Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spicy Chipotle Corn Bisque

This a simple yet highly flavorful soup.
The chipotle peppers make it smoky
and spicy. The turmeric, cumin and
capsaicin from the peppers
complement each other nicely and
promote healthy circulation and

2 Tbl Olive Oil
1 Purple onion, diced
3 Cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Salt
2 Chipotle peppers, from a can, rinsed and chopped
3 C Frozen Corn
4 Small potatoes, peeled and chopped
Sliced scallions and cilantro for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium/high heat. Add the onion, cumin and turmeric and saute for a few minutes. Add the garlic and peppers, stir and add the corn, potatoes and salt. Saute for about 5 more minutes, stirring frequently and then add enough water just to cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until ingredients are soft. Once the ingredients are cooked thoroughly, puree in a blender until you reach the desired consistency. Top with scallions and cilantro.

For a less spicy soup, omit the peppers, increase the amount of cumin and add some mild chili powder

For more of an herbal essence, omit the peppers and cumin. While everything is sauteing, stir in some sage and thyme. Top with freshly ground pepper.

In the Green

Crème de Menthe * Chocolate Liqueur * Rum * Almond Milk

Shake over ice

Friday, June 10, 2011

Grilled portabellas, marinated in a creamy chipotle sauce, served on quinoa buns

When cooking with friends, I often enjoy sharing a bottle of wine or craft brew during the preparation process. Unfortunately it sometimes renders me forgetful and I find myself the next day wishing I had remembered to take photos to share with blog readers. Today is one of those days. I am certain though, that I will be making this delicious meal several times this summer. Let grilling season begin!

Quinoa Buns (these can be made in advance)


2 C cooked quinoa

1 C cooked oatmeal

2 tsp yeast

¾ C warm water

1/3 C maple syrup

2 Tbl vegetable oil

3 Tbl soy milk powder

2 to 3 C unbleached all purpose flour

¼ C vital wheat gluten (optional)

1 C whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

Combine yeast and water with a little bit of the maple syrup. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, until bubbly. Add rest of maple syrup, soy milk powder, oil and salt and stir until combined. Mix in about a cup of the white flour. Add the vital wheat gluten, whole wheat flour, oats and quinoa. Add more white flour as necessary and begin kneading. Knead for about 8 minutes, until elastic. Oil a large bowl, form dough into a ball and place in bowl, turning to coat all surfaces with oil. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-2 hours. Once the dough has doubled, press down to remove air bubbles and divide into about 15 balls.

Forming the buns (use extra flour as necessary)

Roll each ball out long and thin (like a rope), about a foot long. Tie a simple loose knot and tuck ends through the reverse side.* Place the rolls on an oiled cookie sheet and again let them rise in a warm place until doubled. (To try to keep them from drying out, I place two plastic bags over the cookie sheets. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the buns for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheet.

Adapted from

*This site has a step by step of something similar, though they roll the dough out and cut into strips rather than rolling it out into ropes like I did: (scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the final steps)

Chipotle Portabellas

1 small or medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered

2 cloves garlic crushed

1/3 C vegetable or olive oil

2 Tbl balsamic vinegar

4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

4 portabella mushrooms, rinsed and stems removed.

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor (except portabellas) until smooth. Coat both sides of each portabella in the marinade and let sit for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat the grill (medium to high). Grill the portabellas until tender, about 15 minutes, turning every five minutes.

Place on buns. I recommend topping with grilled onion, ketchup, mustard, lettuce tomato and avocado. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Oat Bread: Leftover multi-grain cereal

This is another great way to use up leftover hot cereals (multi-grain, cream of wheat, oatmeal etc.). Not only is this bread healthy and high in fiber due to to the oats, but its fluffy, yet somewhat chewy and has a nice color. To say the least is has an amazing texture and is delicious... and I feel like preparing more oatmeal just so I can make more!

