“M” is for Meals in Bowls

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I am insanely fond of meals in bowls. To be more specific: grains, greens, tofu (tempeh, seitan, or beans work nicely too), and sauce – all nicely piled in a bowl and chopstick friendly. They are simple, well-balanced meals with versatility that can be enjoyed during any season. What’s not to love? In fact, Jessy and I have joked in the past about opening up a food cart that shares our love for Meals in Bowls (capitalized to show just how happy these food combinations make me) with everybody. Portland actually boasts quite a few carts already catering to my MIB needs, but it’s fun to dream (and remove myself from the dulling world of my office job)…

Our weekly meal plan almost always includes MIB. This week it was Grilled Pineapple Tofu with Nutty Greens over Rice; that’s a mouthful! And, it’s mighty delicious!!! The recipe is in Vegan Yum Yum, a cookbook packed full of gorgeous photos and creative recipes. Honestly, with all the new vegan cookbooks coming out (!!!!!), I am starting to wonder where to put them all. My kitchen shelves have room for a few more and then I might have to stow them in the closet or something similarly dreadful! For now, I will just worry about that later, if that makes any sense…

Tim and I loved this recipe so much that we had no leftovers. Brown rice is topped with nutty kale, baked tofu, grilled pineapples and a creamy coconut-pineapple sauce – it’s tropical and filling.

Grilled Pineapple Tofu 2

Grilled Pineapple Tofu 3

What are your favorite MIB combinations? I’d love to know!!!

“P” is for Pasta

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Hmmmm… I am beginning to think my theme for this year’s MoFo should have been the alphabet. You know, “B” is for Brunch, “P” is for Pasta, “F” is for Frites, etc… Maybe I will still attempt that but jumble up the alphabet since I didn’t start with “A”. We’ll see!

Anyways, I recently purchased The Urban Vegan cookbook by Dynise Balcavage and have already bookmarked lots of recipes for the upcoming weeks. I love how the sophisticated and stylish recipes are organized into clever little chapters such as: Lunch Cart, The Melting Pot, House Party, and Happy Hour. Plenty of the recipes have international flair which I appreciate since I don’t get to travel as often as I’d like. Plus, there are fun tips and variations on recipes throughout the book so even the same recipe can be mixed-up a bit the second time around. Last night, Tim and I came home from grocery shopping exhausted and hungry so we checked our meal list for a speedy recipe and noticed one from The Urban Vegan: Orecchiette Con Broccoli; inexpensive, fast, and delicious. We couldn’t find the above-named pasta so we used a tri-colored squiggly pasta instead. Topped with some freshly ground chipotle pepper flakes and homemade cashew cheese crumbles, this meal was light, filling, and just perfect for our Tuesday evening.

Pasta Con Broccoli 4

If you don’t have this cookbook, you probably should – one more on the shelf won’t hurt!!!

And, don’t forget to enter my giveaway!!!!

Bike Ride to Dinner

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With the arrival of chillier weather (finally!!!) in Portland, Tim and I decided to ride our bikes over to Homegrown Smoker last night. Homegrown Smoker is an all-vegan BBQ with delicious food and an amazingly friendly staff (I previously reviewed Homegrown Smoker here). The spicy-sweet BBQ sauce and cozy, heated, tent-covered seating area warmed us while we ate our meal. It’s always hard to choose from their menu, but you are pretty much guaranteed to leave happy no matter what you order. In fact, we rode off with full tummies and the aroma of smoky BBQ lingering in our clothes.

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My meal had smoked BBQ soy curls, baked beans, mac-no-cheese, molasses cornbread, and smoked tempeh. It was a lot of food and I ended up sharing with Tim (he’s small but can somehow fit a ton of food in his system). Tim ordered chorizo sausage, baked beans, smoked tempeh, molasses cornbread, coleslaw, and a stuffed jalapeno. Yum.

jalapeno and beeze

I just read on HS’s blog that they are considering adding vegan s’mores, hot spiced cider, and weekend breakfasts to the Fall menu!!!!! Luckily Tim and I live less than a two-mile bike ride away from Homegrown Smoker because there is no way I’m passing up those treats. Yeah. Plus, with the opening of the all-vegan Back to Eden Bakery just down the street, we might need to move into that neighborhood soon…

I will leave you with a photo of the beloved smoker that creates the goodness HS serves up:

the smoker!

Speedy Dinny

It was absolutely beautiful in Portland on Sunday! The temperature reached into the 80s, the sun was warm and comforting, and there was a soft, cooling breeze. I rode my bike around enjoying the freedom of the weekend. When dinnertime approached, I wasn’t in the mood to spend a lot of time preparing my meal. Luckily I had printed off a recipe Lolo from veganyumyum had posted a few weeks ago for Simple Fried Rice with Japanese Seven Spice. The only change I made was substituting Chinese Five Spice since I didn’t have Japanese Seven Spice (feel like you’re in math class anyone?). I know they contain different ingredients, but this meal was incredible anyways! It truly is fast, simple, and tasty. I halved the recipe and still have plenty left over for two more meals.

simple-fried-rice

Color for Cloudy Days

Just a quick post featuring some simple and colorful meals to ward off the cloudy days :

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Veggie Pizza - Homemade crust and sauce topped with mushrooms, bell pepper, spinach, olives, and some seasoned Papa G’s Tofu – Pizza is often a weekly staple and I am happy about that!

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Spicy Tofu Triangles on a Bed of Lettuce – The recipe for this meal is in Vegan Express. This was served with a lemony couscous and steamed broccoli. I really enjoy the simplicity and quickness of all the recipes I have made so far from Vegan Express. It is a great cookbook to own if you have lots of busy workdays and just want a tasty, fast, delicious meal. In the summer I can appreciate the recipes even more because it will give me more time to spend outside flying my kite, riding my bike, and causing trouble.

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Future tulips! Hooray for Spring! Although, it did hail twice yesterday in Portland and the snow levels dropped quite low on the mountain…