Tag Archives: mac and cheese

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.

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Vegangrams

According to my phone in the past few months I made stuff, ate stuff, did stuff and shaved stuff.

I finished up this Gemini top. The yarn is a hemp, cotton and rayon blend. No wool for me!IMG_2149Some amazing-ness that I got at Dough Bakery. I think it’s their Sunday “Southern Benedict”- open faced biscuit with eggless patty and Gutenfleischer’s meat topped with sausage gravy. IMG_1939Doughnuts from Revolution Doughnuts. They are not a 100% vegan shop, but they clearly label all the vegan doughnuts and usually about half of their doughnuts are vegan! These look like (CW from left) chocolate glaze, apple fritter, coconut and king cake.
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Typical Game of Thrones meal: vegan drumsticks grilled in BBQ sauce, sautéed green beans and shrooms, and mashed taters.
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The behind-the-scenes of a wannabe food photographer. This was for the Sansa lemon cakes.

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Leftovers from Cafe Sunflower. Quiche on the left and soy chicken enchilada on the right (these were on the “specials” menu).IMG_2130

Vegan junk food from Food Fight Grocery when we went to PDX. Can you guess what the non-labeled item is?IMG_2185

The tropical greens smoothie from Canteen in PDX.
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Nachos with Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, kidney beans, nacho teese (from my VVC swagbag) and green onions.IMG_2246

My most favorite candy bar. They’ve changed their packaging a bit and the bar looks a little different but it still is hands-down my favorite chocolate bar.IMG_2431

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter (also from my VVC swag bag) with sliced strawberries snack time.
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Banana chia oatmeal from Oh She Glows.IMG_2350

Blueberry cobbler that Neal made. I think he just veganized this recipe from Rachael Ray.IMG_2368

Another goodie from my Vida Vegan Con bag. It’s a superfood disguised as a vegan starbust candy.IMG_2210

I made the Chipotle Mac and Cheese recipe almost as soon as Isa put it up. We ate most of it in one go and only had a little leftover. To make it another meal, I topped it with sweet baked beans and some cole slaw. I love this mac and cheese.
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This is the picture text I sent Neal after I posted the above pic on instagram. I realize I am an uber dork. I’m okay with that.IMG_2373

A morning of knitting wash cloths and drinkin’ a smoothie- almond milk, banana, chia seeds, Eat Pastry cookie dough and raw almonds.IMG_2441

Experimenting with a new phone app called “Over” that puts text over images. The cashew cheese spread is a recipe from an old VegNews magazine.IMG_2404

Hanging out with Neal at the art festival, Artlantis. He mostly does gig posters, but he has created an original illustration for the upcoming Atlanta Veg Fest.
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Miles- looking all goofy after Neal stuffed blankets around him.IMG_1898

An afternoon walk near the Chattahoochee river. A big storm knocked some trees in the path. Miles is already very afraid of sticks so he wasn’t going anywhere near this. Neal had to carry him over. Nikko (our other greyhound) jumped over it because she’s a bad*ss like that.IMG_2333

Oh yeah, and I shaved my head using Neal’s clippers with a #3 guard (I think).  It is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. It’s perfect for summer don’t cha think?photo

Vegangrams

Dude, what’s a blog? I’ve been working so hard to help “put food on my family” that I haven’t had time or energy to post. So of course I’m just going to inundate you with pics from my phone now…of course. So, in no particular order…

Eggplant parm sandwich with a side salad and spicy mango and avocado cucumber gazpacho from Dulce Vegan Bakery & Cafe.

The easiest, creamiest and tastiest nooch-based mac and cheese recipe evah!!! Seriously. It’s from Susan Voisin over at FatFree Vegan Kitchen.

I think I made this twice in one week. This here second time, I stirred in some peas and elegantly dotted it with some Sriracha sauce. Oh yeah.

Our local asian market sells these frozen vegan fish slabs. One night, N fried them up and we ate them with cocktail sauce and noochy, bread-crumb covered baked brussels sprouts.

I haven’t picked up my knitting needles in awhile but this is what is on them, a short sleeve pullover/t-shirt thingy. After I passed the interesting neck section, I can’t bring myself to just knit the boring bottom part (knit, knit, knit…). The yarn is a hemp-based yarn.

One day when I accompanied N to Sam Flax art store, we saw this. This is the first seedbomb machine I’ve seen in Atlanta. Super exciting! How it works: insert coins, get seedbomb, throw seedbomb somewhere with dirt, repeat, watch your city fill up with plants native to the region.

N was feeling brave one day and decided to make Vietnamese crepes again. He did a better job than me.

Samoas-style vegan pancakes at Radial. Yes. Like the girl-scout cookies. I’ve been leary about Radial Cafe ever since we found a huge chunk of brisket, yes brisket, in our food after numerous strange interactions with a server who overly emphasized the fact that we were vegan. The pancakes were nom so Radial, you’re regaining my trust again. Maybe you and I were just meant to be breakfast friends.

Breakfast biscuits at Dough Bakery and Gutenfleischers.  These babies are so good and so reasonably priced. They also have these as grab-n-go meals kept warm or in the fridge for stocking up.

More eats from Dough Bakery and Gutenfleischers. This here is a vegan gyro wrap with a side of potato salad.

Yup, there’s more. Vegan french dip sandwich with a side of “beet it or I’ll kale you” salad. Love that name!

And of course, dessert. A strawberry whoopie pie from Dough Bakery.  Damn you Dough and Gutenfleischers for being so delicious! Not really, I love you guys and will probably be there tonight or tomorrow to get that SK philly special!

