photo essay: potluck weekend

Why, I had quite a pepper, courgette, culinary productive & smiling vegan-filled weekend.  I’m allowing this stateside use of courgette, since I assembled a Gordon Ramsay recipe using said squashes on Saturday.  It’s a shame that I don’t have photos of my personal, colorful (finally!!) Saturday Farmers Market haul, or of the actual potlucks and smiling, socializing vegans, but I do have a few from the market and proof that my dishes happened.

Look! It’s tomatoes that likely have flavor!

The best deal on lovely, organic jalapeno at last Saturday’s market – 5 for $1 at Gathering Together Farm

If I hadn’t already been at the market with the mission of buying chili peppers, the sight and smell of these fire roasted chilies would have done me in.

A delight of freaky outy proportions: black jalapeños!

What I made with my hot peppers is coming, but first, let’s get to the dish I brought to my friends’ beautiful -and – all vegan – weddingcamp reception: Stuffed Courgette Rolls.

I veganized Gordon Ramsay’s (Inner Monologue: 1) holy moly, I watch a lot of his American shows and I adore him. 2) I have holds on 2 of his books at the library, which brings me to 3) how the hell have I never veganized/made one of his recipes before?) recipe from BBC Good Food. Instead of the dairy ricotta, I pureed a Vegan with a Vengeance-style ricotta of firm  tofu, fresh basil, red miso, minced garlic, roasted garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and soaked pine nuts. It’s topped with balsamic vinegar, marinated fresh, chopped tomatoes & basil, and toasted pine nuts.

I peeled! I rolled! I’m proud. And I only lost 1/4 a fingertip (and started over! and cleaned up! calm down)

With that, let’s get to the peppers.

Stuffed, open-faced jalapeno and cherry bomb peppers.

These open-faced peppers are stuffed with spicy, roasted vegetables and pinto beans. Baby potatoes, sweet corn, zucchini (of fucking course), bell peppers, jalapeno, shallots and other things I’m forgetting were chopped and roasted with a whole lot of minced garlic, olive oil, chipotle powder, chili powder, sage, oregano, black pepper, sea salt and hot paprika. I added sliced cherry tomatoes and pinto beans towards the end. I considered mixing everything together with the spicy tomato, tofu, garlic & smoked paprika cheese, but decided to go this route. All in all, one of the spiciest things I’ve ever made. I’ve never made anything like it before, and was trying to clean out the fridge of my produce before embarking on business trips the next 2 weeks, so it’s pretty mish mash. Next time I make something similar, I’d chop smaller and cut down on the spices a wee bit!

Baked:

Plated for Isa’s Vegan Chili Potluck, with lemon cucumbers.

Fun fact: Zucchini squashes are the swollen ovaries of female zucchini flowers. Thanks, Wikipedia entry on Zucchini! From, a girl who doesn’t have a garden.

World’s Cutest Eggplants become Persian Eggplant Stew

Yeah, most of these striped little nightshade dream boats were smaller than my fingers.

World's Cutest Eggplants, from the Shemansky Farmers Market

Persian Eggplant Stew, topped with pine nuts and served over basmati rice

This was a multi-step roasted stew. I loosely used the recipe in Veganomicon as a guide. When doesn’t that happen?

First, I trimmed the tops off the unpeeled, mini eggplant wonders and sliced them in half, length-wise.  This was roasted in a glass 9×13 casserole dish at 450F with coarse sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a little olive oil for 15 minutes. I then added sliced yellow and green summer squash along with 4 cloves of minced garlic,  and roasted an additional 10-15 minutes.  Removed the casserole dish from the oven, added 28 oz. of canned & peeled tomatoes, chickpeas, various spices (saffron, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, bay leaf, oregano, onion powder, thyme – need I go on?), fresh lemon juice, and cooked an additional 20 minutes.  The dish was topped with pine nuts during the final minutes of roastin’

The produce in this dish was entirely local, and the remainder of the ingredients were primarily from the International Food Supply, next to Ya Hala. Fun fact: They have Cheerwine and a nice selection of international and American sodas.

Remind me to sub this aromatic, roasted stew into my never-ending cycle of minestrone and pasta e faglioli during the rainy season…

And even though it’s actually a roasted dish, numerous online resources agree that yes, I can call it a stew.

Khao Soi Yellow Curry Noodles with Tofu

Khao Soi Yellow Curry Noodles with Tofu and assorted vegetables

Adapted from the Thai-Burmese style recipe on Veggie Belly and various others, based on my available ingredients and whim. Inspired by the notion of cauliflower + curry, a field trip in deep SE Portland to the Lents International Farmers Market for produce, great pour over-style Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from Nectar Coffee Co., and onward adventures to Fubonn. I’ve had curry noodles on the brain since dining at In the Bowl in Seattle this past Spring.

