Fart Patio


Labor Day 2013 has been a massive success. How do two adult children with too much time and very little motivation spend this free, labor-free day?

1. Recover from hangover with giant Chipotle burrito. Being on the West coast has it’s perks and the braised tofu sofrita option is a huge one – nothing like mexican food to absorb an evening of frivolity and regret.

2. Do laundry. And by ‘do laundry’ I mean put a load in and forget to move it to the dryer until it’s to that questionable point where you hover over the washer deeply inhaling the wet clothes and deciding between another wash or 5 additional dryer sheets is the solution to masking the mildew scent

3. Re-watch 4 of the 6 episodes of BBC’s Sherlock and both decide that if Benedict Cumberbatch professed his love to either of us, the moral and logical thing to do is to break up. Then of course comes the conversation around how we would divide our shit (I hope that never happens – I have no use for so many towels and growlers).

4. Watch Star Trek to get hyped up for Star Trek Into Darkness (Amazon early purchase option bitches). Again, Benedict Cumberbatch – noms. Evan decided if Benedict chose him as his mate he would want to call their son Quinn, that way he could be called Q. Cumberbatch. Get it? Yeah – stupid.

5. FOOD!!! Buffalo Jackfruit and grilled corn with homemade vegan ranch dressing. Recipe coming soon.

What a glorious day. Yet there is always a cost to fun, and in this case 2 days of alcohol and long training runs and vegetables our house sounds like an orchestra of trumpets and smells like a garbage pail kid. In tribute to that, let’s call it a “sensory experience” at the Schmidtman residence we give you this gem by our friends at Portlandia.


Fall Flavas


We tend to be seasonal eaters.  There are just certain flavas, ingredients, and preparations that lend themselves to different seasons.  Living most of our lives in the midwest, we have come to know the seasons very well, and the extremes they can bring. Southern Oregon seems to be taking it’s sweet time to transition, so now that the AM’s are nippy and there are leaves on the driveway, it has us thinking about some fall flavas from back in our homestate of Iowa.  Three came to mind:  Sweet potatoes, smoky BBQ, and polenta.  Wouldn’t you know it, but I have just the perfect dish:

Smokey BBQ Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh on “Herby” Polenta

Fall Flavas

My All-Time Favorite Flava!

Web Feast Friday – Labor Day Edition

Welcome to the final Web Feast of August, and get your weekend started off right with this jam:

Any time EPL has a three day weekend, you know there will be plenty of vegan food, outdoor adventures, and a couch-nap or two.  This weekend is no exception as we travel to the vegan wonderland that is Portland, OR.  Enjoy this week’s feast of recipes, news, and reviews, and feel free to take the entire three day weekend to read them.  Get your three day feast on!

Every holiday deserves deserts!

Here’s some math for you:  Cigarettes = eggs.

No picnic is complete without some macaroni salad.  This has actually been proven.

Seriously, my two favorite foods are red velvet cake and pancakes.  Win, win.

I feel like this may have been posted before, but these are the new go-to sweet treat at the EPL HQ.

This, this, and this will happen at some point over the next three days.

This clip is in honor of Hayley and her discovery of the existence of people who have never seen this movie.  Thank you for not being one of these people.  If you feel you are one of these people, use one of your three days off to get out of that funk.

Vegan 4th of July menu + memories


July 4th, 1989: Everything you need to know about our personalities in one frame.

There was little simpathy in my house for whiners and tattle-tales. The first time my brother punched through a window in order to punch my face, I was grounded one week for ‘provoking’. I sliced two fingers on my right hand while carving pumpkins, and the urgency of the bleeding didn’t cause a rouse until mom’s makeshift cloth bandage was overcome and someone almost fell in the puddle of blood forming beside my desk. And anytime there was a major crisis, heartbreak, disappointment, or failure, Mom would slap us on the back and say, “eh, it’s nothing $10,000 in therapy won’t fix.”

