squash Wontons from Hungry Tiger Too- mmmmm, yes
33. Vegan slice from Bella Faccia- yes
34. Apple pie from Whiffies- yes
35. Chili dog from Zach’s Shack- no 
36. Vegan poutine from Potato Champion- yes
37. Missionary Chocolate Truffle- oh, hells yes!
38. Apron Activists 4-Course Dinner- yup!
39. Hot Wok at New Seasons- yeah
40. Che Guevara Burrito from Laughing Planet- yeah
41. Bryan’s Bowl from Por Que No?- yes
42. Pad Thai from Pad Thai Kitchen- yes!!
43. Cupcake from a stand at Last Thursday- no
44. The Giant Pancake at Hungry Tiger Too- yes
45. TLP from Red & Black Cafe- yes
46. Cornmeal tempeh plate from Proper Eats- no
47. Tofu Po Boy at Palm State Gumbo- yes
48. Maple Walnut Scone from Back to Eden- no
49. Vegan Mezza platter from a Lebanese restaurant- yes
50. Crispy eggplant from Fujin- no
51. Lemongrass Tofu Sticks from Van Hanh- no
52. Tofu Salad Bun at Pho PDX- no
53. Cocktail made with local liquor- yes
54. Biscuits and Gravy from Paradox- yes
55. Smoky soy curls from Homegrown Smoker- mm, yes
56. Field Roast sausage- yes
57. Secret Aardvark Hot Sauce- yes, too spicy for me!
58. Toddbot's Triangles- yes
59. Local microbrew- yes
60. Hot Lips soda- yes
61. Herb Crusted Tofu with Mushroom Marsala from The Farm Cafe- yes
62. had a picnic in Laurelhurst Park- yes
63. burrito from Shelley's Honkin Huge Burritos- yes
64. Eggplant tibs from Bete Lukas- no
65. Tator Tots before noon or after midnight- of course!
66. Lone Ranger from Chaos Cafe- no
67. Sunday brunch at Sweetpea!- yes
68. Tofu at a BBQ place (for example Derby Mustard Sauce Tofu at Russel Street BBQ)- no
69. Mint Fava Falafel at Nightlight Lounge- no
70. An unexciting hummus plate at a bar.- yes
71. Vegan meatball sub from Aalto Lounge- no
72. Koi Fusion spicy tofu tacos- yes
73. Veggie dog from the Vegi dog stand- yes
74. Sesame chicken from a vegetarian chinese restaurant- yes
75. Bagel with Bacun Scallion cream cheese from Sweetpea -yes
76. Vegan savoury crepe- yes
77. Veggie kibbeh- maybe, i have a hard time knowing the names of the lebanese things i eat
78. Club Vegan at Backspace- i think
79. ice cream sundae from Back to Eden- yes
80. Raw fudge from Blossoming Lotus- yes
81. Tempeh reuben- yes
82. Pause vegan burger- yes
83. vegan ribs- yes
84. something baked with local marionberries- yes
85. Veggie bento box- yes
86. Dave's Killer Bread- yes
87. Higher Taste Buzzitos- yes
88. Thai food that the server swears is vegan, but you taste fish sauce.- heh...
89. Elephant ear from the Saturday Market- no
90. Dovetail sticky bun- oh, yes!
91. savoury pie from Nicholas restaurant- yes
92. Salad rolls from the Just Thai cart- no
93. Vegan torta from Gorditos II- heck yes!
94. Nutritional yeast on your popcorn at a movie theater- yes
95. Vegan grilled cheese from The Grilled Cheese Grill- yes
96. Pasilla burrito from El Nutri- no
97. Something from the vegetarian menu at Andina- no
98. Vegan Steak and Cheese from D.C. Vegetarian- yes
99. Dragon Noodles at Red & Black Cafe - no
100. Falafel from Wolf & Bears- no

Yeah, i just pretty much answered yes or no...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stuff I ate

This past Friday I was at Sweetpea and Katie told me that some biscuits and gravy were just about to be ready to eat, so I waited patiently and soon I had some pretty Bacon Chedder Biscuits & Gravy in front of me.

or should I say, Bacun Cheder?

That's some Daiya cheese (well, I assume, I wasn't told, but Daiya has a certain shredded look about it, wouldn't you say?) and some Bac'uns on top. It was also in the biscuits themselves. I do so love a white, peppery Southern gravy. I have yet to really be impressed by Daiya cheese. I don't notice a flavor to it and haven't had it on pizza to see meltiness of it. 

These biscuits and gravy were good, but I think I do prefer sausage rather than bacon in my biscuits and gravy. Also, neither the biscuits or the gravy were hot, more like lukewarm. (Note to Katie who may or may not be reading this: don't roll your eyes at me! I love you and Sweetpea!) 

On Saturday I went to Sweetpea, as per usual, with my beloved roommate Missy. They had apple fritters again so I went with that. Missy got the Glazed. We both ogled the Chai Spice.

mmmm....fried dough with apples in it....