2 to 2.5 C cooked multi-grain cereal (or oatmeal)
1 to 1.25 C water
2 Tbl molasses
2 tsp salt
1 Tbl yeast
About 5 c flour
1/4 c vital wheat gluten

In large bowl combine oats, water, molasses, salt, yeast and 1 C of flour. Lest rest until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Stir in vital wheat gluten and flour as necessary so that it becomes doughy but not too sticky. Knead about 10 minutes adding flour as necessary. Form into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap (I like to use the shower caps they give you at hotels) and let rise in warm place until doubled, about one to two hours. Once doubled, press down and divide in half. Place formed loaves in loaf pans that have been greased and floured. Score the bread widthwise. I think a razor blade works well for this Cover and let rise until well above the pan rim. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake about 30 minutes or until the center is about 200 degrees F.

**It is a good idea to let the crust set for a while before cutting, as difficult as this may be. Enjoy!

Healthy Almond Banana Muffins made with Leftover Oatmeal

We had a huge 'vat' of leftover multi-grain cereal, sititng in the fridge, longing to be used for I made muffins.


For muffins

1 Tbl ground flax, wisped with 3 Tbl water (I also added about 1 tsp of ener-G egg replacer for a little extra lift) but if you don't have this on hand it shouldn't be a problem

1 cup cooked cereal (oatmeal, cream of wheat, multigrain etc.)

1/2 milk (start with 1/2, may need to increase depending on the aqueous nature of your cereal)

1 very ripe banana, mashed

1/2 tsp almond extract

1.5 c flour (I used unbleached white)

1/2 tsp salt

4 Tbl sugar or other sweetener

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 c sliced almonds

For topping
1 Tbl flour, 1/4 c brown sugar, dash of salt, 1-2 Tbl water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Combine wet ingredients (first five listed) in medium sized bowl and dry ingredients (the four following) in a small bowl. Add dry to wet, combine well and stir in almonds. Grease or oil the muffin pan (I used paper cups in the picture but the muffins stick to the paper so I think analternative method would work better). Fill each muffin slot 2/3 full. Combine the topping ingredients (until crumbly) and sprinkle evenly on muffin tops. Bake for 30 minutes.

These muffins are very versatile I used almond extract, almonds, and a banana but I'm sure it would work fine if you wanted to use another fruit, essence or nut or omit them entirely.

If you're feeling adventurous, might I suggest apple pecan with vanilla bean.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

"Chips and Cheese" with Daiya

A sampling from my Daiya adventures. This was the first time I got to taste Daiya vegan cheese and I have to say I am quite impressed. There are so many vegan cheeses available now but I don't really desire cheese too frequently. However I was craving grilled cheese, which turned out amazingly with Daiya and was eaten too quickly to take a picture. Here's to the makers Daiya and my 100th blog post!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back Bean Soup with Roasted Red Peppers

This is a recipe that I created months ago. Its really delicious and though roasting the red peppers takes time, they make a nice contribution (and preparation otherwise is pretty low maintenance). No photos at the moment though they really wouldn't do justice anyway.

1.5 c veg stock
4.5 c water
1.5 c onion, diced
1/4 c celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 c carrots, diced

3-4 cups black beans
1 red pepper, roasted and chopped (see below)
1/2 tsp ground cumin, toasted (see below)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1.5 tbl tamari (soy sauce)
1/2 tsp oregano
black pepper

To roast red pepper:
Pre-heat oven to 500, remove stem and seeds and cutoven to 500 degrees F, remove seeds, stem and cut into two or four pieces and press down on baking sheet, skin side up(covering the baking sheet with aluminum foil first eases clean up)
Bake until skins blacken, about 10 minutes, let cool and remove skins

To toast cumin:
Heat skillet over medium heat, add cumin and roast until fragrant, about 8 minutes, frequently toss cumin around in skillet

Now, onto the soup
Heat oil in pot and add celery, onion and garlic and carrot: saute about 7 minutes
Add broth, water: simmer about 15 minutes until carrots are soft.
Add remaining ingredients and cook until thickened, about 15 more minutes.

Top with tortilla chips, cilantro, avocado and vegan sourcream: (1/3 c veganaise, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tbl minced onion and 1/2 tsp dill), amounts for sourcream ingredients are approximate, feel free to experiment

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hey remember when...

I used to blog.... Sometimes a break can be a good thing, allowing one to collect their thoughts selves, etc. and realize passions that, once dwindling, have a new flame.

