Web Feast Friday: Rawmageddon Begins


Friday the First can mean only one thing:  RAWMAGEDDON has begun!  Our first 30 Day Challenge went surprising well as we managed to post almost every day during January.  We missed a couple of days, but definitely feel pretty confident that we can continue our streak.  Now that February has begun, 30 Day Challenge #2 has begun in which we eat raw every meal, every day.  Day 1 is in the books with juices, smoothies, nuts, and salads dominating the menu.  We have some interesting recipes queued up for a few occasions and look forward to sharing some of these with our faithful readers.  In the meantime, we leave you with some great ideas for your Super Bowl Sunday festivities!

Anything that’s vegan AND fully loaded has to be good.  Right?

Sunday brunch idea to get primed for the big game!

CUPCAKES!!

For those of you taking on Rawmageddon with us, add this to your Big Game must-cook list.

I’ve ask myself this question so many times.  Now I have an answer.

If you haven’t liked any ideas thus far, here’s a whole list of ideas to help you write your Super Bowl menu.

Here’s the “big game” I’m really looking forward to this weekend.  J-Pow!!

I couldn’t help myself.  I had to end things with some more BTnH.

Web Feast Friday: Sunday Edition


As you may or may not have noticed, our streak of blogging came to an end on Friday, January 25.  I am actually impressed that we made it that long considering the whirlwind of adventures and funtivities we have been engaging in over the last couple of weeks. We spent this past weekend relaxing, skiing, cooking, and imbibing with our dear friends in Sunriver, Oregon.  I’m blaming our streak coming to an end on a fun-friend-filled weekend.  Best.Excuse.Ever.

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Mountains, outdoor activities, and wildlife. Sounds like a damn good time to me!

 

We forgot our camera back at the cabin, so this isn’t actually depicting our day. Add in icy snow and 25 mph winds, and you get the idea.

We had actually been saving up lots of great links to share on Friday, so we figured why not get “caught up” with our blog posts by cranking out some bonus posts on Sunday.  This Webfeast is dedicated to our weekend in Sunriver and will definitely get us back on track and prep us for our next 30 Day Challenge which is our Raw February!

After this past weekend, a detox is definitely in order!

Feeling a little acidic?  We definitely are.

We’re in the process of writing our Super Bowl party menu.  These might make the cut.

A new obsession.

We’re in the market.  Anyone have any recommendations or reviews to share?

This came in handy after a long day on the hill.  Vegan and GF!!

Kickstart my Vegan Heart

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Being huge fans of the website Kickstarter, we find ourselves constantly looking for independent businesses, projects, and ideas to support in hopes of expanding the ever-growing world of vegan commerce.  When you add in our passion for cookbooks, new and old, it’s no surprise that we jumped at the opportunity to fund an all-vegan cookbook inspired by the author’s world travels and culinary adventures.  This project was met its funding goal last October, and we have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the finished product.  The authors have done a great job of keeping us posted on the progress, sharing additional recipes and thoughts along the way, and building the excitement up to the release date.

We recently received our copy of The Lotus and Artichoke and couldn’t wait to crack it open and start cookin’!  Along with the author’s story and pictures of adventures, the book features amazing recipes from all over the globe representing multiple cuisines and ethnic fare.  We’ve already “tested” a couple recipes, and have several more on our growing list to try out over the course of the next month or so.  They will definitely make an appearance on the blog, and we are looking forward to sharing these with all you in.  In the meantime, check out the official website for the Lotus and the Artichoke, and head on over to their Facebook page and give them some love.  If you feel inspired enough, pick up a copy or three for yourself and two of your best friends and get cookin’ yourself!

If you need some extra inspiration or a soundtrack for your cooking, we leave you with this gem.

Vegan Epic Meal Time. Moo Bitch.


I have this, lets call it ‘genetic’ defect in my personality that I will go to any level of humiliating myself or Evan if I think it will evoke even the tiniest amount of actual or awkward laughter.  Before you judge, let me just say that 1. I already admitted it’s a defect and I am working on it 2. I don’t believe in pranks – I’m okay with people thinking I’m an asshole but not doing something juvenile and dickish and probably leaves a emotional and actual mess and 3. It’s how I love. Thanks a lot mom and dad. 

Here’s the irony – I can make a joke about anything and seem like a real tough gal, but when it comes to actual confrontation, total softy. Exhibit A: the picture below. So I somehow have the courage to say to my boss “Looks like you’re already giving up on the day” as he carries his McDonald’s breakfast through a giant room of co-workers, but when the dude at the airport taco place puts cheese on my salad after 3 requests to prepare without cheese (even the cheese allergy card), all I do is pick as much cheese out as possible and passive-aggressively tell jokes about it later. *sigh* Karma.

As a tribute to my first unwanted dairy of the year, enjoy the newest vegan epic meal time: milk mutiny.

 

accidentalcheese

Damnit.

 

Souper Sunday – Asian Persuasion Edition: Lotus Root


Any way you plate lotus root, it looks beautiful.