Apple fritters are a bit greasier tasting than the regular donuts. They're delicious!

Today I'm hanging out at the New Cascadia, a gluten free bakery in the SE (near the big Goodwill). My friend Leila works there and she told me I needed to come in and try one of the vegan cupcakes she decorated special for Hallow's Eve. So I did. (I take instruction pretty well. Like when Katie told I had to come to Sweetpea on a Wednesday, a day I normally don't go, and she had made Pigs in a Blanket. So much delicious pastry dough that day....)

I chose the chocolate with vanilla frosting. (Other choice being chocolate frosting)

oooo.....a mummy!

The cupcake itself was good. You could still taste the glutenfreeness of it, but as these go, it was good. The cake was moist and the frosting was tasty. The other vegan option had a spiderweb with a spider on it. Leila says she plans on doing a vegan one with a bleeding brain on it as well.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

You know you love Clueless!

But if you don't agree we might not be close friends. (ok, that's not true, two of my good friends, Corinn and Missy, aren't big fans....I find we don't have a lot of the same taste in movies)

Last night at Powell's downtown Alicia Silverstone showed up to speak about her new book, The Kind Diet. Around 5pm I had met up with Maeve, Jess and Maeve's friend Sarah at Blossoming Lotus. We were hoping we would run into Alicia there, as it's only a few blocks away from Powell's and it's an all vegan, very healthy restaurant, but alas, she didn't show. We ended up getting to the speaking area more than an hour early, but we hung out and chatted and before we knew it we were sitting in the front row listening to Alicia talk about her journey to a macrobiotic vegan diet. Prior to her appearance we were all warned not to ask any questions about anything other than the book, no posed pictures with her and she wouldn't sign anything other than the book. I was disappointed, but I suppose it makes sense. 

Alicia had also gone to Portobello (the only all vegan fancy restaurant here in town, it's Italian) for dinner before the event and said she enjoyed it. 
She spoke for about 20 minutes or so and then had a question and answer segment, which I thought she did well on. Jess reminded me that she's probably getting the same questions repeatedly and has them down pat. There was one family (mom and dad -both in their late 40s or so- and a twentysomething son with his girlfriend) that was a self-proclaimed 'meat and taters' family and they asked her how do people like them start making the change. (I can't remembered exactly the question asked) I just thought it was amazing that they were open to it. I think of the meat and potatoes people I know, and I can't imagine. 

I was really glad I went and got to see Cher in person. (That's her character's name in Clueless for all you....clueless people. heh...see what I did there? Yeah...) She was funny and cute and wore shoes I didn't like. 

Maeve getting her book signed

Aww...Jess's classic hand to heart

I like Alicia's facial expression here.

What ruins these pictures: That ugly ass tablecloth and the dude who's watching over the book signing. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Belated 100th Post to Me!!

Last post was my 100th. Should I buy myself a drink or something to celebrate? I probably should, but it'd be even better if you did the honors. I kid, of course, after all, this blog was my doing, you didn't *ask* for it. Unless you're Jess, and then, yeah, you did ask...I'd say you owe me a drink, but you've more than made up for it. And I owe you $5 right now....

So, guys, this new job as a waitress has been kinda kicking my ass as of late. Today and yesterday I did my first (and second) a.m. shifts. These start at 7:30am and I'm scheduled to 3pm, which I work til (well, technically the a.m. shift person doesn't end up leaving til 3:30) unless the call-in shift person comes in because it's busy and then if it gets slow the a.m. person leaves....which is what happened today. I was happy for it though. I got to leave almost 2 hours early. Last night my feet were totally tired and I pretty much watched tv the rest of the day in my bed. (There's no digital convertor box in the living room) It was nice and lazy and my feet felt much happier by evening time. 

I love working part time like this. I wish I could always do this. The French consider 25 hours a week part time, right? They are so right....

So, let's see....let's talk about vegan stuff....Me and the aforementioned Jess will be doing a joint post soon, so look for that. Maybe Friday?

Actually, I think I will just talk about the restaurant I work at. Just to give it some love, since I didn't include it in my favorite breakfast places. I work at Paradox Cafe. It's been around for years here in Portland, but the current owner has owned it for only a few. Paradox and Vita Cafe were owned by the same people, but sold to different people, which is why they share a lot of the same menu items but now differ in decor and new menu items. Paradox's owner worked there before buying it and she's a nice lady named Bonnie. She seems to be honestly interested in our (employees) welfare and she reminds me a bit of a couple of my other former bosses. This is diner food, but she wants to make it as healthful as possible, which is one of the reasons corndogs are no longer on the menu. She said the corn outside could squeeze out about a 1/2 cup of oil after being fried. 

