Tag Archives: Homegrown Smoker

A Tribute to Portland Food Trucks

It goes without saying that the food in Portland left an indelible mark on me. But there were two vegan food trucks in particular whose taste I constantly craved when we left – The Native Bowl and Homegrown Smoker.  Here is my tribute to these two kick-ass Portland food trucks who inspired a creamy mac and cheese barbecue bowl revolution in my kitchen.

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This bowl is a combination of The Native Bowl’s Mississippi Bowl and Homegrown Smoker’s Macnocheeto and is simple to put together. First, start off with your favorite vegan mac and cheese. I used Isa’s Chipotle mac and cheese recipe which is now my go-to mac and cheese recipe.

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Next, put a layer of barbecue soy shreds, curls or even tempeh on top.  I used these soy shreds which I pick up at my local Asian market. To prepare them, I soaked the dry soy shreds in water for about 20 minutes to soften, squeezed the water out and then pan-fried them up with a liberal dousing of barbecue sauce.

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On top of that goes a layer of your favorite cole slaw. I made a quick sweet and tangy coleslaw by combining a bag of pre-cut cole slaw mix with a mixture of apple cider vinegar, sugar, a little olive oil and salt and pepper.

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Next, add a generous handful of chopped green onions.

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Then drizzle on some ranch dressing. I used Isa’s Sanctuary Dip recipe, but store bought also works. Or leave out the ranch dressing altogether if it’s not your jam (this is what Neal did).

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And finally, dig in. You can stir it all up and make a beautiful mess or carefully dig through the layers like a geological surveyor. It tastes good either way!  I’ve made several variations of this bowl swapping the barbecue soy shreds for sweet baked beans and the mac and cheese for rice.

Portland Food Trucks

You know how when you visit food trucks ya feel lucky if you find a couple of vegan options.  If you find a whole truck dedicated to vegan food, then it feels like you’ve hit the vegan jackpot.  Ok, so now imagine finding TWO completely vegan trucks right by each other offering over 15 hearty vegan meals! That happened at the Mississippi Marketplace when we were in Portland.

The food trucks were Homegrown Smoker and Native Bowl. They turned two already indecisive vegans into two crazies standing in front of both trucks scrutinizing their menus, comparing the specs of each mouthwateringly described dish against one another and saying “Oh no, you go ahead…we’re still deciding” to every person that walked up.

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We finally did reach some important decisions without resorting to coin tosses or reciting “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” rhymes. We ended up just following our guts. That and we went back to the food trucks the following day.

On the first visit we both ate at Homegrown Smoker. Neal got the SloSmoMoFo- apple wood smoked soy curls on a bun with chipotle slaw and maple bourbon bbq sauce with a side of their Mac-nocheese.IMG_0586 _Snapseed

I got the Macnocheeto – a grilled flour tortilla filled with Mac-Nocheese, sweet baked beans, grilled peppers and onions and the maple bourbon bbq sauce.IMG_0588 _Snapseed

On the second visit, Neal ate at Homegrown again and got the Smoker Sammich- smoked soy curls on a bun with grilled peppers and onions and that sweet smoky maple bourbon bbq sauce with a side of STFU puppies-crispy fried corn fritters with remoulade sauce.IMG_0636 _Snapseed

I got the Mississippi Bowl from Native Bowl- jasmine rice, house-made ranch sauce, barbecue soy curls, two kinds of barbecue sauce, fresh crisp slaw, and scallions.  This is the Mississippi Bowl not stirred.IMG_0630 _Snapseed

And here it is all stirred up- this is how ya supposed to do it!  I’ve been craving the perfect blend of sweet, savory, cool and crisp captured in this bowl ever since we left.IMG_0634 _Snapseed

This fantastical corner of the food truck park was like hitting the vegan jackpot on steroids. Next time we go (and there will be a next time) I definitely want to get the Mississippi Bowl again. Or maybe I should try the Hollywood Bowl. Then again, the treuben sounds good too…as do the chili cheese fries..