Tempeh & Strawberries

Not together. Not this time. One day, I’ll make the strawberry jalapeño sauce I’ve been simmering in my head for the past few years. Let’s call it July and grill some tempeh.

Rewind to my Portland farmers market stroll this past Saturday morning, and I was getting my farmar on.

Strawberry season beckons. BECKONS.

It took a lot of reserve to not buy a flat, as I'm leaving the country today on vacation! A pint, for sure.

I'll suffer through this sunlight business for asparagus season.

Farmers Markets haul, 4/30/2011, including locally produced, organic tempeh from Cascade Naturals.

This new stand, Cascade Naturals, will be at the Portland State farmers market the last Saturday of the month. If you dig tempeh, you need to check this out. It’s the freshest, creamiest tempeh I’ve ever tried. If you’re one of those people that prefer to boil or steam your tempeh before using – throw that out the window!

Recent creations follow.

Mini Strawberry Pancakes. Maple Syrup. Pancake recipe from Vegan Brunch. This is almost what normall people do on relaxing Sunday mornings? Tempeh scramble using you know what, bringing up the rear.

(Pre-strained) Rhubard & Rangpur Lime Syrup. Tart. Love.

You saw the glee over the strawberries above. You may know it's PPK pie testing season. This makes total sense. Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb. Vegan Pie in the Sky Test Kitchen.

recent farmar-y lunch: cornmeal, nooch, flour & herb coated smoked tempeh (from a new tempeh stand at the farmar the last weekend of the month), smoked asparagus, baby lettuce and wild rice cooked in v. chix broth. I <3 my lil stovetop smoker.

Someone picked up 2 bags of Teese sticks at Food Fight! on their inaugural day of sale. Someone is full of anticipation.

With that, I’m off duty from work and projects for a week and an hour away from my flight to British Columbia for my first Canadian vacation with some dear friends for a few days. Bon Voyage! More pies & hidden gems & seasonal produce & Vegan Iron Chef chatter (PDX tickets are on sale and flying, zomg!) when I return.

lately

I’m just going to come out and say it. Hi. My name is Jess. I have a camera and a blog and here’s the flow of what I’ve been up to lately:

Smoked Potato Cheese: Take 2, Creamy Edition. I'll post the recipe after one more test run before Heartichoke.

Have I mentioned that I'm digging my stovetop smoker? Well, I am. Smoked Cherry Tomato & Kale Raab Pesto Bruschetta

Kale Raab Bistro Chowder; Bruschetta. Bistro Chowder Recipe from Appetite for Reduction. Farewell, Soup Season.

Tofu Cube Toss with Smoked Tomatoes, Roasted Red Pepper, Maitake Mushrooms, Kalamata Olives, Collard Raab; Mac & Cheddar Teese Sauce with Miso & Collard Raab. This ain't no wimpy scramble.

Baked Saffron Rice with Roasted Peppers. The recipe will be in the Spring issue of T.O.F.U. Magazine. Zomg.

From a small dinner party: Baked Saffron Rice with Roasted Peppers, Serrano Seitan Ham over Kale, Roasted Potato Bread and Blood Orange & Grapefruit Marinated Olives, etc.

Galician Empanada Pie with Smoked Soy Curls & Serrrano Ham, Take 1. Will be working on the conrmeal crust and spice factor.

TGI Return of the FarMar & Multi-Color Carrots. There are white carrots in the empanada pie, yo.

From the PPK Test Kitchen: Cappuccino Mousse Pie with Rad Whip. I'll get the fluffin' up next time.

From the PPK Test Kitchen: Manhattan Mud Pie. Photo by Lucas DeShazer. Truly, one of the few times you'll ever see me in the backround of a photo here.

Portland Hidden Gems are up next. Really.

and the pie goes on

Non-stop pie making continues with 2 more from the PPK test kitchen: Cashew Creme Apple Crumb and Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Cashew Creme Apple Crumb with golden raisins

Pumpkin Cheesecake with a swirl and spiced chocolate cookie crust

Back to the land of Vida Vegan Con and Vegan Iron Chef planning for me!

Rolling out pie crusts is way therapeutic.

the dawning of the pie

So, I currently have a few friends who are into no-sugar cleanses. Personally, I think it’s a sensible idea, but it’s become a little too trendy for my tastes and I’ve been busy stockpiling my organic, evaporated cane juice for an important reason: recipe testing for the newest in-progress Post Punk Kitchen cookbook has begun! I’m pretty much resurrecting The Piehole’s delivery service for all my local friends and humming the pie song from Waitress on a creepy, regular basis while wearing my cuter aprons.

I’ve warmed my feet in the syrup waters with two projects so far:

First up, Strawberry Handpies in Puffy Pie Dough

Each handpie is topped with coarse sugar and heart-shaped slits for my friend Millie’s Heartwarming party. Regardless of oozing some of the filling, they’re so freaking cute!!! And they rode a bus!!

