Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day: Book Giveaway & Blog Tour of Wonder!

Oh, hello.

THE GRAND ENTRANCE… BLOG TOUR!  This post is a whole trio of firsts: my first time breading with cornflakes, my first blog tour, and shockingly, my first cookbook giveaway. Who saw that happening?!  Well, it’s all in honor of an enthusiastic, satisfying and beautifully photographed … Continue reading

The Long Haul: 100 Days Homemade, Part VIII…Days 80-91

Day Eighty-Nine: Pasta E Fagioli & more Vietnamese summer rolls, from my lunch date with Panda

Ah, 100 Days. I miss you already, on this little Chicago VeganMania suspension & adventure. I miss my kitchen so much when I travel – especially when my luck seems to fail with menu ordering more often than not in the Windy … Continue reading

100 Days, Part V: Days 43 to 53

Hello, hello! I have returned from the International Food Bloggers Conference, where I co-presented on Niche Blogging, attended classes, met food bloggers of nearly every variety, sought out vegan food and most importantly, vegan-friendly SWAG. Hello, OXO avocado thingy! Don’t fret – I have a new avocado waiting at home for its inaugural slicin’ and will be sure to Instagram every single step.

Speaking of insta-sharing, it’s once again time to peer into the culinary lives and stomachs of J. Sconé, J. Legume, and friends. As always, you can follow @jdfunks and #100DaysHomemade on Instragram for more riveting updates of the versatile, seasonal, plant-based dining variety.

Now 65 days and a new camera into this project, I’ve decided to shorten the updates a bit for some more concentration.

First up, my first (and so far, only) contribution from a duo of two guests in one day. Staring with summery cocktail with ginger-infused rum from my Heartichoke cohort.

Day Forty-Three’s Guest Cocktails: lemonade cocktails with ginger-infused rum

And my, what a pleasant day this was. I came home and my girlfriend had prepared a fancy Italian dinner, which included her first-ever risotto and fresh farmers market tomatoes…

Day Forty-Three’s Dinner Contribution: Vegan Caprese by J. Legume

Oh – and there’s more.

Day Forty-Two’s Dinner by J. Legume: Mushroom Risotto with fresh basil

Now, I was so thrilled with the following meal’s outcome — it was the first time ever I have truly seen J. Legume willfully consume and enjoy Indian cuisine. I love to see the evolution of taste bud adventures, or something like that.

Day Forty-Four: Aloo Channa over basmati

Success! I based it on every other Aloo Channa recipe I have ever seen on the internet.

Day Forty-Four: The Isa Does It testing continues with Peanut Butter Granola Bars (sliced like pie, in this case)

Remember that time, in the first photo, that Louvella, er Maeve, made cocktails? Well, it was to facilitate a certain interview on Autostraddle that accompanies these roasted chickpea tacos (that shockingly, include an actual recipe from yours truly). The things you do for your friends, right?

Day Forty-Five: Roasted Chickpea Tacos with vegan queso, local tortillas, mashed avocado & other stuff

The aforementioned BFF and author with the second (and final) round, white chocolate peanut butter white russians

Day Forty-Six: Vegan Ginger Chicken, Black Pepper Beef & Thai Basil Fried Rice

Details.

Day Forty-Seven’s Dinner from Appetite for Reduction: Mac & Trees and 40 Clove Garlic, Chickpea and Purple Beans subbed for Broccoli

Day Forty-Eight: Boysenberry, Cherry & Ginger Cocktails & Mocktails with the Legume sisters before dinner at Portobello

Moving on.

Day Forty-Nine: Syrian Lentil Soup. While I only made one recipe from Bean by Bean during its precious ‘library hold’ time in my life, I happened to make it twice and I have added this book to my legitimate, it-will-happen wish list.

Bean by Bean: For the bean curious and obsessed.

Day Forty-Nine: Picked up Food Fight’s finest

Day Fifty: Grilled Cheeses with local tomatoes, jalapeno & farmers market pickles

It’s the half-way point, so….

Day Fifty: Kaffir Lime infused vodka, Pellegrino bubbly, fresh mint, lemon juice & a touch of agave

Day Fifty is all about the sandwiches: BLTs with local produce and smokey soy curls from Vegan Diner

Day Fifty-One: Italian Herb & IPA baked tofu cutlets with rice, roasted potatoes and a side salad with crumbled strong cheddar Scheese

While it’s got nothing on my still-dreamt-about-Cheezly, rumor has it that Scheese will be ending its Portland distribution soon. I may have purchased the last-ever package of Strong Cheddar yesterday at a certain vegan mini mall.

Day Fifty-Two: Nacho Skillet Salad aka Nacho Salad Skillet! With jalapeno and Scottish ale simmered black beans, lime dressed lettuce and diced tomato, seasoned brown rice, salsa, FYH cheddar, avocado, black olives and black pepper & nooch baked tofu cubes

It’s become increasingly clear to me that the love of nachos, no matter how basic (I mean, crappy) or well-constructed, is never outgrown. 

