Hump Day Fronch Toast Glory with Bacon Seitan & Miso-Coconut Palm Sugar Caramelized Figs

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In continuation of the golden, pan-fried bread for hump day tradition, here’s a closer to look at how a ridiculously delightful, recent brunch came together. Indulgent? Check. Utilizing slices from a loaf of bread that wouldn’t hold up to sandwiches? … Continue reading

Breakfast at Sconey’s

Breakfast at Sconey's

Here’s a little story from the early morning pages…..of dear J. Legume expressing her silly concern of not waking up to homemade breakfast often enough, my flabbergasted reaction, and her brunchy dreams surely coming true with spicy scrambled tofu, diner-style … Continue reading

Veganizing Leftover Mashed Potato & Cheese Biscuits

Best Leftovers Ever?

Yeah, you can correctly assume that this leftover-incorporation project was an experiment gone oh, so, tender and right. Being that J. Legume and I were opting for something different this past Thanksgiving, we decided to make what turned out to … Continue reading

100 Days, Continued

I’m nearly 2 weeks into my 100 days of homemade, and things are going swell. I’ve felt productive, inspired and full of soup. I’ve frequented multiple farmers markets, made more Thai food,  and can’t put down a certain cookbook – Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites.

My 100 Days of Homemade guidelines are here.  The following photos are of any homemade creations, plus some special guests.

Day Five: Pre-baked Cinnamon Sugar Donut Hole Muffins from  HVMFMA

These were just darling going into the oven.

Day Five: Out of the Oven

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Day Five: Baked Seitan Tenders with crispy cornmeal & nooch breading, hot sauce and orrechiete with cheezy sauce and fresh peas

The cheezy sauce is from Vegan Brunch.

Day Six:  Guess which one…

On the sixth day in, a neighborhood brunch, wanderings, film and tea smoked tempeh sandwiches at The Hazel Room for a casual dinner kept Julia & I busy all day. Fortunately, evening mojitos with crushed local strawberries and fresh mint kept us in the 100 Days swing.

Day Six:  I’m sorry, did you not catch TEA SMOKED TEMPEH TLT?!?

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Day Seven:  Chocolate Chip Scones from Vegan Brunch, topped with cinnamon sugar

I get to send my girlfriend to work with scones!

Day Eight:, AM Scrambled tofu with Japanese spinach, kale and carrots with roasted Yukons with fresh dill and red cherries – Photo  and plate by J. Legume

The start of Day Eight was fairly epic. I was exhausted from a late night and VVC had a big morning ahead with the nuts and bolts of the opening of early bird registration. Consequently, legit vegan brunch and a french press of Stumptown started it all. As tickets zoomed by, I visited the Lents Farmers Market and my beloved JC Rice Noodle Shop out in Lents, and the evening winded down like so….

Day Eight, PM: Pad Kee Mow with fresh tofu, fresh rice noodles, Thai chili, red bell pepper, Japanese spinach, snow peas and basil in a homemade sauce.

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Day Nine: Noochy, Smokey Chickpeas for breakfast, am I right?

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Day Ten: Local raspberry & blueberry pie for the holiday. Thin crust results in ala mode necessity, obvs.

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Day Eleven: Stock! With odds and ends: carrot tops, Walla Walla onion layers, dried and fresh mushrooms, basil, dill, parsley, black pepper, garlic bulbs and scapes, snow peas,  and this and that for good measure.

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Day Eleven: When you have fresh stock…..you make another batch of Chickpea Tofu Noodle. It’s loosely based on the recipe in HVMFMA, with the addition of baked tofu, chickpeas, nooch, dill and miso.

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Day Twelve: Buckwheat Berry Pancakes. True story: I added a Vegg egg to a buckwheat pancake mix I had picked up in Eugene a few months ago.

This fit in at some point:

Bonus round: Extra Dirty Martini with green olives, organic vodka, vermouth and garlic scape garnish

And now, even more 100 Days of  Homemade – on Instagram.

Culinary Dwelling

Much to my delight, life  has calmed and evolved in the past few weeks. These are some photos and dishes I created while life was not so calm. With this oh so welcome change, expect more updates in my internet-verse. Time is mine once more, and every damn day belongs to farmers markets and projects.

The first worthwhile, summer strawberries from the farmers market

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Pie was made. Chocolate peanut butter cream, shortbread crust and salted caramel. I missed making pies.

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More thanks to Bryant Terry. Inspired Vegan-style grits, simmered fava beans with fresh herbs, and roasted asparagus and garlic flowers.

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The roasted asparagus and garlic flowers stood in for fennel. As much as fennel has certainly grown on me, I couldn’t bring myself to buy an entire bulb. I spent one summer receiving a CSA where I was haunted with multiple bulbs on a weekly basis and almost burnt out. This dish, regardless, was glorious.