What seems like negligent parenting from the outside, I have come to recognize as simple prioritization. The one thing my parents took very seriously? Freedom. They preached civil rights and women’s lib and every long car ride was a mock-trial atmosphere laced with provocative questions and spirited debate. While dad was cooking or shaving he would have me read him The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I was 9.

Yet as they say, freedom isn’t free. The consequences for sparking a pro choice/life debate during lunch at St. Matthew’s Catholic school while wearing a “Vote Dukakis” campaign button can burn fear even into the most carefree young mind. But thanks to mom, I started my therapy savings account with baby sitting money early.

Thanks for the love and support and the freedom mom and dad. And of course to you too America, where I can believe and say whatever I want without any fear of getting my fingers chopped off – unless it’s by my own hand and poorly tended to by the family.

Mom hugs after (finally) running my first race at age 29. Always my biggest supporter.

4th of July Vegan Menu

Field Roast Hotdogs on the grill, cut in spirals for optimum deliciousness

Pickled Planet Raw Sauerkraut for toppin’s

Our fav! Wasabi Potato Salad 

Broccoli Hemp Slaw with Tangy Mustard Dressing

Vegan Baked Beans 

Patriotic Vegan/Raw Cheesecake (as shown)

Raw Pistachio Almond Ice Cream

We would love to hear your favorite recipes for 4th of July – keep sharing and celebrating great food with friends!

The vegan guide to grilling: Do’s & Dont’s


GRILLIN SEASON YO! But oh snap, you’re vegan! That’s right – YOU were the one that, in the sanctity and potato soup laden months surrounding New Years, elected to stop eating animals without even considering that, YES, fish is an animal and, YES, that one douche from college that shows up to backyard parties with the ‘bags’ and Bud Light will call you a pussy.

Here is good general advice: don’t let the douche get you down. Use this as an opportunity to parade around your plant-powered washboard abs, drink your new-age classy microbrew,  and show off your hot vegan girl/boy toy you snagged while reaching for the same bottle of kombucha at the Coop – then watch smugly as “el douche” houses your secretly vegan foods. Congrats on being the bigger person.

That grill looks like it was dumped on by a rainbow. A nom nom rainbow.

The following is a general outline of how to have a proper a vegan BBQ, and how to properly jack up a vegan BBQ.  Grab a cold one, sit back, and explore the dos and don’ts of vegan grillin’!

Brian demonstrating how to look casually cool while the thunderous excitement for vegan grillin’ steeps manically beneath the surface.

DO:  Purchase your favorite seasonal grill-able veggies.  The key is cutting the veggies in BIG slices and putting them directly on the grill, brushed with a little oil and salt and pepper or your favorite herbs.

  • red onions
  • asparagus
  • peppers
  • zucchini
  • corn
  • portabella mushrooms
  • eggplant

DON’T:  Speak like a vegan food scientist in casual conversation. Also, try not to add the words “vegan” and “cruelty free” when describing any food OR find tricky ways to politicize the meal. Examples include “Are you enjoying your reconstituted TVP burger?” or “How is the vegan potato salad? The potatoes are locally grown and the farmer assured me that no Monsanto poisons pollute any farms within 100 miles of his.” Basically this “Don’t” should read: Don’t be an asshole.

DO:  Have plenty of beer on ice.  Expensive, cheap, or somewhere in the middle. The word in the hipster underground is that Miller High Life and PBR  are the new cheap-chic…so depending on your camp, either stock up or post a passive aggressive anti-hipster sign such as “I brake for Coors Light” or “Down with Ray Ban’s”.  Our house microbrew fav’s are Rogue Dead Guy, Fat Tire, Pyramid Apricot, and Caldera Ashland amber.  Besides quality produce, cold beer IS essential.

DON’T: Put out the fire with your urine. It may sound fun, but the only meat getting near the grill should be made from plants.

