Speedy, Speedy… Run, Run!

The sun has been shining in Portland for the last several weeks. I suppose I am willing to embrace the warmth a bit even though I often prefer cloudy days. The approach of summer means eating lunch outside, enjoying the longer evenings of light, and lots of outdoor recreation. Quicker meals become a necessity when the weather creeps into the upper 70’s and 80’s. Here are two meals I enjoyed recently that came together in less than an hour and tasted as though they had been tended to much longer than that:

3552738703_e287cec592

Rotini with Roasted Red Pepper, Broccoli & Pecans

The above meal (recipe here) is courtesy of the super talented Sara from The Innocent Primate blog. There are so many creative recipes on the site (especially for smoothies!!!) as well as useful information on detoxing, drying herbs, and keeping healthy. Beautiful photos and menu ideas are also in abundance at The Innocent Primate blog; go and visit if you haven’t yet!!!

I love how quickly this meal comes together. The ingredients are likely to be in your kitchen already and you can adjust seasonings to suit your tastes. Pecans and broccoli provide a lovely texture, roasted red peppers add sweetness, and a drizzling of olive oil finishes it off. Very simple, very delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe Sara!

And:

3552738695_4ed675af1f

Baked Polenta Squares with Greens and Marinated Portobellos

I don’t have a recipe for this meal. Here is what I did though: 

1. Made a batch of polenta and baked it until firm and golden on top

2. Marinated portobellos in a blend of Braggs, sesame and olive oils, balsamic vinegar, agave, freshly ground black pepper, rosemary, and cayenne (for heat!) – this may look like a horrendous mixture, but trust me, it’s yummy

3. Sauteed the porotobellos with the marinade

4. Added fluffy kale to the saute pan

5. Piled the goodness on a plate

6. Ate the food

See? Easy as heck! And, if you have leftovers:  portobellos make tasty sammies, polenta can be cubed and baked into croutons for salad, and greens can be added to pasta (such as the meal above).

I mentioned outdoor recreation at the start of this post. It has been an ongoing joke of mine with Tim that while we are hiking a rattlesnake will slink out of the tall grasses and snap at my ankles. It’s never happened (thankfully), but last weekend we walked within a few feet of a rattling rattlesnake! Yipes! Luckily he was making noise and warned us of his presence. We were both startled, but facsinated at the same time. Here is a photo Tim took before we hiked past the evil rattler (giving him quite a wide berth):

3544466665_e4a9f57d43

You might be thinking, “Why hike a trail with rattlers Amy”? Well, here is why:

3545267912_e5cb4aa3fd

A gorgeous view of the Columbia River Gorge at the top of Coyote Wall (the hike we chose)

3545267916_b7b53e23ac

Mt. Hood still covered in snow

3545267920_83f0a4c7c7

Spring wildflowers (lupine and balsam root)

Pretty! Plus, we had no idea that snakes were lurking on the trail. It’s cool, we enjoyed complete solitude at the summit and sat eating lunch, soaking up the sun, and watching peregrine falcons and other birdies fly around. I hope that the sunshine sticks around because days like the above are my favorites. I hope everybody enjoys the weekend ahead!

One Hundred!

Oooooh! This is my 100th post!!!!! How dandy is that? I’ll show you…

dandies

…This dandy! These are the mighty delicious Dandies marshmallows from Chicago Soy Dairy. I cannot stop eating them! They are light, fluffy, sweet, vanilla-y, addictive, and just plain amazing. My lack of creative motivation has led me to eat these by the handful one at a time  instead of using them in a baked treat, but it simply doesn’t matter – these are ace. Food Fight will have them available to purchase online soon if you don’t have a place near you that sells Dandies.

I also had the pleasure of indulging in a newish vegan ice cream. Yeah, yeah! It is made with hemp milk and was featured briefly in the latest issue of VegNewsLiving Harvest makes a line called Tempt; they named this frozen treat accurately! I tried the Chocolate Fudge variety and it is incredibly creamy, smooth, chocolaty, and yummy. There are ribbons of fudgy goodness laced throughout each serving. I usually have trouble digesting ice cream and Tempt didn’t give me any troubles! Hooray!!!! There are several flavors to choose from and I look forward to sampling the rest.

tempt

Lastly, Tim and I were recently in Seattle to see a concert and we managed to eat at a few places we had never been to on previous visits.

Cyber Dogs Internet Cafe was our choice for a quick lunch. This cafe is located about nine blocks from the famed Pike Place Market. They have an all vegetarian menu with the option to veganize pretty much any item you choose. The space is very tiny, but colorful and comfy. Tim and I sat on a cushy sofa while we waited for the friendly woman working to prepare our food. There are computers with internet for folks to enjoy while they munch happily on their creatively-adorned veggie dogs. The whole space is filled with knick-knacks and dog-themed stuff. We didn’t have to wait long for our order which was a huge bonus since we were hungry and trying to get back to our car before the meter ran out. Another bonus? Takeout orders are placed in biodegradable containers! Here are some photos of the inside of Cyber Dogs, and also our lunch:

cyber-dogs-1

Lots of colorful fun stuff inside Cyber Dogs (see the Pound Puppy? Remember those?)

cyber-dogs-2

The computers

menu

The menu (for a closer look at the menu, click here, and choose a larger size to view)

california-dog

Tim’s California Dog

plain-jane-dog

My Plain Jane Dog with vegan cheese sauce

We also walked around Pike Place Market. We stopped at Cinnamon Works for a vegan cinnamon roll (after we had eaten breakfast and Mighty O’s…). The cinnamon roll was quite good, a bit doughy, but sweet and filling. It had a nice maple glaze (I prefer plain) and the person who served us kindly warmed our roll in the oven! Nice! They also had some vegan cookies and muffins in the display case (although they looked a bit dry). Cinnamon Works is spendy, our cinnamon roll was $3.50! But I guess the market is a bit of a tourist trap and that’s the way stuff rolls sometimes.

cinnamon-roll

We also ate at a lovely place (right next door to where we were staying) called Chaco Canyon Cafe. I didn’t take photos, but the food was very simple and tasty. The space is bright, open, and lined with lots of windows. The staff is incredibly friendly and the menu is mostly vegan (with lots of raw options). Again, this place was spendy, but since Tim and I rarely eat out, it was a nice treat. If you find yourself in Seattle, please head over to Chaco Canyon Cafe. Your tummy will be so happy! I had an interesting juice blend called The Boost which was made of apple, carrot, ginger and wheatgrass. I also had a raw porridge which I really enjoyed, a lot. Tim had The Elvis Smoothie (banana and PB) and a tofu scramble sammie. His smoothie was so very, very, very smoooooooooooooooooooooooooooth! The sammie was perfectly seasoned and served on what we think was a sourdough rye. Good stuff.