Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Broccoli Corn Chowder

This is an altered recipe I came up with from a cookbook on a vegan corn stew. The texture of the chowder does taste like a non-vegan traditional corn chowder but without the milk and butter. Instead of using milk I replaced it with coconut oil and milk. I also replaced the butter with vegan Earth Balance butter substitute (solid sun flower seed). This soup is best served warm or hot on a cold raining night.

(serves four)

  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tbsp of vegan Earth Balance butter
  • 1/4 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp of minced ginger
  • 1 clove of minced shallot
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 2 cup of broccoli (without the stem)
  • 3 cup of frozen corn
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 stem of lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp of corn starch
  • a few cilantro for seasoning

    In a medium heated soup pot melt the Earth Balanced vegan butter, then add the garlic, shallot and ginger. Meanwhile clean the lemongrass by getting rid of the exterior skin and sliced the middle stem with a sharp small knife. When everything starts to sizzle you add the sliced onion and red pepper and lemongrass. At this point the butter should be drying out, add the coconut oil to melt. Turn the heat to medium-high, add the coconut milk, frozen corn, and broccoli. Once the soup starts to boil, add the salt and pepper, then turn the heat down to low. Add the corn starch and stir to turn the soup into a gooey texture like a thick chowder or stew. Now you are ready to eat! Add some cilantro or basil for seasoning.
  • ?Por Que No? (Mexican)

    What can I say? This is probably the best mexican restaurant in all Portland. You know why? They don't serve cheese on tacos or enchilada or the tamale. You know why? Because that's the true Mexican cooking. If you've ever been to Mexico, they don't eat cheese... hardly. The only few things that have cheese in them is the Quesadilla... and I'm not even sure if that's Mexican. Anyways, there are so many great vegan options in this place. Definitely get the Taco Verduras, delicious roasted vegetables with beans, rice, salsa, and cilantro with a hint of lemon juice. I love their Bryan's Bowl, a vegan bowl consist of beans, rice, goat cheese, scoop of guacamole, plenty of vegetables and cilantro with spicy salsa sauce. All served with a side of chips or tortilla bread. My boyfriend got the Two Vegetarian Tamale, which is roasted with banana leaves. It also comes with a side of bean and salsa. I don't know why I love their Quesadilla with Jack cheese but I just do, but no vegan option for this dish. They also have a pretty wide selections of house sauce and salsa in the back for self serve.

    House Pickled Carrot

    Two Tamales

    Cheese Quesdilla

    Bryan's Bowl

    vegan friendly, Mexican, daily 11am - 9:30pm, weekend brunch starts 9am.
    3524 N. Mississippi Avenue, Portland, OR.

    Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Spelt Blueberry Pancake (recipe)

    I do this Saturday morning brunch about twice a month at my studio apartment. Everything is vegan! One of my signature recipe is spelt blueberry pancake.

    (serves four)
  • 1 tbsp of canola oil
  • 2 cups of spelt flour
  • 1 cup of wheat flour (or brown rice flour)
  • 1 tbsp of flax seed meal
  • 1/2 cup of frozen blueberry
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 ripe banana (or 1/2 cup of apple sauce)
  • 1&1/4 cup of rice or almond milk
  • 1 tsp of salt

    Blend the spelt flour, wheat flour, salt, baking soda and flax seed meal in the food processor. Then pour in the rice milk, blend in the food processor until its gooey but still very water down. Slice the bananas and add them into the mix and then blend again until the bananas are all melted (or small chunks). Then add the frozen blueberry and mix it with a spoon without breaking the blueberry. Heat up the frying pan with the olive oil on MEDIUM. Drop the pancake mix on the pan and let it simmer for about 5 minute. The pancake will form into a golden brown color, flip again to cook the other side for another 5 minute. You are done! Eat well with organic maple syrup.
  • Monday, April 28, 2008


    Just another brunch place to chat about! Genies. Its right on the corner of Division and SE 11st. Its sort of the beginning of the Division St. neighborhood, where plenty of vegan joints are located like PAPA G's and Dots Cafe that's on Clinton St., just two blocks south. I wouldn't say Genies is a great place for vegans, but the owner was super cool. He asked my vegan friend suggestions on how to make vegan pancakes and vegan scramble, better. One really great thing about Genies is that they have a juicer. So all the juice they serve up are fresh and EXPENSIVE. It must have taken 7 oranges to make one pint of orange juice. EEK! I love their weekend specials like the Huckleberry pancakes. Its really fluffy with delicious huckelberries hidden inside. YUM! I also recommend the veggie gravy with biscuit. My boyfriend got that and he ate like a king. He was really happy to get it. Not to mention it also came with a side of country fried potato. $8 for that? Pretty sweet!

