Operation Hotdish: The Vegan Casserole Cook-Off Approaches

Holla at the first Vegan Iron Chef fundraising event in Portland! We’re gearing up for our second annual competition this summer, and what better way to get into the spirit than a hot casserole potluck on a cold day?

The Date: February 5, 2011 5pm-7:30pm

The Cost: $5

The Location: In the upstairs Community Room at Peoples Coop3029 SE 21st Ave., Portland, OR, 97202

Sign up: Here’s the Google Docs sign up sheet. It’s not required by any means, but it helps the organizers have an idea of what to expect – and you can check out the competition! I’m thinking of making a cheezy casserole fort, myself.

Judging: The judges have been announced! They’ll be awarding their favorites, along with an Audience pick.

What to do: (which I’m copy/pasting from the facebook event, which I deem acceptable since I wrote it, ba da bing)

1. Sign up online (you may do so until an hour before the event -https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Am8YTzfgn2X7dC1QVFk5N0FaUHpzaFFjeGdkMU51dUE&hl=en&authkey=CPGFxdMK
2. Prepare a casserole (or bring a big appetite). Please note that there is no cooking at the event itself. Please warm your casserole in advance, if desired.
2. Bring $5
3. Show up at 5pm with said casserole/admission donation and your own plate and cutlery. All dishes must arrive by 5:15pm to be considered for awards placement. Please see a VIC volunteer to make sure the judges get a piece of your casserole!
4. See who wins!
5. Eat and eat some more!

Bonus: Come meet The Vegan Caterer and try some free samples!

Final thoughts: So, start daydreaming about your favorite casseroles, break out the Pyrex & spread the word to your friends in the Portland area – or consider one in your city!

The Vegan Convergence is Upon Us

My friend Mike, of the vegan pig cake achievement and so much more, is gloriously and mischeviously trying to unite Portland vegans on Sunday, May 23rd.  If you’re in the Portland area, stop by!

Here are the details from the facebook event (hint: RSVP there for updates):

Hey Portland Vegan!

Ever wonder if there are other super cool vegans and vegan potlucks in PDX that you don’t know about? Even if you adore your current vegan friends, ever wonder if you’re missing out on The Others? Or maybe you’re crying to yourself over your BBQ Platter at B&B or wiping sadness away with orange fingers from the fake Cheetos that you got at Food Fight! since you don’t know any other PDX vegans. In any event, its time for all that to change.

Portland has so many little vegan sub-cultures (quadrant-specific vegans, PPK vegans, Meetup vegans, NW Veg’ers, suburb vegans, space patrol vegans, blogging vegans, tattoo vegans, biking vegans, foodshops/food cart vegans, straightedge vegans). Its hard to keep up, let alone branch out and meet new peeps. But that’s all over now. Like Ronald Reagan told Mikhail Gorbachev back in ‘87, its time to “tear down this wall.”

The VEGAN CONVERGENCE is upon us.

Show up, eat some food, talk to some folks. It’s simple. You might even meet your new vegan best friend! Worst case scenario, you leave with a full belly of vegan goodies. No time for drama. No time for cliques. Just bring a “Favorite” (is that the theme?) vegan dish (along with cutlery, plates, tongs etc.) and get ready for the best afternoon of your life. Like staring into the sun, this could be epic.

(Vegan-friendly friends invited, too!)

—————-

I’ll be stopping by after a project in the morning, though I don’t know how attentive I’ll be with the life-changing series finale of LOST that evening.  I foresee myself getting nervous when I’m not in line at the Bagdad by 5pm!

P.S. Who are the foodshop vegans? The ones that go to cute restaurants? I thought I had all my groups down!

Retrospect

It’s time to be all retrospective and stuff.  Twentyten is upon us, and this time of year marks the anniversary of this food blog’s creation on Blogger in 2005.

To celebrate and culminate, I picked some photos from my favorite posts of the past year on Get Sconed!The year of the move! I attempted to choose one per month, but failed starting with January.

Behold a giant photo essay:

January

My first post of 2009 was an ode to recent Vietnamese meals. NE 82nd Ave was home to Nhut Quang Vegan Vietnamese Restaurant, which depressingly closed in late Spring 2009.

R.I.P. Nhut Quang Vietnamese crepes

Angel Food Marshmallow Making This is my mom’s old mixer, I love it.

