Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dad's Birthday Dinner

On the menu:

White Bean Soup with herbed potato foccacia

Cinnamon coffee cake with homeade vanilla icecream


Vegan Pizza, Increased creativity

I've been inspired by the vegan slices of pizza I've been eating lately at the pizzerias local to Portland.  At $2.75 a slice, I'm ready to make my own.
The sauce was simple but truly made the pizza, a gernerous combination of sauteed garlic, tomato sauce and herbs.  The dough was topped with sauce, nutritional yeast, more herbs, pepper, spinach, steamed squash slices, mushrooms and peppers.

Pumpkin Scones

These are amazing, I made them three times in  one week (the only can of pumpkin we had was huge and I didn't want it to go to waste).  My family gobbled up each batch within 12 hours of baking.
The original recipe can be found here.  Tthey can easily be made more healthy by using half whole wheat flour and replacing some of the oil with more pumpkin.

Tempeh Sushi


This sushi has the vegetarian basics with a little extra soy protein.  Tempeh is a nice touch to sushi.  The preparation method of the tempeh was quite simple.  I steamed it a little water and soy sauce for about 10 minutes and then sliced it into strips before baking it on a metal rack in a 400 degree oven until crispy.  You could infuse the tempeh and make it much more flavorful.  My use of tempeh in the sushi was somewhat spontaneous.
Other stuffings include steamed carrots, avocado, cucumber and brown rice.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I have been home from college for less than two days now and my seemingly endless energy for cooking and baking has yet to seize. I find baking for loved ones so rejuvenating. In the last 40 hours or so, I've cooked/ baked 3 kinds of cookies, fudge, sushi, garlice stir fry, lentil soup and vegan mac 'n cheese. (I don't think I will be missing the dining hall or cramped kitchens any time soon.)
*Pictures feature sugar cookies, chocolate chip adapted from Pillsbury Family Cookbook, Mint Chippers adapted from Sunset Magazine

Friday, December 05, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner

Inspired by the authors of What the Hell does a Vegan eat anyway?, I decided to make seitan roulade as the main dish for thanksgiving dinner.
I used the seitan recipe from the PPK and filled it with a mushroom mousse and sauteed kale and shitakes. After baking it was slathered with gravy.

It turned out fine in the end and everyone thought it was amazing but making it was quite an adventure.
In my ideal world, advice hotlines for cooking turkeys on Thanksgiving would be unheard of and and hotlines for making seitan roulades would replace them.
However, the whole world has not yet gone vegetarian and so I had to solve my seitan roulade woes by myself.
Seitan is pretty simple to make. It gets harder, though, when the goal is to rolls it into long sheets for a roulade. (It likes to bubble in the most unfavorable places).

Other dishes from Thanksgiving dinner: Stuffing, Wild Rice Salad, Twice Baked Potatoes with Dill and Earth Balance, Apple Cake, Pumpkin Pie with Vegan Ice Cream and Chocolate Pudding Cups

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Dawn's First Breath

The Dawn's First Breath is musical duo composed of Tyler Price and Corrina Snow. The two of them are currently on a bike tour from Northern California and are making their way back down the west coast, sharing their talent on the way. They're playing at music venues along the coast and if you're lucky you might also come upon them sharing musical goodness on the streets.
They were kind enough to stop by Red and Black Open Mic early this week and share their amazingness..

Their music is surprising, very unique like nothing you've ever really heard before and once you hear it you'll desire more. There are a lot of varying influences in their music, including hiphop, reggae, folk and other worldly genres but they encourage listerners to create their own description.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hotcakes: Chocolate Chip Banana

A variation of the Pancake recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I swear by these pancakes because they are delicious and fluffly. I added vanilla and raw sugar to contribute to the fluffing. The bananas were mashed and tossed in with a plethora of large chocolate pieces.
(The batter is good too, if you're a pancake batter person like me...)


On SE 12th and Oak, these are my sort of people...
Worker owned and operated, they have an anarchist star on the wall.
They have a nutritional yeast in a shaker, three kinds of no-animals-hurt-in-the-making milk and they reallize that chai is really better without honey.
And the workers are totally chill.
Go send books to prisoners and eat some wholesome vegan food!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chocolate Chip Scones

College does not allow much time for baking but I have made it a goal to bake once a week for SDS (Students for a Democratic Society).
I especially like the semi sweet chocolate chips from Trader Joe's because they are HUGE and make well with scone dough. I used the basic scone recipe from Vegan with Vengeance.

Habibi II

Visiting Habibi for a second time last week, I was tempted to order something from the selection of items that I tasted last time but for the sake of blogging decided to try something new.
My fondness of their falafel came to mind while ording so I decided to try their Falafel Sandwich and was extremely satisfied. It was similar to the Zattar Pizza Sanwhich but with heavenly pieces of falafel and it only cost $5.00!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bambuza Vietnamese Bistro

Bambuza is located on the southwest waterfront and is somewhat new to Portland, a sister to Bambuza Seattle. Strategifally located located near the new OHSU/Apartment complexes, they won't have any trouble making good business. Neighbors, however may or may not be their best customers, as I can see people coming from afar to eat at the bistro. The atmosphere is inviting and the food is amazing (they have an assortment of vegan and vegetarian options).

