First, I just want to say thanks to everyone for keeping up with me all 31 days of Vegan MoFo! Special thanks to my new readers for liking posts and leaving comments, it’s so exciting to hear from you! I’m incredibly proud to have finished an entire month with a successful daily posting. I honestly thought I would have given up in the first two weeks. I think next year I’d love to post some original content or do a cookbook-a-week. This was a challenging but worthwhile endeavor, and I’m glad to have participated in the event even if I wasn’t ‘officially’ signed up to do so. I think I’m better prepared for next year.
Today’s dish, while not a complete disaster, was a bland bummer. I love borscht, and I was excited to make this hearty European soup. Unfortunately, I let my haste get the better of me, and ended up boiling the veggies for too long resulting in a flavorless mess. Learn from my mistake: if you use the slicing plate of a food processor, boil the vegetables in less time. They were pretty much done in less than ten minutes. Fifteen is too much. But, for the occasion of Halloween, I wanted to show the bright red of the beets. I can almost hear the screaming of the vegetables.
Thanks again for sticking with me or stopping by during Vegan MoFo 2012. I’m looking forward to the holidays and some soul-warming holiday cooking!
The nukable popcorn in a bag freaks me out a little bit. It’s always too salty, covered in thick, cholesterol-like garbage that’s supposed to be ‘tasty’. It’s just gross. So I decided I would look into making my own popcorn with just plain kernels and some seasoning. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten the technique of adding flavor, so this batch ended up really bland. I’d like to find a recipe that doesn’t involve oodles of oil or EB.
Shakabrah Java, Tacoma:
I had the opportunity to attend my cousin’s bachelorette party, and you know how crazy those events can get. The next morning I was on the wobbly side of a hangover and Jeremy decided he wanted breakfast potatoes. There was NO WAY I was going to cook, so I decided we should go to Shakabra Java in Tacoma. Appropriately enough, their Facebook page states they have the best hangover food in town. I agree!
Be prepared to stand in line at this restaurant, it’s a truly popular weekend spot. We didn’t have to hang about too long before being seated, however, and we made our selections. They usually have two choices for bread that are vegan: sourdough and rye. Most of their dishes can be made vegan by substituting the eggs for their special marinated tofu.
They have a dedicated person who roams around the room refilling your mug with the glory that is coffee. All the servers seem very nice and even though it’s packed, the food came to us quickly. When I stated I wanted the dish with tofu and without cheese, the server immediately offered vegan bread options, which was nice.
Poverty Bay Coffee Company, Federal Way
As a native Seattleite, I’m almost obligated to love Starbucks, but I don’t. The smaller coffee houses in the area, however, are MARVELOUS. As a former server, I appreciate employees that know the names of their regulars and take the time to chat with them. Poverty Bay is such a thoughtful place, and they’ve been around for ages. They have a variety of milks appropriate for vegans including hemp and almond. The desserts in the case may not be vegan, but they do have a variety of packaged cookies that are, and one of them is even gluten-free! It’s a great place for a casual coffee date.
I can’t kick this cold, and it made me long for my mother’s homemade dishes. Caldereta is like a peppery tomato beef stew, that is rich and big on flavor. This is a Filipino favorite, usually made of chunks of beef. Gardein beefless tips makes a fine substitution in this sweet, savory, and lightly sour dish. The way the tomato sauce and light oil mixes with the rice give it a divine texture and flavor.
Making this stew triggered a memory of watching Indiana Jones. I distinctly remember a scene from the Lost Ark where Indy walks into a restaurant or inn located in Egypt. I would like to imagine that restaurant smelled like this savory stew. The addition of fennel seeds and fresh lemon juice rounds out the flavor of the lentils. The broccoli required capers which, much to my chagrin, I had run out so I used a bit of dill pickle juice for a ‘briny’ flavor.