Try Vegan Week 2010: starting this weekend!!!

Do you have vegan-curious friends? Do you want your pescetarian friends to know just why they should go veg? Do you simply want to meet more vegan-minded folks in Portland area?

The 3rd Annual Try Vegan Week kicks off this Saturday with a Bike Rally starting at the Mini Mall with the Radical Cheerleaders for Animal Rights and concludes with the Vegan Prom of Tomorrow on Saturday, the 21st. Tickets are still available!

The week includes many classes, workshops, and talks: all about going vegan!

To name a few:

Check out the full schedule here – many more events and location/time info for the above~

Vegan Prom Poster by John Vincent Lovell

Check out Try Vegan PDX for more information. Consider having a week in your area. We’re all activists, folks.

Portland’s Vegan Iron Chef 2010: The Photos!

Portland has crowned its first VEGAN IRON CHEF: Qausu AsaaseYaa!

Qausu AsaaseYaa plates for the win! Photo by Lucas DeShazer

The Competitors:

I’ll repeat for a 104th time, this was a miniature, super dedicated volunteer organized, low budget version of the event we’d like to put together next year. Try Vegan PDX is so proud of everyone’s hard work and was thrilled to see this happen!! We had last minute emergencies, we had a small space, we had an overheated projector, we had electric burners set up on tables, and yet, the awesome of Vegan Iron Chef prevailed!!!

Thanks to all who came to the sold out event, participated, cheered, volunteered, hosted, ran around, designed, sponsored, took photos, recorded – Tim Kahn!!!!, donated, gave sporadic hugs, competed & live-streamed, bought raffle tickets & everything else! We had almost 1,000 folks around the world tune in, on top of our sold out audience!

Subscribe to our new Youtube channel and stay tuned to our Facebook for updates! We’re hoping to have video up soon, for now, you can watch Qausu’s crowning moment by our phenomenal host, Michelle Schwegmann, our enchanting Alton Brown/Vegan Food Guru Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and our adorable trophy girl, Alicia Cruz of Taqueria Los Gorditos. This finale video is courtesy of  one of our Executive Sponsors, Lightlife.

The inspiring dishes:

Asaase Ital Palace:

  • Caramelized Plantains And Chocolate Coconut Sauce With Microgreens
  • Chocolate Groundnut Stew With Onion Rice
  • Gari Peanut Candy Hearts With Cashew Chocolate Cream And Berries

Asaase Ital's Appetizer: Caramelized Plantains And Chocolate Coconut Sauce With Microgreens Photo by Lucas DeShazer

Blossoming Lotus:

  • Chocolate  Sweet Potato Red Lentil Dahl with Strawberry Chutney and Mole
  • Tofu Tempeh Chorizo Lettuce Wraps
  • Raw Avocado Cacao Pudding Over Orange Slices

Blossoming Lotus' Appetizer: Chocolate Sweet Potato Red Lentil Dahl Photo by Lucas DeShazer

Portobello Vegan Trattoria:

  • Tempeh Date Skewers In Citrus Marinade with Chocolate Merlot Sauce
  • Chocolate Gnocchi With Collards and Shiitakes
  • Caramelized Banana Tart with Chocolate Ganache And Fleur Del Sel

Portobello's Dessert: Caramelized Banana Tart with Chocolate Ganache And Fleur Del Sel Photo by Lucas DeShazer

Our fantastic Vegan Celebrity Judges, along with super Judge Liaison Karla aka VeganShizz, Chad Miller of Food Fight! & Try Vegan PDX founder, David Agranoff:

Serious Judging at Vegan Iron Chef 2010: Joanna Vaught, Audience Winner Rusty, Jesse Ives, Brian Heck & Emiko Badillo, Photos by Lucas DeShazer

Music by DJ Surival Skilz & The Jet Boat Adventurer. Photo by Lucas DeShazer

Onto more photos:

Wes Hannah gets serious about slicing, at Vegan Iron Chef 2010. Photo by Lucas DeShazer

Operation gnocchi. Aaron Adams and his assistant, John McPhillips of Portobello Vegan Trattoria, at Vegan Iron Chef 2010. Photo by Lucas DeShazer

