Our Top 100 favorite things about being vegan (celebrating our 100th post!)

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100_eurekamural

HAPPY 100th POST TO US! It’s been so much fun sharing our food, laughs, and life with you over the past year and we are excited for hundreds of more posts to come! As a tribute to what plant-based lifestyle has done for our lives, we are breaking the barrier of our normal hump-day laziness to share our top 100 reasons for being vegan (in no particular order).

100 Favorite Things About Being Vegan

  1. Having enough energy to workout, work long hours, cook delicious meals, write a blog, plan and partake in adventures, and live passionate life.
  2. Saving 50+ animals a year

    We found a magical snow elephant snowshoeing this weekend!

    We found a magical snow elephant snowshoeing this weekend!

  3.  All the amazing, compassionate, open people we have met because of our interest in plants
  4. Losing over 60 pounds between the two of us
  5. Creating and re-creating favorite meaty & cheesy meals
  6. Kayrn’s on Green (oh man – our fav)
  7. VooDoo Donut Apple Fritters
  8. Quick recovery time after hard workouts
  9. Discovering new substitutes (and proving that vegan cookies are breathtaking)
  10. MindBodyGreen
  11. Taking a more mindful interest the role each meal plays in the quality of my life
  12. Helping others to discover their healthiest, happiest selves (even a few more plants is great!)
  13. Yumm sauce
  14. Veg-fest’s galore: Portland, Chicago, San Fran

    Rockin' Out at Chicago Veg-Fest 2011

    Rockin’ Out at Chicago Veg-Fest 2011

  15. Eating Animals – good for thinkers of going veggie
  16. Papa G’s

    Deli of vegan deliciousness in Portland

    Deli of vegan deliciousness in Portland

  17. Portobello
  18. That sweet potato fries can be considered a meal
  19. Cruelty free products not tested, or made with, sweet fuzzy loving animals
  20. Daiya – we lika the cheeze!
  21. Post Punk Kitchen
  22. Coconut Bliss Ice Cream
  23. Veganomicon
  24. Predictable and extraordinary poops
  25. Millennium
  26. Vegetarian House

    All vegan chinese restaurant in downtown Portland - and right across the street from VooDoo Donuts!

    All vegan chinese restaurant in downtown Portland – and right across the street from VooDoo Donuts!

  27. Tofutti Cream Cheese
  28. Farm Sancutuary
  29. Food, Inc
  30. Vegan Essentials
  31. Clear skin (not for everyone, but most see an improvement)
  32. Lara & Halo bars
  33. Vegucated
  34. Sweet and Sarah marshmallows
  35. The Vegan Sourcebook
  36. Forks over Knives
  37. Trader Joe’s Vanilla Almond Milk
  38. Mastering the art of making our own meats
  39. Scott Jurek
  40. Sizzle Pie – Spiral Tap Pizza will bring you so much joy100_sizzle
  41. Finding veggie friends using Meetup.com
  42. Asian markets
  43. The Green Owl Cafe

    Where our love from BBQ Jackfruit was born

    Where our love from BBQ Jackfruit was born

  44. Vega products
  45. Soy milk commercials
  46. Food coop’s (and getting memberships to actually support them!)
  47. The China Study
  48. Happy Herbivore
  49. Planning vacations around restaurants, and maybe fitting in some other things
  50. Trumpet Blossom (get dessert peeps!)
  51. Vegan MoFo (vegan month of food)
  52. Chef Chole Coscarelli
  53. Babycakes
  54. Vegan Cuts – sign up for their monthly vegan snack box
  55. Diet for a Small Planet
  56. BBQ Jackfruit (and knowing what Jackfruit is – never would have ordered before going veggie)
  57. Tofu scramble Sunday brunch
  58. The Vegan Stoner
  59. Herbivore clothing
  60. The day that you can feel your body begin to crave vegetables more than junk food
  61. Vegan with a Vengence
  62. Isa Chandra Moskawitz
  63. The Joy of Vegan Baking (best.cookbook.ever)
  64. Taking our love for all beings to another level
  65. Warrior Force protein powder
  66. Sage’s Cafe – and Salt Lake City
  67. Mad City Vegan Fest
  68. No more cholesterol!
  69. Two Beans or Not Two Beans
  70. The Shop ‘N Kart (Our new favorite grocery store.)
  71. Getting creative at Thanksgiving and blowing your families mind
  72. Cinnaholic