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Fully dressed. Grits are now in rotation.

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From the Isa Does It test kitchen: Beefy Seitan Stirfry with Fresh Herbs and Cabbage Sesame Slaw

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Sunday brunch had been a saving grace through my now-over workplace stress. Scrambled tofu with pea shoots and sugar snap peas, baked hash brown UFOs, watermelon and coffee.

Yeah, I’m loving the charming new tablecloth J. Legume picked up. 

Thank you, Basement Pub imperial glass. Thank you,Wandering Aengus.

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Keeping it simple: Thai basil fried rice with cabbage and baked sesame tofu cubes. The tofu is also a tester for Isa Does It that keeps making the rounds.

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Life included another treat at Veggie Grill: a grand opening dinner with team VVC, our plus ones, and Dan & Nicole from Upton’s. Yes!

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Lastly, on one special evening, Julia Legume and I enjoyed our own buffalo tofu salads. These included baked tofallo cubes, a zinged up Sanctuary Ranch dressing, sliced cucumber and field greens. Goodness, gracious.

Backlog: Home-cooking

I may have spent the entire month of October barely doing more than copy/pasting and clicking upload over here, and shaking a few cocktails over this way, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t cooking. Discussing my culinary tales was simply pushed to the side by a bunch of furry animals. We’ve all been there.

My apologies if you’ve seen these on the facebook already, but now they’re all in one place! I promise, I won’t ask you to click back and forth on the same link for minutes of your day. This isn’t that type of place, nor do I really know what that means.

In no particular order, here’s the month in creations, including a bunch of brunch, Vegan Diner fun and a prominent obsession with chanterelles. I realized I had a problem when I was buying them from farmers markets not once, but twice a week, and now there’s a suspicious van parked outside my apartment. Just waiting.

Chanterelle omelet with steamed kale, Cajun roasted fingerlings, fresh thyme, roasted garlic boursin-style spread and seitan sausage.  Recipes sourced from Vegan Brunch, Vegan Diner and World Vegan Feast.

Smoked tofu & cherry tomato benedict with hollandaise, balsamic creminis, steamed kale & baguette. My applewood chips are up next, and on my gosh.

Olive oil & sliced garlic base with baby spinach, roasted red peppers, sliced heirloom tomato, shredded Cheezly & chanterelles sautéed in red wine. Cheezly, I miss you so.

Spicy Ethiopian-style Chickpea Stew, white rice, roasted peanuts. Based on this Whole Foods Kitchen recipe.

With quite a few of these…

Spaghetti with fire roasted marinara, nutritional yeast, grilled pilsner tofu, roasted eggplant, zucchini, garlic & basil. 

This marks the last photo this plate will ever star in. Ker-plunk.


One week, I had a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread in my house, so I re-learned the art and convenience of sandwiching making.

Additional Pilsner grilled tofu, sliced tomato, green leaf lettuce, Vegenaise, hot sauce and a side of roasted fingerlings with coarse salt.

Baked “fried” green tomatoes and roasted red pepper aioli from the Sunny Days for Texas cookzine.

Pumpkin chocolate chip pancake, seitan & greens, apple ginger juice.

Sun-dried Tomato Chickpea Spread, ExtraVeganZa. My BFF sent me this book for my birthday and I am just as ecstatic about the number of fancy mushroom recipes as I’m sure she was.

Muhammara. Recipe from Epicurious.  I may have bought an incredible number of end-of-season red bell peppers and carried the bag home over my shoulder.

An almost classy, bastardization, dedicated to my girl, Vegan Moxie: Salted Caramel Mocha. I used this DIY method for french press-style espresso (I know), my wee IKEA frother, and this recipe for vegan caramel using Sucanat, with the generous addition of sea salt. 

Next up, the backlog of out-and-about dining, including some of Portland’s latest vegan brunch delights, and a countdown to my upcoming month abroad in Thailand – and beyond.

Omelette emulation

Vegan Brunch tofu omelette filled with seared asparagus, red bell peppers and crumbled, smoked potato cheese. Served with curry roasted potatoes and field greens with lemon.

I started to write a couple of corny ‘Fakin’ It’ style post titles above and had to stop myself.

If I was attempting to melt less-than-favorable vegan cheese slices on said tofu omelette, that would be sadly, faking it.

If I was upping the turmeric factor to the level of neon overload, that would be faking it – and pretty damn trippy.

However, I’m not, and don’t think the recipe is going for that, either. It’s a matter of creative emulation. The vegan omelette above is not desperate vegan rip off or a faux omelette or fake omelette or whatnot.

