Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fried Green Miso Tomatoes

With my tomatoes not ripening fast enough I've had to pick them hoping they would ripen off the vine, but that didn't happen either so I went with fried green tomatoes.

Fried Green Miso Tomatoes:
4 green tomatoes
1/4 cup miso (red)

1/2 cup flour
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Oil for frying.

Mix the miso with 1/2 cup of water until smooth. Slice the tomatoes and place in the miso. Add more water if needed. Let the tomatoes marinate overnight.
Mix the dry ingredients and coat each tomato slice until fully coated.
Fry on each side until golden brown about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Basic Vegan Sponge Cake

My sister bought me this wonderful cookbook called, Another Dinner is Possible. I haven't had a chance to make anything from this book until last night. I made the Basic Vegan Sponge Cake. I had a difficult time

Basic Vegan Sponge Cake:
400g self rising flour
200g sugar
200 ml vegetable oil
300 ml soy milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix the flour and sugar. Then mix the oil. Separately mix the remaining liquid ingredients.

Bake 180 C for 30 minutes.

The cake was not so much spongy, but more wacky cake in texture. It was good, but I think it would be better in round cake form instead of a loaf style.

Check out the book though because it's great!

Favorite Vegan News Man

On Friday, my favorite vegan news man, Tim Riley, lost his job on my favorite radio show, The Rick Emerson Show, along with everyone else - Rick Emerson, Sarah X Dylan, and Greg Nibbler. Tim Riley has the voice of a God, or a 50's news announcer. He made anything sound great, even when he messed up, which was often, for comedic effect. The whole show made my day and now I feel there is a big hole where the trio resided on my ipod.

The Rick Emerson Show is no stranger to station changes, layoffs, and cut backs. But what makes The Rick Emerson Show different from other talk shows that go off the air, when they come back, so do the fans. The last time they sent coffee cups to the GM. This got the attention of other radio stations who later picked up the show a year later.

But back to the man, the legend, Tim Riley. He is often referred to as a vegan, but I am not so sure he is. I think he eats eggs since he's a vegetarian who's allergic to milk. Never the less, he's the token vegan on the show. Or, was. Today, he is my Vegan MoFo!

It's a sad week for the radio waves of Portland. I hope Mr. Riley starts podcasting soon, or gets picked up by another radio station along with Sarah and Rick, because without them, there's not much else to look forward on my morning commute.
Isn't that right donkey?

Here's a photo I took with Mr. Riley 4-5 years ago. I wasn't supposed to touch him.

Friday, October 09, 2009

chicago eating

I made it to Chicago in one piece. thanks for all the eating suggestions. keep them coming.
first place we ate was Handelbar. I ordered the Buffalo Wrap. It had some tastey, spicey setain, letuce, and tomatoes wrapped in a tortilla. A very mild ranch dressing was applied to the whole thing. Unfortunately the flavor was mild but the combination of the thick setain and fresh veggies was nice, but forgetable.
the bbq sandwich was less than forgttable. it was huge. bread the size of your head and soft setain stacked too inches high. it seemed allergy inducing even without a glutten intolerance. the bbq sauce was mild in taste and spice, but pleseant. however, it was too much. some carmelized onions or more tomatoes would have helped.
I do not think we will visit again.

for lunch today we checked out veggie bite. a vegan fast food chain. everything was fried. the beer battered fried and the meatball sub were the two items that stood out among all the food. the chocolate oreo shake was great but just tasted like chocolate sauce. it was too much.
wait until I get back for the photos and proper puncturation.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Chicago Vegan Restaurants

Tomorrow I hop on a plane to go to Chicago to see The Dead Milkmen at Riot Fest. I don't know what I am more excited about, going to see The Dead Milkmen, a band I have loved since I was a kid, but have never seen; Visiting and experiencing Frank Llyod Wright's early work; and eating at vegan restaurants like The Chicago Diner, Green Zebra, and Handelbar. Let me know if you have a favorite Chicago restaurant and I will do my best to visit.