    The best part of Berkley after the people watching

    The best part of Berkley after the people watching

  73. Meat is for Pussies  – veggies for bros!
  74. Vegan Brunch (another favorite – you can tell by the amount of pancake batter between the pages)
  75. Finding new and interesting ways to use tempeh
  76. Rich Roll
  77. Juicing – and having your body show you how happy it can really feel
  78. Prepping ourselves for our first visit this summer to NYC as vegans
  79. Dandies marshmallows
  80. Thunderbird Energetica Bars
  81. Chocolate-Covered Katie

    I love a girl that loves cupcakes:)

    I love a girl that loves cupcakes:)

  82. Upton’s Natural’s Seitan
  83. So Delicious coconut milk egg nog (that’s right, I said egg nog mofo!)
  84. Kickstarter funded veggie cookbooks like The Lotus and the Artichoke
  85. Earwax Cafe  – the place it all began for Evan, and we are still mourning it’s loss
  86. Cocomels – sea salt are the bomb
  87. VITAMIX!!!

    The day we finally got rid of our old blender and bought a Vitamix. We had feelings.

    The day we finally got rid of our old blender and bought a Vitamix. We had feelings.

  88. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
  89. Thai food – especially Tom Kha with Tofu NOMS!
  90. Veggie Superbowl menu planning!
  91. Bearded brother’s bars100_beard
  92. Moo Shoes
  93. Cornbread Cafe – I could curl up and live in their menu

    Cornbread Cafe in Eugene - sandwiches of the gods

    Cornbread Cafe in Eugene – sandwiches of the gods

  94. Sea vegetables on everything
  95. Babycakes cookbooks
  96. Slowly beginning to use coconut oil for literally everything
  97. Food Democracy Now
  98. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
  99. Bare Escentuals  – cruelty free beauty
  100. Getting to do this amazing blog for you amazing people every day – we hope you enjoy reading it even half as much as we love sharing it with you. LOVE!
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Pack yo’ lunch, son!

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Last week, we outlined the Top 10 Reasons Living in Oregon is Awesome.  Unfortunately, this also means that big-time work meetings involve some serious travel back to the midwest.  This type of travel also presents a crapshoot when it comes to finding vegan food at airports, hotels, or work-sponsored networking buffets.  I know that work lunches can be great, so I was interested to test this theory in a different time zone.

This past week, I flew to Chicago for a three-day work meeting that I genuinely look forward to every year.  What I don’t look forward to is the lack of food options, and the fact that there isn’t any kind of grocery store or market within eight miles of our hotel.  I have learned to bring along standard vegan travel fare like Lara Bars, Primal Strips, and Nature’s Path oatmeal.  I am also always on the lookout for fruit from any kind of breakfast bar, and have become quite skilled in foraging for peanut butter.  I had packed enough food to get by for a couple days, but found myself rationing my supplies by the end of day two.  I decided that in order to survive the longest day of meetings, and still have food for the flight home, I needed to explore the vast expanses of the hotel and see what I could throw together.  Here is a picture of what I came up with:

What you see here is an iceberg salad, two mixed fruit cups, a Cliff Bar, some peanut butter packets, and water.

Day three of meetings went off without a hitch, and I had just enough food left to take care of breakfast and a morning and afternoon snack.  Lunch looked to be an issue as I educated two hotel food service employees that havarti is not vegan.  The day ended with a flight out of O’Hare airport, but not before I stumbled upon a little gem in any vegan’s desert:  the food court.  I quickly typed ” O’Hare vegan” into google on my phone, and found some great info that guided me to a salad bar/vegan soft serve restaurant B Smooth tucked in between a burrito joint and a Golden Wok.  I ended up creating my own salad with all kinds of fresh produce, and had a vanilla-banana milkshake with vegan soft serve.