Before working here, I maybe had eaten there once for lunch or dinner. I always ended up with breakfast food. Usually the #1 (tofu, potatoes, and a wheat biscuit with added side of almond gravy to go atop the biscuit) or I'd split the #5 (biscuits and gravy, vegan sausage, tofu and potatoes) with my sister. The tofu is not the most flavorful, but with ketchup and your choice of 4 hot sauces (Srirachi, Chalula, Green Tabasco, Aardvark), it's good. It is marinated tofu, I just can't really taste it. The seasoned breakfast potatoes are some of the tastiest in town. A few times we ordered them (before I worked there) they were lukewarm, but I think when you go and it's busy they do a whole bunch of them at once instead of per order like they normally do, so you have a chance of getting some that may have been sitting around awhile. 

Their homemade wheat biscuits and almond gravy were the first vegan biscuits and gravy I ever had, so I have a special place in my heart for them. Even when the biscuits aren't soft or even warm,  I can deal. I do wish they would be replaced with a more "buttery", less healthy version. You can get the gravy with their homemade herb and onion bread (cutely called the H.O.G.), which is pretty tasty. 

Their vegan sausages used to be from Morningstar, but they now make their own. I would say they're a lovechild of the Morningstar real-like sausage patty and Laurelthirst's very hippy, not-like-real-sausage-at-all sausage. They have something I don't like in them. I think it's fennel seeds, but it doesn't infect the whole patty and so I can eat still them. 

One other item I used to get on occasion is their corncakes. Those things are damn tasty! I've not seen a person able to eat the two cakes in one setting. They're very filling and wheat free! You can get them solstice style with nuts and....something else. Can't remember what it is...Or you can get them Mexican style (but they're not on the breakfast menu -which doesn't matter since everything on the menu is served all day- and they're called Tamales, but they're not in corn husks or anything, some people get annoyed by that) with salsa, guacamole, sour cream (you can get vegan sour cream!) and jalapenos. So good! Those jalapenos are hot, be warned!

So when I started working there, I started trying various things on the menu so I would know what it was like and since I really hadn't eaten much besides the items above. (Warning- I may forget a couple of ingredients) I really enjoyed the Thai Stick Salad: spinach leaves, almonds, button mushrooms, red peppers, crispy tempeh sticks, all tossed in a spicy thai dressing. I would get it without mushrooms next time. Not a huge fan of uncooked mushrooms. 

The Tempeh Gyro is a favorite among customers (including my friend Jacob-  hi, Jacob!). It's tempeh with lettuce, tomato and a special vegan yogurt sauce in a pita. The Treehugger is Dave's Killer Good Seed, vegan cream cheese, guacamole, tomato, lettuce and Tofurkey slices upon addition. I think I'm missing some ingredients in there....I think next time I would sub hummus for the guacamole. I haven't tried our hummus yet but a customer asked for the recipe, so I assume it's good.

The specials vary morning and evening, it's the chef's choice and sometimes they make dang good choices. Like today. The boss lady was working and she had made a killer good cashew gravy. The herb and onion bread were topped with grilled onions, tofu, spinach and mushroom and then covered in the cashew gravy. So! Good! Y'all! A big plate of that for $6.50. Their specials usually are well priced so make sure you take a peek or ask the server what it is.

Their homemade soup is also tasty. Boss lady's been trying out Soy Curls and she made a real yummy soup with those the other day. It was like a Beef Vegetable and there was one lady that I gave a sample to that actually thought it was beef (the soup was called Rosemary Potato & Love). 

Almost everything on the menu is vegan. What's not vegan: hamburger (duh!  but the veggie burger is vegan even though it doesn't specify that), chicken sausage (another duh), cheddar cheese, real sour cream, Swiss cheese that's on the Reuben and their waffles. Everything else is vegan and there's probably a substitute. They don't have vegan cheese slices, but their two cheese sauces are so good. There's a nacho cheese sauce and another one called Mac & Cheese sauce that's used on the benedicts and on the mac & cheese that's no longer on the menu but can still be ordered. They can do a scramble upon request if so desired but there's none on the menu. 

Remember that green onions come on top of just about everything (and margarine if it's that kind of item, i.e. pancakes and toast) so just request them to leave off if that's not your thing. During the week, before 10am, items called numbers, as in the #3, are $1 off.

The service used to kinda suck, but I feel like it's gotten better (after all, I work there...heh) but because it can be so slow with only bursts of busy, there may be only one server if you're there during the week and the food is cooked to order and can take some time. If you're rushed for time, a good bet is the regular biscuits and gravy (herb and onion bread is thick and can take a long time to toast up, keep that in mind if you order soup b/c it comes with it). 

Go check it out!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Out for a drive

On Saturday I was picked up by Jeff along with Maeve and Jess to go to lunch at Green Wok, a new vegetarian (well, everything's vegan except the cream cheese in the Crab Rangoons, but that's possibly changing to vegan cream cheese- yay!!) Chinese restaurant out on Capitol Highway. I was skeptical since my true love is Thai food and I've never had anything that great at a Chinese restaurant. The menu is quite massive and I hear it's similar to Vegetarian House, for good reason since the cook used to work there. The ambiance is that of any Chinese restaurant I've been to. The music was of the hmm-they're-playing-that-here? variety. Not that we complained, who doesn't like Weezer while they're drinking Chinese-Restaurant-Tea? 

