The Vegan Budget Diaries & That Yellow Soup [Recipe]

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LOOK! A RECIPE! This winter, I’ve been undergoing a pantry-challenge. Never ever, ever before, did I think my life would include oh, so many bowls of lentil soup. And now, it does. Continue reading

The Post with Division Street (Vegan) Pho Chay

Curry Pho on Get Sconed!

I’ve been tinkering around with the eventual recipe for Division Street* Pho, which is traditionally identified as a pho chay, for months now. Tinker, tinker. I found myself on what became an epic quest for vegan pho chay in Portland last winter (which I’ll be compiling one of these days), and really studying the flavors in the bowls in front of me…. Continue reading

From the PPK Test Kitchen: Isa Does It Tester Photos

Isa Does It cover

Mission, complete!  Weeknight dinners…all set. No excuses. Testing for Isa Does It, Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s ode to weeknight wonders, has ended, which is sad news for me, but good news for you! This brand spankin’ new book is officially due out … Continue reading

Opening Day Visit: Portland Farmers Market

Fun fact: I have a purple carrot on my foot.

That may be the scene of late Saturday afternoon, but the morning offered a slightly damp yet rain-free and welcoming trip to the first Portland Farmers Market of the season. I usually have something of a dramatic countdown in place, … Continue reading

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

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.

100 Days of Homemade

It’s the summer of projects! With my newfound free time, I’ve decided to devote 100 days to make a minimum of 100 creative, culinary concoctions. Pretty straightforward, right?

100 Days of Homemade on Get Sconed!

Guidelines:

  • Each and every day, for a period of 100 days beginning June 25th, I aim to make one meal as from-scratch-as-possible in my kitchen.
  • These creations will be shared in small, group updates on Get Sconed! I will photograph as much as possible.
  • I’ll be identifying my photos with the “100dayshomemade” tag on this site, as well as twitter and Instagram.
  • As always, my dishes will be entirely vegan and incorporate local, organic seasonal produce as much as obsessively possible. Dishes will also be free of almonds, cashews, bananas and pineapple. Go figure.
  • Some days, more than one dish will likely be created. This may mean an entirely different course, or simply an accompanying cocktail or dessert. As long as it’s homemade and creative, it’s in.
  • Being newly (and for now, gloriously) unemployed, the dishes will be pretty budget-friendly. Thank you, crazy supply of dried beans, exotic spices and grains! I’ll do my best to make notes and share worthwhile tips as I go along.
  • Dishes will be described and recipes will be referenced when used, or ideas given. Basically, some dishes may be winged, some may be test recipes for the upcoming Isa Does It, some may be from cookbooks, some may simply be special requests from my girlfriend. Nearly everything will be inspired by farmers market hauls or television episodes, etc.
  • Processed goods, such as vegan cheese and packaged slices, will be used as little as possible, if ever.
At the very least, I hope to try new things and become an expert at clean-out-the-fridge dishes. Let’s do this.

From the first few days:

Day One: Pesto baked tofu, mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, roasted broccoliflower with lemon, Sungold tomatoes & fresh raspberries for dessert.

Day Two: Tom Yam Soup with baby bok choi, carrots, mushrooms, fresh galangal, baked tofu & a touch of coconut milk. The recipe is from May Kaidee’s Cookbook and is a new staple in my kitchen.

Day Three: Tomato Rosemary Scones from Vegan Brunch, topped with coarse sea salt.

Day Four, AM: Tofuevos Ranchers from Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites.

Day Four, PM: Tofu & Chickpea Noodle Soup with fresh dill and Mojitos made with local cherries. Soup week, represent.

Bonus: Pre-project banana french toast, roasted potatoes with smoked salt and pan-fried tofu rounds with Vegg yolk

My new style also welcomes legitimate time to devote to Vida Vegan Con, and speaking of, early bird tickets open today, July 1st!