DO:  Experiment with the many faux-meat grill-ables. Everybody from Tofurky to Boca to Field Roast makes a version of brats and veggie burgers. Our go-to brats are the Field Roast Apple & Sage, or you can try making your own version using this recipe. Veggie burgers are up for debate in our fam, but I have been power-eating the Don Lee veggie patties at about every meal lately – not only do they have a rad indian food flava with a burger-like texture, they are also hella cheap at Costco.

Preparing the sausage for the Battle of the Grill.

DON’T: Alienate anyone based on food preference. Life is about doing what brings you the most happiness, and while I would love it if everyone thought like me – it would also be boring and terrifying. The key is sharing your passion for veganism, or any other belief and passion , is to listen loudly, be open to answering questions, let go of judgements, and offer a supportive ear. Your friends will be curious about how you can be so happy with all that veg, but they may not quite be ready to make the change. Cook your fare then let them cook their goods. Oh, and it’s totally cool to just say you prefer not to cook the meat if it weirds you out – and if they are a true friend, they will be equally as cool with cooking.

DO: Cook veggie burgers on a mesh grate or foil over the grill. Since some of the burgers are bound together by beans they tend to get soft on the grill and will fall between the wider grate. Nobody likes a dusty-ass, charcoal covered burger.

black bean burger from Veganomican (killer cookbook)

Grilled tofu protein bomb

DON’T: Skimp on the sides. Be sure to have the standard chips and guacamole, a creative potato salad , and plenty of dippin’s. I can no longer eat vegetables without Cafe Yumm’s Yumm sauce – I can, and have, eaten that stuff straight up with a spoon. And lest we forget it was Chaucer who once said, “Woe to the cook whose sauce has no sting.” Don’t bring the woe – bust out that hot sauce and bedazzel the grill you f’in grillers!

DO: Get creative with greens. Sturdy greens such as bok choy, kale, and romaine can be grilled with a little oil, salt, and pepper and used to cut up in salads, toss with beans and a dressing, or as an alternative to buns (such as our little grilled tempeh lettuce wraps seen here).

Top it with some hot stuff and apply some sauce. (that’s what she said)

Dang that lettuce look good!

DON’T: Forget dessert. Have some dairy free ice-cream, we heart Coconut Bliss vanilla island, and while the grill is hot, grab some peaches or other stone fruit, and try this delicious grilled peaches recipe from PPK.

I fell into a burning ring of fire…and it was delicious.

DO: Sell it to your friends that this vegan grilling experience is an adventure or turn it into a competition. How about hosting your own grilling Iron Chef with meat free ingredients? Or most creative use of grilled vegetables wins a sweet veggie themed apron like this?

Lastly, DON’T forget why you made this decision to cut back or go free of meat. We love embracing the challenge to transform our seasonal and traditional cravings into new, kinder cravings. Be sure to share your summer favorites and cheers to a great summer!

Best (iowa) corn: Paprika and chipotle spices, cooked with the husk on. Juicy deliciousness.

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Webfeast Friday: Summertime Edition


First things first.  Greetings to all our new readers and followers!  We were recently featured on wordpress.com’s Freshly Pressed, and now feel even more inspiration/pressure to deliver our vegan exploits to the masses.  Full disclosure:  we had no idea what Freshly Pressed was, and only learned about it after seeing it mentioned in a post as our blog and Facebook follower count exploded on Wednesday!  We are so excited that we are able to share our quips and adventures about living life vegan-style with more than just our immediate family and a few friends and co-workers.  Keep the feedback, questions, and recommendations coming!

In honor of the first day of summer, this week’s Webfeast has a summertime vibe to help you kickoff our favorite time of year! Eat up!!

Adventure bars for your summertime outdoor adventures.

Hot coffee during the hot summer doesn’t work.  Cold brew and iced coffee is the only way to go.

Dreamsicles = summertime.

Every season is donut season.

Bad days don’t exist during the summer.  Here’s how you make sure!

June’s “Where do you get your protein” segment.

Our perfect summer involves one of these.

Everything you need to outfit yourself for summer.  Get the gear!!!!!

