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

Life in stir fries, part I.

Thai-style chicken seitan, bok choy, chiles, garlic & basil with short grain brown 

With my fruitful (and veggie-ful) weekend farmers market hauls easily the highlight of week during this quiet summer so far, I’ve decided to pointedly record notes on one creation per week.

I cook the majority of my meals, and while most of them are, at the least, adaptations of new-to-me recipes, or old favorites, and some are totally on-a-whim fun and games, any notes I usually take remain scattered around my apartment on a variety of dwindling notepads.

So, here comes my summer purpose! I like to think it’s simple and lovely at heart: sharing my seasonal scores, creating dishes, and typing up A FEW notes on a weekly basis. Fingers crossed.

This week, I wanted to share yet another bountiful Sunday visit to the Lents International Farmers Market. Sure, I can easily find charm with every single farmers market I’ve been to in the Portland area, but this one has something extra special. I’m seriously on my way there right now, stopping for an iced coffee and reviewing this past week in produce™. I’m off to explore, relax, get inspired and stock up on a wee bit less than usual, having been handed a napa cabbage from a friend yesterday and starting a surprise, small CSA share at my workspace. Insert exclamation points and greens, galore.

Oh, just borrowing one of the Eagle Eye’s patio tables before they open up:

With this summertime focus on fresh, fresh, fresh, I’ve found myself making multiple stir fries for the first time in ages. All fall and winter I was clearly all about the world of curries and fried rice remains a go to, but I’ve now stir-fried twice this past week, which is more than I had within the past 2 months.

A sign a farmers market fangirl cannot resist capturing.

Weekend haul:

Collard Greens I sautéed these in unrefined coconut oil with fresh garlic, rice vinegar and tamari and ate alongside buffalo soy curls and shells & cheese for work lunches the first half of the week. Definitely no complaints there.

Chinese Kale Stir fry, check. What a fun surprise! I have so many fond memories of eating this during my travels in Thailand.

Cherries While I couldn’t resist picking some up, I’ve been growing suspect of my mouth’s feelings about cherries, and this helping sadly confirmed the worst. Basically, no amount of sweet, sweet deliciousness can make my mouth stop tingling. These cherries went into the muffins you’ll see below, which were shared with friends and coworkers, and into some white wine sangria I may brave at some point (or continue offering to Maeve).

Bok Choy Stir fry #2, check. Note to self and the internet: move bok choy up into the eat-this-asap selection of the fridge. I lost a couple of outer leaves to wilting!

Fresh Garlic Oh, be still my heart. Unlike the garlic I buy at Fred Meyer, there never seems to be a stupidly bad bulb from the farmers market. This week’s garlic went into stir fries, another batch of stock (which then helped produce the PPK test kitchen chicken seitan in this post’s stir fry recipe), fried rice and one great big pot of marinara for Vegan Pizza Day celebrations last night.

Carrots Stock, fried rice and salads.

Genovese Basil Basil times continue to be happy times. This aromatic bunch went into two stir fries and that big pot of pizza sauce. Love.

Garlic Scapes Here’s the breakdown: 1 was pulverized into chili bomb pepper-infused pink salt for a popcorn topping, a few more went into fried rice (okay, my life is stir fries and fried rice) and the rest found their way to Panda’s door step.

Beets To roast with rosemary and lemon the next time I turn on my oven (and remember)!

Lettuce So, so many salads. I’m running dangerously low on tahini.

Life in stir fries, discussed:

Thai-style chicken seitan, bok choy, chiles, garlic & basil with short grain brown 

 

Thai-Style Basil Stir Fry

Makes 1-2 servings, easily doubled

This has become one of my super quick, go to stir fry sauces, so I actually wrote it down! You can easily direct the flavor in the direction of added chiles, kaffir lime, julienned ginger, or hey, swap out the seitan for Thai eggplants or fried tofu. It works. I devoured so many fantastic, fresh, garlic and kaffir lime studded dishes during my time in Thailand, and this is right up that flavor alley. And easy!

Let me get off my chest that while I know that you know that I know holy basil is ideal in this: Shhhh, any pleasant variety will do nicely.

To stir fry:

  • 1 tablespoon easygoing oil, such as peanut or canola
  • 1/2 lb sliced seitan
  • 3 cloves sliced or minced garlic (the fresher the better)
  • 5 dried red chiles
  • 1 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaf, sliced thinly [Optional, but elevates the whole thing. If using dried, you can keep whole.]
  • 1 small bunch bok choy or similar greens, sliced
  • good pinch of freshly ground white pepper
  • handful of fresh holy or sweet basil leaves, minced

Saucey:

  • 1 teaspoon black soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mushroom soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Nước Mắm Chay aka vegetarian fish sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon room temperature/chilled vegetable broth or water (aka not warm!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw or palm sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon tapioca, potato or cornstarch

*You can find vegetarian chay fish sauce at many Asian grocery stories, or make your own. One bottle seems to last me for years, seriously. You can also do as I do when between batches and bottles: Substitute half vegetable broth/half rice vinegar and a bit of fresh lime juice to throw in some sharp, pungent flavor.

Directions:

  1. In a small cup or bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  2. Pan-fry the seitan in oil on medium heat until browned on both sides, being careful not to burn.
  3. Quickly add the garlic, chiles, kaffir lime, bok choy and pepper, stirring quickly.
  4. Give the sauce another stir and add to the sizzling pan, stirring around.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, toss in the basil and serve with rice.

Stir Fry #1

Smoked tofu and assorted veggies with garlic, mushroom soy sauce and Khmer chili sauce

It’s all about the saucin’

Packed up and ready to go

As seen on the ride to Lents Town Square, the original El Nutri Taco cart. It’s also the closest vegan option by my event planning gig at a non-profit in these parts, so I’ve been no stranger.

