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

Keep It Going: 100 Days Homemade Part VII, Days 66-79

Day Seventy-Nine: chocolate chip cookie pretzel bars

Today’s update into the 100 Days Homemade project includes plunging into the Vegan Sandwiches cookbook, a presentation at a senior center on incorporating vegan proteins with NW-style and flavor, cooking with my BFF in Victoria, stepping into the Artisan Vegan … 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. 

Cheers


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Celebrating the half-way point of my 100 Days Homemade with a round of Lauren’s gingery mocktail sippers at Portobello. Strangers things have happened.

Recap to follow. Sicilian pizza dough rising. Local produce stocked.

Round 1 & Rules.
Round 2.
Round 3.
Round 4.

From Sunday’s stop to the Lents International Farmers Market: cherry & heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, fresh garlic, plums, nectarines, kale, strawberries, blueberries, red potatoes, basil, hot & smokey salsa and pok choi…

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And hey, I’ll be speaking on the topic of Niche Blogging with Janessa & Michele on Friday at this weekend’s International Food Blogger Conference, being held here in Portland. Perhaps we’ll see you there!
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IFBC 2012 Portland

100 Days: Part IV

Now mere days away from my half-way point of 100 Days Homemade, some realizations have become glaringly obvious:

  1. Mixology matters.
  2. My girlfriend really likes soup.
  3. Life is possible without a microwave.
  4. One can incorporate a LOT of lentils into their life.
  5. There is a seemingly never-ending supply of rice in my apartment.
  6. With a bigger focus on budgeting, I’ve lost a lot of my normal excitement for dining out.
    1. Equally worth note: my apartment surprisingly has a cooling unit while many Portland restaurants do not.
  7. I’m having a grand old-time and looking forward to VeganMoFo with a renewed, thematically-inclined enthusiasm.

With that, a look back, and a new-found appreciation for lentil soup.

Day Twenty-Eight, AM: Fresh peach & soymilk smoothies for breakfast

Day Twenty-Eight: Ctate’s Queso

Day Twenty-Eight, PM: Baked black-eyed pea burgers with queso, lettuce, tomato & avocado. Paired with tortilla chips and sesame green and yellow beans.

Life’s been about black-eyed peas, lentils, chickpeas, more lentils, and berries.

Weekend Berry Picking on Sauvie Island with my crew

Most summers, I try to make it berry picking on Sauvie Island at least once. Yes, it’s local, fresh and fun (and tasty), but most importantly, I’m telling you – it’s a therapeutic experience. This time, we were able to pick raspberries and blackberries, in addition to buying early blueberries from the farm, and I have three things in mind: 1) pie 2) pancakes and 3) liquor. That was possibly in order of importance.

Day Twenty-Nine: Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes, with the recipe from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores making it into my rotation.

Next up, a duo.

Day Twenty-Nine, PM: Vietnamese Bún with peanut curry sauce for me, and Hot & Sour soup with tofu and bamboo shoots for J. Legume.

The Bún had pan-fried lemongrass tofu, carrots and broccolini with sliced cucumber, cold vermicelli noodles and Thai basil. The peanut sauce, an Isa Does It tester, has been making an appearance in many meals lately. For me, a bún  is one of those dishes that you kick yourself for forgetting about making for months and months. This was also my very first time making hot & sour soup, and I never realized it was SO EASY and that I had access to non-canned bamboo shoots. Thank you, Fubonn.

Day Thirty: VEGGIE GRILL BREAK #ACorDIEpdx

J. Legume is trying to get her Veggie Grillhabit down to no more than once a week. I can’t say I’m helping. I can say that I’ve found that subbing tempeh for chickin’ in burgers is my new favorite order.

Speaking of my lovely girlfriend…

Day Thirty, the J. Legume plate: mashed Yukons with roasted garlic, sauteed broccoli with General Tso’s sauce and simple brown lentils. The sauce recipe is from World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan and it’s just great.

Finally, we return to the important business of homemade liquors.

Day Thirty-One: The first steps for eventual blackberry brandy, cherry brandy, cherry cranberry liqueur and lemongrass mint liqueur.

About that…

In many traditional recipes, the sugar soaks through the fruit for 24 hours, the liquid is added, and you have two months to plan your cocktail party.  All the fruit used above, with the exception of the lemongrass and cranberries (to add a tart element when not using sour cherries), is from my local farmers markets. Lemongrass can be found occasionally, but not any regular or reliable basis. Lemongrass in my fridge is another story.

