Stuff on My Plate

It’s been awhile, huh? I have no excuses… Here are some photos of tasty foods to make up for the absense:

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Homemade Avocado Spring Rolls, a test recipe for the 500 Vegan Recipes Cookbook. These rolls were incredibly delicious and simple to prepare. They are full of veggies too! I had never worked with rice paper before and now I am addicted. Tim and I enjoyed these (way, way too many) with the Peanut Passion Sauce from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. It was a perfect combination.

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Close up – take a nice long peek!

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Black Bean Grillers, another test recipe. These burgers mix up quickly and keep their shape when grilling and eating. They are loaded with protein so you may need to hide in a corner as digestion comes to a close… The recipe makes six hearty burgers and they freeze well. They are supposed to be topped with BBQ sauce, but I was out of that beloved condiment. What?! 

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Off the test recipes and onto crafty creations with the food dehydrator: homemade pear roll-ups!!! These are simply a mixture of chopped pears (peeled), agave nectar, cinnamon, and a squeeze of lime juice pureed in the food processor. The puree is then spread on a special sheet and placed in a food dehydrator. In about six hours, you have pear roll-ups!! We made some with kiwis too, but they were a bit tart. I am tip-toe excited for fruit picking season in Oregon because I am going to be making loads and loads of dried fruits, roll-ups and snacks. I imagine dropping hand-picked dried strawberries into granola…

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Cauliflower-based alfredo sauce over whole wheat spaghetti with broccoli and spinach. The sauce recipe is here. I have made this many times and I love the versatility. You can add whatever veggies you want, use whatever pasta you want, and it still tastes yummy. I think it would be nice drizzled over baked potatoes. Next time perhaps!

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Walnut and Currant Veganzola Balls – one more test recipe! The combination of ingredients in this recipe provides lovely textures, sweetness, smokiness, and savoryness (it’s not a word, but it ought to be). I have eaten bits of these balls spread on crackers, crumbled over salad, and in sammies. They are huge (think baseball size) and fun to shape. I think these would be great for a potluck or fancy gathering.

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Here is Tim making curry on a recent snowshoeing trip! Well actually, it’s leftover curry being reheated, but it doesn’t matter! This was such a warming lunch, especially when it started snowing as soon as we sat down.

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Close-up.

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And lastly, a beautiful Amaryllis bloom! My sister gave Tim and I an Amaryllis bulb for Christmas and we nurtured it with lots of love. The blooms have since withered. Do you see all that pretty yellow pollen settled on the petals? It gave me allergies! I have never had allergies before. In fact, I used to tease Tim during his worst allergy episodes. Now, I have them too, since February! It was always my understanding that you were born with allergies, but that is not the case I guess. My sneezes are so frightening they literally lift my feet off the ground. Sigh… I acquired these allergies right after my 32nd birthday – just goes to show old age and Amy don’t mix so nicely…

Tahinitoo Turns One!

Exactly one year ago I started this website (formerly Vegan Addict) with the intention of promoting veganism through food, craft, and adventure. I will admit, I used to scoff at the thought of maintaining and reading blogs. Now that I am immersed in a community of like-minded folks sharing recipes, photos, and perspectives on veganism, I can’t imagine why I had been so close-minded! I am forever printing out recipes, bookmarking links, and checking for new posts on my favorite blogs. It’s mighty addictive, but I would happily debate that it is a healthy addiction. Veganism is such an integral part of my life and I hope to continue Tahinitoo well into my elder years (as long as I can keep up with technology). As a rather reclusive individual, blogging has helped me feel more connected with other people, minus the anxieties of social interaction. Hooray for that! Anyways, this is simply a quick “Thank You!” to my readers. Ooooh, that’s way too mushy, but whatever. Go eat some pancakes.

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes – a tester for 500 Vegan Recipes – Crazy sweet, fluffy, chocolatey, and yummy. This photo was snapped before I drizzled some pure Ohio maple syrup on top (thank you Tim’s mom!!!!!).

And, speaking of chocolate, you can enter to win an entire case of Jocalat Bars over at Chocolate Covered Katie. What’s keeping you?!!

My next post will feature reviews on some of my most favorite vegan health/beauty products! Yay!

Eating it Up in Seattle

Over the weekend, Tim and I drove up to Seattle to visit with his parents who were there for a conference. We managed to eat plenty of delicious vegan food (treats included!) while we were there. I was only able to snap photos from two of the places we visited because I forgot my camera the first night we went out for dinner. But, I can tell you with confidence that the photoless meal was the best one from the bunch (read review below)!

First up:

We ate at a place called Cafe Flora. The atmosphere alone had me wishing I could eat all my meals there while in Seattle. The restaurant has two dining areas, one was pretty normal, and the second was a large indoor patio with an atrium. The room had tons of plants surrounding the tables and lining the walls, a waterfall in the center, and huge floor to ceiling windows on two sides. It was incredibly relaxing. I felt like I was amidst a rainforest garden, there was a ferny plant draping gently above my chair (but not touching my head) and small candle filled vases on the tables. This is a spendy place to eat, but the food is amazing (perfect portions, clever combinations of ingredients, lovely textures) and the staff is very friendly and attentive.