    Huckelberry Pancake

    Veggie Gravy & Biscuit

    cafe, brunch, daily 8am - 3pm
    1109 SE Division St. Portland, OR.

    Dove Vivi (cormeal pizza)

    This is probably why I love Portland. Cornmeal Pizza! WHAT THE FUCK!? How awesome is that???? Dove Vivi serves up pizza pies and all their crusts are made with homemade cornmeal dough. The slice is thick and smaller than usual pizza. The cornmeal crust is really filling and taste a lot more like cake dough. I love it. Its a fast growing popular place. When we got there at 8pm on a Friday night the wait was about 40 minute. Kinda sucks but hey, I thought it was worth it. I would definitely get there a bit earlier so you won't have to wait. They have two vegan pizza choices. The Della Salute is basically a vegan pizza without cheese, filled with eggplants, tomato sauce, mushroom, green peppers, and caramelized onion. Sounds good huh? I got the Corn Cashew cheese with red pepper and caramelized onion. I spread some nutritious yeast and chili powder on top to give it a spice. It is a bit blend without the spice. Though still awesome. I wish I know how to make a cornmeal pizza crust. It can't be hard! Right? Each slice is $3.75, but you can get a half pie for $10, which is enough for two.
    Eggplant Blue Cheese Pizza & Corn Cashew Vegan Pizza

    vegan friendly, pizza, Tue-Thur 4-10pm, Fri-Sun 11-10pm, close monday
    2727 NE Glisan St. Portland, OR.

    Bewon (Korean)

    Portland is not exactly the ethnic diverse city like New York City or LA, but surprisingly an awesome korean restaurant exist. Bewon is not just awesome it is also vegan friendly. That's not rare for Korean cuisine, there's a famous vegan Korean restaurant in Manhattan (Haigaw). The great thing about Korean restaurants is the free appetizers. They are sort of like little tapa dishes that comes before your meal. Its a great way to keep the socialization going in between meals. I would ask the waiter if the kimchi is vegan, sometimes it is but sometimes it might have soaked in shrimp sauce. But the pickled relish, sweet potato, boiled spinach and bean sprout are all vegan. I know that during dinner hour the dishes are a bit more different. Also, get their hot tea for the cold weather. There are only few vegan dishes in the menu. Definitely get the Bibimbap, which is a vegetarian rice bowl with mushroom, boiled and pickled greens, relish, bean sprout, soysauce, and chili spices. The waiter will ask you if you want to add an egg, if you aren't vegan, GET THE EGG! It won't cost you extra $. I love and adore their Chigei, which also means stew or hot pot. The tofu bean paste chigei is to die for. It is filled with mushroom, vegetables, tofu, and that great simmer smell of bean paste and korean chili spices.
    Also, did I mention Bewon is a nice restaurant, a great place to take your parents or a romantic date.

    House Appetizers

    Tofu Chigei (Soybean Tofu Stew)

    vegan friendly, korean, daily 5pm - 9pm (no lunch during summer)
    1203 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR.

    Thai Herbs

    Thai Herbs is cheap and good. There are so many thai food stands in Portland that this one hardly stands out. I discovered it by accident since I wanted Thai curry and this was the only cart that didn't have a line. I got the daily special, Mango Red Curry with tofu and vegetables on rice. $5, and you get a drink for free! What a deal! The curry is pretty good too. The mango chunks gives a sweet flavor to the curry. Something I've never had before.
    The surprising part about Thai Herbs is that the chef in the back cooks the curry on order. I literally watched him cook my curry, though it did take a bit longer. Thank goodness there is no line! They also have a limited selection of thai dishes, since they do cook on order.
    Mango Red Curry with Tofu

    vegan friendly, food stand, weekly 11am - 2pm
    SW 9th and Alder Parking Lot, Portland, OR.

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    Crush Bar (Weekend Brunch, gay bar)

    I love Crush Bar not because there are cute guys there, but the awesome vegan option food! And of course, the fuck'n cute DJ boys. Every weekend the Crush Bar does morning brunch. They have plenty of vegan fare and options. Everything from tofu scramble to vegan gravy with biscuit. Yum yum! Portland is probably the brunch central of America. I've never lived or been to a city that is filled with awesome brunch places. And the best part is ... most of them are vegan friendly or vegan 100%! Another great thing about Crush bar is the unlimited corn bread and toast, with jam and butter of course. Though, everything else is a bit more expensive than most brunch places. My boyfriend and I got the Enchilada Scramble, which is a fairly large plate with country fried Potatoes and a small bowl of peppered ginger apple salad. Its too bad the coffee isn't free, its $2. I also recommend the mimosa. Don't worry if Crush is a gay bar, its a really straight friendly place. And during brunch the bar turns into a clean cut breakfast hang out. Usually it functions as a high end lounge at night. So bring your parents or family, children are welcomed!

