Monthly Archives: March 2011

Easy Brunch

My lovely friend Kellie decided to host an impromptu potluck brunch on Sunday which I was so excited about.  Have I mentioned how much I love love love brunch?  Well, I’ve said it again.  After pouring over Veganomicon, I decided to make the Spinach & Mushroom Strata.

Then I woke up Sunday morning and thought, “naaaahhh….”

Sunday mornings are for lounging and coffee and other things!  Not for scrambling around to the store trying to find ingredients to make a huge dish for your non-vegan friends.  So, I decided to go with something simple.

I bought some Croissant dough (yah, the Pillsbury kind…don’t judge) and then filled it with the contents of my fridge.

More specifically Spinach, Crimini Mushrooms & Feta.


The idea with this is just to pick what you like because it will all taste good.  Other ideas – Nutella, Ham and Swiss, Mushrooms and Mozzarella.  Really, the options are endless.

Just plop a little spoonful of filling in there


Roll it

and bake it

Okay so this is the easiest thing ever and dough from a can is a little white trash but it worked!  They were a hit, and the brunch was fabulous.  In fact, it warrants a photo rundown of it’s own.

Gorgeous Setting

Fantastic Spread

Funny Friends & Bacon’ Tossin’.  What else could you need?

 

Oh, maybe a human pyramid.  That’s just how we brunch, y’all.

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Portland, Part 1 of 248

We’re going to Portland!  After months of politely fielding my nagging while he sorted out his work schedule, Preston gave me the green light to book two tickets to Oregon for July.  I’m so excited!  Portland is the city of roses! hipsters! vegetarians! indie rock! public transportation! and microbeers galore!  While I’m sure there will be a few other posts dedicated to what exactly I want to do once arriving in this beautiful mecca for me, I’ll keep this one relatively straightforward.

My interest in going to Portland was piqued after watching Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate – Burgers”  Now, my former self’s most favorite meal was a juicy medium rare cheeseburger, so I watched this show thinking it would be a bit nostalgic.  Well, not only did Denver’s famous Cherry Cricket make the cut, a place called The Farm Cafe in Portland did as well.  Now, here’s the catch – The Farm Cafe does a VEGGIE BURGER!  Yes, one of the meat eating chefs at Food Network actually chose a veggie burger as their favorite burger ever.  From that moment I knew – I had to have this burger!

But in the meantime, I visited their website and was happy to see that they had a few recipes posted.  One was for the famous Veggie Burger (made with eggplant!) and the other for Herb Crusted Tofu Marsala, which I decided to make immediately.  Now, I certainly recommend watching their video for full instructions, but here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb tofu

Marsala Wine (Dry Cooking Sherry)

Soy Sauce

Breadcrumbs

Fresh Thyme

Canola or Olive Oil

Silk Creamer

Crimini Mushrooms

Sweet Yellow Onion

Herbs de Provence with Lavender

This recipe was actually really simple to make.  I marinated the Pressed Tofu in 1 c. Marsala, 1 c. Soy Sauce and 1.c Water, then rolled it in the breadcrumbs and fresh thyme mixture and pan fried.  While that was cooking, I worked on the onions and mushrooms with the creamy marsala in the other pan.  Again, check out the video for the important details!

Yum, vegan comfort food!  Although my finished dish didn’t look ready to be served at a restaurant, it was really tasty. I served the tofu and marsala sauce over mashed potatoes with rosemary and garlic, and a side of grilled asparagus.

Gratuitous shot of the cook & her creation:

So obviously I’ll be trying my hand at the veggie burger sometime soon.  Until then, enjoy your Sunday!

SXSWestern

Hi!  I missed you guys and I missed writing about food!  So I guess now I’ll exist in both places.  How selfish of me!  Anyhow, onto what I came back here for.  Fooooooood.

My journey with food is ever-evolving and the further along I get, the weirder I get about what I will and won’t eat.  Lately, I’ve had some serious guilt accompanying any seafood intake.  So, I’ve decided to cut that out of my diet as much as humanly possible, which leaves me teetering somewhere between vegetarianism and (gasp!) veganism.

That being said, I’ll move on with the post.  SXSW is currently on, which has put me in a bit of a Texas state of mind.  I never thought anyone would put Vegan and BBQ or Vegan and Texas in the same sentence, but leave it up to the fantastic Moby to make it happen.  After reading this Cest la Vegan post about a Vegan BBQ Moby hosted at SXSW this past weekend, I had Texas food on the brain.

More specifically -Mexican food.  Yah, I’m back.  Did you miss me?

I tried a new soy “meat” product – Smart Life’s Mexican Crumbles.  $2.99 filled about 6 tacos which is a-okay with me!

I have to admit, though, that I firmly believe that beautiful caramelized onions and peppers make the meal.

The finished product was topped with fresh avocado and salsa and served with sweet potato fries on the side.  The sweet potatoes actually turned out pretty good – I always have trouble with them but this time heated the oven to 500 and coated the wedges with olive oil and salt before baking.  While they weren’t crunchy, they came out really tasty and didn’t stick to the pan.  I call that a success!

Now don’t let me fool you folks that aren’t familiar with SXSW.  It is NOT about food.  It’s all about the music, man.

So staying in that mind set, last night Preston and I went to catch a Seattle band called Telekinesis at the Hi-Dive.  They stopped in Denver on their way to South By Southwest so we got to participate in the festival by proxy.  They were a fun, punchy, high-energy band and we had a good time watching them while drinking some local brews.

Here’s a shot from the show:

So, I’ll leave you with a link to their song, Coast of Carolina, so you can experience some indie goodness as well.