It’s a new original. [Recipe from Vegan Brunch]

One of the reasons I’m involved with Portland’s Vegan Iron Chef organization is because I truly believe – and have seen – flavorful, artisan, vegan cuisine.

This deep thoughts brunch-for-dinner contained no artificial ingredients, and with the exception of locally produced silken tofu and a bulk-purchased curry powder blend, was made from scratch. I certainly think it’s legitimate to call this vegan tofu omelette an omelette, and with the assistance of black salt and a nice pinch of that turmeric, it not only looks and somewhat tastes crazy reminiscent of the real thing, it was cooked on my large omelette/crepe pan.

Signed,

a lady who had BBQ tofuffalo for dinner this week,

jess

Test run #1: smoked potato cheese

Truth: Every time I attempt vegan omelettes, I have a varying success rate of 25% – 50%. Go, go patience.

a very cast iron christmas (breakfast)

Tofu Omelette, Smoky Creminis and Garlic Roasted Potatoes from Vegan Brunch. The omelette itself was stuffed with the mushrooms, baby spinach and Wayfare Hickory-Smoked Cheddar-Style Spread.

Breaking in the new cast iron skillet on a holiday morning. I am so happy to have an omelette, pancake & crepe friendly pans again!

ooo, summer I love your ways: produce, potlucks & a triple vegan bacon cheeseburger

Just kidding, I only like the fruits of your labor. The fruits of eight months of Portland drizzle. Rathermore (that’s right), your glorious fresh fruits and vegetables. Come on, weirdo summer, let’s get through the heat wave and onwards to heirloom tomatoes and spin the color wheel of bell peppers, eggplant and cauliflower!

Here are the fruits of my recent culinary labor:

Mushroom Sherry Pate from The Urban Vegan, take 2.

mushroom pate
This time, I added almonds,roasted shallots, maitake mushrooms in addition to cremini, & added a couple of spices.

Cherry Whiskey Cookies

cherry whiskey cookies
I brought these cookies & the pate to the recent Vegan Convergence 2.19. I spent the first half of the gathering selling ice cream (or orchestrating a Purely Decadent body shot photo shoot with Michele, same thing). These cookies are the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, substituting a small amount of the non-dairy milk for Cherry Whiskey.

Cabbage Patch tofu scramble

cabbage scramble
Aptly named, as the cabbage was hand-picked on previous berry picking adventures. This scramble has cabbage, sugar snap peas, carrots, kalamata olives and garlic scapes.

Pesto Tahini tofu, marinating.

fu pre fu

I’ve made this before to top salads and been thrilled, but this batch was a little lackluster  since I was trying to cut down on the ingredients and salt-factor for a potluck. This version had homemade almond pesto, tahini, water, white wine and coconut aminos.

Pesto Tahini Baked Tofu, garnished with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes

fu

Baked Jerked Seitan, marinating.

Jerked Seitan

Both jerk sauce and seitan recipes are from The Urban Vegan. Hot stuff!

Seitan Lite & Greens

american vegan lite seitan & greens

The seitan lite recipe is from another fun cookbook I’ve been enjoying  - American Vegan Kitchen.

Jelly Donut Cupcakes

Jelly Donut Cupcakes
from the holy Veganomicon.  shockingly, my first time making them. I made both the cupcakes and seitan for an initials potluck last week. The JS for my behind the scenes name, and the JD for my really, really behind the scenes name. Identity crisis, commence.

Cashew Miso Mayo

cashew miso mayo

A test recipe for Isa’s upcoming Appetite for Reduction book.

In Conclusion, Part I: fresh, local raspberries are swell.

raspberries

In Conclusion, Part II: My friend Jeff  with his birthday Triple Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger from the super nice & delicious D.C. Vegetarian cart.

jeff's birthday triple vegan bacon cheeseburger
Jeff told me all he wanted for his birthday was a photo of him, at Tube, eating this custom birthday burger, displayed on the internet.

Happy Birthday, Jeff! Somehow, he made it through.

The Great Portland Tofu Scramble Census

Portland, OR: Tofu Scramble Capital of the USA?

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There is no denying that Portland is a vegan mecca. People seem to travel from around the world to sample deep fried vegan corn dogs, soft serve from Blossoming Lotus and biscuits and gravy from Vita or Paradox, among hundreds of other delicious ideas that immediately popped into your head. Well, here’s another crown you can bestow upon this city – Tofu Scramble Capital of the USA.