Any way you plate lotus root, it looks beautiful.

There are a few things that I like to do when I’m feeling blue:

  1. Look at this picture of Burglekutt from the 1988 movie gem Willow 

    He totally deserved it.

    He totally deserved it.

  2. Watch any SNL “What Up With That” skit
  3. Wander around Asian grocery stores and buy the craziest looking things to experiment with in the kitchen

Not since my military days living in Korea have I been so emerged in the process of discovering new foods as these last few weeks, thanks to my friend Evonne who lived in Japan for 5 years. Oh man, be sure to tune in tomorrow for her guest blog post with more of the awesome (and easy) Asian market eats.

Until a few days ago we had never worked with, seen, or even heard of lotus root – so since then we learned a few things:

What is lotus root?

Looking much like a mixture of a parsnip and a sweet potato and growing up to 4 feet long, a lotus root grows underwater. It is a common food in Asian countries for both consumption and medicinal purposes in treating respiratory issues.

What does lotus root taste like? How do you cook it?

The root can be eaten either raw or cooked and has a mildly bitter, crispy taste simliar to jicama. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used raw in salads, added to soups and stews, steamed as a side dish, or pan fried (as prepared in this recipe). The older a lotus root gets, the darker it becomes – so shop for a firm, light colored root then keep refrigerator.

Much like any root vegetable, there really isn’t a WRONG way to prepare a lotus root. The most common prep is to peel, slice horizontally to show off the lace-like interior, then eaten raw or cooked to taste. Check out this website for more ideas.

Does lotus root have nutritional benefits?

Absolutely! Half a cup of lotus root contains 73% of your daily Vitamin C recommended requirements along with moderate levels of iron, b-complex, and minerals such as copper, zinc, and magnesium  All these benefits at just 40 calories per half cup serving. Check out more benefits here.

The fun part about lotus root is how BEAUTIFUL it looks! You can be a show off to friends and family while keeping to your resolutions. We served the recipe below with soba noodles and miso soup.

Stir-fried Lotus Root*

From Asian Vegan Kitchen 

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INGREDIENTS: 

  • 11 ounces of lotus root (You can find this in the freezer section of your local Asian market)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 dried red chili
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds

Heat vegetable oil in a broad sauce pan or wok, and stir-fry lotus root over high heat for 1 minute, or until glazed with oil.  Add in chili and mix together.  Turn heat to low, and add remaining ingredients except sesame seeds.  Stir-fry lotus root until most of liquid is absorbed and lotus root is cooked.  Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and transfer to serving dish.

We served  our lotus root with soba noodles which were prepared following the instructions on the package.

Web Feast Friday


It finally feels like winter here in the Pacific NW, and we have a brand new dusting of snow on  the hills throughout the valley.  We’re eleven days into the year, and still holding strong to our commitment/resolution of blogging every day!  We have lots of great ideas for posts, and lots of great recipes and stories to share.  We also have some exciting adventures on the horizon that are sure to create even more blog fodder. Snowshoeing is on the agenda this weekend, along with a little wine tour.  In the meantime, sit back and relax the second installment of Web Feast Friday for 2013!

Simple.  Easy.  Indian flavors.  Love it!

For those of you who want to go raw with us next month, here’s a recipe to bookmark.

The EPL household is a big fan of savory waffles.  These just made the cut for Sunday brunch.

Health vegan Twix bars?

We’re everywhere!!!!

We’re hosting a vegan Super Bowl party this year, and you KNOW this will be served!

Lot’s of recipes this week means lots of cooking and baking is taking place.  One such cooking escapade involves a shopping trip to the Asian market, no real plan, and $100 in groceries.  Stay tuned for that story!

We leave you with some winter running inspiration and motivation.  Play outside this weekend and cook some good food.

Spreadable, salty, a little funky, and loaded with umami?


 

A good friend of mine sent me an article from the New York Times highlighting a food called misozuke.  I read the description from the article which mentioned three of my favorite words:  spreadable, funky, and umami.  I was instantly intrigued and consulted our in-house Japanese expert for more details and a potential recipe.  Apparently misozuke is the result of aging tofu in a “marinade” of miso anywhere from 2 months to 2 years.  It produces something that resembles cheese, but with an extremely unique flavor. I quickly followed the link from the article to Rau Om, which is an online purveyor of the product.

 

Without any hesitation, I order both original and kombu flavors and have already found myself brainstorming all the dippin’ and spreadin’ possibilities.  I also found a recipe that I intend on trying after I get a good taste of what misozuke should taste like.  A full review of the product will follow the misozuke feast.  If anyone has experience eating or making misozuke, we would love to hear from you!

Web Feast Friday: New Year’s Edition

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Four days into 2013, and so far, our resolution to blog each day of the year is still in effect!  That means we will be treating you guys to at least 360 more posts in 2013.  Both of us have laid out a list of resolutions/goals for the year, and over the course of the next couple of months, we will be posting all the details.  In honor of 2013 and resolution season, we offer up several resolution/make-yourself-better links to assist with the process.  Feel free to share these with us, and we can all be accountabila-buddies!

