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Friday, September 4, 2015

Pigging Out at DC Vegetarian

Picking up where Eating Vegan In Portland left off, Rick and I finally took a friend's suggestion and visited the DC Vegetarian food cart on SW 3rd Avenue in Portland, between Stark and Washington. We'd been told that their Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger was pretty incredible, so we stepped right up and ordered two. It was a good choice.


As the name implies, and the menu clearly states, DC Vegetarian does serve dairy cheese, but does not serve meat. That, of course, makes me (and piggies everywhere) very happy. Everything on the menu can be made vegan, and they give you the choice when you order. Plus, the burger patties and tempeh bacon are cart-made, which means they're distinctive and something the cart owners are proud of.

Get the full singing piggy video here.
We took our weighty bag of burgers over to Pioneer Courthouse Square for the big unwrapping, and found a little table overlooking the lunchtime crowds. I have to say, I was pretty excited to sink my teeth into this beauty.


And was it good? Well, here... what do you think?


Our lunch conversation consisted of chomping yum-yum noises, punctuated by exclamations like This is so good! and The patty is perfect! and It's just sloppy enough but still holds together! and The bacon is cooked just right! Not dried out! and This is even better than (several favorite places)! and finally... Did you get extra napkins?

Yeah, it was that good.

We'll be going back soon to try other things like the grilled cheese with all kinds of awesome additions, and the breakfast sandwiches. Yes, breakfast. Oh my my! But I have a hunch DC Vegetarian's Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger will be the thing I dream about and hike across town for whenever I need something that's just good old fashioned decadently delicious.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Portland Fashion Week, Vegan Style

I just found out I've been welcomed into the Portland Fashion Week "family" of bloggers, to report back on the food and drinks that will be available at the 4 day event, from a vegan perspective. I'm so excited I can hardly stand to be around myself! How did this happen? I think it's a pretty weird story, so I'll tell it. This is how my life works.

I had just spent the morning pouring over the Portland Fashion Week website, wondering when tickets would be available, wondering if I was missing a link because it said September first, and it was September first, and I couldn't figure out how to buy the darn tickets. I was also trying to decide just what to attend, purely from a thrill seeking fashion admiring perspective. It's expensive to go all 4 days, and of course I want at least some semi-VIP status. Sigh... the older I get, the less the cheap seats thrill me...

I gave up for a while, and moved on to something else, planning to go back later and sort out my ticket dilemma. I was listening to OmHarmonics, through my headphones as recommended, but not exactly meditating, which is what the music is designed for - deep meditation... I was actually cruising Facebook. Yeah. I know... I came across the picture below, which I had seen and ignored the day before. I had thought it was some kind of contest, and the very stylish pumps I own happen to be four floors into the earth, in storage, so they don't get banged up in my miniature closet.

This time, however, maybe because of the brain-altering music that was being piped into my head, I took a closer look, and saw it as an opportunity. I immediately fired off a short email pitch to PFW. I mean, who would be better than me to check out the vegan side of a huge fashion event in Portland? A few minute later I got a phone call, asking if I'd like to do some food blogging for them. I about fell out of my chair. Seriously, it was like magic.

I'm awaiting the details of my assignment, and hoping it includes a press pass and access to all the shows. My Big Idea, aside from covering the food and tasty beverages, which are all Portland-centric, and at least some of them plant-based, is to dig deeper into the fashion and the designers' visions of sustainable fashion. I figure there must be at least a few who are specifically, intentionally animal-friendly, as well as eco-friendly. That's the kind of fashion show this is. Hey, it's Portland!

I guess I'll go back to my "meditation" and see what pops up next. Meanwhile, check things out here from October 1-4. I'll be your vegan on the food (and fashion, I hope!) beat. You can also follow me on Facebook, as well as Instagram and Twitter (kimmilespdx). See you at Portland Fashion Week! My biggest question for now... What will I wear???

Saturday, August 29, 2015

My Favorite Cheese Sauce

I've been saving my favorite cheese sauce recipe for so long, I've had time to update and fine tune it, and now it's time to share it! I like the version using garbanzo beans the best, but try it both ways and see what you think. Cheers to (vegan) cheese!

My Favorite Cheese Sauce 

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes or more, then drained and rinsed
OR
1/2 cup soaked cashews plus 1/2 cup cooked, rinsed garbanzo beans

1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 - 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
3 T raw or toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp miso paste
1 T tamari
2 T white or apple cider vinegar
2 T olive oil (optional)
1 cup water

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend at highest speed until smooth. Pour the sauce into a pan and heat it over low heat on the stove. (If you have a Vitamix, use boiling water and blend for a good long minute or two. It will be hot enough to use straight from the blender with no need to heat it on the stove. Do not try this with a NutriBullet! I love my Vitamix!)

