Recipes, both original and favorite ones from other authors. Vegetarian with vegan-friendly (most of the time!) options.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Restaurant Review

The famous and wonderful Jennifer passed through Portland today, along with her mom, and met Hibi and me for lunch at Veganopolis. I'm so glad Jennifer wanted to go there because I have never been there before, though I keep meaning to. I think that when I'm not fasting for Lent (which entails a vegan diet) I think, eh, vegan food...I want cheese. But I don't think it was just that I've been deprived of cheese for several weeks with no end in sight yet that I absolutely *loved* the food at Veganopolis! It was scrumptious. I had the Mediterranean Sandwich, which was a cashew ricotta blended with sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, basil pesto, artichoke hearts, all inside a ciabbata roll. The ciabatta seemed kind of like a cross between ciabatta and a croissant, as it was full of layers and was very crispy on the outside. I couldn't believe how good it was! Along with it (for a small extra fee) I had roasted potatoes with gravy in one side bowl and garlic ketchup in another. Yum! Now, hours later, I still have a wonderful taste in my mouth. I had a tasty lavender lemonade with it. Jennifer had the lasagna, which was a white lasagna. She said it had some kind of cream sauce, and lots of zucchini and spinach, and that it was very flavorful. Hibi had the Canadian sandwich which she also reported to be good.

A slice of oreo cake was shared by some at our table (I won't tell who!) but it looked awfully good. I had a couple of slurps of a chocolate milkshake that was also very good and chocolatey.

They have a buffet at Veganopolis, and they have a great idea for it. You can take whatever you want from the buffet, and then you pay by the pound. Isn't that a great idea? Then less food is going to be wasted, because if people know they are going to have to pay for it, they're less likely to take food they're not going to eat.

I will definitely be back, and next time I'm taking my whole family!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Late Winter Bruschetta

Tonight it was just the kids and me at dinner, as Paul was in Eugene with the university students from our parish, serving liturgy and having a catch-up time with them. So I chose something easy and tasty that we all like, Bruschetta. That entailed picking up a baguette from Di Prima Dolci, along with greens and jarred roasted red peppers and a can of Great Northern Beans from New Seasons. The little bit of shopping time was offset by the quickness of the recipe--I even had time to run to the library to get Hibi, who had forgotten that we had choir practice tonight and would have been there until 9 pm if I hadn't reminded her to come home.
Late Winter Bruschetta
Cut one baguette into slices or, make long pieces by cutting it in half horizontally and then into pieces with crust on the bottom of each. (Does that make sense?) Toast the pieces in the oven at 450 degrees, or use your broiler. When they are toasted, brush each with olive oil. I didn't rub them with garlic as I do most bruschetta, because there is garlic in the bean paste, which is plenty of garlic.
Meanwhile, process one or two cans (I used one for the three of us) of Great Northern beans or other white beans in a food processor, along with one clove of garlic. Drizzle the juice of one lemon in during processing. Scrape into a bowl.
Saute one bunch of the greens of your choice (I used rapini, also known as broccoli rabe) in a bit of oil.
To serve, make each piece of bruschetta with a smear of bean paste, some roasted red pepper, and greens on top. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 10, 2007


My friend Jennifer told me a long time ago that I should try making sushi. She sent me her recipe for it, and I had good intentions of doing so. Now, her cookbook is out and I still hadn't made sushi....along with that, someone on the Patrick's Point campout, a fellow vegetarian, made sushi while camping! And she said to me in astonishment, "you've never made sushi???" So, I knew I had to try it someday. Jennifer had told me it was easy, but I didn't really believe her. :-) Now I know it's easy, though just a tad the same way as it's time-consuming to cook dried beans, it just takes a while to cook. Well worth the effort, though!

Anyway, I'm not going to try to duplicate her recipe here. It's a process that needs some attention, and Jennifer explains it all in her book. Sadly, I'm not finding a recipe on her website for sushi, but if you like sushi it's well worth the price of the book just for this recipe. (Plus you get all the rest of the recipes included!)
So, in the picture above you see sushi, in the top middle. The fillings I used were avocado slices, grated carrot and fried tofu strips. Clockwise, there's pickled ginger which was recommended with the sushi and it has a very interesting flavor. Next is edamame which you can buy in frozen packages--it just needs a quick boil and then you can pop the beans out into your mouth. Then there is a tiny bit of wasabi, which is spicy enough that you don't need any more than that! I put a tiny dab on my plate and just barely touched the sushi to it before dipping it in soy sauce, which is what's in the bottle and what the empty ramekins are for. Paul liked the wasabi in great smears, though, and I had to mix up extra for him.
I bought the tools I'd need at Uwajimaya. If you live in the Northwest you can get everything you need there. The only thing I'd do differently is that I bought a kit that included the wooden tub for mixing and cooling the rice in, along with three wooden rice paddles and a bamboo mat. Though I already had a mat, the extra one did come in handy, as Hibi helped me roll sushi. The paddles, however, were too small and after much tossing and cooling of rice my hands were ready to call it quits. Before I make sushi again I will buy longer-handled paddles.