Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Proper beach attire

I am very lucky.  Although my family lives thousands of miles away, my three siblings, mom, and mom's boyfriend all came to visit us last week!  We had fun spending time together: watching movies, exploring Portland, playing board games, cooking at home.  We also took a day trip to Cannon Beach, which is a lovely place to visit any time of the year.  One doesn't go to the Oregon coast to sunbathe in December, so we occupied ourselves in other ways.

After my family flew home, Matt, the doggles, and I took a short trip to the Olympic Peninsula.  We found a cottage in Forks, Washington, not too far from the Olympic National Forest and some breathtakingly beautiful beaches.  It rained, as expected in the rainiest part of the country.  We were in a rainforest, after all.  It was glorious.

The four of us donned our raincoats and set out for our first hike together, not encountering any beast or person for the entire two hours on Christmas morning.

What a beautiful part of the country!

Happy New Year!  I hope 2012 is filled with happy surprises, time spent with loved ones, and new opportunities for us all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A very good veggie burger!

Do you remember Heathen Vegan's Spicy Cajun Lentil Patties from Vegan MoFo?  It was one of those recipes that I instantly bookmarked to try post-MoFo.  However, I found it calling to me during MoFo, so I gave in and made these delicious burgers.

Following the recipe, my first batch of the patties came out really tasty, but crumbly- like the consistency of a dry sloppy joe- even with added gluten.  I baked my patties instead of pan frying for ease and to use less oil, and maybe to warm up the house a little.

A bit crumbly, but totally delicious!

Last night I made a batch, deciding to use mashed squash (squashed squash?) instead of the vital wheat gluten.  That made the mixture too wet, so I ended up adding in wheat gluten.  The consistency still wasn't perfect.  I'll need to continue to experiment.  However, both attempts yielded really satisfying burgers, especially with all the trimmings and some super great buns I found at the store.  If you're in Portland, check out Portland French Bakery's Pub Buns, available at Whole Foods.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Veggie Sushi!

Recently, my friend Carly (whom you may remember from this MoFo guest post) and I got together to plan our Thanksgiving menu.  And Thanksgiving menu planning is no good on an empty stomach, so we decided to make lunch.
We made a lovely assortment of veggie sushi, which included various combinations of red bell pepper, dill pickles (my favorite ingredient!), cucumber, avocado, cilantro, Tofutti cream cheese, and parsley.  In some of the rolls we used quinoa in place of the rice. 

We dipped the sushi into spicy mayo (Sriracha + Veganaise) and tamari and ate it with split pea soup and a nice spinach salad with roasted cashews and miso-tahini dressing.

A lovely lunch with lovely company!  Never made sushi before?  Check out my step-by-step instructions that I posted a while ago!