This creamy, wonderful sauce makes a killer mac n' cheese, and tastes great on any veggie dish. You can also make it into a thick spread by reducing the water and salt. A Vitamix or food processor can handle the extra thickness. Enjoy!



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Vegan Cinco de Mayo Queso

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I just discovered a new startup company called Aloha. They really strive for health and happiness in all aspects of life! If you like the following recipe, you are going to love some of the other healthy recipes they're posting! Bueno!

I'm not clear on the significance of the holiday, or if it means anything to folks in Mexico, but I do know that it's a great excuse for a party here. If you're like me, and tend to be more of an impromptu planner than plan-ahead planner, this recipe is a good one to keep around. I've posted it before, but it will be especially good this evening, served to some of your favorite friends alongside your good homemade guacamole (how easy is mashed avocado with a little store bought salsa stirred in?), organic tortilla chips, bean dip (warm a can of refried beans and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast). and, of course, margaritas and cervesas. Almost instant party!



Queso
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup raw cashews, soaked 1 hour or more
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo
2 T arrowroot (or tapioca flour)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tsp miso paste
1 T Dijon mustard
1 cup water
1 small can diced green chiles - optional

Place all ingredients except green chiles in a blender or food processor, and blend about one minute or until smooth. Pour the queso into a saucepan, stir in the green chiles, and warm over low heat, stirring often. Add a little more water if it gets too thick. Serve in a small bowl. This is best warm, so it's better to refill a small bowl than to let a large bowlful get cold.

Never heard of chipotle peppers in adobo? Look for something like this in the Mexican food aisle. A quarter cup is roughly 2 peppers and a bit of the surrounding sauce. So tasty!



Monday, April 27, 2015

Crossing the Bridge to Harlow

Rick and I were looking for a new place to have breakfast, and stumbled across Harlow in the latest issue of Portland Monthly Magazine. Most of the time we stay in our own walkable neighborhood, but the trek to Harlow would require us to cross the bridge to the east side of town. Oh dear... We rarely cross the bridge because it means taking the car out, but we were hungry for something new, so away we went, and it was so worth it.

Photo borrowed from Harlow's Facebook page.
Harlow is a pretty, open, airy, slightly funky spot on the very hip Hawthorne Blvd. To give you an idea (since I had a cold and spaced out taking interior photos), it would actually look very nice with some of my crocheted garden jars here and there, to go with the rustic furnishings and sparkling chandeliers. Maybe I'll bring them a little gift next time I go.

Garden Jars available on kimmiles.com
Also borrowed from Facebook...
There are many things to love about Harlow, including the relaxed and friendly feel of the place, the very helpful staff, and of course the food, once you decide what you want to eat. But one thing that made me positively giddy was the fact that while Harlow does offer eggs, honey, and some dairy, the only way to get something non-vegan is to specifically order it that way. What a nice change of pace for those of us who are used to deconstructing menus everywhere we go. Sigh... so happy.

We started with a couple of Wellness Shots, made with fresh ginger juice, lemon, cayenne, and echinacea, and served up with a slice of apple. That was some powerful stuff! My cold-fogged head cleared considerably, which was just what I was hoping for.

A few minutes later our meals arrived, beautifully prepared and served, and every bit as delicious as they looked. Rick had the Huevos Rancheros, made with smoky tempeh. It was the best I've tried anywhere, even in New Mexico, because it had such a nice blending and layering of flavors and textures. I kept stealing bites from Rick's plate.

Vegan Huevos Rancheros
I went with the special, who's name I've forgotten, but the dish itself was quite delightfully memorable. It was a hash, but not all hashed together, with potatoes, tempeh, asparagus, kale, and a creamy, wonderful sauce. Rick stole bites of mine too, although I was stingy with the potatoes. I'd ordered it specifically for the potatoes, and only really wanted to share the other parts. Next time I might ask them to sort of combine these two dishes. Something along the lines of the Huevos Rancheros with potatoes too. My Irish ancestry often shows up at breakfast.

Special Hash - Heavenly

Harlow is the sister restaurant to Prasad, which I've written about over at Eating Vegan in Portland. While the food is fresh and creative and lively and excellent at both places, and while Prasad is in walking distance from our apartment, I'm more smitten with Harlow's vibe. In fact, not only is it worth crossing the bridge for - often, I hope - we found ourselves toying with the idea of not just driving, but moving across the river, to the Hawthorne neighborhood, just to be closer to our new favorite restaurant.

Find Harlow at:
harlowpdx.com
3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
971-255-0138
info@harlowpdx.com