I ordered the Chicken Bird's Nest, which was the dish with the best presentation. A fried shredded potato nest! So cute! The sauce though was not crazy good. It was....ok. Not bad, but this is probably something I wouldn't order again. Jeff got the Orange Chicken, Maeve got the Sesame Chicken and Jess ordered Crispy Bean Curd Pocket with Greens, but instead got what looks like to me Moo Goo Gai Pan with uncrispy bean curd pockets. The breaded and fried pieces of "chicken" were my favorite part. I could definitely eat a whole plate of those, which if you order what Jeff or Maeve did, that's what you get. But since veggies are good for me and I'll eat them (eventually, after picking out the pieces of "meat" first) if they're on my plate, I would prefer them to come with the chicken pieces. Both the Orange and Sesame dishes had a delicious sauce on them. I think they were equally delicious. Jess's was my lease favorite. I was intrigued by the bean curd "pockets" (it's like they had stacked up layers of the tofu pockets used in inari and then cut them into blocks), but the sauce was that weird clear, but slightly opaque-ish gelatinous stuff. The side order of broccoli in tangy sauce was quite good. 

All the plates we could handle...Maeve, Jess, Jeff's tattooed atm

All done! Jeff got into the spirit of things (aka pciture taking)

Bird's Nest in the background, Jess's dish in the foreground

After that delicious meal, we headed over to Sip! cart to pick up a seasonal favorite, Pumpkin Milkshakes! They made it with pumpkin puree, Vanilla soy ice cream and spices. It was good! I didn't take a picture of the shake itself, but Jess did!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Favorite Veg Celebrities

1. Carrie Underwood
I love when someone you wouldn't expect doesn't eat meat. Prime example is people who are in the country music world. Those people (stereotypically of course) love them a good steak! Or at least eat a ton of chicken. You can try to say I'm wrong, but you'd then be wrong. (booya!) The girl doesn't have the best choice in clothes sometimes (as proven here and here), but she's vegetarian

2. Bob Barker
You know he wants you to spade and neuter your pets, but did you know he also doesn't think you need to eat animals? He can even cook!

3. Joaquin Phoenix
He won't wear animal products for his movies or any other job and he was the voice for Earthlings, the documentary that deals with the issue of "human independence on animals for pets, food, clothes, and entertainment." I've never seen it because I don't like watching that kind of stuff, especially since I already agree with what they're saying and already eat/live vegan. 

4. Coretta Scott King!!
Oh, man! I just found this out and I think this is so awesome!

5. Ellen DeGeneres (and her wife Portia de Rossi)
I was wondering when she would go veg because she is constantly talking about her love of animals. I think Portia nudged her in that direction, so thanks Portia! (who I heard is coming out with a line of vegan shoes!)

There's tons more celebrities out there that are veg, who's yer favorite?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today I made...

...a casserole! Oh, and roasted russet and sweet potatoes! I wanted to make use of some deteriorating veggies and thought of the comforting goodness of a casserole. Of course, I don't have pictures...that would be more fun. I hate fun....

But I did end up using this recipe, loosely. I used hempmilk instead of soy, a tad of lime juice instead of any lemon, no celery (I'm a hater), shell pasta (two sizes because I'm crazy like that), added sauteed greens, some jalapeno, and frozen peas. Also instead of chips I made breadcrumbs out of toasted bread, Earth Balance, dried basil and oregano. It turned out....ok. Once I added more salt, nooch, and some hot sauce I thought it was good. Not awesome, but good. 

I had some potatoes that needed using so while the oven was on I thought I would roast 'em up. I tossed them with olive oil, s & p, and some fresh rosemary and thyme. They turned out really yummy. I probably used too much oil, but I figured it's still not as bad french fries....

Do you have a fall back recipe for when you need to use up some aging veggies? What's your favorite website for recipes?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Want to see what's in my fridge?

Yeah, I thought so. 

it's like i'm at the grocery store! the selection!

cutest little muchacho ever!

The kind people at The Higher Taste gave me and Jess a whole bunch of products to review, so look for that upcoming review. They have 2 new products (including the one with the adorable sombreroed fella) that uses soy curls, deli salads I haven't seen before (Curried Rice, (Faux) Chicken Salad, Yakisoba Salad and German Potato Salad), and hummus (not pictured) that I've never seen before in a store. I'm excited to get to try all the other wraps that I've noticed at the store. 