These tips would easily free up a good 40 hours every week!  Just think about what you could do with 40 hours.

If you resolution is to find a nice vegan guy/gal to court, make sure you read up on these details.

Keep your feet happy and cruelty-free in 2013!

2013 is guaranteed to be BIG year for Team EPL, and it can be a BIG year for you too!

Watch this movie in 2013.

Follow this blog in 2013.

Here’s a load of links from No Meat Athlete that can help you with all your plant-based fitness needs.

Eat/drink one thing green at every meal.  Here’s some ideas!

It’s a new year, I’m glad to be here!  Happy 2013 folks!

Procrastinating on Day One

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It’s 11:16 PM Pacific Time and we are submitting the first blog post of the year on the first day of the year and, in typical Evan and Hayley fashion, waiting until the last minute to do so. But I will say…we have a great excuse. Today was spent traveling from the small town of Charles City, IA (Evan’s hometown) to the Des Moines International Airport to Phoenix then San Francisco and finally back to Medford. Oh, and of course there was the stop at Food 4 Less to pick up the essentials so then we don’t have to de-jammie tomorrow all day. Vacation days, consider yourself milked!

Oh, and by the way – HAPPY NEW YEAR! I will spare myself the delirium of posting our binders of resolutions (screw you law of diminishing returns – I say the more goals you set, the more likely you are to actually hit one. It’s that whole “a broken clock is right at least twice a day” or “throwing darts and see which ones stick” concept. I’m terrible at metaphors, but you get my gist) and we will share the big year of goals, tools, events, and adventures tomorrow.

Like all great ideas, this one began with Evan and I overdosing on Thai food and agreeing to publicly commit to something that may be over our heads, this time agreeing to blog every day in 2013. Again, be prepared for rambling and dick jokes.

It’s gonna be an awesome year.

Goal setting is making us lazy

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Tis the season for letting ourselves go.

Yeah, there is the proverbial “letting bygones by bygones” and “Should auld acquaintance be forgot” (does anyone know what the hell ‘auld’ means? Up until writing this blog post I thought the lyric was “may all acquaintance be forgot” – which is kinda morose sounding yet also how I feel after most New Year’s nights when I’m stuffed like a vienna sausage into my hometown bar surrounded by the same people who used to point out my lady-stache and are now screaming ‘I KNOW YOU!’ into my ear then spilling their drink on me while I try to cover my upper lip.)

Anyway, I’m talking about the classic letting yourself go where all you can think about at work is doning your dumpy sweatpants, ordering Thai, and consuming diabetic-coma levels of sugar cookies while bidding on Jedi ornament’s on e-bay.  Last night we ordered so much food that the lady handing us the several bags at Lemongrass Thai asked how many people we were feeding. I lied and told her 3…but she knew. She knew.

Here is the good news: holiday sloth is not only totally acceptable, it’s encouraged. Why would you start eating healthy now when there are a dozen Holiday parties over the next few weeks? Listen, if Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock can celebrate their marital union for 2 weeks, the least I can do is celebrate Jesus’ birthday the whole month. (Evan says I’m reaching with my outdated pop culture reference. What is this, communist China? Ok, that is going a little far.) Oh, and any other time of year this behavior would be considered giving up hope, but December is the month for hope – and we are getting our goal setting on like a mofo!

Evan really went above and beyond for those beads.

Evan really went above and beyond for those beads.

Here is what we have so far:

  • I did a blog a few years ago where I took a picture every day for a year and wrote about it. (http://ordinaryinstant.tumblr.com/). Then this year we started this little gem you are painfully tolerating now. SO – we decided that in 2013 we will be combining the two ideas and doing a blog post every single day for the whole year. Oh boy, get ready for many days of quantity over quality folks, which happens to be where I thrive. Get ready for an increase of dick jokes and pictures of my awkward youth.
  • We are a fan of 30 day challenges – in which we usually only execute full for 5 days and then make concessions. BUT NOT THIS YEAR! Some example are a month: running 30 minutes per day, sugar-free, gluten-free, 30 minutes of meditation, reading a book a week, buying nothing but essentials, no TV, 200 pushups/sit-ups, and our January goal of eating all raw. Considering we are blogging every day, you will be going through it all with us folks. Brace yourself for adults bitching a lot about their white people problems.
  • We just signed up for a lot of running events including the Portland Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon, Hood to Coast, and the Portland Marathon along with keeping our goal of one race per year. Many of these sign-ups occurred as a quid pro quo for eating copious amounts of indian food. The more food we binge on – the more strenuous of event we sign up for. This is sounding really sad.

What are some of your goals this year? How you will know measure success at year’s end? Do you give a shit? Ahhh, this really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Time to eat some peanut butter captain crunch and watch the Batman trilogy. Peace.