I ordered a large shake, and they had to go next door to the burrito place and get a cup. I mean seriously, how often do you really get vegan soft serve!

The two most important pieces of information I picked up over the weekend are as follows:

1)  Work meetings that involve travel always necessitate bringing along a grocery stash.

2)  O’Hare Airport is extremely vegan friendly.  Seriously peeps, vegan soft serve in the midwest! And since it is O’Hare you know you will have time to kill between your delayed flights anyway, so eat up!

Anyone have any other vegan friendly experiences in airports?

Saturday brunch: Eggless Benedict

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Brunch benedict at Portobello in Portland, OR makes me feel both happy and inadequate at the same time…much like my high school years.

Brunch is just simply wonderful. A Folger’s-esque morning of flannel PJ’s,  slow drip coffee, and reading the newspaper supine on the couch still saturated in Friday’s musk. We flip through recipes, write down ingredients, take a quick trip to the store, come home, turn on Paul Simon’s Graceland on LP, and create a masterpiece.

The one downside to brunch that people don’t tell you is that you’re f’n STARVING by the time you get around to eating, and few things make me a more unpleasant person then being hungry. Evan is like my mother and always makes sure to have snacks stashed on his person to whip out when the wrath begins to swell. Besides running for your life from a murderer, nobody has more terror in their eyes then Evan when I say I’m getting a little hungry. Terror.

An actual murder almost happened this morning as brunch wasn’t completed until after 11:00 AM, and the buck-standard signs of a spiral were taking place – beginning with heavy sighs and progressing into my uttering of dark, sarcasm laden questions like, “You know what I love Evan? Doing your laundry then seeing it still piled up on the washer.” So instead of taking beautifully staged photos of our Tofu Benny to share on the blog, Evan’s unsteady hand was desperately handing me my plate and positioning the camera with a few fingers, taking one awful picture…thus the post of the tofu benedict from our trip to Portobello in Portland a few months back. Just for your comedic viewing pleasure, I will put the picture at the bottom of the post – that way you don’t have to become ill until after you see the ingredients. You are very welcome.

TOFU BENNY (from Vegan Brunch

Ingredients:

  • English Muffins (we like Ezekiel brand)

Hollandaise Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond (alt) milk
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp arrowroot
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

 Marinade

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp arrowroot
  • 1 tsp black salt
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Tomatoes

  • 6 large slices beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes
  • Smoked salt to taste (or 1 tsp liquid smoke and a sprinkle of salt)

Prepare the tofu

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Gently press the water out of the tofu then lay it on its narrow side and slice into three pieces lengthwise. Use a 3-inch cookie/biscuit cutter to cut out circles in the tofu. Marinate the tofu for at least an hour, but overnight is best. Begin to cook tofu while hollandaise sauce is cooling . Just pre-heat a cast iron pan over medium heat, coat with olive oil, and cook until golden brown on each side – about 15 minutes total.

Hollandaise Sauce

In a small pot, saute the shallot in oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes. In the meantime, mix the milk with the arrowroot in a measuring cup and stir until the arrowroot is dissolved then set aside. Add the white wine and vinegar to the shallots. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced to about 2 tablespoons. While it’s reducing, add turmeric and broth powder to the mixture. Once it has reduced, add the milk to the pan and lower to medium heat. Whisk consistently for 5 – 7 minutes until the sauce thickens, otherwise it will be lumpy. Once thick, add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt. The best taste is if it sits for 20 minutes, as the milk will mellow out and the flavas will marry.

Get yo stack on!

Toast the english muffins then put on the plate with tops up. Place the tomato on the english muffins and sprinkle with smoked salt. Now place the tofu on the tomato and pour the hollandaise over the top. Use your favorite herbs to garnish (we used chives).

Now eat before your girlfriend rips your face off.

Yikes. Even photoshop didn’t help this ‘masterpiece’. Tastes like heaven though.