Today Kittee, SisterKim (aka MamaKim) and I went on some errands. We drove out to the Sellwood neighborhood to check out the new location of Sock Dreams and then went on to Bob's Red Mill and Dave's Killer Bread and NatureBake's 'The Healthy Bread Store.' I had coupons for both from the Chinook book. The one for Bob's was for 50% off any of their organic products. Last year my sister bought a 25 lb of all purpose flour and she still had a lot left so we searched around the store looking for something else we would want a lot of. (None of those wussy 1 lb bags for me! You gotta make 'em hurt, as my brother-in-law's friend says...) There wasn't a lot of selection really. No 25 lb bags of organic sugar, nor beans (they get most of their beans from other companies or they're not organic, which the coupon specifies) and, sadly, their Vital Wheat Gluten isn't organic....So after much consideration, we went with the Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. I do a lot of baking and so thought I would go through this faster than, say, a 25 lb bag of Golden Flaxseeds. So the 25lb of pastry flour was only $11, good deal, eh? Well, if it gets all used up.  :o)      

Nothing too exciting about the bread store. I got two frozen loaves for $2.80 (normally frozen loaves are $2.80 a piece. You can also get them 12 for $2.00/each.)

My 25lb bag and an early Christmas present from SisterKim!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

5 Favorite Breakfast Spots in Portland

Yup, another favorites...You like these, right? I thought so! 

1. Sweetpea Baking Co- Their doughnuts on Saturdays, danishes on Wednesdays, and Kettleman's bagels with their Tofutti schmears (Bacun Scallion! Chipotle! Veggie! Strawberry! Black Olive!)! It's not always the most nutritious breakfast, but you can't always be looking to eat healthy, right? If you happen to be looking for that though, there's soup! Homemade, yummy soup made by Jesse "I hate you (but not really)" Ives. If you happen to see him (he's the average-height boy with the bandanna on that stays in the middle of the kitchen the whole time), tell him you would love to see piroshkys or vegan ham and cheese sandwiches as options!

mmm...donut....Missy and her sweet love

2. Juniors- First off, let me just put this out here: I dislike their potatoes. Many of my friends, including the girl above with the glazed doughnut, thinks they're great. I don't. I can't really place my finger on what turns me off, but it's somethin'. So I end up asking for the Vegan Potatoes, sub tofu for potatoes. This gets me: scrambled tofu, mushrooms, zucchini, onions covered with spicy tofu sauce. Yum! I remember that Juniors was one of the first places I remember seeing "sub tofu for egg for free" on their menu. This made me a happy girl since all over town I was paying extra. Their eggs there are of the nice free range (and I think it's actually free range, none of that open the barn door for 5 minutes shit that farms can get away with) so I think the cost is more similar than, say, when you go to Holman's....The main reason I love Juniors is the interior. It's very cute! Google it for images if you don't believe me!

3. FlavourSpot- the home of the Dutch taco! aka a waffle sandwich. I have only tried one thing here and it's so good that I dare not try anything else. Another reason being I don't get out to either of the North Portland locations enough. It's usually months in between visits and I'm normally ready for some delectable maple sausage goodness in my piehole. (aka wafflehole) The food cart (one on N. Lombard and the other at Mississippi and Fremont) makes a fresh circular waffle, spreads some maple "butter" on it, puts two vegan sausage patties on it and folds it up in some foil and hands it your eagerly awaiting warm, so tasty....
Me and my sweet love

4. Hungry Tiger Too- I really love this place. I've mentioned them before many times. The only problem I have with them is their prices are somewhat ridiculous. (Except on $1 vegan corn dog Wednesdays!!). The club sandwich, while being big, is around $10 and if you want tots instead of coleslaw, make that $12. Yeah, $2 extra for tots...$1 extra for french fries. If you share it with someone it doesn't sound as ridiculous. But of course I tend to compare prices with what I could be $5 at Los Gorditos will get me a huge delicious torta. But anyways, we're talking breakfast right now! They have humongous vegan fluffy pancakes for $3 a piece, large plate of biscuits (or you might end up with some of their thick toasted bread, which is good, but yeah, not a biscuit) and gravy for $4, scrambles for around $8 that comes with awesome hashbrowns (think: rectangularly shaped Waffle House hashbrowns...less greasy), and homemade tempeh bacon slabs for around $2. Yum! For reals...I think their gravy is my favorite in town. It's a little too herby for my tastes since I like a peppery sausagey white southern gravy, but there's sausage (I think the last time I got it there wasn't any) and mushrooms and it's good! Please note that they don't open til mid morning during the week. Also, their coffee sucks (and this comes from a girl who sugars and milks her coffee and wouldn't know good coffee if it hit her in the face.).