I can’t go through January without mentioning LOST. I threw a Dharma rations themed party for the premiere of Season 5.  Next month, my friend Susie and I holding a Benjamin Linus Throws a Dinner Party!

February

I fell in even more love with my Vita-Mix: Peach Ice Cream

March

And even more love: Chocolate Peanut Butter Tofu Mousse

The first Examination of Portland Soy Lattes I drank about 2,000 lattes, give or take a few.

April

Chicken Seitan Parmigiana with Teese and Roasted Broccoli

Had a magnificent visit with my friend Emily from my long-ago semester abroad to the upscale, all raw Grezzo in Boston.

Lavender cheesecake

Had my fix of Vegetarian Dim Sum House in NYC, twice

May

Chick o’fucking Stick Chocolate Chip Cookies for Katie Jayne!

June

The cart lot at SE 12th and Hawthorne just got better and better, and Portland became home to a vegan friendly fried pie cart, Whiffies, and the city was never the same again!

The very first pie Maeve and I shared: Apple

The rising wave of twitter popularity grew and grew, and a select group of friends and I entertained ourselves with a week of dining exclusively at businesses that had Twitter accounts: The Dittering.  The number was much less significant in June than it is now, but we had many favorites and scouted others out. To quote Maeve, this was “back when twitter was cool”.

This was also the beginning of the summer of food cart insanity and growth!

Koi Fusion tofu tacos

Vegan Brunch was released! As a tester, of course, I’m always excited and stoked to support it and must include the Ode to Vegan Brunch Testing. I helped make some of the baked goods photographed! Oh my gosh!

Vegan Omelet

July

My friend Jeff and I made this Raspberry Blackout cake for Maeve’s birthday:

I became a contributor to Veggie Thing! …which went kerplunk.  I’m trying to keep the spirit alive with Awesome of the Week, kinda.

Professor Nanotear muffins from Tube

August

Try Vegan PDX presented the second annual Try Vegan Week with great success.  The culminating event was the 90s themed U Can’t Touch This Vegan Prom. Thrilling!

The dance contest, featuring the first and second place winners – Simon and Angela

I discovered I seem to have an allergy to one of my favorite foods, the hazelnut.  The horror!

September

Hazelnut Encrusted Eggplant

I fell in love with a scone from the new Back to Eden Bakery & Boutique: Maple Walnut

October

Zomg.  Fakin’ Fest happened.  There was dark chocolate dipped vegan bacon, bacon stuffed mushrooms, bacon cupcakes, tempeh bacon, maple bacon ice cream and much, much, much more. There was best dish, favorite dish and best fakin’ haiki contests, with prizes (more vegan bacon!) donated by Lightlife.

Stef’s Coconut Bacon Cupcakes

The Spicy Vegan’s potato skins

Mike Vegan’s awesome pig cake

Dynise, the Urban Vegan, sent her new cookbook for review & I’ve been digging it.

Spaghetti Carbonara

I got my fix of apples at the annual Portland Nursery Apple Festival:

The compilation of the Vegan Friendly Food Carts Listing, which now has its own page here.

on the Bombay Chaat House:

Bombay Chaat House

I added another reason to ever leave SE Portland in my personal time from my friends Julie & Jay Hasson – they opened their food cart, Native Bowl, in Mississippi Marketplace, and it rules!

Hummus wrap and Couch Bowl, photo by Lucas DeShazer

The Portland Vegan 100! So fun to put together. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

November

I was obsessed with brussel sprouts.  All year, really.

Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin from The Urban Vegan

brussel sprouts au gratin

Roasted with blood orange and sea salt.

roasted brussels sprouts with blood orange and garlic!

December

Banana Waffles! Banana Flapjacks from Vegan Brunch turned Waffles

xmas waffles

Another test recipe from Isa’s new book, 40 Cloves Chickpeas & Broccoli

40 cloves Broccoli & Chickpeas

A little more Retrospect…

  • I didn’t leave the country as I dream, but I did travel more on the West Coat, and had my annual pilgrimages to NYC and Boston – will happily be there again in February and playing in the snow!  Let me know if there are new places I should check out, I’m curious about Piece ‘Pie in Allston!
  • 2009 called forth the @getsconed twitter account (I had a personal, private account beforehand), the inevitable, welcome move to WordPress and finality of a domain, which was the exciting part of November.
  • In case you’re interested in the Portland vegan restaurant scene, we posted the Stumptown Vegans Year in Review Podcast earlier in the month.
  • Coming in 2010: Vegan Eats in and around Laguna Beach, CA, A Walk on Super Vegan Friendly Alberta Street, Product Reviews Galore, and more I can’t even make up on the spot!