Day Thirty-One: Lentil-roni topped with fresh basil, from the Isa Does It test kitchen

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Day Thirty-Two: Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with our u-picked raspberries, another Isa Does It tester

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Day Thirty-Three: Pickled Thai Green Chilies – Heartichoke benefit prep

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Day Thirty-Three: Wannabe Kao Soi Curry Noodle Soup with fresh Thai basil

I crave Chiang Mai’s famous dish on a regular basis. This was the first time I’d attempted to recreate it – barring some changes – since I’d spent some time in Thailand over the winter. This was also the first time I’ve made it with wheat noodles vs. the rice noodles that are subbed for vegans. I’ve decided that I do prefer the silky rice noodles – which Pok Pok also does in town, but it comes no where close to the memory of Aum’s mushroom broth version. Sigh.

Day Thirty-Four: Brown Sugar & Chili Oil Roasted Red Peanuts – more Heartichoke prep work

The photo of the beet burger below makes me so damn relieved that I finally chose a new camera.

Day Thirty-Four, PM: Quarter Pounder Beet Burgers (from the PPK blog) with Red Hot tempeh bacon, chips and fixings

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Day Thirty-Four: Silken tofu chocolate pudding sinkholes

And then, this happened:

Day Thirty-Five: Heartichoke Vegan Supper Club’s Thai-inspired Benefit Evening

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Day Thirty-Six: Spicy sun-dried tomato & herb lentil seitan sausages, pre-steam. A nice afternoon project.

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Day Thirty-Six: Buffalo fried tofu burgers & tots

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Day Thirty-Seven: Cast iron pizza with homemade dough, marinara, Follow Your Heart mozzarella, yellow & red grape tomatoes, lentil seitan sausage crumbles and fresh basil.

This pizza was possibly the best part of 100 Days so far.

Day Thirty-Eight: Old-fashioned Chelsea waffles with fresh blueberries

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Day Thirty-Eight: Heartichoke green curry leftover incorporation time! Namprik green curry sauce, roasted root vegetables, rice & crushed peanuts

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Day Thirty-Nine: Korean Quick Pickles. Sometimes I make these with agave, sometimes with sugar. Always  with garlic and a half white vinegar/half rice vinegar combination.

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Day Thirty-Nine: Rigatoni with marinara, pan-fried lentil sausage crumbles, side salads & really, really herbed breadsticks

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Day Forty: The start of sangria with blackberries, pluots, doughnut peaches and cherries

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Day Forty, PM: Mustard and sherry soaked, pesto-stuffed, grilled tofu with roasted tomatoes & garlic, sauteed chard and rice (I have a lot of rice around, okay?)

Goodness.

Day Forty-One: Spicy Syrian Lentil Stew from Bean by Bean, my current cookbook-devotion from the library.

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Day Forty-Two: Simplified ‘Smlove Pie (without the toppings)

Phew.

Curious about the current state of events? Follow along on my Instagram with the 100 Days Homemade tag.

51 days remain! A new camera has arrived! Pickles are trending!

100 Days, Part I100 Days, Part II100 Days, Part III

And the 100 Days Goes On…

Day Twenty-two: Chocolate crinkle cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Now we return to the continuing saga of 100 days of homemade. Spoiler alert! Day 26 was a doozy that included an ER visit, so, there’s that. Soft foods ahead. And there’s that little thing where my digital camera went ker-plunk and these are a mixture of android shots and borrowed photos from J. Legume. I’ve started my new-camera-woes research and received great advice from some VVC folks, but I’ve yet to have the time to really contemplate the matter and visit a camera store. Suggestions welcome.

Day 13: Baked Tofu Eggs with Vegg-yolk, sautéed chard, hollandaise and seven grain bread.

Let me note that I’m enjoying the novelty of a Vegg yolk in the above dish more so than functionality in anything I’ve tried so far. With that, I would love to hear if it’s scientifically working culinary wonders for anyone.

Day Thirteen: Gluten-free coconut cupcakes with coconut raspberry buttercream for Louvella’s birthday. Photo by J. Legume

Why is it so hard to find really fine brown rice flour in a city like Portland, OR? How is there not a gluten-free cooperative grocery store yet?

