The Get Sconed! Food Porn Report for July ’13

Vegan Pizza on Get Sconed!

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

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

The Long Haul: 100 Days Homemade, Part VIII…Days 80-91

Day Eighty-Nine: Pasta E Fagioli & more Vietnamese summer rolls, from my lunch date with Panda

Ah, 100 Days. I miss you already, on this little Chicago VeganMania suspension & adventure. I miss my kitchen so much when I travel – especially when my luck seems to fail with menu ordering more often than not in the Windy … Continue reading

Keep It Going: 100 Days Homemade Part VII, Days 66-79

Day Seventy-Nine: chocolate chip cookie pretzel bars

Today’s update into the 100 Days Homemade project includes plunging into the Vegan Sandwiches cookbook, a presentation at a senior center on incorporating vegan proteins with NW-style and flavor, cooking with my BFF in Victoria, stepping into the Artisan Vegan … Continue reading

And the 100 Days Goes On…

Day Twenty-two: Chocolate crinkle cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Now we return to the continuing saga of 100 days of homemade. Spoiler alert! Day 26 was a doozy that included an ER visit, so, there’s that. Soft foods ahead. And there’s that little thing where my digital camera went ker-plunk and these are a mixture of android shots and borrowed photos from J. Legume. I’ve started my new-camera-woes research and received great advice from some VVC folks, but I’ve yet to have the time to really contemplate the matter and visit a camera store. Suggestions welcome.

Day 13: Baked Tofu Eggs with Vegg-yolk, sautéed chard, hollandaise and seven grain bread.

Let me note that I’m enjoying the novelty of a Vegg yolk in the above dish more so than functionality in anything I’ve tried so far. With that, I would love to hear if it’s scientifically working culinary wonders for anyone.

Day Thirteen: Gluten-free coconut cupcakes with coconut raspberry buttercream for Louvella’s birthday. Photo by J. Legume

Why is it so hard to find really fine brown rice flour in a city like Portland, OR? How is there not a gluten-free cooperative grocery store yet?

Day Fourteen: Khao San Whiskey Sour with a galangal-soaked cherry. From our Heartichoke series.

Chloe & Louvella are developing a line of Heartichoke cocktails. You’ve been warned.

Day Fourteen: Island Black Bean Burgers with nectarine salsa. A test recipe for the upcoming Isa Does It.

More photos from my Isa Does It testing experiences are over here.

Day Fifteen: Fried tofu, baby bok choi, carrot and snow pea stir fry over brown rice with another Isa Does It tester, peanut curry sauce.

Day Sixteen: May Kaidee’s Pad Thai with fried tofu and vegetables, garnished with roasted chili oil & brown sugar peanuts.

One of these days, I’ll finish my post about the fabulous May Kaidee cooking class in Bangkok. It was a blast!

Day Seventeen: Red Hot BLTs from Isa Does It. Oh, yeah.

Day Eighteen: quite a farmers market tofu scramble, more red hot tempeh bacon and roasted peanuts with smoked salt. Photo by J. Legume

We were utterly devastated to run out of this tempeh. Tears and all.

Day Nineteen: Buckwheat chocolate chip pancakes and a side of french pressed Spielman coffee.

Those pancakes were so great to flip, I’ve made them three times now. Note: I subbed coconut oil for melted Earth Balance, because I can’t seem to restock on it in a timely fashion.

Day Nineteen: Korean-style quick pickles, inspired by an afternoon lunch at Boke Bowl

I want their tasty caramelized fennel ramen with Japanese eggplant and smoked tofu all of the time.

Day Twenty: Chocolate chip cookies from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores. Decent, but not making into the regular rotation.

Day Twenty: Chicky Tuna Salad, another Isa Does It tester. I felt so vegan.

Day Twenty, PM: Cheezy grits, simmered favas with fresh parsley, sauteed greens and baked mashed potato croquettes. Home cookin’

Day Twenty-One: 24 hour cold-brewed Spielman Coffee

Day Twenty-One, PM: Hottie black-eyed peas and collards, baked grit cakes and Cajun tots.

Day Twenty-Two: Field trip, Native Bowl, Couch Bowl.

Day Twenty-Two: More leftover utilization! Pan-fried cheezy grit cakes with hot sauce

It’s been too long since you’ve seen cookies, right?

