Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Sweet and Sara vegan marshmallows are handcrafted and much higher quality than the average marshmallow. They roast well and pair nicely with dark chocolate and grahams.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Totally Sconed, Dude

Blueberry Scones from Vegan with a Vengeance

I made a few variations to the recipe using margarine for oil and adding a little chai tea as the liquid. They turned out really great and I think I prefer drop scones to triangular ones. They're made with fresh blueberries from the yard. This years crop is amazing. Nothing beats fresh blueberries.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vita Cafe

Located in Northeast Portland, Vita Cafe is becoming one of my favorite vegan friendly restaurants. The atmosphere is great, the food is delicious and the staff is quite friendly. Upon my most recent, I ate outside where picnic shaded by sun umbrellas tables offer outside dining to a plethora of customers. Conversations of nearby diners ranged from how fucked foie gras really is to a deep discussion about Obama's potential.
Vita's menu has quite a bit to offer for everyone including huge vegan cakes (which I have not yet tried but hope to soon).

The H.O.G. :homemade Herb and Onion bread topped with almond Gravy

Buffalo things: fried tofu covered in a spicy sauce with vegan ranch and veggies

Thai coconut soup and salad

Italian Pasta: Tuscan kale, veggie sausage, garlic, chili flakes and crushed tomatoes, sautéed in lemon and olive oil topped with toasted bread crumbs.
If one so desires, they can play boule outside while waiting for their food.


Tabouleh makes a light yet filling lunch, perfect for the somewhat unusual but very nice weather we've been having this summer in Oregon.

Sundried Tomato polenta with shitake mushrooms

The flavor of the shiitake mushrooms really shines through in this recipe as does the final topping of avocado. The ingredients of this dish pair incredibly well, yet it is a simple dish that one can prepare in less than 30 minutes.

Mushroom stir fry: 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced • 1/2 cup roughly diced green onion • Freshly chopped basil • Olive oil • 1/2 cup to 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped • 3 cloves garlic minced

Heat oil in fry pan • Add garlic and onion • Cook until soft, about 5 minutes stirring frequently • Add basil and mushrooms • Cook over low heat until mushrooms have released juices • Remove from heat and add sun dried tomatoes

To make the polenta: Add 1 1/2 cups coarsely ground cornmeal to 4 1/5 cups salted boiling water • Cook over low heat until all water has been absorbed • Combine with mushroom tomato mixture • Serve over a bed of fresh greens and top with avocado and a little sea salt•

Gingersnap scones with Maple Espresso Glaze

(makes about nine cookies- enough for the recipe plus a few to snack on while the scones are baking)
3 tbl shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp flax meal combined with 1 tbl water
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit •Combine dry ingredients and set aside • Cream shortening, sugar and flax water• Add dry ingredients and stir to make a dough • Roll dough into balls and sprinkle with sugar • Cook 5-6 minutes •

1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup gingersnap crumbs
1/4 cup cane or beet sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup soymilk (do not substitute rice milk)
1 1/5 tsp lemon juice
Ener-G Egg equivalent to one egg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit • Combine soymilk with lemon juice and set aside • Combine dry ingredients in food processor • Cut in margarine and process until crumbly mixture has formed • Add soymilk/lemon juice mixture and Enger-G Egg and process until dough forms •
Place dough on floured surface and knead 4 times • On parchment paper, form dough into 10 in circle • Cut dough into 10 wedges, not cutting all the way through • Bake 15 minutes or until golden •

1-2 tbl brewed coffee
Powdered sugar
1-2 tbl maple syrup
Combine wet ingredients • Whisk in a few tablespoons of powdered sugar at time until desired consistency is reached • Drizzle over cooled scones •

Blossoming Lotus

Salud Salad with a side of Cornbread (the best cornbread on the face of the planet)

925 NW Davis, Portland OR 97209

Carrot Cake: A culinary prodigy

I've been making this carrot cake for years, usually saving it for special events like birthdays because it is such a delicacy, (though one may consider each living day as a special event).

Ingredients like freshly shredded carrots, crush pineapple and coconut make it incredibly most and flavorful.

The Recipe

2-1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup light brown cane sugar

3/4 cup cane sugar

3 egg equivalent in Ener-G egg substitute

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup vegetable oil (may substitute part or fully with applesauce)

2 cups finely grated carrots (food processor works well)

1 can (about 14 oz) crushed pineapple

1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit • Grease three 9in circular pans or 9x13in rectangular pan • Combine first six ingredients and set aside • In large bowl, prepare Ener-G Egg Substitute with whisk • Stir in sugar, vanilla and oil/applesauce • Add carrots pineapple and coconut • Stir in dry ingredients just until blended •Pour into pan(s) and cook for about 30-45 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean • Allow to cool before frosting• A margarine/vanilla/powdered sugar/soymilk frosting works well

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cinnamon rolls with a maple walnut filling

Onion loaf from starter

Blueberry Lavender Tarte

This tarte flirts with a few different recipes from Christina Pirello's Cooking the whole food way. It has little fat, and processed sugars (I used maple syrup and agave nectar as sweeteners) and is quite delicious. The lavender in the blueberry sauce is delicate but noticable to say the least and pairs nicely with the blueberries.