Khao Soi Yellow Curry Noodles with Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup sliced yellow squash (I did half circles)
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/4 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1/2 cup shredded swiss chard (including stalk)
  • 1 diced jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Indian curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vegetarian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk or light coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 oz dried vermicelli rice noodles (use more or less depending on how soupy you want the finished product)
  • 1-1.5 cups of sliced fried or fresh tofu
  • handful of torn fresh basil leaves

Garnish:

  • Chopped basil or cilantro (look, I’m only typing it because it’s traditional in this dish)
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha

Instructions:

  1. Sauté the garlic in oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the curry powder and paste.
  3. Add all of the vegetables, and cook for 7-10 minutes. Stir frequently; lower the heat if anything starts to burn.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk, sauces, brown sugar, tofu and water. Mix in and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower the  heat, stir in the noodles, incorporate with tongs, cover with a lid and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes on low.
    • Alternately: Use pre-cooked rice or wheat noodles and add in at this point. Don’t cover the pot if you do this.
  6. Add torn basil or cilantro leaves, incorporate and serve.
  7. Garnish individual portions and add soy sauce, lime and/or hot sauce as desired.

Just pretend that’s cilantro on top…

Vegetables:

From the Lents Farmers Market:

Utilized Sauces, etc:

The small Fubonn haul, which most certainly includes a smoked vegan ham tube. Plans forthcoming. Isn’t Ota’s new package adorable?

Some more from Lents:

I picked up beets and jalapeño peppers at the farm below (currently infusing cayenne and jalapeno tequila at home).

This is my patience. Bell peppers, please!

-

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hail something.

Strawberry Season Beckons!

OMG

Pint of organic strawberries from Groundwork Organics at the Shemanski Park Farmers Market.

aka the Wednesday, Downtown FarMar.  I had never realized those SW Park Blocks had a name. Anyway, I brought these back to work and actually shared them  – that’s how sweet they were.  They wanted me to share the good word. Don’t worry, it’s vegan regardless of how they telepathically spoke to me from their fruit membranes.

A summer of strawberry tarts and muffins and smoothies beckons, & perhaps some raw desserts! Truthfully, I’m most excited about them fresh! And picking in a month or so! It’s always so therapeutic – and cost-effective.

oh, rejoice! The Portland Farmers Market is back!

It was undeniably the place to be in Portland this past weekend.

and thanks to the press releases (who doesn’t read press releases about their local farmers markets?), I knew it was going to be bigger & better than ever – doubling in size in the PSU Park Blocks.

I was literally sitting at my desk this morning, daydreaming about the vegetables I have at home.

For such an early start to the season, I was constantly thrilled, booth by booth, to see such variety!  I’ve grown accustomed to walking home from the first market of the season with a bundle of raab or rapini or two, and I did, with a bunch more. I started my farmar adventure with a patiently delivered, cup of single origin Burundi Stumptown from Cafe Velo, nibbled on a trail mix bar from BlackSheep Bakery, explored the new routes, marked purchases for round #2, and ran into happy friends.

Notables:

  • The variety!
  • The hipster mustaches! more than ever! with babies! (I know! It’s Portland, but there were more than usual)!
  • Room to move!
  • Gooey (Daiya?) vegan cheese on deep dish slices at the new Via Chicago Pizza stand!
  • The line for coffee at Cafe Velo is not as scary as it looks!
  • Local Yukons (especially miniature! make me never want to buy another russel potato again).
  • Multi-recycling & composting efforts!
  • Petunia’s Pastries stand!

The Photos:

The market is enormous!

farmar 2010

There is room for 3 different music spots! Maybe more? At least 2 were official.  Sadly, I don’t have a photo of the cool country western singers (with mustaches).

life march 2010 012

The crowd thickens…

life march 2010 015

Broccoli raab sighting #1, check

RAAB

Even more glorious raabs!

life march 2010 021

Bought my garlic here…

farmar 2010

Tempting.

farmar 2010

There are two food strips now – in the middle and the farmost SW corner.
Some vegan highlights -

farmar

I’ve never ordered from here, but it’s nice to know it’s an option.

farmar food

Via Chicago

Chicago pizza Portland Farmers Market

BEHIND THE SCENES

farmar 2010

Glorious.

life march 2010 025

If I hadn’t opted for coffee, hot peppermint tea would have been calling.

life march 2010 026

Preppin’ the mushroom samples

life march 2010 027

support the fraggles

fraggles

My haul: Cremini mushrooms, Yukon Gold potatoes, brussel sprout raab, broccoli raab, mustard greens, asparagus, miner’s lettuce, red Chesnok garlic

farmar haul 3/20/2010

My only reason to get up at 9am on a Saturday that is truly worth it.  I contemplated signing up for a CSA again this year, but the farmar is truly too much fun to resist.

And the first actual dish from my haul, besides nibbling on miner’s lettuce and tossing a piece to my cat:

Shells Con Broccoli Raab, modified from The Urban Vegan (with miso!)

urban vegan pasta

Made with orrechiete and broccoli in the book; whole wheat shells and broccoli raab in my kitchen. Small dish of nooch for sprinklin’. Local greens and garlic.

Three Days in Seattle, Vegan Style

I had a string of poor luck with meal choices on my East Coast vacation, and I must say that 3 days of vegan meals in Seattle kinda kicked the butt of my week of vegan consumption in Boston and NYC.  With some exceptions, of course.  I really do believe that food tastes better in the Pacific Northwest.