As always, thank you for reading and commenting!  I’m thrilled to be part of the vegan blogging world.

Obligatory Thanksgiving Post: w/ Brussel Sprout, Roasted Garlic, Potato & Almond Stuffed Mushrooms

Vegan thanksgiving dinners are up there in my ‘proudest culinary moments’ collection, along with every time I remember to wash my hands after chopping incredibly hot peppers.  As a vegetarian for years and as a new vegan, holiday celebrations tested my patience, as usual, and my attempt at culinary skills.

Potluckin’

potluckin'

Thanksgiving is a day you may make the decision to bring your best vegan cookies and tub of Earth Balance to impress/challenge the level of sanity of an omni table with family and friends, pull out all the vegan stops with a homemade* seitan roast or store-bought Tofurkey for an intimate group, or aim for comfort food greatness with a contribution to a vegan potluck.  Showcasing your North American-Vegan-Thanksgiving-Skills is a beautiful thing on a day revolving around stuffing yourself with a stuffed, dead bird.

It makes you want to Adopt a Turkey, naturally.

I went to my first vegan thanksgiving potluck of the season on Sunday night; my friends Michelle and Aaron host an annual pre-thanksgiving vegan thanksgiving potluck.  I know I’m mentally checked out on Sunday evenings (work in the morning!), so I signed up to bring something I’m comfortable with – stuffed mushrooms.  For some reason roasted garlic and brussel sprouts were calling out to me, so Side Dish Stuffed Mushrooms surfaced. I’m calling them Side Dish Stuffed, but really they’re Brussel Sprout, Roasted Garlic, Mashed Potato & White Wine stuffed, but that’s a bit of a mouthful.  My go-to method for stuffing mushrooms is to reach for the wine & nuts and expand from there, and these have that basis, combined with a tribute to holiday side dishes.

Happy plate. Joanna’s seitan* ruled my world.

potlucky

Side Dish Stuffed Mushrooms (gluten-free)

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs of white/cremini mushrooms, stems separated and minced (optional: scrape out the gills with a small spoon if you so choose)
  • half a head of roasted garlic
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 6 brussel sprouts, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of roasted almonds, finely ground
  • scoop of mashed potatoes (russets mashed with plain soymilk)
  • generous pinch of black pepper
  • dash sea salt
  • dash crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • generous pinches of rubbed sage and thyme
  • generous pinch of nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine
  • 1 tablespooon of tamari
  • dash of balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil for sautéing and greasing the baking pan
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease a 9×13 glass casserole dish.
  2. Saute the minced garlic, minced mushroom stems and chopped brussel sprouts in a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a large pan for 5-7 minutes, being careful to keep the heat below medium and not burn anything.
  3. Add the herbs, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, wine, tamari and vinegar and cook for another 2-5 minutes, until much of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked ingredients, the mashed potatoes, ground almonds, nutritional yeast and roasted garlic with a fork, mixing until well combined.
  5. Using a half tablespoon or other small spoon, fill each mushroom cap with the stuffing. Do not overstuff.
  6. Place filled side up in the casserole dish.  If you have extras, feel free to place overlapping bottom layer mushrooms.  Spritz with oil and drizzle with additional white wine.
  7. Bake for 23-28 minutes until golden brown, checking on them after 20.

Side Dish Stuffed Mushrooms, pre-baked (with chopped extra chunks of garlic tossed in)

mushrooms, pre-baked

Baked:

shrooms

As for the actual holiday this year, I’m bringing homemade seitan and cabbage stuffed gyozas to a vegan potluck, and pumpkin pie brownies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar to a Turkey-roke/Faux-turkey-roke. woo!

More Get Sconed! Thanksgiving-ness (since holidays are all about memories, and pie).

Thanksgiving for 2.

More Damn Vegan Pecan Pie.

Sweet Potato Pie Casserole.

Thanksgiving, Schmanksgiving.

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