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

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Did you know poppy seeds symbolize death and sleepiness or that the world's great lemon distributor of lemons is India.  
Poppies and lemons are somewhat of an odd conglomeration but whoever came up with their joining was absolute genius.
We had a lot of friends from various walks of life join us over the holiday.  These lemon poppy seed muffins from The Joy of Vegan Baking were greatly appreciated by friends and family as awoke from their slumbers and wandered into the kitchen.  They paired nicely with a large cup of Stumptown coffee and agave.

Welcoming the new year with Enchiladas

These Enchiladas were stuffed with sauteed portabella mushrooms and garlic.  You can use store bought tortillas or make your own.  The original recipe can be found here.  The olives were omitted and the enchiladas were topped with FYH cheddar before going into the oven.