Breakfast at Sconey’s

Breakfast at Sconey's

Here’s a little story from the early morning pages…..of dear J. Legume expressing her silly concern of not waking up to homemade breakfast often enough, my flabbergasted reaction, and her brunchy dreams surely coming true with spicy scrambled tofu, diner-style … Continue reading

Omelette emulation

Vegan Brunch tofu omelette filled with seared asparagus, red bell peppers and crumbled, smoked potato cheese. Served with curry roasted potatoes and field greens with lemon.

I started to write a couple of corny ‘Fakin’ It’ style post titles above and had to stop myself.

If I was attempting to melt less-than-favorable vegan cheese slices on said tofu omelette, that would be sadly, faking it.

If I was upping the turmeric factor to the level of neon overload, that would be faking it – and pretty damn trippy.

However, I’m not, and don’t think the recipe is going for that, either. It’s a matter of creative emulation. The vegan omelette above is not desperate vegan rip off or a faux omelette or fake omelette or whatnot.

It’s a new original. [Recipe from Vegan Brunch]

One of the reasons I’m involved with Portland’s Vegan Iron Chef organization is because I truly believe – and have seen – flavorful, artisan, vegan cuisine.

This deep thoughts brunch-for-dinner contained no artificial ingredients, and with the exception of locally produced silken tofu and a bulk-purchased curry powder blend, was made from scratch. I certainly think it’s legitimate to call this vegan tofu omelette an omelette, and with the assistance of black salt and a nice pinch of that turmeric, it not only looks and somewhat tastes crazy reminiscent of the real thing, it was cooked on my large omelette/crepe pan.

Signed,

a lady who had BBQ tofuffalo for dinner this week,

jess

Test run #1: smoked potato cheese

Truth: Every time I attempt vegan omelettes, I have a varying success rate of 25% – 50%. Go, go patience.

Sunday Supper: Patak’s Madras Chickpea Curry

Patak's Madras Curry Paste

I came to the soul-tingling realization yesterday in New Seasons, that if I allow myself to buy quality curry pastes for Thai cooking, I could try the same, just once, for Indian cuisine.  Perhaps it would prove handy and delicious over lazy and under-spiced, right?

Ridiculously, I had stocked up on various curry-related spices earlier in the day, but knowing my curries never quite taste how I want them to and that I didn’t have quick access to a few unique ingredients I had yet, and intended to incorporate, I rationalized the whim and picked up a jar of Patak’s Madras Curry paste. My dedication to making nearly everything from scratch be damned, I made a satisfying and spicy Madras curry for dinner and the teaspoons stayed hidden. Plus, the sweet and golden diced potatoes helped counter the heat of the curry. I loosely followed the recipe on the back of the jar (which was a hoot to do), substituted cooked chickpeas, red pepper and carrots for beef [using extra vegetables], and pureed Muir Glen tomatoes for diced.

Madras Chickpea Curry over basmati rice

Roasted Yukon & Sweet Potatoes with sea salt, pepper & fresh parsley

So, there ya go. Sometimes I’m a little bit lazy. Or normal.

a very cast iron christmas (breakfast)

Tofu Omelette, Smoky Creminis and Garlic Roasted Potatoes from Vegan Brunch. The omelette itself was stuffed with the mushrooms, baby spinach and Wayfare Hickory-Smoked Cheddar-Style Spread.

Breaking in the new cast iron skillet on a holiday morning. I am so happy to have an omelette, pancake & crepe friendly pans again!

¡Papas Guisadas!

Confession: I had no idea what these were called until I brought home a $1 grab bag of peeled potatoes and bell peppers from Limbo and decided I had to recreate the spicy potatoes Los Gorditos usually serves buffet style at their events.

Living on the same street as both freakin’ Gorditos, I think this shows a lot of reserve, and proper budgeting! After a few minutes that seemed like hours googling ‘stewed spicy potatoes’ on my stupid blackberry, I went to work. Many hours later, I returned home and did the following:

¡Papas Guisadas!

  • Ingredients:
    • 5 large, peeled potatoes, diced into large chunks (I used russets – use whatever kind you want, just watch for softness when boiling)
    • 1 bell pepper, preferably brightly colored , sliced into thin strips
    • 2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, roughly chopped
    • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • generous pinch of onion powder, or if you’re not me, 1/2 yellow onion
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (note: I used fresh cherry tomatoes because I had them, most recipes online call for canned tomatoes, which will make it more stew-y)
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • generous dash of freshly ground black pepper
    • water for boiling
  • Directions:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes.  Cook for 10-20 minutes, checking for semi-softness.
  2. While potatoes start to cook, warm the oil in a medium-sized pot on medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic, onion element, and hot pepper. Stir frequently and cook for 2 minutes, lower the heat if you need to. If you’re using a real onion, cook for an additional few minutes.
  4. Add the bell pepper strips and tomatoes and stir frequently for another minute.
  5. Once the potatoes are done, drain and to pan. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve!
  7. Optional: As opposed to sauteeing with more oil, if you want this somewhat crispy (and I always do), bake in the oven on parchment paper or a ceramic baking dish at 425F for 15 minutes.

Serving Suggestions: Serve alongside some Mexican style soy curls and greens!  Last night, I assembled baked corn tortilla tacos with the Papas Guisadas, spinach, spiced up cheezy sauce and spicy pinto beans, and they ruled.

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.

New York State of Mind: Knishes

These are almost offensively non-traditional, but I’m proud, all the same.

knishy

Since returning from vacation, I’ve been feasting on a few magnificent, toasted bagels, all the while, being briefly haunted by another traditional food from my New York heritage – knishes.  I have really fond memories of my very Italian family visiting Jewish delicatessens, and slurping bowls of chicken noodle soup after an obligatory knish.  Throw a pickle in for good measure.  Please.

I spent a lazy Saturday afternoon making these knishes.  They’re made with love, and filled with boiled, mashed potatoes,  mixed with olive oil, a ton of sauteed garlic and shallots, various greens, salt and freshly ground pepper.  The jellyroll style knishes (I was having fun with this) have added roasted garlic, nutritional yeast and a bit of miso in the filling.  All are brushed with a mixture of soy milk and olive oil.  I overbaked them a bit, cause that’s what I do.

Knishes

knish party

The dough recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance, of course.  The knish recipe from that book is one of the first couple things I ever made from it!  I simply didn’t have the patience to roast my potatoes this time, and was winging the filling.

<3 Po-ta-toes

knish.

And hey, bagel talk, coming soon. Straight from my bagel shaped heart.

BAGELS