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Vegan Sandwich Porn

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Tempeh ‘Chicken Salad’ Bagel Sandwich

Red & Black Cafe – Portland, OR

Mmmmm……ahhhh yeahhhhh. Oh bagel, you looking GOOD girl. What’s that? You want me to share some vegan propaganda? I will look that shit up AND down. Come here boo…

Ultimate Veggie with Chipotle Aioli

West Street Deli – Ames, IA

Just when I thought you were perfect, you go and add another piece of bread and get feisty with yo spicy. DANG you taste good!

The Eugenewich

Cornbread Cafe – Eugene, OR

I want to touch your buns.

Avocado Sandwich

Sometimes I like um classy….

Peanut butter, Jelly, Pretzels, Pickles, & Bac-O’s

Peanut Butter Jam – RAGBRAI – Iowa

And sometimes I like um trashy.

Vegan Club Sandwich

VitaCafe – Portland, OR

It really turns me on when I’m not sure how I’m going to proceed –  I just know it’s gonna be messy.

Mid-Eastern Wrap

Broken Top Bottle Shop – Bend, OR

Once you go wrap, you never go back.

“Something with Beets on it” – Evan

Red & Black Cafe – Portland, OR

Just because I don’t know your name doesn’t mean we can’t share a few beautiful, passionate moments together.

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich

The Green Owl – Madison, WI

It doesn’t have to look pretty…but, yes, probably better if we turned those lights down low.

You. Are. Welcome.

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.

Treat yo self! Portland, OR edition

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There is one reason I remain in the corporate world: mandatory pre-meeting icebreakers. Yes, there is the whole part where you get to know the nuances, neuroses, and embarrassing moments of your co-workers that you can strategically use against them later as covert punishment and/or boredom quenching entertainment.  My favorite part is where I get to make up shit about myself.  My last team thought I was a WWE tagteam star, traveling the small regional circuit until I had to quit to follow my dream of being a standup comedian. The group before that thought that I was in the Navy Seals and every time they would ask a question, I would stare dreamingly into the distance and whisper, “I can’t talk about it.” I prefer to remain the wildcard in the office. The wildcard may play the Ghostbusters soundtrack on loop, use idioms incorrectly like “twelve of one, 1/6th of another”, start a fight club, wear pajama jeans, and decorate their office with an inappropriate amount of artificial foliage.  The best part is ambiguous unpredictability really makes any level of work seem exceptional. All my leaders know – you want to motivate Hayley, have her organize the mandatory fun or give her an occasion to bake/consume treats.

So it was no surprise when I discovered and instantly fell in love with the hilarity of David Fullarton’s “Pictures with words on them”, especially the mischeviously apathetic “apology” card.

http://www.davidfullarton.com = the perfect words to express how you really feel

Ahhh…Few things will make me feel better after a long day then passive agressive notes. Yet on those really tough days you just have to decompress, head to your fave city, and TREAT YO SELF! Snacks, facials, desserts, whiskey, cashmere sweaters – whatever gets you mellow, just TREAT YO SELF. Take this advice from the Parks and Rec crew:

As a vegan ya’ll, Portland is a place to treat yo self to sweets galore! The following is just some flavas of our favorite city – more to come!

PORTLAND ‘TREAT YO SELF’ TOUR 2012

TREAT YO SELF: Voodoo Doughnuts 

Our last trip to Voodoo involved a wiry  gentleman preaching to the line (yes, you WILL wait in line) about the dangers of obesity. Come for the ambiance – stay for the apple fritter.

The magic is in the hole.

If you build me that shelf Evan, I will fill it with donuts. Your call.

Your mouth will lose every shred of it’s once dainty composure.

If it’s passing dem lips then you gots to unzip.

TREAT YO SELF: Stumptown Coffee

Portland staple and the best drip we have tasted. I’m not totally sure, but you may have to have a handlebar mustache to work there.

There will be a dog out front. You will want to feed it. Don’t.

Cleansing the pallet on the way to more noms.

Road fuel – full octane.

TREAT YO SELF: Sweetpea Baking Company

Super bummed that I didn’t get a picture of the gluten-free monster chocolate chip cookie with frosting and topped with, what else, another cookie. I’m not sure the official name, but I call it the loss-of-limb – diabetics beware! We never go wrong at Sweetpea for treats, and their veggie lunch menu looks pretty legit. We recommend the Charlie Brownie (seen here) – tastes like a dense, salty and sweet, chewy and flakey Butterfinger bar.