“More Inside”

On my to do list, for sure.

Cherry muffins with golden flax and cacao nib liqueur

 

 

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:

pie

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

jess 033

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.

Retrospect

It’s time to be all retrospective and stuff.  Twentyten is upon us, and this time of year marks the anniversary of this food blog’s creation on Blogger in 2005.

To celebrate and culminate, I picked some photos from my favorite posts of the past year on Get Sconed!The year of the move! I attempted to choose one per month, but failed starting with January.

Behold a giant photo essay:

January

My first post of 2009 was an ode to recent Vietnamese meals. NE 82nd Ave was home to Nhut Quang Vegan Vietnamese Restaurant, which depressingly closed in late Spring 2009.

R.I.P. Nhut Quang Vietnamese crepes

Angel Food Marshmallow Making This is my mom’s old mixer, I love it.

I can’t go through January without mentioning LOST. I threw a Dharma rations themed party for the premiere of Season 5.  Next month, my friend Susie and I holding a Benjamin Linus Throws a Dinner Party!

February

I fell in even more love with my Vita-Mix: Peach Ice Cream

March

And even more love: Chocolate Peanut Butter Tofu Mousse

The first Examination of Portland Soy Lattes I drank about 2,000 lattes, give or take a few.

April

Chicken Seitan Parmigiana with Teese and Roasted Broccoli

Had a magnificent visit with my friend Emily from my long-ago semester abroad to the upscale, all raw Grezzo in Boston.

Lavender cheesecake

Had my fix of Vegetarian Dim Sum House in NYC, twice

May

Chick o’fucking Stick Chocolate Chip Cookies for Katie Jayne!

June

The cart lot at SE 12th and Hawthorne just got better and better, and Portland became home to a vegan friendly fried pie cart, Whiffies, and the city was never the same again!

The very first pie Maeve and I shared: Apple

The rising wave of twitter popularity grew and grew, and a select group of friends and I entertained ourselves with a week of dining exclusively at businesses that had Twitter accounts: The Dittering.  The number was much less significant in June than it is now, but we had many favorites and scouted others out. To quote Maeve, this was “back when twitter was cool”.

This was also the beginning of the summer of food cart insanity and growth!

Koi Fusion tofu tacos

Vegan Brunch was released! As a tester, of course, I’m always excited and stoked to support it and must include the Ode to Vegan Brunch Testing. I helped make some of the baked goods photographed! Oh my gosh!

Vegan Omelet

July

My friend Jeff and I made this Raspberry Blackout cake for Maeve’s birthday:

I became a contributor to Veggie Thing! …which went kerplunk.  I’m trying to keep the spirit alive with Awesome of the Week, kinda.

Professor Nanotear muffins from Tube

August

Try Vegan PDX presented the second annual Try Vegan Week with great success.  The culminating event was the 90s themed U Can’t Touch This Vegan Prom. Thrilling!

The dance contest, featuring the first and second place winners – Simon and Angela

I discovered I seem to have an allergy to one of my favorite foods, the hazelnut.  The horror!

September

Hazelnut Encrusted Eggplant

I fell in love with a scone from the new Back to Eden Bakery & Boutique: Maple Walnut

October

Zomg.  Fakin’ Fest happened.  There was dark chocolate dipped vegan bacon, bacon stuffed mushrooms, bacon cupcakes, tempeh bacon, maple bacon ice cream and much, much, much more. There was best dish, favorite dish and best fakin’ haiki contests, with prizes (more vegan bacon!) donated by Lightlife.

Stef’s Coconut Bacon Cupcakes

The Spicy Vegan’s potato skins

Mike Vegan’s awesome pig cake

Dynise, the Urban Vegan, sent her new cookbook for review & I’ve been digging it.

Spaghetti Carbonara

I got my fix of apples at the annual Portland Nursery Apple Festival:

The compilation of the Vegan Friendly Food Carts Listing, which now has its own page here.

on the Bombay Chaat House:

Bombay Chaat House

I added another reason to ever leave SE Portland in my personal time from my friends Julie & Jay Hasson – they opened their food cart, Native Bowl, in Mississippi Marketplace, and it rules!

Hummus wrap and Couch Bowl, photo by Lucas DeShazer

The Portland Vegan 100! So fun to put together. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

November

I was obsessed with brussel sprouts.  All year, really.

Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin from The Urban Vegan

brussel sprouts au gratin

Roasted with blood orange and sea salt.

roasted brussels sprouts with blood orange and garlic!

December

Banana Waffles! Banana Flapjacks from Vegan Brunch turned Waffles

xmas waffles

Another test recipe from Isa’s new book, 40 Cloves Chickpeas & Broccoli

40 cloves Broccoli & Chickpeas

A little more Retrospect…

  • I didn’t leave the country as I dream, but I did travel more on the West Coat, and had my annual pilgrimages to NYC and Boston – will happily be there again in February and playing in the snow!  Let me know if there are new places I should check out, I’m curious about Piece ‘Pie in Allston!
  • 2009 called forth the @getsconed twitter account (I had a personal, private account beforehand), the inevitable, welcome move to WordPress and finality of a domain, which was the exciting part of November.
  • In case you’re interested in the Portland vegan restaurant scene, we posted the Stumptown Vegans Year in Review Podcast earlier in the month.
  • Coming in 2010: Vegan Eats in and around Laguna Beach, CA, A Walk on Super Vegan Friendly Alberta Street, Product Reviews Galore, and more I can’t even make up on the spot!

As always, thank you for reading and commenting!  I’m thrilled to be part of the vegan blogging world.