The Stumptown Vegans have joked about how we could spend a month eating nothing but tofu scrambles for future reviews, and have projects and podcasts up our sleeves, on top of recently being interviewed about all things tofu scramble, vegan breakfast and more on Breakfast in Bridgetown. The past few years have seen an expansion in tofu scrambles across this city, overall shifts from cubes to scrambles and a decrease in the many menus that used to say ‘sub tofu/pay more’. Why, I remember when I first talked my way into a ‘subbed’ tofu scramble with smoked tomatoes at Genie’s

So!

I decided it would be, well, fun, to see just how many tofu scrambles are available at different restaurants in Portland. I started making a list and couldn’t stop, and that became a table, which I’m calling a census.

Portland is home to excellent local tofu and some of the best produce in the country, and really, it’s an easy, cholesterol-free dish for any restaurant to offer during breakfast & brunch.  But who’s got your favorite? Who cooks that tofu just right and has the best sides?

The Great Portland Tofu Scramble Census.

Tofu Scramble Location Neighborhood Variety Spices Notes
Asaase Ital Palace cart SW/PSU * * breakfast scramble
Bar Carlo SE scrambled Yes
Beaterville N pressed/grilled Braggs chewy and delicious
Beulahland NE scrambled * sub tofu for eggs
Bijou Cafe Downtown/SW * *
Blue Moose NE * *
Blue Pig SE scrambled * sub tofu for eggs
Bourgeois Z Vintage SE (outer) * *
Byways Cafe Pearl/NW * *
Chaos Cafe SE small cubes Yes wholesome!
Cricket Cafe SE cubed lots of black pepper seriously, lots of pepper.
Crush SE * * ‘Veganator’ + tofu, brunch
Cup and Saucer Cafe various scrambled varies order the special for flavor!
Equinox N/Mississippi cubed/scramble seasonal
Francis NE * *
Genie’s SE cubed No sub tofu for eggs on menu
Gravy N/Mississippi scrambled tur-mer-ic! hot stuff, but eh.
Hungry Tiger Too SE scrambled Yes, light, lots of garlic small and full sized options
Isabel’s Pearl/NW * *
Jam on Hawthorne SE scrambled Yes sub tofu for eggs on menu
Juniors SE Big chunks Yes, light the first to use spice?!
Laurelthirst NE * *
Morning Star Downtown/SW * *
Mother’s Bistro Downtown/SW scrambled/mush *
Old Wives’ Tales Inner Eastside baked Yes interesting.
Paradox Cafe SE squares lightly seasoned available as a side/in #2
Proper Eats N/St. John’s scramble Yes tempeh scramble!
Red & Black Café SE during Saturday brunch? *
Ruby Dragon cart N/Mississippi scrambled Yes tempeh scramble!
Schavone’s SE cubed No sub tofu for eggs
Slappy Cakes SE * *
Star E Rose NE scrambled * daily specials
Stepping Stone NW cubed/large pieces Ask for them (cajun) sub tofu for eggs
Sweetpea Brunch SE scrambled, buffet serving mild rotating brunch items
The Original Downtown/SW * * foie gras fig newtons here.
Tube Downtown/NW scrambled mild served in tacos!
Virgo & Pisces NW * * *
Vita Cafe NE scrambled Yes tofu and tempeh scrambles!
Wild Abandon SE scrambled No reach for the hot sauce.

*If you see something missing, retired or worth mentioning in this directory, please say so! There are places I haven’t managed to order a scramble yet, or I’ve blocked out of my mind.

Italics = my favorite places for scramble.

Onto some tofu scramble examples:

Superhero Scramble from Junior’s.

One of my favorite plates of food in this city (or their Vegan Potatoes + Tofu = Whoa, Yes).

Junior's

Curry Scramble from Jam - on a ‘big pieces’ day!

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Portland Scramble from Hungry Tiger Too. This one wears their cheesy sauce.

Portland Scramble

Greek Scramble from Hungry Tiger Too.

My go-to order here. Because I really love kalamata olives and garlic in my scramble.

Hungry Tiger Too

Vegan Scramble from Jam Cafe & Arthouse on Hawthorne. Adore their jams and hash browns.

Check out the Everyday Dish cooking video to learn the spice mix!

August 2007 004

Tofu Scramble Taco from Tube bar

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Cricket Cafe Make-Your-Own Tofu Scramble.

Tons of black pepper – this was gigantic, but I’ve heard a friend mention theirs was tiny.

Cricket Cafe

Genie’s (Subbed) Tofu Scramble – go for the smoked tomatoes! They have great roasted potatoes and an amazing cocktail menu.

march 2008

P.S. I have to give my friend Bazu credit for the origin of this idea, with her post on The Great Tofu Scramble Debate. Personally, I go all three ways – scrambled mush, cubed, and the in-between.  Oh, and don’t forget about baked scrambles! Not such a fan.

P.P.S. You probably make the best scramble in town.

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