Day Fourteen: Khao San Whiskey Sour with a galangal-soaked cherry. From our Heartichoke series.

Chloe & Louvella are developing a line of Heartichoke cocktails. You’ve been warned.

Day Fourteen: Island Black Bean Burgers with nectarine salsa. A test recipe for the upcoming Isa Does It.

More photos from my Isa Does It testing experiences are over here.

Day Fifteen: Fried tofu, baby bok choi, carrot and snow pea stir fry over brown rice with another Isa Does It tester, peanut curry sauce.

Day Sixteen: May Kaidee’s Pad Thai with fried tofu and vegetables, garnished with roasted chili oil & brown sugar peanuts.

One of these days, I’ll finish my post about the fabulous May Kaidee cooking class in Bangkok. It was a blast!

Day Seventeen: Red Hot BLTs from Isa Does It. Oh, yeah.

Day Eighteen: quite a farmers market tofu scramble, more red hot tempeh bacon and roasted peanuts with smoked salt. Photo by J. Legume

We were utterly devastated to run out of this tempeh. Tears and all.

Day Nineteen: Buckwheat chocolate chip pancakes and a side of french pressed Spielman coffee.

Those pancakes were so great to flip, I’ve made them three times now. Note: I subbed coconut oil for melted Earth Balance, because I can’t seem to restock on it in a timely fashion.

Day Nineteen: Korean-style quick pickles, inspired by an afternoon lunch at Boke Bowl

I want their tasty caramelized fennel ramen with Japanese eggplant and smoked tofu all of the time.

Day Twenty: Chocolate chip cookies from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores. Decent, but not making into the regular rotation.

Day Twenty: Chicky Tuna Salad, another Isa Does It tester. I felt so vegan.

Day Twenty, PM: Cheezy grits, simmered favas with fresh parsley, sauteed greens and baked mashed potato croquettes. Home cookin’

Day Twenty-One: 24 hour cold-brewed Spielman Coffee

Day Twenty-One, PM: Hottie black-eyed peas and collards, baked grit cakes and Cajun tots.

Day Twenty-Two: Field trip, Native Bowl, Couch Bowl.

Day Twenty-Two: More leftover utilization! Pan-fried cheezy grit cakes with hot sauce

It’s been too long since you’ve seen cookies, right?

Day Twenty-Two: those chocolate crinkle cookies, pre-baked and all rolled up

Day Twenty-three: Dude, I think you can guess what’s in this pot pie.

Day Twenty-Three: Pot pie, pre-crust. The fillings include carrots, fava beans, baked tofu, garlic, Yukon gold potatoes and herbs simmered in a pale ale roux, adapted from the recipe in Veganomicon.

Day Twenty-Four: Cubed tofu scramble with collard greens, diced zucchini, carrots and greens olives with Dave’s Killer Bread, toasted.

This was breakfast before Michele, Janessa and I spent most of the day obsessing over the first draft of the 2013 Vida Vegan Con schedule. Stoked.

Day Twenty-Five: Roasted cherry tomato sauce from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores, served over spaghetti with fresh basil, garlic bread, lemony kale and sparkling blood orange soda. This was so my type of meal.

Bonus #1: Southern BBQ bowl from Sip’s new spot, Canteen.

Go, go, go! They had cherry cider and kombucha on tap. Exactly.

Bonus #2: The yet-to-be-named mysterious maple, chocolate and lime whiskey cocktail from our Heartichoke series.

Day Twenty-Seven: Cinnamon-espresso chocolate chip cookies from Chloe’s Kitchen. Yeah, I like this book.

Day Twenty-Seven: Farmers market bounty! From the Eastbank Market.

Day Twenty-Seven, PM: Olive oil & roasted garlic mashed red potatoes, diced Earl tomatoes with fresh basil, white rice and jalapeño-simmered black-eyed peas

Noted: the practice of utilizing leftover ingredients, fresh produce, versatile sauces, random bags of grains you find in the freezer, and the stand-by of clean-out-the-fridge meals.

So much more ahead, including the results of berry picking on Sauvie Island and 4 varieties of homemade liquor I’ve started. Follow along on Instagram with @jdfunks

Read the 100 Days Guidelines here. The second round up is here.

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.