Hands Up, Knives Down! Vegan Iron Chef 2010 Photo by Lucas DeShazer

Talha Abubakr of Blossoming Lotus Simmers, at Vegan Iron Chef 2010. Photo by Lucas DeShazer

The Secret Ingredient: Chocolate! Photo by Lucas DeShazer

Isa Chandra Moskowitz as our Alton Brown Vegan Food Guru

Isa Chandra Moskowitz being amazing as our Alton Brown Vegan Food Guru. Photo by Lucas DeShazer

Michelle C delivers Blossoming Lotus' Chocolate Dahl. Photo by Lucas DeShazer

Asaase Ital's Entree: Chocolate Groundnut Stew With Onion Rice

Swanky Plating of Tempeh Date Skewers In Citrus Marinade with Chocolate Merlot Sauce by Portobello at Vegan Iron Chef 2010. Photo by Lucas DeShazer

BloLo Tofu Tempeh Chorizo Lettuce Wraps Photo by Lucas DeShazer

More and more and more on the slideshow!

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Special Thanks to our Top Sponsors:

If you’re interested in getting involved next year in any way, please follow our facebook & twitter, or email me!

We’re already discussing who we’d love to see compete next year, when Qausu defends her title!

Photo Essay #703: BloLo Brunch & Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

One of my favorite, least-cohesive type of updates.

Over the course of this past slammin’ weekend, I saw the Mayor at a brew pub, dined with friends at Taqueria Los Gorditos: The Restaurant, tried out a new karaoke spot, baked biscotti, finished The Comeback (delightful!), sipped a couple local microbrews on the engaging, Pretzel Necklace™ NW Portland Brewpub Crawl, baked more biscotti, baked even more biscotti, brunched at the new Blossoming Lotus,  sold cookies at Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti, and had a super fantastic meeting with my friend Janessa for a secret big project we’ll be announcing later in the month. !!! I also found a bit of time to feed my cats and do one mere load of laundry, score!

Brunch at BloLo: Florentine Scramble Plate with Maple Seitan Sausage.

Brunch at BloLo

Brunch at BloLo: Sweet Pancake

Brunch at BloLo

Brunch at BloLo: Grits and Greens

Brunch at BloLo

Over all, one of the best and classiest vegan brunch experiences I’ve ever had.  Hands down the best in Portland so far.

The excitement never ends about Taqueria Los Gorditos.  It’s in my hood!

Fajita Soy Curl Burrito at Taqueria Los Gorditos

Taqueria Los Gorditos con amigos

Would you believe this is my first actual burrito from Gorditos? You should believe it, because it’s true. I hear they make their own soyrizo now.  I’m on a Soy Curl kick, myself.

Weekend Baking.

Biscotti: Savoury Italian with Sun-dried Tomato, Rosemary and Basil. Sprinkled with Coarse Sea Salt & Black Pepper.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Biscotti: Savoury Italian and Blueberry, Lemon & Basil

biscotti

Blueberry, Lemon & Basil Biscotti

biscotti

Rummy, Spiced Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

biscotti

I have social anxiety over making pretty things for bake sales, so I went with something I knew, and that was meant to be over-baked!

Onto the Bake Sale!

Insane amount of donations, insane amount of love, insane amount of purchases!  Isa’s idea was beautiful – last time I checked, the grand total for these nationwide, DIY vegan bake sales was over 32k! Portland topped 3k, alone!

For most of the day, there were 4 tables: $2, $3, $4, and COOKIE.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Some pretty scones and coconut cupcakes made their way to the cookie table.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Adorable Blackberry-Apple pie pops

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Behind the scenes, what at one point was the drop-off table

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Love

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Love – Leigh and Ann’s Spicy Haitan Creole Sauce. So good!

I had some over tempeh last night! Talk of this is all the rage on facebook.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Eek! Woof!

Love. Cupcakes.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Pie!

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Pretties.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Butterscotch Bundt !!

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Convenient Cookies!

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

A brief moment the cookie table wasn’t jam-packed.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Vegans rule.