Monday, November 17, 2014

plum restaurants in seattle, wa

gluten free spicy cajun mac n yease at plum bistro in capitol hill

happy hour: the ruben, tofu chorizo tacos, and more fries

best ruben ever

gluten free brownie and ice cream, gluten free cheesecake

breakfast at quickie too in tacoma, washington. mac n yease, smoked tempeh, baked apples, biscuits and gravy, rice and gravy. 

brunch at plum bistro. strawberry rhubarb pancakes and a chai latte. the best pancakes. ever.

perfect sandwich, broccoli and gluten free cookie from plum pantry at seattle center

So Plum is a chain of vegan restaurants in the Seattle area. There's Plum Bistro in Capitol Hill, Plum Pantry at the Seattle Center (right next to the Space Needle), and Quickie Too in Tacoma. I've been to each location multiple times and I've never been disappointed. The prices seem high at first, but the quality of the food is so high that I can understand the prices. I've read that omnivores love the rich food at Plum Bistro and I can totally see why. They're even opening Sugar Plum soon, an all-vegan sweet shop. Ugh. Seriously cannot wait! 

Here's a link with the locations.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

flashback to college with Afro-Vegan

I've always loved history and growing up in Hampton Roads, Virginia right in the middle of the Historic Triangle really helped me appreciate it. I definitely had Colonial Williamsburg passes in the summer while everyone else had Busch Gardens passes. In college, I majored in Anthropology (concentrating in socio-cultural anthro), which to me is like history, but way more fun. Even though I feel like I complained constantly about the work in college, I learned so much that I don't think I would have otherwise. My favorite anthropology classes were medicine and culture, people and cultures of Africa, and culture & cuisine.

So I was pretty excited when I heard about Bryant Terry's new book Afro-Vegan. I had won his book Inspired Vegan the year before and I became totally smitten with how his books aren't only cookbooks, but they're also very educational. Seriously, I don't know how many times I read about a culture or certain kind of food in his cookbooks that then showed up the next day in my class discussions. It was his books that made me realize how entrenched different cultures are in our everyday lives (and how my degree just might not be completely useless). I even referenced Inspired Vegan in a huge paper about farmer's markets for my anthropological theory class, no joke. Afro-Vegan is just as awesome. I really love the the book and music recommendations that go with the recipes! I even have a dedicated bookshelf on my Goodreads account just for these book recommendations. I have read The Cutting Season and I'm now working on both Americanah and The New Jim Crow. Reading these books makes it feel like I never left school (good or bad? IDK...haha). Here's a great article that tells more about Bryant Terry and the inspiration for Afro-Vegan.

Here's the Texas Caviar, which I made with from-scratch yellow-eyed peas (:( bought in VA) and a huge yellow and red heirloom tomato which was topped with fried garlic slices. While I liked this recipe, it lost a lot of its flavor the next day, so I wouldn't recommend having leftovers. This recipe is paired with The Cutting Season, which I kind of felt the same way about- it was really good...and then the ending was really anti-climatic. 

These are the Smashed Potatoes, Peas, and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil. I loved this recipe! I loved making my own seasoned oil and the way the potatoes were cooked (boiled, then smashed and roasted). I only used half of the red pepper flakes required for the oil and it was still super spicy. The inspirations for this recipe are a traditional Kenyan dish, irio, and tostones, a popular Latin American dish. Super cool.

Some of my favorite recipes from the book are the Tofu Po'boys with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and the Slow-Braised Mustard Greens. There's a lot of recipes in the book that look great for cooler months, like the Peanut Stew with Winter Vegetables and Cornmeal Dumplings, Tofu Curry with Mustard Greens and the Stewed Tomatoes and Black-Eyed Peas with Cornbread Croutons (omg!!).

Do you have any favorite recipes from Bryant Terry's books? Any other similar books I should look in to? 