Day Twenty-Two: those chocolate crinkle cookies, pre-baked and all rolled up

Day Twenty-three: Dude, I think you can guess what’s in this pot pie.

Day Twenty-Three: Pot pie, pre-crust. The fillings include carrots, fava beans, baked tofu, garlic, Yukon gold potatoes and herbs simmered in a pale ale roux, adapted from the recipe in Veganomicon.

Day Twenty-Four: Cubed tofu scramble with collard greens, diced zucchini, carrots and greens olives with Dave’s Killer Bread, toasted.

This was breakfast before Michele, Janessa and I spent most of the day obsessing over the first draft of the 2013 Vida Vegan Con schedule. Stoked.

Day Twenty-Five: Roasted cherry tomato sauce from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores, served over spaghetti with fresh basil, garlic bread, lemony kale and sparkling blood orange soda. This was so my type of meal.

Bonus #1: Southern BBQ bowl from Sip’s new spot, Canteen.

Go, go, go! They had cherry cider and kombucha on tap. Exactly.

Bonus #2: The yet-to-be-named mysterious maple, chocolate and lime whiskey cocktail from our Heartichoke series.

Day Twenty-Seven: Cinnamon-espresso chocolate chip cookies from Chloe’s Kitchen. Yeah, I like this book.

Day Twenty-Seven: Farmers market bounty! From the Eastbank Market.

Day Twenty-Seven, PM: Olive oil & roasted garlic mashed red potatoes, diced Earl tomatoes with fresh basil, white rice and jalapeño-simmered black-eyed peas

Noted: the practice of utilizing leftover ingredients, fresh produce, versatile sauces, random bags of grains you find in the freezer, and the stand-by of clean-out-the-fridge meals.

So much more ahead, including the results of berry picking on Sauvie Island and 4 varieties of homemade liquor I’ve started. Follow along on Instagram with @jdfunks

Read the 100 Days Guidelines here. The second round up is here.

Baja Tempeh Tacos WITHOUT CILANTRO

Baja Tempeh from Veganomicon, romaine, mango & avocado tossed with fresh lime juice, refried black beans with jalapeño, vegan queso & handmade flour tortillas from La Palapa. Propped up by mini avocados and paired with a guava & fresh mango mimosa.

This requires a deep breath to mutter, but sometimes I wish I was a fan of cilantro. I wish I didn’t have to dramatically avoid it. Why wouldn’t I want to a) stop the name-calling and pitying eye rolling from its devotees and b) live as a fan of this vibrant green herb that’s essential to Mexican, Indian, Korean, Thai cuisine and more? Alas, I’m a hater. Yeah, yeah, I can handle it meddled into jarred salsas and curries, I guess, but sprinkle on the fresh stuff and I can’t eat my food. My mouth will not open and I will start gagging if it unknowingly comes remotely close to my nose or mouth.

To clarify: it doesn’t taste like soap, it tastes like shit. I’ll pick it off my food if I must, but I would prefer to pass, or run, in the opposite direction. I can quickly think of two recent  “no cilantro, please” examples where, sure enough, my order came with cilantro and I was physically unable to continue with my meal. There’s a certain food cart I’ve taken a leave of absence from. Very recently, I picked sporadic crisps of cilantro off a slice of pizza and it was a tough go.  Generous doses of sriracha and hunger helped.  My cilantro-loving dinner companions luck out. I clearly didn’t eat much Mexican food (with the non-exception of boring bean, cheese and lettuce tacos from the bell) growing up, because I wasn’t fully aware of this hatred until my move to Portland in 2004 and introduction to West Coast burritos. What’s this new herb I’m trying? – Oh wait, I DESPISE IT.

In my own cooking, I substitute a whole lot of fresh basil – especially Thai basil in Southeast Asian dishes, shiso, mint and oregano leaves. And if I must (more freely in recent years of culinary sanity), dried coriander. I’m not going to put some crazy hope into the growth of my taste buds or building up a tolerance when I’m Thailand later this year or going to make up stories about my evolution as a so-called super-taster – who knows! What I do know is that it is possible to enjoy fresh tacos without the dreaded c herb – you simply need fresh ingredients and a little something special, like mango. Which yeah, would probably be even ‘better’ with cilantro, but that’s (perhaps) you, and not me. Even when, ironically, there is a leftover bundle of said herb in my fridge, courtesy of my dear house guests. Little did my friend know that this plant was my enemy and by bringing it forth into my house, a look of fear would take over my normally smiling face. The things we learned at our reunion!