Day Fifty-Three: Chai-spiced Snickerdoodles, another Isa Does It tester

Shocker, the grand finale to this round up is an Isa Does It dessert tester. 

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.

The pea shoots return for pizza

I may not know a lot about gardening, but one thing is certain – I’m dreading the maturation of summer peas and their farewell to shootdom. Come back, babies!

Something like that.

Pre-baked

Cue intro: Spring’s shoots joins forces with a renewed enthusiasm for bread-making, thanks to an incredibly long-awaited purchase of a new dough hook for the old family Kitchen Aid. Much thanks to my sister for shipping it from New York.

Pea Shoot Pizza

Toppings:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • miso tofu ricotta (recipe from: Vegan with a Vengeance, plus an additional tablespoon of nutritional yeast and two tablespoons of mellow white miso]
  • sautéed pea shoots
  • minced garlic [optional]
  • par-roasted garlic cloves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • dough ball
  • coarse sea salt & Alder smoked salt

Sliced

Details:
Preheat oven to 475F. Briefly roast a head garlic, as desired, and remove before 20 minutes are up. Stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it again. Roll out your dough, thinly, and brush with olive oil. Toss the whole cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and set aside. Dollop large spoonfuls of tofu ricotta on the pie. In a separate pan, and you can do this much earlier, heat the minced garlic, if using, in a teaspoon of olive oil, and saute the pea shoots until quickly wilted. Carefully dish the pea shoots until the pizza. Add the cherry tomatoes, whole cloves of roasted garlic (save any extra for another day, or smash and serve on the side), yet another drizzle of olive oil, and salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes until slight golden browning on the edges is achieved.

Baked

Finale

How this was served without Cabernet is beyond me.

catch up: weekending with chloe’s kitchen, nacho scramble & thai

Farmers market haul: rangpurs, collard raab, kale raab, brussel raab, flat leaf parsley, red beets, baby bok choi and tulips from my girlfriend.

The weekends have been treating me well: the dawn of the Spring farmers markets and seemingly endless varieties of raab and rapini, the ever-more frequent dry days, a growing trend of old fashioned cocktail bars in Portland, new cookbooks and creative supper dates with a special someone.

I’ve been making relaxed, but focused meals from Chloe’s Kitchen, May Kaidee’s Vegetarian and Vegan Cookbook, The Sexy Vegan (more on this later), Isa’s current test kitchen, and whatever else calls out with ease.

Using a little flexibility, I give you, a sort of deconstructed nacho scramble lunch.  The spicy pickled jalapeño were picked up at the Gathering Together stand at the farmers market, and the beer is Emma Amber Ale by local brewer Captured by Porches.

Vegan Mom's scrambled tofu, Ctate's queso, chips, jalapeño & fixings.

Julia's amazing plate o'scrambled fu.

Zelda, my nacho guard cat, briefly ignoring her duties

A couple of weeks ago, giant chocolate chip cookies were featured on an episode of GRIMM, (more Silas, pls!) and I made my own bloodless versions the following day:

Chocolate chip cookies, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

On the final full day of my December travels, I attended a class at May Kaidee’s Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking School on Khao San Road.  I am so glad I did – it was a definitive, education and fulfilling way to wrap up my time in Thailand. Perhaps, one day, I’ll finish my post on the matter, but for now, I can share that  every time I open this book, I find a smile on my face and fresh curry or noodles on the table. Below, I paired a test recipe from Isa Does It with vegetable-loaded fried rice and a Thai beer from Fubonn.

Test Kitchen Pad Thai (withholding cilantro) with roasted peanuts and fresh lime, soy sauce, Srichacha and Yellow Curry Fried Rice

May Kaidee's Yellow Curry Fried Rice with red bell pepper, gai lan, green cabbage and creminis

Next up, one of the dishes I’ve been trying out from The Sexy Vegan

BBQ Tofu 'Ribs', Smokey Mac & Cheese from The Sexy Vegan. Paired with sauteed collard raab.

Slow, Sunday night dinner preparation has become a positive experience on a dwelling evening. The last meal was my first from Chloe’s Kitchen.

Local pink potatoes in an ice water bath

Julia and I have spent some time thumbing through this book, deciding what to make first. There’s a lot of cashew cream, which I must avoid these days [insert tears here], and a wonder of sweets and tempeh, seitan, vegetables and salads to start with. Last night, we went with something classic:

Drive Thru Burgers with special sauce and fixins, tasty sea salt and vinegar fries with organic ketchup, sparkling wine with sliced rangpur

I baked the wholesome burgers with coconut oil spray vs. pan-frying since I had the oven warm for the fries. They were served on bread from one of my favorite neighbors, Little T, and fixed with Chloe’s special sauce, green leaf lettuce, red onion (for her! not me!), more pickled jalapeño and sliced dill pickle.

Which brings me to the following important question: Why is it so hard to find local pickles that maintain their crunch in this city?!

Drive Thru Burger on sliced baguette

In conclusion, this has been a rare Get Sconed! update that includes actual scones.

Scones with wild blueberries (organic, frozen from Whole Foods) and chocolate chips, Vegan Brunch