With VeganMoFo VII mere weeks ahead, I’ve been busy brainstorming and beginning to prepare, so it’s time to put aside the recipe posts and mason jars with the realization that August is truly moving forward, and share some good old-fashioned vegan food porn* glory, starting with one of the many handcrafted highlights… Continue reading
Most importantly, it was about time I tried one of their famous (and gluten-free) waffles. Continue reading
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.
Yeah, I’m loving the charming new tablecloth J. Legume picked up.
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:
Portland Hidden Gems are up next. Really.
Just kidding, I only like the fruits of your labor. The fruits of eight months of Portland drizzle. Rathermore (that’s right), your glorious fresh fruits and vegetables. Come on, weirdo summer, let’s get through the heat wave and onwards to heirloom tomatoes and spin the color wheel of bell peppers, eggplant and cauliflower!
Here are the fruits of my recent culinary labor:
Mushroom Sherry Pate from The Urban Vegan, take 2.
This time, I added almonds,roasted shallots, maitake mushrooms in addition to cremini, & added a couple of spices.
Cherry Whiskey Cookies
I brought these cookies & the pate to the recent Vegan Convergence 2.19. I spent the first half of the gathering selling ice cream (or orchestrating a Purely Decadent body shot photo shoot with Michele, same thing). These cookies are the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, substituting a small amount of the non-dairy milk for Cherry Whiskey.
Cabbage Patch tofu scramble
Pesto Tahini tofu, marinating.
I’ve made this before to top salads and been thrilled, but this batch was a little lackluster since I was trying to cut down on the ingredients and salt-factor for a potluck. This version had homemade almond pesto, tahini, water, white wine and coconut aminos.
Pesto Tahini Baked Tofu, garnished with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes
Baked Jerked Seitan, marinating.
Both jerk sauce and seitan recipes are from The Urban Vegan. Hot stuff!
Seitan Lite & Greens
The seitan lite recipe is from another fun cookbook I’ve been enjoying - American Vegan Kitchen.
Jelly Donut Cupcakes
from the holy Veganomicon. shockingly, my first time making them. I made both the cupcakes and seitan for an initials potluck last week. The JS for my behind the scenes name, and the JD for my really, really behind the scenes name. Identity crisis, commence.
Cashew Miso Mayo
In Conclusion, Part I: fresh, local raspberries are swell.
In Conclusion, Part II: My friend Jeff with his birthday Triple Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger from the super nice & delicious D.C. Vegetarian cart.
Jeff told me all he wanted for his birthday was a photo of him, at Tube, eating this custom birthday burger, displayed on the internet.
Happy Birthday, Jeff! Somehow, he made it through.
Knuckle Sag Bagel Sandwich from Boneshakers in Brooklyn, NY
Memories & Musings.
Every now and then I grab a bagel from a certain local bagel chain in town. The owner is actually from New York, though their boiled bagels aren’t quite channeling even half the perfection that belongs to true New York bagels. Hailing from the fish shaped part of the Empire State myself, I’m admittedly a bagel snob. I think this local chain has some of the most easily accessible, better quality bagels Portland has to offer (though the consistency wavers), and that nearly all the others in town are like rolls with holes. Big ups to Sweetpea in Portland for offering a variety of flavored Tofutti along with their bagels.
The sight of a big brown bag with a dozen from Bagel Boss was a regular sight in my house growing up. Sesame, Poppy and Cinnamon Raisin have long been my favorite varieties of these thick and chewy representatives of New York. It was normal to opt for a bagel with cream cheese for lunch in high school, even when you’d likely be eating one the next day for breakfast. Go, carbs, go! Same for college. While I was stunned by the difference of airier Finagle Bagels when I moved to Boston for college, I still have a small soft spot for them. Ironically, and adorably, my younger sister in New York still asks me to bring her a super cinnamon raisin back whenever I’m going between the cities, years later.
On my recent NYC vacation, I took home half a dozen from Bagels on the Square. My sister works nearby and is often picking up a bagel there for lunch while we’re on the phone. Photos of their selection are below – these are the kind of bagels I’m reminiscing about! The kind I’ll rave about for minutes!