Okra with Tomatoes

Last summer I cooked a lot with okra. making this okra dish over and over again because it is so simply fantastic!
Thanks Martha. But no thanks for the bacon. I used tofu broiled with Braggs. Yum!
Since I enjoy okra so much I decided to try growing it up here in the Northwest. The okra is a bit tough, but still slimy the way I like it.

Lately I have been a canning fool. Earlier this summer I made strawberry jam. Lately I've made peach jam, peach strawberry jam. Both from fruit I've picked. I've also been canning the back yard tomatoes because we have more than we can eat (even when the dogs get to them!) Yesterday I canned cucumbers and okra with spices. As the days are becoming shorter I do not think my green tomatoes will ripen much more, so I am looking for good green tomato recipes. I am thinking of pickling them or doing the fried green tomatoes thing. Let me know if you have a favorite green tomato dish.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Fakin Fest

Last weekend was Bacon Fest in Portland. To counter act that a group of vegans assembled in the park for Fakin Fest.
I rolled fake bacon around dates, baked for awhile then dipped in a maple ganache and sprinkled with vanilla salt.
Suprisingly I won Most Creative Dish!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Muffins that Taste Like Doughnuts

Vegan Vittles was one of the first vegan cookbooks I purchased so I have a fondness for most all the recipes. My poor little book has seen better days, but after being forgotten on the the stove and pages fallen out, it mends together nicely. This is like the recipes - it's a great book to go back to, not just adventures-in-early-veganism.

Muffins that Taste like Doughnuts:
1 Cup flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Cup soymilk
1/2 Cup apple sauce
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon oil
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
cinnamon sugar

Mix the wet, then the dry, then mix together. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar before baking in muffin tins for 20 minutes. I used my grandmother's muffin top pans.

This recipe is great because they are light and fluffy but low in fat and sugar. This was the first time I added blueberries were good, but I do not know I would add them again. Thank you Joanne Stepaniak for your great vegan recipes.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Vegan Garden

I love vegetable. I always have. I started my first garden when I was 9. My mom helped me turn an old sand box into a garden. My first harvest wasn't much - a bowl of 1" round potatoes, 1" long carrots, and some tomatoes. But it was mine. I grew it all from seed.
Today my entire yard is my garden, thanks to my mom for teaching me to garden. And,
yesterday I planted carrots and lettuce. Tomorrow I will plant some chard. But that's just for the winter.My garden did not do as well as I had hopped it would this year. It was the first year for my large raised garden beds so the soil is still adjusting. My little puppy took over the green beans. She does not seem to understand the idea of sustainability and decided to lay on the plants as she ate each bean without sharing.

I have planted many food producing plants outside the garden bed, so join me in a tour through my yard - both edible and not.

Figs. The husband bought me two fig plants for our 10 year anniversary this year. just beyond the figs, you can see one of my four blueberry plants. Duke and Berkley plants have been my favorite so far.

Okra is something I grew up eating and I still love it. I tried my hand at growing it this year and it's been okay, a bit too tough with the northwest weather. But still a nice adventure.

The potatoes have taken off this year. All those pretty green plants on the left are my potatoes. I am looking forward to a big potato harvest and possibly a potluck to follow.
This is what I think of when anyone says potato flour. After this stage they develop cute little balls.

Earlier this year I purchased two tea plants. From this one plant I can make a variety of teas by processing the baby leaves differently.

There are many more edibles in my yard but 'll skip to my top favorite non-edibles. The rattlesnake is so cute. I cannot wait for this to grow up and make babies so I can have more little rattlesnake plants.

My snowberry is so beautiful right now as the white berries have come on to last all winter long.

Another plant with berries that last all winter is this purple berry. It seems so out of place to see this purple in nature.

Finally, Mountain Laurel. I harvested these seeds from my gandparents gravesite and grew them from seed. It's a very hard plant to grow from seed because it has a hard coating on the seed, like bluebells. So I had to sand it with an electric sander and soak it in water for a long time. I ruined 16 other seeds until this one started. I will plant it in memory of my Nana and Granddad.