Friday, August 22, 2014

summer food

I was trying to think of how to frame this post: here are some pictures of food from the summer that I forgot I ate and everything was really good....sorry my food pictures suck so bad, but you should make all this stuff yourself anyway.... Hmm, I don't know. I feel like the reason I blog so infrequently is because I don't know the main point of my blog....I don't know my "mission" or "message" or whatever. But once I put all the pictures into the post, I realized that this kind of a showcase of all the awesome stuff that vegans eat. I've been listening to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcasts a lot (plenty of time on the road) and she always emphasizes how veganism isn't about restriction and that you shouldn't just say "Oh, I can't eat that" about animal foods, but that "I don't want to eat that." I think it's also more about a non-vegan perspective; people act like I'm not allowed to eat animal foods, but really, because I've educated myself, I'd just prefer NOT to eat that stuff. But look at all the stuff I want to eat! Everything here is gluten free, too.

So, I made this strawberry, rhubarb, and peach crumble. I combined a couple recipes (one from The PPK and one from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone) and it tasted perfect, even though it looks kinda like barf...

I have so many favorite recipes from The Oh She Glows Cookbook. I got it at Costco the day after I graduated (I obviously partied hard....) and I haven't really stopped cooking from it since! This is the Luxurious Tomato-Basil Pasta, which has a creamy tomato cashew sauce. I could probably eat it everyday. Also, since my mom is gluten free and I reference that a lot, I thought I'd mention that our favorite gluten free pasta brand is Tinkyada brown rice pasta. I also don't mind quinoa pasta, but I think the Tinkyada tends to be cheaper and easier to find- it's even at Wal-Mart. 

This was my birthday pizza! I still want to experiment with amounts of sauce, cheese, and filling, but a delicious skillet pizza is hard to mess up completely, that's for sure. This was also gluten free and once again, I used the crust recipe from Minimalist Baker. I also used her guidelines for the skillet pizza itself, then obviously used Daiya mozzarella shreds. I actually made it again and tried using Daiya jack style wedge and the filling turned out way too liquidy/creamy with that kind. I really like the wedge style on quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches, but on pizza it just ends up too runny. I would like to try this again as a Philly steak style pie, with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and beyond beef....mmm...

The birthday cake. This was my attempt at a Babycakes brownie cupcake with mocha frosting (BTW, I am SO DEVASTATED that the Babycakes storefront closed in Orlando, especially because I'm running the Princess Half in February- I'm going to have to ORDER my donuts....the horror....#firstworldproblems) Anyway, the brownie cupcake with mocha frosting from Babycakes is the best vegan CUPCAKE I've ever had- notice that I said cupcake and not baked good in general- and I really wanted to try to recreate it. So, since I have both Babycakes books, I found that the recipe for the brownie cupcakes was similar to the recipe for the triple chocolate fatpants cake, so I used that recipe and then added extra chocolate chips to the batter.  For my mom and me, Babycakes recipes are always a hit or miss- We've had the first book for a while now, and we've pretty much figured out that bake times/temps are always too short/not hot enough. People want to act like vegan baking would be SO difficult....then they hear gluten free AND vegan and their minds are blown..... The mocha frosting was another adventure. Since I couldn't get the ingredients Babycakes uses in their frosting (soy milk powder and coconut flour), I found a recipe for vegan mocha frosting on Martha Stewart's website- who knew? I probably cut the sugar a little bit as I didn't really want just spreadable sugar for my frosting, but it turned out fine. It wasn't quite as thick and flavorful as what I've eaten at Babycakes, but it was....acceptable! Not bad, not amazing. 

This is just a really perfect Greek salad at Razzi's Pizzeria in Seattle. I like this place because they have an entire gluten free + vegan menu with pizza (duh), calzones, salads and mozzarella sticks. Yeah, those were so good that I didn't get a picture, the only thing lacking was the saltiness of the non-vegan kind, but, uh, that's what salt shakers are for. 

Quesaritos, round two. These are so good. And I know that the "real" quesarito has rice and not many vegetables, but I really don't want rice on my brown rice tortillas....I'd rather have beyond beef, guacamole, salsa, onions, olives, and cilantro. nom nom

Do you have a new favorite cookbook? Is there a vegan dish or baked good that you just can't seem to get perfect?