If treats came with disclaimers, this one would be “Guaranteed to lower your self-esteem”. I’ll take two.

TREAT YO SELF: Back to Eden Bakery Boutique

Three words: Vegan soft serve. BOOYAH! We have been having an epic hankering for good dairy-free ice cream, and Back to Eden gave us variety with not only multiple kinds of soft serve but a huge selection of ice cream shakes AND sweet treat baked goods. We ordered a PB & J shake, a chocolate lavender shake, and a cinnamon roll – all amazing.

Is that allure I feel?

A vortex of frosting.

Not your boyfriend’s PB&J.

I got so excited my alien-hand hit it off the table moments later in a fit of glee.

The iceberg tip was tantalized and we are, as always, getting our immune systems prepped for the next round of treats. Hey, the best part about Portland is having our great friends, Sarah and Brian, doing their noble duty by priming our bellies for the lavish culinary delights of PDX.

TREAT YO SELF: Costco bulk

That much dried fruit just becomes counterproductive.

Now don’t you feel better? Looking back on memories of good food gets me ready to face another day! The 4th of July is fast approaching – enjoy your feasts my delightful friends – and be sure to use this opportunity to tell drunk people fake stories about your life.  Cheers to being the wildcard!!!

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The vegan guide to bar food

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Come for the drinks, stay for the morally superior food.

A few years before becoming a balls to the wall plant eater, a friend asked me why I wasn’t completely vegan, and all I remember is this momentary horror movie playing in my mind: Cartoon mozzarella sticks skipping joyfully down a sidewalk in the rain before getting shoved into a scary van, kidnapped forever. A giant wheel of aged cheddar rolling away for me before plummeting off a cliff into an abyss. Orange cream frosting on Sugarplum cupcakes locked behind bulletproof, impenetrable glass as I kick and scream to get through for just a taste. No way I could be vegan, and give up all the things that make me happy? Screw that. Tell me that you’re vegan, I would have said all of these:

Here’s the thing…you, my friends, can have it all. Seriously. You can treat your body, the earth, and the animals with respect without compromising one iota of your happiness. And we feel we are totally credible in the ‘if we can do it anyone can’ department considering I would receive cheese and meat as birthday gifts for much of my life and I have seen Evan’s morning be ruined over a poorly cooked egg.

The true test and proof that vegans can eat out really is navigating a menu at a bar. It can seen counterintuitive that a vegan can order anything since a bar menu will  typically read like a list of the leading causes of heart disease, but vegans are just like everyone else – some of us like to drink until we make poor eating/life decisions.

Our Portland friends were down for the weekend and gave us a perfect excuse to drink at the local brewery, Standing Stone, in Ashland, OR. The beauty of bar eating in a college town is the menu almost always has special options that are at least vegetarian to start and only take a few requests to veganize. A few tips for ordering vegan at a bar:

  • LOOK FOR FRENCH FRIES OR TOTS . It’s still good to at least ask the staff how the fries are made as the rare restaurant will use beef tallow or lard in processing fries (and always ask if there is an allergy), but 99% of the time the fries are good to go and you can request them to be made with special flavas, such as these fries with curry powder. Just avoid all creamy sauces and stick with ketchup, mustards (we heart dijon), and vinegars for dipping sauces.

Ask for additional spices like curry powder, garlic, or for additional dipping sauces available.

McMenimans spicy tot basket of glory.

  • LOOK FOR ALTERNATIVE MEATS AND DON’T ASSUME. If a veggie burger is available, many bars will allow you to substitute the veggie burger for hamburger on any menu options. Just be sure to check that the veggie burger isn’t made with eggs, a common binder. Really progressive bars will also offer tempeh, seitan, or tofu to be added into a dish.
  • STIR-FRY AND SALADS: If you have to order quick or are too drunk to study a menu, look for these two words. Don’t just stick with the salad listed and pull out the meat and dairy; instead, shop the ingredients available from other salads or entrees and request those items be added to your salad. The same concept goes with stir-fry…do you see they have brussel sprouts to order? Add it to the stir fry. It may cost a little more, but will add some gusto to a mix that may be short on fill once the meat is removed.