For one thing, the coffee is fantastic.

Soy Latte from Herkimer, University District

Herkimer, Seattle

I spent a lot of time working in a couple coffeeshops.  Unlike Portland, I was stunned to easily find a seat at shops.  This simply means Portland needs more coffeeshops, gosh.

Herkimer

Soy Latte from Trabant, University District (49th Parallel beans).  Just….right.

Trabant

Vanilla Vegan Chai from Trabant

Trabant Chai

Trabant

If I had more time…I would have hit the Korean Tofu House for dinner.  One day!  They open at 7pm, and I simply didn’t have enough um, dinner openings.

Sorry Mike, Sorry Vijjy! I just peered, like a tofu stalker, during the day…

will I ever make it here?

Oh, and look, another Tofu House!  This one was pretty much beef with tofu, beef with tofu, beef with tofu on the menu, though.  Tofu stalker will investigate further…

another 'fu house

Angel Curry with Soft Tofu from In the Bowl Vegetarian Noodle Bistro. My first time there, my first meal of the trip, my favorite meal of the trip! Review coming to Stumptown Vegans.

In The Bowl, Seattle

Wayward Vegan Cafe.  This popular cafe recently moved to a new location on University Street in Seattle’s slowly expanding V-District, and overall, bestowed the second of the top two meals of my visit.  Thank you, vegan omelet!

Sham and Cheddar Vegan Omelet with roasted potatoes – hello, vegan diner food.

Wayward Cafe Vegan Sham & Cheddar Cheese Omelette

Giant side of Garlic Steamed Greens with a little visit from the nutritional yeast shaker and hot sauce.

Wayward Garlic Steamed Kale

The line to order.  It was almost out the door at times!

Wayward Cafe

More to come.

Wayward

Flowers Restaurant for the Vegan Lunch Buffet

to michelle, love jess

My dear friend Michelle has been recommended Flowers several times over the past three years, and I note it on my sporadic northern trips.  I finally put aside the call of vegan chinese (I had my full on the East Coast) and hit up Flowers last week. Finally!

Flowers

My plate from the Flowers buffet.

Flowers Vegan Buffet in Seattle

My favorite parts were the chilled roasted broccoli and creamy, tahini-like pasta salad.  Personal preference – I wish some of the cold items were hot.  I really dug the large variety and wish I had more room to try more!  There were numerous stewed dishes, roasted vegetables, baba ganouj, fries, and more, that I would like to try another time.  With my friend Michelle, ideally!

The large buffet lays beyond these windows. Every now and then I’m too shy to take all the photos I’d like.

Flowers

Stumbling upon the University Farmers Market = heck, yeah!

University Farmar, Seattle

Intriguing fruit vinegars and sauces and whatnot.

U-District FarMar

Just builds the anticipation for the Portland Farmers Market opening next weekend!

U-District

It wasn’t me.

Seattle

Spotted downtown: kale

kale kale kale

New experience: Vegan coconut based ice cream at Full Tilt Ice Cream Parlor, below the popular Cedars Restaurant.

Seattle

Okay, there was a large piece of hair on top of the flavor I was leaning towards, Toasted Coconut, so I went with the enjoyably rich Almond Joy with bits of chocolate and almond.  It happens.

Vegan ice cream

My only disappointment was on a second visit to Georgetown Liquor Co. My first experience was superb.  This time, I still enjoyed my microbrew and Nintendo, but apparently if you don’t state vegan!!!!!!!! at this vegetarian restaurant, even when your sandwich isn’t listed with cheese, it comes with cheese, as does your side salad.  As the Vegan Shiz would say, sad face.  It’s been so long since this has happened to me!  There is a note on the menu stating vegan cheese can be subbed for any vegetarian cheese, and a few items are marked NV, but this wasn’t one, nor did this list cheese.  Now I know.

Georgetown Liquor Co.

Where to next?

fall farmar

on one hand, the thought of four months of winter without the Portland farmers markets is depressing.  on the other hand, blah blah blah, it’s Portland, where there’s  year-round local produce available elsewhere, and the year-round People’s Coop farmers market.  so, no lack of vegetable-induced seasonal depression for me.

my favorite weekday market has closed for the year, which brought me out to greatest one of all  – the Saturday Farmers Market at PSU.  the cooler weather beckoned hundreds of columbia sportswear jackets, walking room!, potatoes and chestnuts!  me and my as yet un-named new camera went out for vegetables and dried beans last weekend…

chestnuts!

farmar

roasting!

farmar

the end of days for peppers…

I picked up cayenne, jalapeno and bell peppers.

farmar

oh northwest, I love you and your fancy, wild mushrooms.

farmar

Firstly, Viridian Farms always has fantastic produce.

farmar

Secondly, I cooked these tolosana black beans (soaked and then cooked in chickn style vegetable broth with fresh herbs and shallots) and again, fantastic.  They’re a hearty, delicious black bean and super satisfying in a grain/greens/sauce bowl.  aka what I could live on.

Warm samples at a farm stand. vegan!

farmar

fresh potatoes blow my mind with flavor.

farmar

and this brings me back to my regret of not buying pounds of mushrooms.

till next time…