N’s parents gifted us with passes to the High Museum, so we went recently to see the Hale Woodruff’s restored Talladega College murals.

Across the street (nearly), is the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). We went there too to catch the “Skate it or Hang it” exhibit.

I got a hold of some fresh mangosteens from the farmer’s market. I only had them canned before so I had no idea how to open them. First I sawed at em’ with a knife, then I found this video on how to open them. Life got easier and I ate them all.

A quick meal of quinoa chili over masher taters.

Tempeh-bacon, lettuce and tomato sammich with avocado and sprouts.

My favorite raw breakfast. Raw ackee mixed with 1/2 cup of smooshed young coconut, cilantro, tomatoes, black salt and chives. I had it with mangoes and avocados.

Hanging out at one of my favorite used bookstores, Book Nook, one rainy Saturday afternoon.

A curry dish made with Patak’s mild curry simmer sauce kale, tomatoes and canned seitan over jasmine rice.  N added coconut milk to make it creamier and less spicy for me because I am a spice wuss.

And finally, these guys. Always these guys keeping me sane. She stood like this for 2 minutes.

This guy kept me company when N was sick in bed one weekend. We laid about and he helped me grade papers.

Visit Home Part Deux

It was Hsauce’s turn to visit his family (I visited mine at the end of last month.)

Hsauce was there to visit and celebrate the opening of his parents’ store, Words and Pictures, which sells out of print and collectible books among other things. If you’re every in Langley, WA, check it out!

He also hiked.

…and of course cooked:
Those are green beans with peanut ginger dressing (we’ve actually made this a couple of times now for friends and it is really, really good) and Hsauce’s own signature Pad Thai dish.

And guess what else he did?!? He went to Mighty-O Donuts in Seattle!!

But you know, he was sweet enough to bring me home some….these were gone pretty soon after he got back home. Yes, they were damn good.

While Hsauce was gone I made (along with some boring meals not worth mentioning), what I’m going to call 5-minute Vietnamese Pho. I used veggie broth, Chinese 5 spice, slivers of fresh Thai hot chili peppers and some squirts of lime juice to make the broth. Then I just piled it on some rice noodles and whatever veggies I had in the fridge. I didn’t have beansprouts so I used some shredded lettuce for a crunch effect. It was good.

And I also tried out this recipe for mac and cheese (originally from PPK, I think). I’m always on the hunt for the best mac and cheese and I think I’ve found it! I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, adding more margarine (Earth Balance!) when I thought it needed it or more or less of other things and it came out just delicious!

Straight from the oven…

On my plate with a side of broccoli. Oh yeah, I also added peas to the mac and cheese.

I think this is my favorite mac and cheese recipe. I made it again for Hsauce when he got back from his trip and yup, still tasty. I like covering it when it’s the oven to help prevent the top from getting too dry. This way, it all stays ooey-gooey and cheesey! Keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and reheats well.

And yay, new sewing machine!

More meals, more muffins and some crackers

I’ve made a few things this week that I’d like to share with you! When I used to live in Boulder, Colorado I would get these delicious flax seed crackers at the farmer’s market, so when I saw a big tub of flax seeds for two bucks at our local farmer’s market I decided to try and make my own.

This recipe is loosely based on these two that I found using google. I simply put about 1 1/4 cup of whole flax seeds in a bowl of water before I left for work one morning. Some of the seeds floated on top, but most were submerged in the water.

When I got home, the flax seeds had soaked up all the water and were covered in slimy goo as you can see here.

I then took half of the flax seeds, put them in a food processor along with a clove of garlic and some spices (salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and garam masala similar to this recipe) and blended everything. Next, I added the blended seeds to the whole seeds, mixed everything well and then spread the mixture onto parchment paper on a baking pan. I spread it pretty thin since I wanted crispy crackers. I ended up using two baking pans.

I put the pans in the oven on 200F for about an hour or so (this would probably vary depending on how thick the flax seed layer is). After they cooled, I broke up each of the flax seed sheets into random sized pieces and had crispy, flavorful flax seed crackers to dip in my homemade guacamole. These are better than the ones I bought in Boulder and waaaay cheaper!

This week I also tested out the macaroni and cheeze recipe that the Pleasantly Plump Vegan posted about recently. It came out great! It’s not the best meal nutritionally, so I threw together a side of white beans, spinach and tomatoes with garlic. It was a good balance.

Last night I made a bit of a healthier dish for dinner. Acorn squash with tomatoes, chard stems and red onion atop a bed of quinoa (with raisins) and chard leaves with pine nuts sprinkled on top. I first sauteed the acorn squash with the red onions and chard stems with oil, garlic and oregano. I then added some vegetable stock and covered the dish for awhile longer to cook the squash through. I then added the diced tomatoes, some nutmeg, cinnamon, a teensy bit of sugar and a splash of balsamic vinegar, cooked it a bit more and then put it all on top of the cooked quinoa and steamed chard leaves. The nutmeg was the key flavor in this and made this a very “warm” autumn dish.

Finally, I made more muffins!! I can’t seem to stop myself. This time I made oatmeal banana muffins loosely based on this banana bread recipe from vegweb. I made the following alterations to the vegweb recipe: used 3/4 cup a sugar instead of 1 1/2 cups, used 1/4 cup of oil + 1/4 cup of soymilk instead of 1/2 cup of oil, used 1/2 cup of applesauce instead of egg replacer and additionally I added 1/2 cup of rolled oats to the batter and sprinkled sliced almonds on top. Ta da! Yummy, moist muffins full of ooey-gooey bananas! I actually made this on Monday and have been having them for “breakfast on the go” this week, which is what muffins are for!