Secondly, Sweet Potato Brazil Nut Crunch Pie in a Single Pastry Crust

This was the first pie I’ve sliced and hand-delivered to friends. Go, go magic pie and crust making!

Apple Cashew Creme Crumb is up next!

Appetite for Reduction: My Test Kitchen Photos

Although I’m currently sitting here, patiently waiting for my tester copy, (hint hint) the latest cookbook from my favorite vegan superhero & author, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Appetite for Reduction has hit the shelves – so it’s time for a fond look back.

This marks the fourth Post Punk Kitchen book I’ve been a recipe tester for – which is so.much.fun. While I didn’t have as much time on my hands or mouths to feed as I used to, and didn’t test every single recipe, I did made a bunch of satisfying dishes that I’ll round up below. Whether you’re looking for more responsible, vegetable dominated entrees, oil-cutting tips, healthy meal plan inspiration, or straight up, great and usually gourmet vegan cuisine, you should pick up this book! And try to do it from a vegan business, like Herbivore, Cosmo’s, Never Felt Better or Food Fight!, if possible. Is free shipping really that enticing? Does Amazon offer this shirt, or this one?

Some of my favorites:

  • 40 Clove Chickpea & Garlic – I’ve seriously made this countless times, and usually up the garlic even more (spoiler alert: there’s not actually 40 cloves in the recipe)
  • Surefire Seitan – This was my go-to seitan recipe this past year.
  • Braised Seitan & Cabbage – This one surprised me in how much I liked it. Plus, it’s super easy if you have the seitan already made, and cabbage contains fiber and vitamin c and you should probably be eating more of it!
  • Pasta con Broccoli – Simple and great – especially topped with one of the baked tofu options in the book. Like I’m not going to love a healthier version of a classic Italian dish full of more broccoli & garlic…
  • Thai Green Beans – Again – so easy, but so flavorful.
  • Jerk Asparagus – Ditto! You should have these spices in your house anyway, and await the countdown to one of spring’s first contenders.
  • Curried Tofu – One of those recipes you’ll find yourself making semi-weekly after trying it.
  • Apple Miso Tofu – because it’s another one casserole dish entree, and it’s just so unique!
  • Ginger Soba with Bok Choy – it’s literally ginger, soba, and bok choy, and that’s so, so right.
  • Black-Eyed Peas & Greens – purposely reminiscent of the Bye & Bye’s dish, and another I find myself making regularly. With the buzz about the book popping up over the last week, it was the first recipe that came to mind and that I just had to make this past weekend.

And these are just a few favorites. Crazy, but I don’t have photos for everything. Sometimes I forgot, or the lighting was awful, or the dish was being transported elsewhere, or I was just…really hungry. Off the top of my head, I know the Ethiopian Mushroom Tibs are missing, and probably a few others…

Without further adieu, my Appetite for Reduction photos:

40 Clove Chickpea & Garlic

Pasta con Broccoli (pictured with red wine roasted mushrooms)

Smokey Split Pea Soup

Pineapple Collards - oh, I really dug this, too!

Broiled Blackened Tofu

Curry Baked Tofu and Orange Scented Broccoli

Curried Chickpeas and Greens - hello, delicious lunch for the week!

Apple Miso Tofu (pictured with a chiffonade of miner’s lettuce and brown rice)

Curried Cabbage and Peas

Red Curry Tofu - how pretty is this?! bonus = it’s baked!

Thai Green Beans

Fussilli Roasted Veggie Primavera – okay, more and more favorites

Herb Roasted Cauliflower and Breadcrumbs

Cashew Miso Mayo - yeah, you read that right!

Surefire Seitan (pictured baked with chickpea breading)

Silky Chickpea Gravy (pictured with whole wheat biscuits)

Hoisin Tofu Lettuce Wrap (pictured with cabbage shells)

Red Wine & Kalamata Tempeh (pictured with mashed potatoes) – hello, classy!

Ginger Soba with Bok Choy

Vietnamese Salad with grilled tofu

Quicky BBQ Tofu

Curried Summer Loving Corn Chowder

Black Eyed Peas & Greens (pictured with cornmeal baked tofu)

PPK dinner.

Jerk Asparagus

Braised Seitan & Cabbage

Now, I’m sorry there are no before and after shots of my butt to show my own weightloss progress during this round of testing. Truthfully, some of these dishes were made over a year ago, I wasn’t focused on hiding my oil – because that can be crazy, and I make a point to be comfortable with my weight, my body, and myself, no matter what. Vegans come in all shapes and sizes, too!