We’re planning a trip to San Francisco in July.  Any recommendations or must-sees??  In preparation for the trip, we leave you with this:

BBQ “pulled pork” Jackfruit with Pickled Onions & Wasabi Potato Salad


As a teenager, I had an entire list of things that I wanted in a man. He had to be tall, dark (preferably greek), funny, read Eastern philosophy, dress with style, play soccer, have bigger arms then me, and like every song ever written or sung by Robert Smith. After a few broken hearts and years of figuring out what I don’t want, that list began to read more like a post office job application and benefits package: must pass a drug test, must offer proof of clean driving record, has 401k and stock options, military experience preferred, and has never been convicted of a felony. Yet after 3+ years of relationship bliss I have some advice for things every person must add to their ‘desirables’ list. The person must:

1. Challenge you to think differently with kindness and humor

2. Like every song ever written or sung by Robert Smith (will make every list, every time)

3. Be able to make an amazing breakfast and/or homemade BBQ sauce on cue

Trust me, these things are critical to happiness. Oh, and the 401k and felony things are good too.

BBQ Jackfruit with Pickled Onions & Wasabi Potato Salad *v/gf

Evan likes to keep his food components in cornered isolation.

Our first experience with Jackfruit was at the Green Owl Cafe in Madison, WI where we had our minds straight blown off. The texture was so much like shredded meats that we were suspicious, and you can tell how excited we are by a meal when we begin using all available table ‘instruments’ to conduct a full-on biologic dissection of the food in hopes of recreating the dish at home.

Jackfruit grows in clusters of giant pods hanging from a tree most commonly in the Philippines, Jamaica and India. Everything from the seeds to the ‘bulbs’ or meat of the fruit to the inedible rind can be used, yet the common uses are canning the ‘bulbs’ (as you see below), grinding down the seeds to be used for flour, or cooking the bulbs down in coconut milk to be made into ice cream, jams, or chutney. Most often you will see Jackfruit listed on a Thai menu but, much like tofu, Jackfruit takes on the flavor of the sauce and closely resembles the texture of pulled pork in this dish.

Ewwww!!! Looks brain-ish.

Typically found in Asian food isles or markets.

Ingredients in BBQ Jackfruit:

                          • 1 cup ketchup
                          • 1/4 cup molasses
                          • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
                          • 2 tbsp tomato paste
                        • Whisk above ingredients into a bowl, then add:
                          • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
                          • 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not making gluten-free)
                          • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
                          • 1 tbsp dried oregano
                          • Hot sauce, to taste (we heart Siracha)
                          • salt and pepper, to taste

To complete the jackfruit, dice 1/2 a large onion and saute for 4-6 minutes in a deep skillet. Meanwhile, drain the jackfruit and use fingers to separate until appears shredded. Once its broken apart, add the jackfruit to the skillet of BBQ sauce and simmer until jackfruit softens, another 4-6 minutes.

Ingredients in Pickled Onions:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

    So good, you will shamelessly eat them claw-fingers style.

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cold water
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar or agave
  • 1 hit of Siracha, or other hot sauce to taste
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin in rings
In a small bowl, vinegars with 1/2 cup of cold tap water. Stir in salt, the sugar and the hot sauce. Add the sliced onions and let sit for at least one hour.

Wasabi Potato Salad *v/gf

As lame and adult as it sounds, I promise you that you having one go-to dish to bring to a friends barbecue is WAY cooler then showing up half-ass with store bought stale, tasteless cookies or some dumpy noodle salad. Nothing says “I’m hear for the beer” like not making any effort. This potato salad takes about 10-15 minutes start to finish and gives us crazy party cred.

Wasabi: the only heat that burns up.


  • 10 medium red potatoes, golf ball sized, boiled
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 chopped sweet pickles
  • 1/2 dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp wasabi paste
  • 2 tbsp veganaise
  • salt and pepper

Mix together in a bowl and apply directly to the inside of your mouth.