Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Life is a side dish

Hey there! So much going on lately. Bursts of sun in Portland, involvement in the kiddos school, the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, random dinners where I forget to take pictures of the finished product....but here is a fun assortment of things we've been eating, making, selling and doing.

If you're so damn smart, why ain't you rich? It's a weird plate. I know.
These little chocolate chippers are from Julie Hasson's new book, Vegan Diner. Julie is an amazing lady. She's got two fabulous vegan kids, a hilarious vegan husband, a fantastic vegan food cart in Portland called Native Bowl, and she just wrote a beautiful new cookbook! We sell it at Herbivore. The first thing I made were these awesome cookies. They were perfectly soft in the middle and just the right amount of sugar, and I used white whole wheat flour, as usual. Plus, GASP, they are actually low fat. 'Cause honestly, if it has a stick of Earth Balance in it, I'm never making it.

Jackfruit is the equivalent of shredded pork for vegans.
 A couple of years ago, there was a huge jackfruit craze amongst vegan bloggers. At most Asian Groceries you can get canned jackfruit in brine (NOT SYRUP!). Rinse it, shred it, marinate it, cook it up. You can have BBQ, or carnitas style tacos, or any shredded meat flavor. It is an amazing texture and is probably the "meatiest" vegan meat out there. We made both BBQ and tacos the in past few weeks!

Some of the makings of my yellow split pea soup.
A friend of mine who has been moving towards a vegan diet made the comment that there is a lot more prep work when you're vegan. I don't like to think that being vegan is harder to accommodate, or more expensive, or not convenient, etc. But it is undeniable that vegetables take a bit more elbow grease than a slab of meat. They must be washed, chopped or sliced, sometimes peeled, and there are herbs to mince and garlic to chop. So that means you spend more time prepping. Well, okay. To me, that's a small price to pay to eat real, fresh food. It's an investment of time but the payoff is worth it. I like knowing what I'm eating.

Here the sweet potatoes are hanging out with some russets.
At least 2 times a week we eat sweet potatoes. Always skins on, usually baked fries with paprika or chili powder or chopped garlic. Sometimes I use all three spices. I know, crazy!

Brussels sprouts and onions, ready to be roasted.
We like Brussel sprouts - or as my daughter Ruby used to call them, "sprussels brouts"  - an awful lot. Usually I roast 'em up and that's exactly what happened here. I believe this time around, I went with some lemon and garlic to flavor 'em up.

More sides and whole meals soon! Promise! xo


  1. I love this blog post that talks about diets. They can be some combination of healthy, cheap, tasty, and easy, but not all four.


  2. oh, that's a good one. thank you for sharing!

  3. I agree with the more prep work, but so very worth it to eat real, fresh food!

  4. Thanks for making comments avail to all! I recognize a description of said-friend in above blog post...Hmmm. So we had sweet potato "fries" last night and they always end up w/ the texture of regular ol' baked sweets...delish - but not the crisp/crunch of a fry. And I have the heat up! What am I doing wrong? My 4-yr old wants something she can DIP!

  5. hmmm...okay. we usually just dip the floppy sweet potatos - BUT - you can toss the fries with cornmeal or potato starch & they will get crispier. i've done that but have gotten lazy of late....potato starch will make 'em crunchiest! you can get it at new seasons. woo!

  6. Love your blog!

  7. For crispy oven fries, preheat your oven the the empty pan in the oven. Then, add your taters (already tossed in olive oil and seasoned up) to the hot pan and they sort of sear before they bake. It really helps.