I don’t have my sister fed ex me bagels or anything, and they certainly didn’t keep me in New York, but the memory, and reality, of true bagels, holds. Thick and chewy circles of memories.
Great New York bagels make the rest pointless…or simply vehicles for Earth Balance or peanut butter or Tofutti or whatnot. I’m not saying I always stick to this, but I can maintain an authentic bagel hiatus knowing I’ll be back. I wasn’t even aware of this emptiness in my life until a few months into my move to Portland – I had returned to NY, suddenly, and needed a bagel.
Bagel Case at Bagels on the Square, NYC
There were at least 5 or 6 varieties of tofu cream cheese in there!
The Boneshakers bagel sandwich was a beautiful sight. Turmeric colored tofu scramble, melted Daiya cheddar, browned veggie sausage, and that swell bagel. I’ve come to accept that Daiya has taken over the world and it undeniably worked and melted in this bagel sandwich. This sandwich could be part of civilization! It could star in a commercial!
That being said, it was on the bland side, overall, but there’s always hot sauce – and again, just look at it! I look forward to spending more time at this cafe on a future visit. Their menu was really appetizing and the location reminded me of Red & Black.
More on Bagels:
- Serious Eats Finds New York’s Best Bagel
- New York Times: Montreal’s Bagels Square Off Against New York’s (as for me, I’ve yet to visit Montreal, so I have no opinion here)
- I’ve never made my own bagels since I am well aware that my dough skills aren’t up to par with my expectations. However, if I ever feel adventurous, I’d use this recipe.
- Kenny and Zuke’s has boiled bagels that are quite good. They’re simply smaller than I’d prefer, and not as convenient as the aforementioned local chain with Tofutti and hummus offerings (and Stumptown coffee).
Roasted Blue Potatoes, Golden Beets and a single Russet, with coarse sea salt, olive oil and pepper.
I’ll take golden beets over red any day, any place, any time zone, as long as there’s a working oven.
Huckleberry’s Bistro style Tofu Scramble with Italian kale, green cabbage, kalamata olives, yellow bell pepper, creminis, lemon juice, shoyu, garlic and spices. I like this style because it channels the scrambles I used to make as a young vegan, over-relying on soy sauce for flavor!
Lightly fried rice with broccoli, carrots, Zesty Lemon Tempehtations (in my freezer from an old product review), leftover brown rice, sesame oil, almonds, tamari, garlic and white pepper. Definitely a ‘what do I have to work with??’ type of dinner.
Total Hodgepodge dinner. Steamed spinach, baked tofu, kalamata olives and roasted chickpeas (loosely based on Tamari Roasted Chickpeas from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan).
Not boring – just great! Lazy Samoans (with even lazier chocolate drizzlin’ and dippin’) from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
My recent flickr stream informs me that I’ve been saving money by cooking at home lately! As much as I enjoy visiting new and old favorite establishments and socializing, I’m part hermit cat lady and have been spending time the past couple weeks enjoying fortunate holds on dvds the library (30 Rock! LOST! The Departed!)!
Isn’t that a swell segue for mention of a presentation I’m giving on this site and Local & Vegan Eating in Portland later this month at the library? Sure! I’m flattered that the library likes vegan bloggers! I’m flattered if one of my friends even half considers going!
Portland, OR: Tofu Scramble Capital of the USA?
There is no denying that Portland is a vegan mecca. People seem to travel from around the world to sample deep fried vegan corn dogs, soft serve from Blossoming Lotus and biscuits and gravy from Vita or Paradox, among hundreds of other delicious ideas that immediately popped into your head. Well, here’s another crown you can bestow upon this city – Tofu Scramble Capital of the USA.
The Stumptown Vegans have joked about how we could spend a month eating nothing but tofu scrambles for future reviews, and have projects and podcasts up our sleeves, on top of recently being interviewed about all things tofu scramble, vegan breakfast and more on Breakfast in Bridgetown. The past few years have seen an expansion in tofu scrambles across this city, overall shifts from cubes to scrambles and a decrease in the many menus that used to say ‘sub tofu/pay more’. Why, I remember when I first talked my way into a ‘subbed’ tofu scramble with smoked tomatoes at Genie’s…
I decided it would be, well, fun, to see just how many tofu scrambles are available at different restaurants in Portland. I started making a list and couldn’t stop, and that became a table, which I’m calling a census.