Thanks for touring my garden with me.

Watermelon Cake

Fruit is one of my favorite things to eat.

As a kid, I remember picking, cleaning, and eating strawberries until I was sick. Every cherry season you'll hear me say, "I would eat cherries forever if I could!" During blueberry season I dream of quiting my job and joining the ranks of the harvester because I love the way the berries fall into your hands with th lightest of touch - and no juice. I could go on.

Watermelon....ah. Watermelon. I remember feeling releived when I first saw the great/terrible
movie Rubin and Ed with the epic line, "My cat can eat
a whooooooooooole watermelon." It put possibility to my ideas that I too could eat an entire waterm
elon - no need to share. No need for one than one cut. Cut it in half and dig in. I have eaten plenty of watermelons in my life in this manner.

This summer, deep in my watermelon meal replacement kicks, I decided I wanted watermelon cake - a raw dessert. Internet searches for watermelon cake bring up im
ages like this cake. Cute, but not what I was looking for. I thought a raw watermelon cake would be obvious - slabs of watermelon stacked with layered fruit in between. But it wasn't.

It was more difficult than I thought it would be to pair the "filling." It needed to have a consistency that would work well with the cellular crunch of the watermelon - a unique crunch that most fruits don't have. Something too creamy or smooth would feel odd - so no peaches, or bananas. Mangos can be difficult to cut so cutting the cake would not turn out pretty and the top layer would probably slide across the room. A citrus would be nice and compliment the flavor, but I needed it to sit for a few hours and oranges would bring too much added juice. I settled for apples because they have a similar crunch, would cut well without adding too much juice, and a tart apple would pair with the sweet watermelon flesh. This is what I came up with:

Watermelon Cake:
1 whole watermelon
1 green apple
Lemon juice
1/2 cup blueberries

Cut 4 inches out of the middle of the watermelon. Select one that is more oblong than sheprical to avoid irrigular layers. Cut off the rind. Then very carefully cut the 4" slab in half. Set aside.
Core the apple slice into 1/8 inch slices. Dip the cut slices into lemon juice or lemon soda to avoid browning. Arrange on top of one of the watermelon slabs so no piece overlaps but with minimal gaps between the apples. This may take cutting some interesting shapes.
Place the second watermelon slab on top with the angles of the rind cuts aligning with the first slab.
Sprinkle with blueberries and garnish with cut apple shapes. Add other fruit as desired. I created a blueberry compote to "frost" mine.

I came across this similar fun watermelon dessert.

I would have loved to have used more than two layers but I used the other portion of the slabs to make this Watermelon Steak. It was an interesting experiment that turned out very poorly. I might try it again next year, but cooking watermelon for 2 hours is a long time to wait to enjoy the beautiful pink fruit.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Vegan MoFo - The People's Sandwich of Portland

Welcome to my first post for VeganMoFo, and my first post in a long, long time. For the month of October I may or not provide my normal (how can I say normal if it's been so long since updating?) posts with recipes - starting with this post.

As many of you know, I review restaurants for Stumptown Vegans. Most of the time we visit a place at least two times before doing a review. So, there are those few times where we cannot even bring ourself to visit a restaurant for a second visit for a review. Then, there are other times when we cannot wait for the second visit to spread the word. This is one of those times.

The People's Sandwich of Portland is a great little restaurant in Old Town Portland where they handcraft sandwich like the Hammer and Pickle, or the only vegan sandwich - the Peoples' Sandwich with "soylent green." A lightly panfried slab of tofu with hazelnut pesto and wonderfully marinated peppers.

However, this sandwich does not have a people's price tag at $8 a pop - but it's worth it. The flavors tickle all the taste buds in the order they are supposed to - the sweet balsamic vinegar marinated peppers, the salty tofu, and the sweet hazelnuts and basil. Plus there's the side of hand cut potato chips deep fried to crunchy perfection with a light seasoning. I only wish they would give more of these crispy little morsels. I cannot wait to try their curly fries.

Check out this shop by visiting their website page, then heading over to 53 NW 1st Ave.