Katie and her ginormous pancake
Foreground: biscuits and gravy and tempeh bacon slabs

5. It's a tie for 5th! Jam and Tin Shed- I hear Jam's veg gravy is the best in town, but I wouldn't know since it's not vegan. Also, they don't have biscuits to put it on (?!), so I don't care. What I do love about Jam is their Blueberry Chai Pancakes. Chai spice-alicious! Like Hungry Tiger Too, they have delicious hashbrowns. They have a couple vegan scrambles but I'm not terribly crazy about either. This another restaurant where I mainly just love their ambiance with no real explanation. Tin Shed has vegan grits and Earth Balance available and their pesto is made vegan, all things which endears me to them. The grits, however, need salt and more EB because the taste is quite plain. They do have vegan cheese you can get on them but I normally pass since it doesn't really do anything flavorwise. My favorite thing to get here is the pesto tofu scramble (it has a name that I think has the word "goat" in it) with no cheese. 

How about you? Where's your favorite?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Accidental Awesomeness

There's a lot of items out there that I didn't have to stop eating when I went vegan. And thank goodness for that! It's nice to have a few nostalgic things to nosh on occasionally.

Hot Tamales!!
Gummy! Hot! Delicious!

Junior Mints!
well, the holiday (above) and deluxe (below) versions anyways.
For some reason they won't take out the gelatin in the regular version.

Swedish Fish!
So good!

The little guy makes a tasty vegan crescent roll!
Well, it's arguable if it's *really* vegan. Chemicals can be tricky...
BUT! if you don't mind that, you should bake them with weiners in them for Pigs in a Blanket
or some vegan cheese for Puffers....mmm...

What's some of your favorite accidentally vegan items?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cakes of my past...

The past two summers I have made lots of yummy cakes. The reason being my two bestest friends, Corinn and Missy, both have birthdays, as well as some other friends! I actually really like making cakes and cupcakes. Especially for my friends and other loved ones. I am not very artistic, only the occasional photograph being something I'm proud of. Baking kinda fulfills that artistic hole in my heart. 

So here's a round up!

My sister's Black Forest Cake from last year

Corinn's S'more cake from this year

Jessica's Cake from last year, Chocolate with Vanilla Buttercream

My roommate Missy's Birthday Cake from last year.
We had a nonvegan VooDoo donut on top!

My first cake! Corinn's birthday cake last year. Probably chocolate with Vanilla.

I look to Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romano's Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for almost every cake recipe I need (just double the cupcake recipes for cakes) and their Buttercream frosting is freakin' delicious! If you make only one recipe from that book, do the Coconut Lime with Lime Buttercream frosting, unfreakinbelievable delicious!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Yeah, another question thingie...i know...

I'm a procrastinator....big time....therefore I end up doing question thingies that I find because it's faster than thinking of something to write about (feel free to request stuff, I would love it!). This one I found on Steffers page who got it from Vegan Food For Thought

1. What single thing most inspired you to take the leap from being an omnivore/vegetarian to being a vegan?

---------I don't recollect what initially made me think to become vegan. I've been semi-vegetarian for years and went fully vegetarian (I finally gave up seafood) when I moved to Portland in 2005. I had sorta decided to become vegan but had forgotten why I wanted to do it until I read Erik Marcus' book Meat Market and John Robbins' book The Food Revolution. A lot of vegetarians question why vegan if you're not killing the cow or the chicken (or goat, etc) and then you have to explain how dairy cows have to give birth on occasion to keep up the milk supply and those calves usually go into the veal industry and how male chickens are pretty much useless so some places just throw them, alive, into trash bags where they die of suffocation and really their living arrangements suck and the amount of feces all these animals produce are destroying our environment......ok, i'm done with my spiel. Read those books for more eloquent explanations!

2. Are you 100% vegan (food wise at least) or do you sometimes eat non-vegan food, and if do so, under what circumstances does it usually happen?

---------I am not 100%. When I go home or visit other people's homes (usually older people, I normally force people my age to feed me vegan. they're usually more understanding about diet restrictions) I am more lax and tend to eat vegetarian. I have a hard time eating raw veggies around the holidays and normally that's the only option when I'm at my sister's in-laws. I do need to get better at making food for gatherings. I don't like cooking in other people's kitchens so that's where I get lazy...I also will eat food that is brought to me at restaurants that accidentally has dairy/egg in them. I just feel like since I'm not grossed out by it, I might as well eat it since otherwise it will be thrown out. However I can't do that with meat.

Also, I will eat bee products.

3. Where do you stand on the whole B12 thing? Do you take supplements, eat fortified foods, do you even care? (not to preach but you really should!)

------------I do take B12 sublingual supplements. I'm surprised I don't take them more regularly because they are tasty little suckers! They have so much in them that it's not necessary that I take them daily.

4. Which rocks – Tofu, seitan, or that other stuff, what do you call it, Tempeh?

-----------They all rock! They are each good for different things. My favorite usage for tempeh is in a reuben. Tofu is awesome in thai food. Seitan makes a mean cheese steak sammie.