    Enchilada Scramble with Country Fried Potatoes

    vegan friendly, gay bar, weekend brunch 9am - 3pm, daily 6pm - 2am
    1400 SE Morrison St. Portland, OR.

    Pho Green Papaya (Vietnamese)

    If you are looking for cheap eats in Portland, I highly recommend Pho Green Papaya. Their lunch special is a killer cheap eat out. $6 for a large vegan pho with tofu, string beans, tube mushrooms, and scallions. Its so big that I hardly could finish it. I love pho and I'm super lucky to live in Portland where vegan pho is not hard to find. Almost every pho place in Portland downtown region has a vegan option. Though I don't know how they make vegan pho broth, 'cause the broth is made from oxtail. They also have many other vegan plates. There is the vegetarian/vegan spring roll. Deep fried to perfection. Its got string sliced woodear mushroom, bamboo shoots, cabbage and tofu. Its $1 per spring roll. The restaurant environment is not much of a place for romantic dining. It feels a bit like a shack or hole in the wall with caged up windows. There are more outdoor seatings than indoor seatings. The place is usually packed during lunchtime filled with local office white collar workers.

    Vegan Pho Noodle Soup

    Vegetarian Springroll

    vegan friendly, Vietnamese, weekly 11am - 9pm.
    402 SE Martin Luther King Blvd. Portland, OR.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Tita's Pista (Filipino)

    When it comes down to good old fashion cooking I prefer authentic peasant food. I just never thought a Filipino food cart in the N. Mississippi area would be the place. Tita's Pista is ran by a hipster Filipino girl named Julia. She's really cool and good at cooking good old fashion Filipino food. And vegans, VEGANS!!! You won't have to worry about pork or chicken or any meat product. There are so many vegan options! Check out the vegan lumpia! Its a spring roll compacted with vegetables, soy meats, noodles, spices and deep fried. The Adobe Soy Chicken with rice is to die for! I just love it how it is savory with bay leaf and vinegar. I also highly recommend the almond pudding with coconut shaves. That is a dessert to treat yourself on a nice hot day. If its your first time, I recommend the $9 lunch meal, two lumpia + pancit (noodle) + a drink and its large portion! Julia is such a cool girl she will compromise things for you if you want to try little bit of everything.

    Lumpia on Pancit and Adobo Chicken with rice

    vegan friendly, Filipino, food cart, Tues-Sat: 12-2pm (this is winter hour, summer is longer)
    4057 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR.

    Flying Apron Bakery (Seattle)

    When I started this blog I thought I will never give an A+ to any place, but Flying Apron Bakery beat me to it. This is probably one of the best vegan bakery I've ever been to in my life. Its too bad it is in Seattle and I live in Portland. But I make sure every time I travel by or to Seattle I will stop by Flying Apron and get a baked good. Its soooo good. Everything here is amazing! Let's not talk about how its just a cookie or cupcake place. They have everything from vegan vegetable pot pie to curried kale salad. Its in the Fremont district, so I love how its surrounded by cute vintage shops. The cafe is very nice and build with nice dark wood. The whole place just feel like a beautiful French bakery. I love it when they bring out the fresh baked goods in the morning. You can see the steam covering up the glass wall. Oh man... so the cinnamon roll, really delicious! The chai cupcakes? WOW! WOWWWWW!!! VEGAN!?!?!? WHEAT FREE??? WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you ever visit Seattle, I'm telling you, whether you are a vegan or not, just go and try it. Its amazing!
    Chai Cupcake

    Cinnamon Roll

    vegan, wheat/gluten-free, bakery, M-Th: 7am-7pm Fri & Sat: 7am – 9pm Sun: 8am-6pm.
    4761 Brooklyn Ave NE. Seattle, WA

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Daily Cafe

    To the right of the PNCA and left to the new extension of the Pearl there you will find the very popular Daily Cafe. The cafe has high ceiling, wide space, plenty of tables but always full. I hate to complain about people who lives in the Pearl or loves the Pearl, but everytime I go there the people aren't very nice. The service and the waitresses are superb! But the people who eats there are really pretentious. Twice, my friend and I got there during the lunch rush hour. We couldn't find a table for ourselves so we asked another couple if we can share a four people table, they act very reluctant and upset. As if we put them on the spot and they have no choice but to share a table with us. My friends and I dress very cute and nice, it's not like we dress like hobos. Pisses me off. Back to food... the Daily Cafe offers few vegan and vegetarian options. Usually the soup has a vegan or vegetarian option. This time I got the vegan curry lentil soup, which is alright, nothing special. Just green lentil curry with some chickpeas. The half sandwich with roasted vegetable has cheese, so its not vegan. But they are very friendly in accommodating for the vegans (an art school is next door, plenty of vegan art students). The sandwich is alright, I wouldn't say fantastically delicious. So the half sandwich and soup is the toujour special, $6.95 Soup is usually $3.75 and the salad is usually $5 to $7. Parking can be an ass so taking the street car wouldn't hurt (which is... on the same corner block).
    Vegan Curry Lentil Soup