It is fall in Portland, and all I really want to do is take and post pictures of the colorful leaves and morning sky . However, my starter (begun Sept. 2010) has been longing for attention. Several forgotten feedings left it smelling incredibly sour, convincing me to use it for its true purpose: to make sourdough bread.

This is the first time I've tried to make sourdough and I do have to say, it went pretty well. I'd even go so far as to say that it rekindled my bread-baking spirit. However, the journey to the perfect is certainly going to take multiple trials.

Sourdough Bread Recipe

About 4 c flour
1.5 TBL sweetener (I used some agave and some crystallized white sugar)
1.5 tsp salt
2.25 tsp yeast
1 cup milk (I used almond)
2 TBL margarine
1.5 c sourdough starter

Measure yeast into large bowl
Heat milk on stove, slightly warmer than lukewarm (so it will activate but not kill the yeast)
Pour about half the milk over the yeast and stir in about half of the sweetener
Place the remaining margarine in the saucepan with the milk and allow to melt slightly

After yeast had time to get active (5-10 minutes with milk), add starter
Then stir in milk-margarine mixture, salt and remaining sweetener
Add in flour until dough is easy to handle but still slightly moist (you may need slightly more or slightly less)

Knead dough for 8-10 minutes
Place in an oiled boil and let rise, covered, for 1 hour until double in size
Once doubled push down and let rest 15 minutes
Shape dough into two desirable loaves and place on greased baking pan
Score deeply (I like to use a razor blade) and let rise covered until double in size (about 1 hour)
Meanwhile arrange oven racks so that they are set on the two lowest placement options and place a shallow metal pan on the bottom rack, pre-heat oven to 425 degrees farenheit

Once doubled, brush loaves before
To guarantee a crispy crust, pour about a cup of water into the metal pan, already in the oven
Then place bread on the other rack
Bake for 20-25 minutes and let cool on wire rack

Place oven racks on

I'll be experimenting the next few times to determine the best egg-like wash for topping the dough before it goes into the over. This time I brushed the loaves with almond milk and I think it left the loaves a little darker than I'd like. I think I want to try the remaining water after cooking garbanzo beans.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Apple Pie

Without questions, this was the centerpiece of our thanksgiving meal, at least for me, a true lover of apple pie. The crust was the classic shortening-ice water- flour trio and the filling, a simple combination of apples, sugar, cinnamon and flour. In tribute to all those turkeys, who spent their lives, overdosed on growth hormones and cramped in quarters so small, they cant even turn around...all so Americans can celebrate the turkey-consumption tradition on Thanksgiving.

Other items on the menu included:
Seitan roulade, similiar to last year, stuffed with sautéed 'shrooms
Mushroom Gravy
Carmelized onion mashed potatoes
Pumpkin Bread
A plethora of salads from various grains and greens

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bombes Away

This was my first experience with a bombe cake. I have a vague recollection of making a baked Alaska when I was younger but never realized the simplicity behind such an intricate looking dessert.

Making the bombe:
Although this work of art is quite simple, it does take some time to create,
Start by making the brownies as they'll need to cool before you lining the bowl
I used the following recipe and was quite satisfied.
Vegan Brownies (from All Recipes)
2 cups white flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cut vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Come dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients
Pour into 8x11 in pan (greased) and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes

In addition to the brownies, you'll need about 8 cups (depending on the size of your bowl) of your favorite vegan ice cream. Two kinds with contrasting colors will look the coolest. I recommend anything from Turtle Mountain; Purely Decadent.

Once the brownies have cooled, line a small metal bowl with plastic. Cut a brownie square big enough to cover the bottom of the bowl and then transfer the square to the bowl, taking care not to break the brownie square. Press the brownie lightly against the bowl. Use about 1/2 of the brownies to cover the rest of the interior of the bowl and then put the bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until the brownie wall is slightly frozen.
Using about half the ice cream, cover the brownie walls, making sure not to go over the edges. Return the bowl to the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Then using the remaining brownies, line the ice cream wall with brownie. The take the other ice cream and use it to fill the center.
Cover the bowl with a plate and return to the freezer for a few hours, until frozen solid.
When ready, invert the bowl on a cutting board and gently tug at the plastic to remove the bombe from the bowl.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Equatorian Cuisine at Chino Latino

Epicurean hot spot Chino Latino in Uptown Minneapolis offers a number of vegan options. Our waiter was both knowledgeable and helpful, happy to point out the vegan options.
Chino Latino's dishes are both creative and generous in size and worth the price.