What I’m saying is, it’s such an ON/OFF switch ingredient, and I wish it was labelled more often. I’m looking at you, cilantro pesto.

Just sayin’

Pesto-stuffed Chickpea Cutlet Balls & Television

So, I’m a television fanatic. It hails back to my days of sharing a bedroom with my younger siblings and quietly watching The X-Files while sitting a foot away from the  television screen (seeing both films on opening day), and evolved into obsession via the same small television set with the first episode of Buffy during my freshman year of high school. I may have just as many memories of Xander and Willow as I do my real life friends, woops. There aren’t many shows I watch on a dedicated, weekly basis now (or that I’d admit so quickly). I still resist Hulu for the most part and can instantaneously open my out-dated rant about how the real LOST fans are those who were watching during Season 1 and went insane the rest of the week for six onwards years – and even worse, during summer hiatus – and then, the writer’s block. The suspense! The attempt at patience! The gift of a new episode!

This is pretty normal Jess-in-person ranting and it would be out-of-place on this here post if it wasn’t for the following connection – my new found-love for Bob’s Burgers. I adore Home Movies – it’s one of the few dvd sets I actually own, so I gave it this new series a chance, and I’ve been hooked since week one. It’s pretty damn nostalgic to find myself looking forward to Sunday evenings again! I’m a sucker for the parents’ sweet antics and accents, and these may be the most entertaining kids I’ve seen on television since Brendon, Melissa and Jason, of course. Back to the point – on the latest episode, a spaghetti and meatball dinner was featured, and 24 hours later, I was sitting down to this vegan version.

Bob's Burgers inspired dinner: baked pesto-stuffed chickpea cutlet balls, homemade marinara, multi-grain spaghetti, steamed kale

The chickpea cutlet recipe is from Veganomicon, no surprise. I’ve baked the dough as balls many times in the past, and I usually add marjoram and basil into the mix. This time, I flattened circles of the dough and added a small dollop of homemade raab pesto, carefully formed it back into a ball, and baked them at 400F for 20 minutes, flipped the balls, and baked an additional 15 minutes at 425F. I would declare “Bon Appetit!”, but Gene’s not here to usher us out with a dramatic keyboard solo.

P.S. Admittedly, I have gone and blogged many LOST-obsessed meals. Speaking of, Jorge Garcia making almond milk = be still, my freaking heart.

I’ll likely find myself making some Bob’s inspired veggie burgers soon!

Uwaijimaya, Veggie Buns & PPK Udon

Boring story short, I was out on the suburban west side yesterday for an appointment, and the redeeming factor follows:

Northwest baked Veggie Buns!

The brand is based in Seattle, WA and these buns are refrigerated, alleviating the mysterious and often gross frozen food factor.

I have been on the search for more-than-decent (and non-frozen) steamed buns for years in this city! Thank you, Uwajimaya – please come downtown, soon.

These seem near identical, if not a little smaller, than the faux pork buns served at Van Hanh, and formerly, Nhut Quang, RIP. Annual visits to Vegetarian Dim Sum in New York are always wonderful, but it’s nice to know I can have a little store-bought steamed bun action at home, too.  The filling is nothing remarkable, or very discernible, but they’re indeed, more-than-decent (and convenient!) with an accompaniment.

Paired with the super quick & flavorful PPK Broccoli Curry Udon, and served with a soy/chili garlic dipping sauce. This curry includes broccolini, kale, spinach, jalapeño and sliced, baked tofu.


The mini haul: Coconut Nectar juice (which I  picked up because it didn’t have added sugar – sadly, it’s still gross), udon noodles, Sencha green tea – which I’m on my 4th or 5th cup of the day of, the Veggie Buns, non-GMO Mellow White Miso, and the indulgent purchase of Taiwanese Peanut Mochi.

Please don’t suck.

Needless to say, I have acquired a new camera, and I am fairly content so far (despite these photos being taken in a half dark kitchen).