Greetings from New York City

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How to cure heat stroke with vegan sushi? Continue reading

This Week in Stir Fries & Farmers Markets

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Reviewing this past week in produce and sharing a recipe for Thai-style basil & chili stir fry sauce. Continue reading

2013 Retrospect: Fondest Recipes

Division Street Pho Chay. I'll get to that.

In which I discuss and look back on my favorite recipes of 2013, and become a broken record while I obsess over curries, galore. Continue reading

Submit Your Ideas: The New Portland Vegan 100

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  It’s beyond time to revamp the epic Portland Vegan 100. The purpose of the Portland Vegan 100 is to be a handy to-do (well, eat & enjoy) list of our city’s greatest vegan dining options for out-of-towners and dedicated, hungry residents, alike. There have been … Continue reading

Tops

I’ll just come out with the horrifying news. My camera is broken. A new one won’t be in my budget until next month. Maybe. Then there’s the whole new-camera-decision-making anxiety. My life’s been a series of smartphone pics and mental memories. It’s been frustrating, but therapeutic, as well. I spent two days cooking for a party of 40+ guests over the long weekend, helped out with a Heartichoke trial run, and somehow, I haven’t thrown up over not having photos.

To fill the void, and remind me of my younger, picture-taking shenanigans, here’s a look back at some my favorite creations* of 2010:

Khao Soi Yellow Curry Noodles with Tofu

This dish quickly entered my regular repertoire, and is currently on hiatus (until I buy more vermicelli).

Jalapeno and Herb Roasted Tempeh and Broccoli

I made this during the great jalapeño overload in my life that was late summer 2010. It was fabulous as a stand alone entrée, in addition to being tasty leftovers over grain bowls or pasta.

Jalapeno and Herb Roasted Tempeh

Cashew Basil Cream & Roasted Garlic Stuffed Morels

They’re dainty little elf hats and wicked gourmet. Enough said.

stuffed morels

The next two are from my not so long ago LOST-obsessed days:

Mr. Paik’s Favorite Grilled Seitan Bulgogi

I was so happy with how this turned out! I mean, it impressed Mr. Paik like his daughter never could.

grilled bulgogi seitan

Dharma Veggie Burger with Namaste Sauce

The surprisingly satisfying vegetarian option in the Dharma mess hall.

White Russian & Chocolate Cream Dude Pie

No recipe for this one. Simply abide.

Strawberry Swirl Chocolate Cream Pie

Another cream pie, this one was pretty much pureed tofu, chocolate, soaked cashes, my hand-picked strawberries and a little sweetener:

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Tempeh Benedict with Butternut Hollandaise

The Vegan Brunch classic, with a little love from American Vegan Kitchen’s diner tempeh patties, and some roasted butternut squash, since I was putting roasted squash in everything this fall.

Pumpkin Syrup

I made a lot of syrups this past year. They’re pretty, they’re flavorful, and can easily highlight the seasons.

Apple Potato Sage Seitan Roast

After I went to the annual Portland Apple Fest this October, I had a few (dozen) apple projects up my sleeve. One was this roast form of the VWAM Apple Sage seitan sausages from the old PPK forums.

Stuffed Courgette Rolls

This was my first ever Gordon Ramsay recipe veganization, for a wedding potluck over the summer. They’re classy, pushed me into upgrading to a better vegetable peeler, and I got to pretend I was on the set of Hell’s Kitchen.

Dave’s Killer Breaded Seitan

Straight up awesome! Seitan cutlets, go hang out with the best breadcrumbs around. Now, bake. Now, meet kale and BBQ sauce. Lastly, get on the plate.

Grilled Seitan with Pistou

Pistou

Girl, you were a little fancier this past year!

*Creations meaning a dish that was altered from an existing recipe (with due credit given, of course) or somewhat original.

Petunia’s Pastries, be still my heart-shaped vegan heart

Mini Marionberry Pies $5.95/each

Last year, I was introduced to Petunia’s Pastries during their premiere Last Thursday on NE Alberta via my friend Michelle Crocodile. I sampled one of their very few vegan offerings at the time, a beautiful Chocolate Hazelnut cupcake. This was before I was aware of my stupid new hazelnut allergy, and I can still look back fondly about that rich & dreamy dessert.

This year, Petunia’s temporarily opened the season at the glorious PSU Market and now most of their case is usually vegan – and gluten-free! They’ve moved to the Sunday King Market and will be starting at the brand new Pioneer Square Market on Mondays next month. I took my first visit to the King’s Market in NE to revisit Petunia’s this past weekend. To my awe-filled delight, everything in the case just happened to be entirely vegan! It was a rainy day, and sweetness overcame gloom.

I picked up the cutest Marionberry pie I have ever seen in my life (and I’ve been looking at a lot of pies lately at The Piehole). Juicy, luscious berry filling with an even sweeter heart-shaped adornment. So juicy you almost make up a song in your head about it.