Tempeh stir fry “bar food’

  • FRIED VEGGIES. Okay, fried food may not be the best for you, but I really doubt you give a shit if you’re choosing to eat at a bar in the first place. Even my most carnivorous of friends find fried zucchini, fried pickles, or fried, well, anything delicious and just as easily irresistible as the meat options. This brewery just had ‘seasonal vegetables’ listed and when we asked, they said they were frying brussel sprouts..for reals, these puppies were amazing! My prego friend Sarah probably housed the whole plate guilt free…and I couldn’t have been more proud.

These babies will make any unwilling adult eat their vegetables.

  • HOPE FOR A CREATIVE COOK. Some of the best meals that I ever had came after I noticed a menu didn’t have any vegan options that were appealing, so I asked to talk to the chef and he was totally stoked for the challenge! He had fun trying something new and I reaped the benefits. It never hurts to play on the ego on a chef by making it seem like a fun challenge. They know their kitchen and are probably sick of making the same shit all the time. Throw in a big tip, write a great review, and enjoy your meal.
  • DESSERT – THINK FRUITY. I don’t consider a meal complete until I’ve eaten dessert, but at a bar this can be next to impossible. While I have had crazy luck asking questions and getting some great food (like the German Chocolate Cake from The Bye and Bye), usually if you can find a sorbet you are good to go. Or just order a Pyramid Apricot Ale, and call it good!

German Chocolate Cake and Oatmeal Stout. It always sounds good at the time.

Happy eating my friends! As always, we love to hear your thoughts, stories, and pictures of good food, especially great food you found in bars. Happy drinking!

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

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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.

 Ingredients:

  • 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.

Keep it weird.


There is something about the vibe of Portland OR that makes me feel inadequate in a moderately condescending yet strangely desirable way.  I feel like Portland is a fat middle schooler who won’t stop shoving me in the back for my lunch money, except what Portland wants is your best effort at creative zeal (only zeal in the most apathetic/chill form).  Portland just want’s me to burn my copy(s) of Eat Pray Love, repurpose old furniture into art, perfect a track stand, get an ironic tattoo, sell my car, and shave one side of my head…all things that I seriously consider until I pass some magical line south of Eugene on the way out of town. And of course, we can’t resist a trip to Food Fight to stock up on sweet treats!

Noms.

A big thanks to Happycow and all it’s patrons, and we have now discovered for ourselves the magical lil dive for GF/V pizza: Sizzle Pie.

I knew when we walked in that we would have to be real assholes not to enjoy ourselves here.  The line was seriously like a cast of characters for the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie and I had to reflect on the last time I had a tetanus and/or hepititis shot before sitting at a booth – but we’ve learned that the best food comes with a little risk.  The staff looked like Billy Bob Thorton and The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo had a lovechild and started a band with Freddie Mercury, Perry Farrell, and any protagonist from a Wes Anderson movie.  Anytime the names of food can tap into the 70% emotional part of my consumer brain I am sold, and with pizzas like “Let us play your party”, “Hawkwind”, and “The ‘Ol Dirty” I can order irrationally to my hearts content.  When we ordered the large “New Maps Out of Hell” we had no clue that we would be chomping on soy curls and cashew spread, but man oh man was it delicious!  Sarah said her “Ace of Spades” was the best gluten-free pizza she ever had – then proved it by eating it for breakfast and as a snack the next two days.

SIzzle pie in movement and glory…mustaches required (rides optional)

Save some for me birthday boy.

In recap, the lessons we learned this weekend are that you should eat as much (vegan) food as you want then wash it down with beer then eat some cake then sleep then wake up and do it again for two more days…then, you need to stop.  Or, like in our case, run a race after said weekend and experience gurgle gut at the 1k mark followed by sting ring around mile two – and that is enough to get you back on track for at least a few weeks.

Cheers to 32 years Evan. Here’s to living large and eating plants with the goal of another 70 years!

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