Monday, January 07, 2008

This weekend in Portland..

The point of this post is certainly not to get people to move to Portland, but I understand that it may be hard to resist, with the new vegan Mini Mall and all.
On Sunday, I went to the grand opening party for Sweetpea Bakery and Cafe, Food Fight! Grocery, Herbivore Store and Scapegoat Tattoo. I was too beat to stay around for the music at 6pm, but I spent 2-5pmish chatting with friends, spending time in the stores, and sampling greatness, which included dishes from my friend Joanna's Yellow Rose Recipes at Herbivore. I was honored to make her Spice Cake for the event (with help from Maeve and Caitlin).

Giganto oatmeal cream pie from Sweetpea. If only these came in mini sizes, I'd be in sweet heaven.

YRR Spice Cake, dusted with cinnamon

YRR Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

More YRR tasting. The book is gorgeous! (as is the mini mall).

My friends ordered these cuppers from Sweetpea.

The oatmeal cream pie and a cookies and cream cupcake.
And more greatness about Sweetpea - there are 5 or 6 different types of vegan cheeses - featuring bacon and scallion, roasted garlic and rosemary, chipotle and strawberry !!
I have yet to try them, but be certain I will.

And later than night, post-mini mall sampling (Taqueria Los Gorditos and Blossoming Lotus were two of the vendors giving out free samples, including soft serve, at Food Fight...) I made a half batch of Chickpea Noodle Soup from Veganomicon.

I only made this once during testing, but it's so easy that I should again. I ate most of the noodles from the bowls I've had in the past 2 days, and brought some more noodles to cook in the leftovers when I eat it for lunch today.
I also want to saute some tofu or seitan and throw it in during a future batch.

More make-shift minestrone leftovers from last week.

Taco night. I made breakfast chorizo from tvp and soy curls from VWAV since I had some leftover taco shells hanging around, and half an avocado to smush. No salsa, but we had hot sauce and field greens. Nothing great, but good enough for a quick meal.
Breakfast chorizo is very versatile, easy to spice to liking, also easy to cut fat in, and keeps well.

And low and behold, look what I came across at Trader Joe's this weekend - Organic Blue Agave! This 11.75 oz bottle was 2.99. I keep meaning to restock, since I've been out for months, but keep forgetting. I usually buy the cheapest in bulk from People's Coop - but that's light, and I prefer darker, so this was a nice chance to try something new.
I used it to make Veganomicon Backyard BBQ sauce last night instead of sugar - yum.


Vegan_Noodle said...

Yes, that does make me want to up and move to Portland! Every city should have a vegan mini-mall :-)

VeggieGirl said...

sorry Jess, but your post DOES make me want to move to Portland!! Or at least stay for a VERY long visit :0) You're quite lucky to have all that, right where you live!!

Taylor said...

Portland is definitely on my list of place to check out.

fossa said...

Darn you Portland! Now there's drool all over my keyboard.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Damn, damn, damn; I want to come to the mini mall! Looks like it was fun!

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

the giganto oatmeal cream pie and that spice cake looks AAAMAZING!

VeganFabulous said...

I just tried my very own cream filled cookie from sweat pea last night and it was terrific. I ate half of it with the intention of saving the rest until today but the voices in my head were too overwhelming.

ps. Thanks for sharing about the agave. I needed an inexpensive source!

julie hasson said...

Hey Jess! I'm with you, I LOVE the mini mall! Now I've got to go back and try Sweet Pea.

Ashasarala said...

I'm jealous. Need I say more? Okay, I will. The oatmeal cream pie has won me over. And I haven't even tasted it yet.

Jenny Wren said...

Looks like Portland is about to be overrun by vegan bloggers...the board of tourism should give you a plaque!

shaun.marie said...

i left portland a bit too soon, dammit! i'll have to come back and visit, and get fat.

i was excited to see the agave nectar at TJs too - I've never used it (I'm a maple syrup kinda gal) but very much want to try.

Jennifer said...

You are so lucky to have all those vegan resources! I think it makes many vegans want to move out there!

We in the Midwest are lucky if we have one vegetarian restaurant and if they sell tofu or seitan at the grocery store.

The treats you made look so good. It is making me hungry!

The soup looks wonderful too! Now that our weather is getting back to being more winterish, I am getting back in the soup mood. I may have to make up a batch soon.

funwithyourfood said...

well i've been seriously considering moving to Austin lately.. but now you're swaying me to go up north! stop being a portland promoter b/c you're going to change my whole life around haha jk :)


Carrie™ said...

You are truly blessed to be where you are. I want to live there!!