Portland is home to excellent local tofu and some of the best produce in the country, and really, it’s an easy, cholesterol-free dish for any restaurant to offer during breakfast & brunch. But who’s got your favorite? Who cooks that tofu just right and has the best sides?
The Great Portland Tofu Scramble Census.
|Tofu Scramble Location||Neighborhood||Variety||Spices||Notes|
|Asaase Ital Palace cart||SW/PSU||*||*||breakfast scramble|
|Beaterville||N||pressed/grilled||Braggs||chewy and delicious|
|Beulahland||NE||scrambled||*||sub tofu for eggs|
|Blue Pig||SE||scrambled||*||sub tofu for eggs|
|Bourgeois Z Vintage||SE (outer)||*||*|
|Chaos Cafe||SE||small cubes||Yes||wholesome!|
|Cricket Cafe||SE||cubed||lots of black pepper||seriously, lots of pepper.|
|Crush||SE||*||*||‘Veganator’ + tofu, brunch|
|Cup and Saucer Cafe||various||scrambled||varies||order the special for flavor!|
|Genie’s||SE||cubed||No||sub tofu for eggs on menu|
|Gravy||N/Mississippi||scrambled||tur-mer-ic!||hot stuff, but eh.|
|Hungry Tiger Too||SE||scrambled||Yes, light, lots of garlic||small and full sized options|
|Jam on Hawthorne||SE||scrambled||Yes||sub tofu for eggs on menu|
|Juniors||SE||Big chunks||Yes, light||the first to use spice?!|
|Old Wives’ Tales||Inner Eastside||baked||Yes||interesting.|
|Paradox Cafe||SE||squares||lightly seasoned||available as a side/in #2|
|Proper Eats||N/St. John’s||scramble||Yes||tempeh scramble!|
|Red & Black Café||SE||during Saturday brunch?||*|
|Ruby Dragon cart||N/Mississippi||scrambled||Yes||tempeh scramble!|
|Schavone’s||SE||cubed||No||sub tofu for eggs|
|Star E Rose||NE||scrambled||*||daily specials|
|Stepping Stone||NW||cubed/large pieces||Ask for them (cajun)||sub tofu for eggs|
|Sweetpea Brunch||SE||scrambled, buffet serving||mild||rotating brunch items|
|The Original||Downtown/SW||*||*||foie gras fig newtons here.|
|Tube||Downtown/NW||scrambled||mild||served in tacos!|
|Virgo & Pisces||NW||*||*||*|
|Vita Cafe||NE||scrambled||Yes||tofu and tempeh scrambles!|
|Wild Abandon||SE||scrambled||No||reach for the hot sauce.|
*If you see something missing, retired or worth mentioning in this directory, please say so! There are places I haven’t managed to order a scramble yet, or I’ve blocked out of my mind.
Italics = my favorite places for scramble.
Onto some tofu scramble examples:
Superhero Scramble from Junior’s.
One of my favorite plates of food in this city (or their Vegan Potatoes + Tofu = Whoa, Yes).
Curry Scramble from Jam - on a ‘big pieces’ day!
Portland Scramble from Hungry Tiger Too. This one wears their cheesy sauce.
Greek Scramble from Hungry Tiger Too.
My go-to order here. Because I really love kalamata olives and garlic in my scramble.
Vegan Scramble from Jam Cafe & Arthouse on Hawthorne. Adore their jams and hash browns.
Check out the Everyday Dish cooking video to learn the spice mix!
Tofu Scramble Taco from Tube bar
Cricket Cafe Make-Your-Own Tofu Scramble.
Tons of black pepper – this was gigantic, but I’ve heard a friend mention theirs was tiny.
Genie’s (Subbed) Tofu Scramble – go for the smoked tomatoes! They have great roasted potatoes and an amazing cocktail menu.
P.S. I have to give my friend Bazu credit for the origin of this idea, with her post on The Great Tofu Scramble Debate. Personally, I go all three ways – scrambled mush, cubed, and the in-between. Oh, and don’t forget about baked scrambles! Not such a fan.
P.P.S. You probably make the best scramble in town.