5. What are your top 5 vegan meals?

--------I'm going to include stuff I don't make myself:

1. Pad Thai Woon Sen from Pad Thai Kitchen

2. Bowl of goodness (like Sweetpea's Happy Bowl or Bye & Bye's BBQ Brussel Bowl): Brown rice, bean/tofu, greens

        3. Sauteed veggies on top of a grain with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream and Sriracha (similar to #2, I know)

4. Pizza!!!! Favorite toppings: faux sausage, sauteed greens and mushrooms, corn.

5. New Years Meal!                                       

6. Are you vegan and proud, get used to it! Or do you sometimes keep it quiet? You know what i mean!

---------I don't always advertise it but I have no problem talking about or telling people. And I'm not a big animal activist like some of my vegan friends. 

7. What is your all-time favourite vegan cookbook?

---------Probably Veganomicon. It holds a special place in my heart since it's the first cookbook I helped test for (I did a terrible job because I didn't test very many). Some of the recipes I make regularly are Low Fat Banana Bread (add choco chips!) and the Spicy and the Smokey Tempeh marinade.

8. What is your favourite vegan food blog?

---------So many favorites! But I'm going to go with Let's Get Sconed! because it's one of the best.

9. What is the most annoying thing about being vegan? Come on, you can have a good rant if you want, you’re amongst friends!

--------Not being able to order anything you want, wherever you go. Which is why I love all vegan places! You don't even have to think about stuff like, do they know what vegan really means? Is there whey in the bread? Eggs in the pasta? Casein in the nondairy creamer?

10. What food do you really hate (vegan food that is)?

--------Hmmm...I think I'll eat most anything really. I dislike a lot of stuff but really if it's in something I can usually deal. I don't like cilantro (therefore coriander as well), celery, kalamata olives, rye, really sourdoughy sourdough, fennel (I hear from my co-fennel hater that it's good roasted), and anise. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

I'm running low on time for today's post, so this one will be a quickie! I thought I would just give a shout out to my five favorite food blogs. Most likely you're probably looking at least one of them already!

In no particular order....

1. Get Sconed! - Jess, the young lass who runs this delightful vegan blog, is a friend of mine. She talks mostly about food, but occasionally will veer off into other subjects, like, you know, her cats....She's actually the only food blog that I keep on the top of my bookmarks bar. Feel special, JD!!

2. Awesome. Vegan. Rad. - I believe this girl's name is Allison. I'm about 91% sure...She doesn't say her name alot....Anyways! She usually blogs pictures of what she and her fiance have made and she does it with a sense of humor that I enjoy.

3. Joanna Vaught- The woman behind Yellow Rose Recipes cookbook and the upcoming Potluck Zine. Also the mother of the cuteness that is Milo Bear. She's a sassy lady with a great blog! 

4. Cake Maker to the Stars- My friend Kittee isn't actually making cakes for stars, but don't let that stop you from checking out her blog. She is a recent transplant (to Portland) from New Orleans. Her cute zine Papa Tofu, that includes Indian food and pumpkin pretzels recipes, is available at Herbivore. Go buy it!

5. Stumptown Vegans- Webly and Jess go around to Portland eateries looking for all the vegan friendly options. They go at least twice and then blog about it with pictures and how they rated it. It's been so handy to have as a resource!

Thanks to all those who keep a blog! It's been very informative and, most importantly, so much fun to read and look at!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Farmers Markets and Me

Me eyeing some red bell peppers

I've done a post about farmers markets before, but since it's MoFo there's a lot of people who haven't been to my site before and who haven't read through it(and most likely won't....unless they become totally enamored with me....or are bored silly.).

There's a farmers market (henceforth they shall be called FarMar) in Portland State University's park blocks in the southwest quadrant of Portland every Saturday. The hours are 8ish-2ish, I can't quite remember the hours even though I used to work there at a Hot Lips booth a few years back. This is my favoritest FarMar ever! I love the feel of the place, the location is beautiful and there's tons of booths. In my hometown of Sarasota, Florida there is one FarMar that i know of. I rarely went and I'm not exactly sure why that is. Perhaps because the selection isn't as exciting and pretty? 

In general, I love grocery shopping. Love. It. If I could grocery shop (for myself) for a living, I think that would be my dream job. Going to the farmers market is just as fun. Maybe even more so because it makes me feel so wholesome and healthy. There's rarely anything unhealthy there for you to buy. Local peppers, leeks, lettuce, beets, corn, carrots, artichokes, broccoli, kale, chard, spinach, peaches, cherries, plums, cilantro (if you're into that sort of thing), tomatoes, apples, potatoes, get the idea. It's a beautiful sight to behold. You get to meet the farmers that planted and harvested your veggies and fruits. There's a sense of community. I've started learning what produce is seasonal. Growing up I wasn't aware that vegetables and fruits had seasons in which they didn't naturally grow. 

There's also food vendors selling tamales (there's one vegan option and it's so yum!), soup, breakfast burritos, fire grilled mini pizzas and bagels, and more. 