That being said, I’m currently on week 12 of a new workout/activity plan, where there’s less beer, laziness, and more vegetables and whole grains in my diet lately, but I just hate using that word, so back to my point -

This book is not only full of wholesome, creative, special-diet-friendly recipes – it’s full of truth one can relate to, and a whole lot of healthy inspiration.

For sample recipes, check  out the PPK book page.

For prettier photos, check out the flickr photo set from the wonders behind What the Hell Does A Vegan Eat Anyway?

If you have the book already, I’d love to hear other recs. And while you’re at it, leave Isa a review on Amazon and Goodreads and spread the word!

checking in with the test kitchen

Recipe testing for Post Punk Kitchen books has been a mainstay in my kitchen during the past few years.  I learn new things, my palate expands, there’s always something to look forward to, and always an idea for dinner.

Most recently, I’ve been testing  for Isa’s upcoming Healthy/Weightloss cookbook.  How cool, right!?! I don’t know if there is an official title yet, but I will say that these lowfat meals are seriously wholesome, satisfying, and the ‘in progress’ name for the test kitchen is a great one…

Red Wine & Kalamata Tempeh, over pesto mashed potatoes

red wine and kalamata tempeh  (tester)

Apple Miso Tofu, with a chiffonade of miner’s lettuce

apple miso tofu

Red Thai Tofu

Red Curry Tofu

Curried Chickpeas & Greens

curried chickpeas and greens

Curry Baked Tofu and Orange Scented Broccoli

Curry Baked Tofu and Orange Scented Broccoli (testers)

Smokey Split Pea Soup

Isa Test Kitchen: Smokey Split Pea

Curried Cabbage and Peas

Curried Cabbage and Peas

Pineapple Collards

Pineapple Collards

Jerk Asparagus

Jerk Asparagus

Tonight’s menu includes Ethiopian Mushroom Tibs and Green Beans with Thai Basil !

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back to portlandia, once again

Flowers Restaurant, Seattle

to michelle, love jess

once again, I’m back after a bit out of town.  this time, it was for a few days in Seattle.  while I was there, I decided my next realistic dream job involves frequent travel and keeping Portland as my home base.  I certainly can’t afford to travel recreationally as much as I’d like, and I’m fortunate that my current job lets me travel a bit. I’m getting the teeniest bit restless living here for 5+ years, but it’s Portland! It’s amazing! Quality of Life! etc. etc. etc.

that being said, I have three travels’ worth of photos and thoughts to unload soon via flickr, this site and stumptown vegans!  I’m hoping to get back to normal life and do this sooner than later.  rationally speaking, naming my flickr photos should not overwhelm me!

heading into overwhelmingly awesome plans, Portland’s Inaugural Vegan Iron Chef is officially happening on Sunday, June 6th, 2010 in the early evening.

It’s being presented by Try Vegan PDX, and I am beyond ecstatic about it.  The official contestant invites went out yesterday! So many wonderful local vegans are already involved!

Stay tuned for more by becoming a fan on facebook and watching the ‘lil twitter.

a few recent photos to get back into the swing of things…

Smokey Split Pea Soup, from Isa’s Test Kitchen

Isa Test Kitchen: Smokey Split Pea

Soy Latte from K&F Coffeehouse in Portland

K&F

Dr. Cow Nut Cheese with Hemp Seeds from Lifethyme in NYC - my first time trying this, call me a fan! It’s sitting on top of a raw apple cranberry treat from Lifethyme, too.

Dr. Cow Nut Cheese

My sister, Jen, agreeing to visit Vegetarian Dim Sum House in NYC, yet again.  She’s a hip little flexitarian, and enjoys the Roasted Pork Buns and main dishes here.

Veg Dim Sum

Of course, something like this, which Millie and I really enjoyed, horrifies her.

dim sum

Oasis Falafel, Brooklyn, NY. This was GREAT at midnight after a long night, but made me incredibly sick.  fun times!

Oasis Falafel

so much more to come.

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From the PPK test kitchen: Pasta con Broccoli & Blackened Tofu

I’m totally thrilled when I have hermit time and can pour myself into a cooking project.  It’s a nice, personal break from my constant restaurant and cart adventures. Case in point, last weekend, testing recipes for Isa Moskowtiz’s new book.

Pasta Con Broccoli. A lower-fat take on a classic, served with whole wheat linguine.  As an accompaniment, I simply roasted some whole cremini mushrooms with white wine and shoyu.

Pasta con Broccoli

Blackened, Broiled Tofu. I had some clumping going on, but that’s okay! It’s a test recipe, after all, and a tasty protein.

Broiled Blackened Tofu

I’m slowly going through the classy Urban Vegan cookbook, as well. Here are more leftover veggies and extra firm tofu baked in the Urban Vegan Tofu Marinade.

Urban Vegan marinated tofu

It’s noochy goodness. I stretched my leftover marinade with veggie broth, shoyu and white wine and have more tofu relaxing in it, right now.

warm & comforty foods.

Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin from The Urban Vegan


brussel sprouts au gratin

here’s a showing of what I’ve been cooking in the past month or so.  colder weather & holiday season = comfort foods on the brain.  turning on the oven to roast vegetables and bake tofu is delicious and keeps the apartment warm!

they’re the type of dishes where you want to hug the plate, and then raise your fork.  truthfully, in my heart and stomach, Italian food reigns as the ruler of the comfort food kingdom, but American vegan comfort foods call out, just the same.

Whole Wheat Biscuits from The Kind Diet, Silky Chickpea Gravy from Isa’s test kitchen, roasted brussel sprouts (clearly I let the gravy sit a few minutes here!)

WW Biscuits and Tester Silky Chickpea Gravy

Spicy Collards & kidney beans, Bbq baked super firm tofu

recent dinner

The spicy collards dish above was based on the test recipe for the dish below – Spicy Black Eyed Peas & Greens from Isa’s test kitchen, served with Cornmeal & Nooch baked tofu. Perfect for the days the Bye & Bye is just too far across town from me.

PPK dinner.

More BBQ baked tofu & Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin – the lunch@work edition. I made a double batch of maple sweetened Backyard BBQ sauce from Veganomicon a few weeks ago, and it’s been handy.

lunch @work series

Baked Bean balls from Veganomicon. I eat these with steamed greens and a side of marinara, or happily over whole wheat spaghetti.

chickpea balls

Seitan roast, maple baked carrots, baked potato and mushroom croquette, silky chickpea gravy.

belated tday dinner.

The day after Thanksgiving, I felt the delayed desire to make a seitan roast.  Like my friend Joanna’s amazing seitan roast, I modeled mine after Brian P. McCarthy’s recipe.  I didn’t pull out all the stops and buy cheesecloth and string, but it was still remarkably good seitan. The potato and mushroom croquettes were a mix of leftover mashed potatoes, roasted garlic and a little extra stuffed mushroom filling, formed into patties, rolled in seasoned breadcrumbs and baked.  I remember my mom making a pan fried (mushroom-less), traditional Italian version of these a few times a year growing up. comfort foodz for the win!

Tofu Skin, Tolosana black beans, carrots and tomato with Mexican spices. Burrito filling.

tofu sheets, mexican style

Really serious warm & comforty food – Side Dish Stuffed Mushrooms from my friend Michelle’s Thanksgiving potluck.

shrooms

and…Melty Swiss Uncheese turned Ancho Uncheese Dip from the classic Uncheese Cookbook.

swiss uncheese turned spicy ancho swiss uncheese

so, what’s your comfort food of choice come winter?

Anatomy of a Grocery Trip: Fubonn

Ginger Soba with Bok Choy

tester

I broke in my shiny new camera this past weekend on an epic adventure with Ms. Strawberryrock (more to come, obvs) and a dedication to Asian noodle dishes after a trip to Fubonn for groceries.  The dish above is a test recipe for Isa Chandra Moskowit’z current project, a low-fat cookbook.  I can’t say much, but there’s a lot of satisfying ginger and bok choy action going on.

Wandering Fubonn….

Fubonn trip.

I  picked up:

  • buckwheat soba
  • rice vermicelli – I’m obsessed with the idea of making Tofu Buns at home.
  • agar powder
  • frozen gluten – I think I’ve finally found the type that the late Nhut Quang used in their addictive BBQ Roasted Gluten I miss so.
  • fresh ginger – so inexpensive here!
  • fresh udon noodles – for a quick recipe in The Kind Diet I’ve been eyeing.
  • vegetarian fish sauce – to complete my collection of vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce and vegetarian hoisin sauce.
  • lychee drink – to have on hand for lychee martini desires, clearly.
  • gyoza wrappers – for Thanksgiving!
  • tapioca starch – restocked
  • frozen bean curd sheets – for excitement! for stir fries! for soup!

veggies. Having quick access to stellar local produce, I couldn’t bring myself to buy the veggies I wanted for a recipe yesterday, wrapped in plastic, unnecessarily on Styrofoam or just having seen better days, so I skipped.  I hit up New Seasons on my way home.

sweet! It’s been a couple months since I searched the frozen faux meat aisle of Fubonn, and I excitedly noticed a new addition: frozen lemongrass gluten sticks! on sugar canes! as seen at Asaase Ital (jerk seasoned), Van Hanh and numerous vegetarian restaurants in NYC, among other places.  I passed trying to be economically wise, but I will not resist on a future visit.

-

Thanks for the reading the new site!

Is anyone else having issues viewing it on google reader? The top links should work, I need to remove the way bottom one (it’s part of the layout, um, bear with me).

This should be the link for Google Reader.

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