Broccoli gnocchi with mushroom marinara and fresh basil

Broccoli Gnocchi
2-3 cups of broccoli florets
1 large baking potato pealed and quartered
Bring just enough water to cover the potato quarters to a boil. Add potato pieces and boil until soft.
Meanwhile, place broccoli in a skillet with a few tablespoons of water and cook until very tender. Add water as necessary.
Combine potato, broccoli (and water) in a blender. Blend, adding enough flour to make a dough that is easy to work with. Meanwhile bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil.

For further written instructions on making gnocchi, click here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tortilla Tutorial

I love piling fresh and spicy ingredients on a plate of homemade tortillas.
A tortilla press, as pictured below is not absolutely necessary (some Mayan women shape hundreds of tortillas daily with their hands) but a tortilla press is a neat yet simply gadget and pretty authentic.

I use corn flour but a person can really use any flour they want. Usually with wheat flour oil is used in the dough but all I add to the corn is flour and salt. There are guidelines on the bag but it is pretty easy to tell when the texture is right by working the dough with your hands.

After the dough has been prepared, break the dough into pieces of equal size, considerably small so that the dough is less likely to explode over the edges when pressed.

Cover the press in a sheet of plastic, I use old plastic bags, press the balls one at a time and place on a heated skillet.

The tortillas cook for about 60 seconds on both sides. They are pretty hard to burn unless you have your skillet crazy hot. Eventually they will harden and become chips.

Monday, July 07, 2008


First time I've made them: incredibly easy
The goods: fresh pineapple, red onion, Walla Walla sweet onion, red and green pepper, zucchini and yellow squash, mushrooms and tomatoes

The goods were chopped and marinated in a marinade consisting of garlic, lots of garlic, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, rosemary, salt, pepper, broth and soy sauce

(for about an hour)

and then BAM: we grilled them and they were amazing!

Leave it to the Greeks

Most people consider Pizza to be a culinary specially of Italy but the concept behind Pizza really originated in Greece where they used flat bread combined with oil and a myriad of spices and covered with dates.
Although I do not cover my pizza with dates, like the Greeks, I do not use cheese either. (Cheese was first used on pizza in the late 1800's when Queen Margherita, queen of Italy wanted a pizza representing the Italian flag:covered with mozzarella, basil and tomatoes. Cheese is cheese is cheese and is not the deal breaker for an amazing pizza. A great pizza a has rich but not overpowering sauce of tomatoes or pesto or both, topped off with a number of different items and sprinkled with fresh herbs. (I have not yet perfect my pizza making skills but it is hard to get sick of practicing because the practice usually ends in a delicious pizza)

Eating well in the Wilderness

It is somewhat difficult to find camping ground so lightly traveled that one can find enough food (berries, herbs, roots and other gifts of the earth) on site to satisfy the appetite. Surely it is not absolutely necessary to eat while camping, as our bodies can go days without food, but it does make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable.
And it is a good excuse to be creative with food, even in the wilderness, making sure the food is good and nourishing while being easy to carry in and prepare.

Oatmeal with banana chips or dried blueberries

Whole wheat pasta with a garlic-onion marinara sauce and fresh tomatoes

We also feasted on ciabatta filled with mustard, avocado, tomatoes, pepper, and baked tofu as well as cliff bars, and G.O.R.P. (though non-traditional as it contained candied dates, cashews and almonds in addition to the raisins and peanuts).

Starter Adventures Continued...

Summer seems to have finally arrived resulting in extremely rapid starter growth and the warm weather has resulted in rapid starter growth. Thus I've had the obligation, or pleasure rather, to make make bread like crazy. My most recent creations include two loaves of multi grain and a pan of foccacia.


My starter was huge before I made this loaf so I used a ridiculously large amount of it in the recipe and less flour than the recipe called for. I really used it more as a general guide than an actual recipe. I tried the same recipe a little over a year ago and it turned out less than great, leaving me even more determined to create a good loaf of multigrain.

The Grains and Dough

The kneading process

The Final Product


Focaccia is one of my favorite types of bread to make because it is so versatile. I find that one can make it a bit faster than other yeast breads and it pairs so nicely with spaghetti!

I used fresh herbs from my garden: chives, rosemary and basil.

I didn't really use a recipe for this loaf either: just combined some salt, water, flour and oil with the herbs and starter.

Final product: It is important to remember to make holes or cuts so hot air can escape...I seem to forget this detail quite frequently when making focaccia.