Pretty, pretty produce

My favorite vendor is Dave's Killer Bread. It's still the best bread I've ever had and there's always some friendly kids (or Dave) at the booth with samples of everything, including any new items. Make sure you try the Sin Dawg! It's the most nutritious cinnamon roll you'll ever put in your mouth!

At this FarMar they also have a chef doing a demo every week at 10am. There's also music and usually some special ingredient of the week as well that they do a tasting of. I urge you to check online to see where your closest market is!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Composting, our way...

I mentioned in my post yesterday that me and my roommate compost our scraps. In the comments I was asked what I did with them and, conveniently enough, I had already decided to write about it because it came up in a writing workshop that I went to last night as something that maybe I should expound on. (Yeah, I used the word "expound"....don't think i ever have before....feels good)

When I moved into my current 2 bedroom apartment, my roommate Missy already had a composting procedure set, so all that I do is because of her. The only other time I had composted was at my sister's house and we would just throw stuff on a pile in the backyard (she now has a more detailed plan). 

One thing I should say first is that composting isn't as hard as you think it might be. Granted, it can depends on how into you get really. But what me and the roommate use is one of these giant black composter bins. 

Pretty, right?

It's situated between our house and the neighbor's house next door. The best location for it is somewhere where the sun will hit it the most......unfortunately, that's not where ours is. But I think it's the only place Missy and her ex could've put it since the backyard isn't for their use and the front yard isn't somewhere you'd want to put it. 

Since we live on the second floor of a house it's inconvenient to have to go chuck scraps in after every meal we make, so what we do is put the scraps in a container that we keep in the freezer. When it's full we take a trip down to the composter. You're supposed to cover your scraps with straw or old dry leaves. This warms up the compost and helps it decompose faster. 

Last year we used our compost for our garden. It was so wormy and buggy!! It was freaky! I wish I had taken a video of it since pictures don't do it justice! The word that probably best describes it is "teeming." 

Missy and the top of the great beast

Me trying to not think of all the creepy critters and how I might splice into them with my shovel....

See the worms??

If you don't have a compost bin and don't have room for one (or live in an apt complex), you may want to check around your neighborhood and see if anyone has one you can use. Kittee will probably talking about the community one she discovered recently on a walk. I had heard about it recently because I have a friend that lives right near it. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let the MoFoing begin!!

As I mentioned in my previous post, October is Vegan Month of Food. For this first post I'm going to do what a lot of people (including Miss Whoa Wren where I saw it) are doing: questionnaire!! I love filling these suckers out and I may have filled this out for last year's MoFo, but my answers have changed for some of the questions and...oh, well...too bad, so sad....I may also add some questions of my own....

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
I was doing Silk for awhile, but since they've been bought out they aren't using American organic soybeans. Oh, and Trader Joe's is more convenient. I get their unsweetened organic refrigerated one. Which is actually Silk anyways.....

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Braised Cabbage with Seitan, Spicy Black Eyed Peas with Greens, and Spinach Linguine with Pesto.....all tester recipes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's upcoming weight loss cookbook. So far everything I've made has been fan-freakin-tastic. 

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Seitan.....i can't get that recipe right to save my life....

5. Favorite pickled item?

6. How do you organize your recipes?
Loose recipes? A lot of them are on my Stickies application on the computer, in order of when i made them. Others are written in no particular order in my special (because it's shiny blue with silver shiny stars) recipe notebook.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
compost and trash. me and the roomie keep a container in our freezer for compost stuff and so we make a trip down to the composter every few days.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
does this include dishes? if so, pad thai woon sen w/tofu and veggies, a big salad, Trader Joe's Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
my mom makes delicious cherry hand pies. they're moonshaped and the crust is a yummy flakey pie crust very lightly dusted with sugar. mmmm....

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
see #8

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
toaster oven

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Vegan with a Vengeance was probably my first. either that or i have a bad memory....

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Strawberry, but i rarely have it. Probably because i haven't found any that's close to my mom's freezer jam...

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Hello Kitty waffle maker, liquor, pyrex, too much stuff really...

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
blueberries i picked, compost, Trader Joe's Soy Nuggets

20. What's on your grocery list?
tamari, lemon juice, veggies

21. Favorite grocery store?
Grocery Outlet because you never know what you're going to find!

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
i usually leave the veganizing to others

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Get Sconed!

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
i really like the one Ricemilk chocolate bar that has the cream-type center

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
the vegan steak and cheese from DC Vegetarian food cart. it was $5 and i was planning on getting Just Thai because $5 will get me enough food for 3 meals. that sandwich only lasted me one. it was soooooo good though. also, Just Thai was closed due to family emergency and i was starving...

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?
agar agar, it's kind of a bitch to me

27. Favorite food cart?
so many to choose from these days! i'm looking forward to Julie Hasson's that's opening tomorrow at Mississippi and Skidmore (i think that's the right cross street). Right now my favorite would probably be Just Thai, SW 3rd and Stark.