We ordered two different types of vegetarian salad rolls:
gỏi cuốn dừa (coconut summer rolls) which were filled with sauteed tofu, basil, bean sprouts, rice noodles, and carrots double wrapped in lettuce and rice paper and gỏi cuốn chay (vegetarian salad rolls) which were filled with sauteed jicama, tofu, basil, coconut meat, carrot, and peanut, also double wrapped

phở chay (vegetarian pho and condiments): a large steaming bowl filled with soft fried tofu, fresh vegetables including broccoli, carrots and bok choy, rice noodles and mushrooms in a delicate but flavorful vegetarian stock

đậu hủ ướp – lemongrass tofu skewers

đậu que xào đậu hủ (green bean tofu) a wok specialty: crispy tofu sauteed with green beans in garlic black bean sauce

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vodka Champagne Sunrises

A spur of the moment evening drink that turned out to be quite delectable
Shot of vodka for each glass (to start out)
Peach nectar (If you it on hand, I recommend using home jarred peaches and nectar)
Tropical Fruit juice

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Turning 21 in Oregon is a big deal. You can go out and actually participate in Portland's nightlife. You can play pool in the bar section of the restaurant and find somewhere to eat after 10 PM.
So when you turn twenty and not twenty one, you wonder what to do with yourself. If you have class and cross country and then class again however, there isn't much time to wonder. But even after getting out of class around 9:40 PM, I still kind of felt that nagging wonder...okay, its my double decade for a couple more hours; what should I do with myself.
Coincidentally I soon came upon a huge chocolate torte covered with voluptuous fruit and eating too much of it was an excellent way to end my birthday.

Somewhat wary of vegan baking, my friends bought me this cake from WholeFoods.
You realize the important people when they buy you chocolate cake for your birthday.

Habibi Restaurant

I ate at the Lebanese restaurant Habibi last week. The food was so amazing that I later found myself researching the country of Lebanon and looking for and affordable plane ticket to Lebanon.
The owner of the restaurant is quite facetious and extremely kind. After ordering three dishes to share between my friend and me, he stopped me, insisting that I order nothing more, as he did not want us to waste our money (due to the potential inability of eating such a large amount of food).
Habibi's menu is extremely vegan-friendly with everything labeled and a plethora of choices.

Mezza Platter: Falafel, humus, tabouli, tahini, garbonzo beans & majadra
Everything on the platter was amazing and had so much flavor. I highly recommend the falafel.

Zattar Pizza Sandwich: Thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, sumac & olive oil, with tomato, lettuce & tahini.
The myriad of flavors in the dish are so wonderful.

Lentil Soup: Green lentils and potatoes simmered with onion, garlic, rice, spices & a dash of olive oil (This is on of the best lentil soups I've ever eaten and it is under $5 for a good sized bowl)
Habibi is located near Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland: 1012 SW Morrison

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Peninsula Park

This post has nothing to do with food or even veganism but still concerns simple pleasures.

Yesterday I explored the Peninsula Park in North Portland. I'm falling in love with north and northeast Portland and have been wanting to visit Peninsula Park all summer.

Huge pines shade the park and wading pool. There are paved paths as well as many grassy areas for a good book or nap in the sun, basketball courts, an outdoor pool and large baseball field. I enjoyed the people watching (there's a lot of diversity) and the exquisite rose garden. The rose garden is maze-like and surrounds an energetic fountain.
To get to Peninsula Park, take Martin Luther King Junior Blvd north to Rosa Parks Way. Take a left and the park will be on your left. (Its just down the street from the max line and Interstate Ave.)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Luxury Camping

Although I prefer hike-in, minimalistic camping, luxury camping is fun every once in while. On my most recent camping trip, there wasn't any hiking-in involved so we could bring whatever we wanted without too much physical strain. Needless to say, we ate...and drank...quite luxuriously.

Dinner Night One
Fresh greens topped with warm polenta
Dressed with a sauce of Italian stewed tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms, garlic and onion
Topped with large pieces of avocado and a side of onion bread

Dinner Night Two
Grilled Tortillas filled with rice, beans, lettuce, avocado and tomatoes
Melon and Champagne on the side

Monte, the Costa Rican Pineapple Man

Takeout: Tacos Locos

Though veg*an options do not cover the menu, the few that are available are delicious, huge and cheap!

Vegetarian Taco Salad
Layers of lettuce, beans, rice and tomato served with guacamole and salsa

Vegetarian Burrito
Flour tortilla stuffed with rice, pinto beans, tomatoes, steamed onions, buell pepers and huge mushrooms

1610 Allen Creek Rd. Grants Pass, Oregon 97527

Un Gateau Rouge

This cake is CRAZY. It is magenta because it has BEETS!

Recipe Converted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

Best "Two-Egg" Cake

1/3 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Ener-G Egg Replacer equivalent to 2 eggs (or you can use 2 tbl ground flax and 1/4 cup water)

2 1/4 cups flour (I used a combination of whole wheat pastry flour and white bread flour)

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup vegan milk

2 or 3 beets, cooked, peeled and pureed

Prepare egg and set aside

Cream sugar and shortening

Add "eggs" and other wet ingredients including beet puree

Sift in dry ingredients and stir until combined

Pour into greased pan (I used two 9in circulars) and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes

When cake has cooled, frost with a fluffy vanilla frosting (powdered sugar, vanilla and vegan milk)


Thanh Thao

It was approximately 9:30PM when we arrived at late night hot spot Dots Cafe, hoping to score quick cheap food before the Portland's underage scene shut down for the evening.
The sign at Dots states that they do not serve minors after 10:00 PM but they really should change the sign as they stop serving minors quite a bit earlier.
After realizing that we were not 21, the host refused to seat us and would not even allow us to sit outside.

Desperate, we departed hoping to find something to eat at Fred Meyer but ended up at Thanh Thao, a Vietnamese/Thai restaurant on Hawthorne. Even though we arrived at 10, the we were seated. They encouraged us to hurry but brought us Jasmine tea while we looked at the menu and seated another guy 5 minutes later.
The food was good like Thai food should be and was not lacking quality or flavor that one might expect when dining at close.

Sauteed tofu with vegetables in a yellow curry sauce

Vegetables and tofu sauteed in a brown garlic sauce

Thanh Thao 4005 SE Hawthorne