I had the Hazelnut Mushroom Farro and a Sweet Potato and Tahini Soup (tahini in my soup!!!) with a sweet chile sauce drizzled on top. Tim chose the Tamale Timbale and Fried Avocado, and his mom chose the Sweet Potato Ginger Ravioli. We sampled from each other’s plates and enjoyed every last bite. They even had house-made ginger ale (the best I’ve ever tasted) and rhubarb soda! Nice, huh? For dessert, we shared the Citrus Cheesecake Tart. It was pretty fantastic. For a closer look at their dinner menu, click here. I definitely recommend a visit to Cafe Flora if you are ever in Seattle. You won’t be disappointed.

Next up:

The following day, we went to Mighty O for donuts of course! I’ve posted numerous times about my love for these fine treats, so there are no pictures of donuts this time. We ate some donuts and then walked down the hill for a three mile walk around nearby Green Lake. That’s the perfect way to walk off lots of tasty donuts!

After spending some time at the Pacific Science Center, we drove over to the Wayward Cafe for lunch. This little cafe provided some cozy shelter from the icy rain and snow that was falling outside. Here are some photos of our food:

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My Nut and Mushroomy cutlets (I don’t remember what this was really called) in Gravy with a salad

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Tim’s mom’s BBQ Seitan with a salad

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Tim’s Vegan Reuben and Home Fries

The Wayward Cafe prepares some serious comfort food (all vegan), and it’s tasty! Our food disappeared off of our plates before we knew it and kept us overly full until dinner.

Dinner? Yeah!

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We went with Tim’s parents to Vegan Garden for dinner later that evening. The family-owned (I am assuming because we had several different folks bringing us food, taking our orders, and keeping us happy) restaurant has a menu loaded with choices, and it was very difficult to choose! We started with Wonton Soup and Summer Rolls (Rice paper salad rolls with herbs, noodles and tofu, served with peanut sauce), both of which were spot on. For our entrees:

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Stir-Fry Tofu with Broccoli, Carrots, and Mushrooms

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General Tso’s “Chicken”

We also ordered Cashew “Chicken” and a curry meal. All of our choices were delicious. The veggies were tender-crisp and the food wasn’t too salty or oily. We had a nice pot of brown rice to accompany everything as well. Tim and I each had coconut juice to drink (which had slices of fresh coconut in the glass!) and his dad couldn’t stop raving about his fresh lime soda! Of course, we had dessert too, because that’s what you do when you’ve already eaten past your limit.

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Chocolate Mint Ice cream!!!

I really enjoyed Vegan Garden. The people are so kind, polite, and genuinely committed to veganism. Tim and I will visit again if we find ourselves in Seattle.

Overall, our trip was plenty of fun. We saw some much-needed sunshine, explored the city a bit, visited the library downtown (which is the coolest library I have ever seen – amazing architecture), had plenty of tasty food, and spent time with Tim’s parents. Even though Seattle isn’t far from Portland, it sure was nice to escape for the weekend!

Q & A

I was recently chosen by Bianca of Vegan Crunk to be interviewed. She chose the questions below and I answered them. Simple and fun, right?! In turn, I will also interview a few commenters. If you want to be interviewed, follow the instructions after my interview.

I promised Bianca a cupcake if she interviewed me and since it would take some abuse from the post office en route, I figured this photo of a cupcake would work just as well!

Enjoy your cupcake Bianca!!!

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The Q & A:

1) If you could only get your protein from one source, which food would you choose? Well, I would most likely choose tofu because it is so incredibly versatile. But, if for some reason tofu was abolished, I would choose the lovely sesame seed. Sesame seeds are loaded with protein and can be incorporated into may foods and desserts.

2) How did you choose the name for your blog? I love tahini!! I add it to sauces, cookies, baked treats, salad dressings, pie crusts, bread, granola, spreads, and on and on and on and on….

3) What’s your all-time favorite dessert? I am a true cookie addict. It doesn’t matter what kind, I pretty much love them all! I also have very fond memories of eating Boston Cream Pie with my grandma when I was a kid. I have yet to try a vegan version and I probably need to change that!

4) How long have you been veg? And what sparked the change in you? Three years. I was vegetarian for about six months before I switched to veganism. I had been gradually eliminating non-veg foods from my diet for awhile, and as soon as I discovered what icky ingredients lurked in certain foods, veganism was the answer. I have learned to enjoy so many new foods as a vegan. I wish I had made the choice years ago; it truly is the best lifestyle for me. Also, I have always enjoyed the outdoors, and my level of compassion for animals will never stop growing!

5) If you were president, what’s the first thing you would do? I would ban plastic bags nationwide. This would hopefully encourage people to shop with reusable (canvas or otherwise) bags. It is saddening how many bags end up littering roadsides, streets, landfills, etc. They don’t just disappear! People need to make a serious committment to protecting the Earth. It isn’t difficult and it makes a huge difference.

To play along:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” If a few people want interviews, I will randomly pick 2.

2. I will respond by commenting on your blog with five questions. (I get to pick the questions).

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.