Blue Hawaiian * Chips & Guacamole * Leafy Greens with Plum Vinaigrette and Fried Wantons Maki Rolls of Shitake, Carrot and Cucumber, dressed with Avocado and Soy Glaze

Monday, July 06, 2009

Tour de Crêpes

This cute crêpe shop on Alberta has been serving vegan crêêpes for quite a while now. Their menu has a number of vegan options, both sweet and savory. I reccomend stopping by on a sunny afternoon so you can people watch and enjoy the atmosphere. Afternoons on Last Thursday are great because you can watch as artists begin to set up for the evening festivities.
Savory: Spinach with roasted garlic and sundried tomato pesto
Sweet: Strawberries with crème fraîîche

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Styx à la Française

This recipe is a great way to use up old buns or bagels and is relatively easy and quick. Adapted from
Batter: (makes enough for about six slices of bread)
1/2 c soymilk
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbl peanut oil
1 tbl flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbl cornstarch
cinnamon- a dash or more
3 tsp sugar
Heat griddle to about 350 degrees F
Combine all ingredients and whisk thoroughly
Slice bread and dip/ soak in batter
Cook on griddle 2-4 minutes on each side
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and dip in maple syrup

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Puerto Rican Goodness in Seattle

La Isla Seattle made a good first impression of Puerto Rican food.  Their menu had a number of interesting vegan options.  I was unsure about what was vegan and asked the waitress who was happy to guide me through the vegan options. 

I decided the Ensalada de Jason and the Sopas de Lentejas.  The salad was served with healthy looking greens and mango with garlic vinaigrette, which was probably the best vinaigrette I've ever tasted.  My soup complemented the salad nicely, a medley of red lentil in a thick broth with vegetables, served on a bed of rice.

Chili, Cornbread and Roasted Veggies

I've made this chili and cornbread a number of times now and have been meaning to share it with blog readers for quite some time.  It is usually devoured Justify Fullbefore I have a chance to take pictures.

The Chili:
Olive Oil
1 medium onion (chopped finely)
3 large carrots (peeled and chopped)

Spice measurements are approximate- throw in what feels right and taste the chili throughout:
2tsp cumin
1 tblc chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper- to taste
cayenne- a few dashes...or more

1/4 lb mushrooms, I prefer button (stemmed and quartered)
4 c. squash (steamed-until partially cooked, peeled and cubed)
Zucchini (finely chopped)
Tempeh (about 14 oz.)
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or equivalent raw)
Beans about 2 cups cooked or 1 can (I like to use black or kidney)
Brown Sugar

To prep the tempeh:
In a saute pan, bring about an inch of water to a boil.  Slice the tempeh so it keeps its length but its thickness is reduced by 1/2.  Saute slices on each side for 10 minutes.  Let cool, cube and set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat.  
Add onions and saute until translucent.  
Add spices and saute for about 1 minute more.  
Add carrots and saute for about 5 minutes.  
Add tempeh, zucchini, squash and mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes more before adding all other ingredients.  
Bring to a boil and cover.  Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour.  
Sometimes I like to add a little brown rice that has already been cooked a few minutes before serving.
The chili is really good topped with slices of avocado and chopped cilantro.

1 c. cornmeal
1 c. flour (white, wheat or a mixture of both)
1/3 c sugar (more or less, depending on preferred sweetness) 
1 tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbl ground flax (or enerG egg replacer)
3 tbl water
1 c. nondairy milk (or water)
1/3 c. apple sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly oil a medium baking pan, about 9 by 9 inches.  
In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside.  In another bowl combine flax and water.  Then stir in other wet ingredients.  Combine thoroughly with dry ingredients and poor into oiled pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

(The applesauce in this recipe allows for the omission of oil)  The result is fluffy and most.  I like using the flax because it gives the cornbread a hint of nuttiness.

