Properly Full

Today marked the opening of yet another all-vegan food cart in Portland! I am forever lost in the numbers of vegan-friendly dining options here since Tim and I rarely go out to eat. But, we were lured by the opening of this new cart, Kitchen Dances, because the owner used to be a partner at Proper Eats, one of our most favorite places to dine in Portland. We impulsively decided to take a quick bike ride over to the new cart for lunch:

The cart is located in the Good Food Here cart pod on SE Belmont and 42nd Avenue (surprisingly, Tim and I had no idea this cart pod even existed! See? We don’t eat out much!). It’s tucked away in the back, but you can’t miss the bright red exterior or lovely aromas wafting from the inside. For their first day of business, Kitchen Dances had a non-stop flow of customers, which makes me insanely happy because I want this cart to stay firmly planted right where it is! The menu boasts super-fresh cooked and raw items:

After a few moments of pondering the menu, the woman working there offered us a free sample of their homemade basil-hazelnut pesto spread on some awesome chewy bread:

I was seconds away from darting off with the entire plate of samples because (1) I love bread; (2) I love pesto; and (3) I love free samples. While we were waiting in line to order, the gentleman behind us asked if we had ordered yet. I told him that we had not and when it was our turn to order, he cut in front of us and placed his order first! What? If ever there were a time for me to exercise my desire to punch someone in the face, this would have come close. Don’t fret, I’m not violent and I pretended not to notice.

I ordered the Raw Hummus Wrap for $5.00 and Tim ordered the Roasted Eggplant Sandwich for $7.50. The prices are fair considering the amount of food you get and the quality of ingredients. The food is so clean and so good for you – there’s no guilt! Kitchen Dances also offers desserts, primarily from Black Sheep Bakery. We didn’t get any desserts because I overdosed on chocolate yesterday… Maybe next time though!

Our food:

Tim’s Roasted Eggplant Sandwich consisted of: roasted eggplant, caramelized onion, and tomato with a garlic-herb aioli and a side salad. He said it was really good. I was proud of Tim because when we go to Proper Eats, he ALWAYS gets the Tempeh Reuben (which is on the menu at Kitchen Dances too) and he tried something new today!

My Raw Hummus Wrap: this was a chard leaf filled with raw hummus, carrots, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, and quinoa tabouli. I was a bit disappointed because there were no carrots or beets (two of my favorite veggies) and the tabouli was loaded with lots of onions (which I’m not a fan of, sadly). The hummus was delicious and so was the chard leaf, but I couldn’t finish my wrap due to all the onions. Tim devoured it though, even after cleaning his own plate.

I will definitely be riding my bike back to Kitchen Dances because there were other items on the menu that looked incredibly yummy. I should have known better about the onions, but I was too excited and didn’t think before I ordered.

Yay for even more vegan food options in Portland!!!

And hey, if you haven’t entered my giveaway yet, you should! I keep adding more fun items to the prize!! I hope everybody’s week is off to a good start.

Review Time!

Several months ago I was contacted by a representative from French Meadow Bakery and asked if I wanted to review some of their products. I was happy to oblige!

French Meadow Bakery sent me some coupons (thank you!!) for their products and I decided to try a few of their breads. The first bread I tried was the 100% Spelt Bread.

This loaf only has three ingredients: organic whole spelt flour, filtered water, and salt. I’ve always been bothered by loaves of commercial breads with huge lists of unrecognizable ingredients – why would bread need corn syrup and whey? It’s mighty baffling!!!

I enjoyed the taste of this bread very much; it reminded me of sourdough bread. Unfortunately, the French Meadow breads I tried are sold frozen. It was really difficult to separate the slices and the first few attempts resulted in broken pieces of bread. Once thawed, the bread isn’t soft enough to make a sandwich with so I ended up toasting the slices instead. It’s wonderful toasted and spread with nut butters or avocado (or jam, or hummus, or Earth Balance, or cinnamon & sugar, or agave…) . The whole grain kept me full until lunch, which was nice (must be all that fiber and protein!!). I was disappointed by how expensive the bread was – at my grocery, it was $6.99 for one loaf. The loaf is very small and the slices are tiny. That seems to be a feature of frozen breads and I am not sure why.

The second loaf I sampled was the 100% Rye with Flax Seed. This loaf also has a very clean ingredient list – organic stoneground rye berries, organic flaxseed, filtered water, and salt. The slices are larger, but very thin. Flax seeds add a lovely texture and the rye flour provides a pleasant tang (also similar to sourdough, like the spelt loaf). When I toasted the bread, the slices curled a bit, but that didn’t bother me once I slathered them with avocado or dipped them in soup!! This loaf is also filling, thanks to the wholesome ingredients. It was less expensive than the spelt variety, but still more than I would spend for the amount of bread in the package. Between the two loaves I tried, this was my favorite.

French Meadow Bakery has a very extensive variety of breads. They have breads to suit pretty much everyone on the planet!! Gluten-free? Check! Vegan? Check! Yeast-free? Check! Organic? Check! All of their breads are clearly labeled with allergy information which makes choosing the right loaf very easy. Plus, the simplicity and quality of ingredients is impressive. I just wish the loaves weren’t frozen. I am not a big fan of frozen bread. It’s okay for toasting, but for sandwiches, I prefer fresh, soft bread. The price is steep (at least where I live). I noticed on their website that the prices are much less expensive though. If you can’t find French Meadow products near you and want to try them, I suggest visiting their website.

I still have some coupons left and would love to pass them along to a few lucky readers! If you want to enter, just leave a comment telling me your favorite kind of bread. I’ll choose two winners next Saturday, June 5th. Yay!

Thank you again, French Meadow, for the coupons!