    Hummus Roasted Vegetable Cheese Sandwich

    American, bakery, restaurant. Weekly 7am-5pm, Weekend 9am-2pm
    902 NW 13th Ave and Kearney St

    India Chaat House (food cart)

    What can I say about an all vegan and vegetarian Indian food stand? I love it! India Chaat House is quite popular amongst the Portlanders. The portion is big and cheap. The lunch special is $5.50, it comes with two Naans, balsamti rice, lentil curry, and chickapea curry. Deliciously cheap and almost for two. They also have tons of curry to choose from. Though I haven't try them yet. All range from $5 to $7. The appetizer, Pakora, deep fried potato and onion balls. It tastes so good with the sweet sauce. I also love their vegan mango lassi, which is traditionally a yogurt drink. For a colder day you might want to get the hot sweet chai latte (soymilk for the vegans). The drinks range from $2.00 to $2.50 The food cart has a canopy for the raining day, along with two small picnic tables for the really hungry customers.

    Lunch Special

    food stand, weekly 11am-3pm
    Downtown at SW 12th and Morrison, Portland, OR.

    Flore, A hip vegan restaurant in Silverlake,CA

    3818 W. Sunset Blvd. - Los Angeles (Silver Lake) opens from 10am to 10 pm
    What a great place for breakfast or dinner! and in a really hip part of the city, if you happen to be here in LA, you got to make a stop at Flore. The food is great, a lot of variety in the menu, from raw dishes to gluten free to just vegan everything!
    The fresh juices are awesome, specially the green one! made of kale, apple and lemon. the salads are great too, and the appetizers very fullfilling, they even got a cheese plate! I give this cool hip place four golden stars!!

    This very delightful dish shown in the picture, bbq seitan quesdilla with cashew cheese is just delicious. very tasty with a garnish of spicy sprouts, and cilantro dressing on the side. The Marinated seitan with onions, and tomato is hot bbqued with melted warm cashew cheese, in a whole wheat tortilla, It's a must try for sure!
    BBQ Seitan Quesdilla

    vegan, daily 11am-10pm, except Monday.
    3818 Sunset Blvd, Silver Lake, CA.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    Tabor (food stand)

    If you want to eat cheap and enjoy some good Czech schnitzelwich this is the place to be. They don't have anything vegan, maybe the potato pancakes with spinach or the soup. Their soup is usually vegetarian and there is plenty of vegetarian sandwiches to choose from. I got the eggplant sandwich which is what they are famous for. The eggplant sandwich consist of lettuce, tomato sauce, a lot of parsley, horseradish mayonnaise, and beer battered Eggplant. It is rated top place on the Willamette Weekly Cheapeats 2007. I can see why, since the food is quite authentic and cheap. The Eggplant Sandwich is $5.50 and so are the other dishes. They are really vegetarian friendly so ask them what's vegan and what's vegetarian.

    Eggplant Sandwich(baklažán)

    food stand, Weekday 10am-3pm
    Downtown at SW 5th and Stark, Portland, OR.

    Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    Food Front CO-OP

    Food Front is tucked away on the edge of the NW 23rd St. area. Its very easy to miss since its more of a local organic grocery store. As a CO-OP grocery store they only carry local and organic produce. That means you have to miss the Chantrelle mushrooms during winter, and you get an abundance of local persimmon during the fall. What makes Food Front special is their awesome deli and ready made food section. They usually have two different soups (one vegetarian/vegan) everyday. There is plenty of vegan and wheat free ready made food. One of my favourite is the Mock Chicken Salad. Its wheat pasta noodle mixed in with satay tofu and few other ingredients like vegannaise and cumin. They change their food item all the time, and you can see them making them in the back. So the whole place smells like a cozy kitchen. One of my favourite is the Curried Kale with Almond. But this time they had Rapini (in season!), kinda of like a small version of Broccoli. Steamed Rapini marinated with ginger, sugar, salt, lemon, and all other sorts of good spices. Delicious and refreshing! I usually grab a bottle of Kombucha or coconut water to go with the food. If its your first visit to food front I would take time and look around and try different local goods from PAPA G's tofu to Love Potion herbal drinks. The only downside I have with the place is the high price. So be really careful when you do your grocery shopping here.

    Mock Chicken Salad

    Lemon Ginger Rapini

    grocery, Daily 8am-9pm
    2375 NW Thurman St. Portland, OR.