Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Refreshing Salad

I was first introduced to jicama when I was in college.  I was on a camping trip and a friend had brought some along.  I hesitatingly tried a piece of the jicama and fell in love.  Since then, I have been introducing it to many more people and have not found a single person who did not like it.

I went to a potluck recently and didn't really have time to make something so I just brought a bunch of fresh jicama slices.  A friend had never tried jicama raw and by itself, so I had to show her its true magic.  Someone else made something with jicama that tasted so wonderful I had to go home and try and make something similar.   I don't think it's exactly the same, but it tastes nice and refreshing.  

Mango Mint Salad

2 cups Jicama, diced
1 cup Mango, diced
2 Tb Mint, minced
1 Tb Lime Juice

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate before serving.  I used spearmint for the mint and the diced jicama and mango were cut into bite size squares.  If you want something sweeter, use more mango.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vegan Potluck Meet ‘N Greet!

Baby rats gathered for a vegan meal at the Rhododendron Gardens in Portland.

This Saturday is a Vegan Potluck Meet ‘N Greet! It is all about connecting with other vegans and eating good food so it should be fun and yummy! There will be different activities which I know nothing about, but I am excited to see what it will be. I want tons of people to come since I’d love more interaction with other vegans. And the more people, the more food options!

Details: Saturday, May 30th from 6pm-8pm at Sunnyside United Methodist Church (3520 SE Yamhill St in Portland, OR).

This event is put on by Try Vegan PDX. This is a local organization which puts on Try Vegan Week which will be in August this year. The organization offers vegan mentorship and resources for the new and old to the vegan lifestyle (or even those just thinking about it). Get involved! Become a mentor, help with planning, or become vegan!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Tasty Brunch

The girl I have mentored for over 5 years just moved into her own place and is about to turn 18 and graduate high school. I can't believe how fast the time and gone and what an amazing young adult she has become. I asked her to come over for brunch so I can show her some alternative foods to prepare.

I often make myself a tofu scramble over the weekend. It is a great break from my usual green smoothies which I have every weekday morning. Tofu scrambles can be so versatile. You can add different vegetables and different add ins to make every scramble unique. When I am not adding salsa to my scrambles, I usually use Braggs liquid aminos instead of salt to give the scramble more moisture. With the tomatoes from the salsa in the scramble, salt does better.

I am somewhat particular with my scrambles. I would be very annoyed if I went to a restaurant and ordered a scramble and the tofu came cubed. This is simply not a scramble. So make sure to crumble up your tofu for cooking scrambles. This does not need to be disintegrated though, which I have also seen. Having large parts of tofu crumble works really well.

Here is what we had for breakfast and both enjoyed.

Seasoned Potatoes

3 cups Red Potatoes, cut bite-size

1 Tb Olive Oil

2 tsp Fresh Thyme

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

1/4 tsp Garlic granules

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread out onto a baking sheet at bake at 400 degrees. Bake 10 minutes, toss potatoes and bake another 10 minutes.

Tofu Scramble

1 lb Tofu

2 tsp Olive Oil

5 slices Tempeh Bacon

8 Mushrooms, sliced

1 small Zucchini, halfed and sliced

1 cup Onion, chopped

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Onion Granules

1/4 tsp Garlic Granules

1/3 cup Pineapple Salsa

2 - 4 Tb Nutritional Yeast

Saute the onion in the olive oil in a large pan. Once the onions are golden, add the mushrooms, zucchini and tempeh. Cook for a few minutes to get the vegetables soft. Crumble up the tofu into the frying pan and cook for a few minutes. Use tofu that is meant for frying, but on the softer side. Add the spices, salsa and nutritional yeast. Heat until everything is warm. Serve with potatoes and toast if desired.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Asparagus is in season!

A friend was coming over for dinner and I was having cravings for spaghetti, which I don't eat too often.  I had a coupon for free sauce, so I decided to take advantage of it.  I had to include a vegetable, so I looked to see what was available at my local market.  I remember hearing asparagus was in season and I found some that was grown locally from a transitional farm.  This ended up being a perfect choice!

For the spaghetti sauce, I sauteed some mushrooms, garlic and sliced a tofurky beer brat I needed to use up.  After the mushrooms were browning and soft, I added the spaghetti sauce and lowered to heat to warm.  This was served on top of a thin spaghetti noodles.  

While the sauce was heating up, I prepared the asparagus.  Usually I just steam asparagus, but I wanted to try something different. The results were tangy and salty (but not too salty) and just right.  I could have eaten all of the asparagus myself, but I had to share.  Here is what I did.

Tangy Roasted Asparagus

25 Asparagus Stems
1 Tb Olive Oil
1 Tb Lemon Juice
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt

Rinse off and chop off the ends of the asparagus.  Spread the stems on a baking sheet.  Combined the oil, lemon juice and minced garlic.  Spread this on top of the asparagus and toss to cover all over the stems.  I used my hands to do this.  Sprinkle the salt and pepper on top and toss again to cover the stems well.  Place this in the oven at 400 degrees and cook for 15-20 minutes, tossing the asparagus to cook evenly on the sheet.

*Asparagus is also great raw!  Try some in your next salad.