Java Bean

If you are in Seattle, you should go to Java Bean right now.  Really.  A quirky, overpriced coffee shop with really good espresso and thick soy foam.  And mole lattes:

Ballard: 5819 24th Avenue NW
Seattle, Wa

Ps-The employees have some pretty spectacular dreads.

Nothing but love from the Blossoming Lotus

I had dinner at the Blossoming Lotus  recently to celebrate the birthday of a loved one.  The food pics I took were limited as I've already written about the vast majority of what we ordered.  Yes, exploring new vegan dishes is always exciting but you have to honor your favorites at least once in a while.  

We brought our own cake but ordered soft serve to complement it.

White cake and coconut frosting adapted from Pillsbury Cook Book
Vanilla softserve with cone pieces*

*They were all out of cones.  I think I prefer it this way.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Let them eat cake

MMM.  I do not think the description 'cake' or even 'ice cream cake' does justice to this concoction.  Rather its like a flow of molten chocolate cooled by delicate mint ice cream on a bed of chocolate cookies.  I guess maybe you can get a sense of all that through 'ice cream pie'.   Needless to say, it was delicious, really unhealthy and hard to stop eating.
To make this ↑:

Ingredients (use vegan versions)
About 16 Oreos
1/4 cup margarine, melted
Chocolate Fudge

Remove ice cream from freezer before starting
Smash oreos until finely crushed: putting them in a bag and using a rolling pin works well
Combine smashed oreos with margarine and mix thoroughly 
Put margarine and oreo mixture into 9 inch pie plate and press against bottom and sides to make a crust
Cover the crust with ice cream until it meets the top edges of the pie plate (the ice cream can be compacted)
You can either pour on fudge now or heat it and do it right before serving

Store pie in freezer until ready to serve

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mucho Margarita Cupcakes

*modified from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

1/4 cup lime juice
1 cup soymilk
1/4 cup canola oil
2.5  tablespoons tequila
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups white flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately
Add wet to dry and mix thoroughly
Fill each cupcake paper 2/3 full
Bake for about 20 minutes

I used store bought frosting for these (I know, shame, shame, shame) but I don't exactly have the equipment here to whip up a fluffy batch of frosting.  None the less, I made the frosting my own, adding a little lime juice and about 1 tbl tequila to 1 cup of frosting

Frost cupcakes when cooled and roll in sugar

Baking with tequila and lime is a lot of fun. It adds new kick to baked goods that I had not previously experienced.  This is a great recipe to make if you're looking for something unique and festive.  
This recipes produces cupcakes that are fluffly and delicate with a hint of tequila and lime.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Acapulco is my (other) happy place

Linda Vista, Acapulco

Mexican Coffee fired with Cinnamon and Brandy

Vita #3

Vegan Soup du jour: Creamy Garlic Tomato with Vita's Homemade Herb and Onion Bread (without which a trip to Vita would not be complete)

  When people ask me about my favorite vegan-friendly restaurant in Portland, it's difficult to choose just one.  Portland has so much to offer and where you choose to eat on any given night really comes down to what you're in the mood to eat.   If I had to choose just one restaurant though, I think I'd go with Vita Cafe.  Their Alberta Street location and huge cakes surely have an influence on my decision but I also love the atmosphere of the restaurant and diversity of food options, which have influences from all over the world.  When you go to Vita, it doesn't really matter what you're in the mood for because they have pretty much everything.   And of course, if you can't decide you can just eat a freakin huge piece of their amazing cake (of which I should eat more often so I can enlighten any blog readers who have not yet had the opportunity to endulge in a piece of Vita's cake).  

Papa G's Organic Vegan Deli on Division

For as long as I can remember, Papa G's has had a stand at the annual VegFest in Portland offering free tofu samples from their original recipes. I usually return to the stand for seconds and thirds and so on. I finally made it to their restaurant for the first time about two weeks ago. They moved from Hawthorne and now have a quaint spot on Division.  
Everything they serve is vegan (with a multitude of gluten free options) and they pride themselves as the most organic restaurant in Portland.  The dining experience is casual with good to-go options.  They have a soup and salad bar and orderable entrees at the counter.  It's a good option if you're looking to get something quick without sacrificing health and heartiness.  
Garlic mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy
 and rosemary roasted vegetables

Salad bar and sides

Dahl Soup