My friend Lucas documented:

Petunia’s also does custom orders and was recently raved about by former Portland Trailblazer and famous Yelper, Channing Frye, on his blog.The next time you’re at the market for some kale, stop by Petunia’s for a pretty decadent treat! They may a new kid on the block, but they’re certainly a growing, welcome addition to the Portland Vegan-Friendly Bakery Scene, and a new highlight at the farmers markets.

Return to Boston, MA: My Vegan To Do List

The Vegan Strip in Allstron: Grasshopper, Peace O’Pie and Deep Ellum

vegan strip in allston

Prior to my return to Boston in February, I engaged in my normal vegan research:  googling “new vegan boston”, updating my facebook status with vacation countdowns, trying to make sense of reviews on Yelp, and inquiring with the best on a PPK thread.  A huge list of maybes was formed, with less than 4 days to make it happen…

These were the must-gos (and eats):

  • Grasshopper of course! My bad memories of this place are quite behind me.
  • Grezzo: upscale raw dining in the North End – crossed off because I went last Spring & I was on something of a budget.
  • Red Lentil – newer vegetarian restaurant in Watertown – I didn’t go, but my travel partner, Millie, raved about it and a cauliflower dish…
  • Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown- alas, I’ve yet to go.
  • Veggie dog and curly fries at Spike’s – curly fries, check!
  • My Thai Vegan Café (old Buddha’s Delight location, upstairs) – I’m working on a separate, small travel review for Stumptown Vegans. I miss Buddha’s.
  • Veggie Planet in Harvard Square – because I’ve been so many times & it wasn’t pulling me back on this trip.
  • Vegan ice cream and baked goods at Allston Café (formerly Herrell’s)
  • Wheeler’s Ice Cream – I returned for my second visit here, and…they weren’t open.  I’ve heard so many stories like this.  There were boxes all around the front room. Please post hours and keep to them?
  • Bagel Rising bagels – jalapeno tofu cream cheese & veggies on a bagel at Espresso Royale - and a fantastic soy latte.

Newer Recommendations:

  • Pizza at Peace O’Pie (old TJ Scallywag’s location)
    • And bringing said pizza into the glorious Model Café next door (if you haven’t been, or you have, you know I mean that fondly, but sarcastically).
    • Consider me a fan after my slice of the day!
  • Deep Ellum bar – the vegan offerings intrigued me, and the cocktails – even more so!
    • I had an El Diablo margarita with chili-infused agave. I wanted to sip it all night.
  • Clover Food Lab – vegetarian cart in Kendall Square/MIT – I sought this cart out for a meal, but sadly, they only had oatmeal available at the time for vegans, so I passed.
    • The vegan lunch options seemed more inviting – really nice staff working.
  • Jack and the Bean Bowl – vegetarian cart in Copley Square – wasn’t open on the weekends when I checked.
  • The Pulse Café in Davis Square – another sadface! stopped by with Millie for lunch, learned it didn’t open till 5.  A very disappointing meal followed nearby.

Also on my To-Do’s:

  • Great soy lattes – check! at 1369 in Central & Espresso Royale on Newbury
  • Leslie and the Lys at TT the Bear’s – Millie convinced me to go to this.  I took her word on it – and was AMAZED.
  • The Middle East – tends to be a regular stop on my trips, but not this time.
  • Cheap falafel – technically happened at Olive Tree, but it was so dry and everything else in the wrap was so bland. I don’t forget how blah vegetables can be around Boston.
    • particularly sad because I used to frequent their cart (or the previous owner’s) on a much-too-regular basis in Kendall Square
    • their bathroom situation was hilarious…leave the front door, walk literally around the block till you have the big green door in the back, and find the bathroom with the broken light inside.
  • Thai cuisine - surprise dinner at Montien in the Theater District – fantastic!
  • Harvest Coop – I browsed and picked up a fair trade coffee at Clear Conscious Cafe
  • Sam Adams beer – because it’s Boston? in any case, it didn’t happen this time. FYI, according to Barnivore, all their beers are vegan except for the honey porter and cherry wheat.
  • Karaoke - Do Re Mi almost happened, but it wasn’t meant to be…
  • Martinis with Maria – bubble gum martini, check
  • Wandering Davis Square
  • Frolicking in snow – there was some snow on the ground, but not enough to keep the smile on my face.

What actually happened?

I spent a few days in Boston just last May, so I didn’t have to jam it all in.  My primary reasons for going were snow, friends, and spending a few days of my much-needed vacation in a major city I was familiar with.  I attended Emerson College in Boston in the early 2000s (and I’m admitting it, Maria)! I’ve lived in historic buildings downtown, a beautiful old house in Davis Square, a craphole in Mission Hill and an ever bigger craphole in East Cambridge between Central and Kendall Squares. It’s the city I discovered my veganism, went to my first vegetarian restaurant (then Buddha’s Delight, originally upstairs) and started almost becoming an adult. And then I ran away to Portland, of course.

Food cart row at MIT – Clover is the furthest

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The No Name at Grasshopper

they call me no name

Slice of the day at Peace O’Pie with kalamata olives & vegan sausage

Peace O'Pie

Check back for more of the riveting, snow-less photo tour.