We’ve got another convert

This week’s reading:

The ’90s are vegan now.

So buying from this company when it gets to Seattle.

Easy peasy

… lemon squeezy.

I really did squeeze a lemon for this one.

I almost always make recipes that will last me at least a couple days – if it lasts me a week, even better. I love cooking, but ain’t nobody got time for that every day.

A recent super-de-dooper easy recipe that I went through for about a week came from Budget Bytes with Beth’s oven roasted Greek stuffed pitas.

Budget Bytes is an omni website, but it has vegetarian and vegan tabs and many of the non-vegan recipes are easily vegefied – like this one.

I nixed the chicken and made the Happy Herbivore feta to go with it. Chickpeas would also have been a great add if I’d thought of it.

After I used up all my pitas, this filling was great on a salad.

Speaking of salad, it makes an excellent side next to the pita.

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Isa IRL

As if it wasn’t enough to get the Happy Herbivore on this humble little blog.

Last night I got to see Isa Chandra Moskowitz, modern vegan pioneer and creator of the Post Punk Kitchen, at Book Larder in Fremont.

I geeked out. Got there early, bought her new book, Isa Does It, pored over page after delicious page, and sat in the front row.

Swiftly demolished.

Swiftly demolished.

Well, I didn’t wanna be the only person hanging around an hour before the start of the event, so I made a quick stop at Uneeda Burger and got their homemade veggie burger topped with portobello mushrooms.

Then I went back to Book Larder and was still pretty early, so I made sure to snag a good seat before resuming my absorption in Isa Does It.

I love the other cookbook I have of hers, Vegan With a Vengeance. It has amazingly delicious recipes, including the chocolate cake I made for my mom.

But it’s not an attractive book inside. I want pictures with my recipes. There are hardly any pictures.

Isa Does It is different. LOOK. LOOK AT THE “LOOK INSIDE” FEATURE ON THIS PAGE AND SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL. More

My veggie pantry

One of the best things I’ve done for my kitchen in the past year is slowly build up my pantry so that routine grocery shopping and menu planning is way more of a breeze. I’m so much more prone to choose any given recipe when I look at the ingredients list and go, “Oh look, I have three-quarters of those things already.” Even as I’ve been without my own kitchen the past five months, I’ve been able to carry my pantry with me in a box and still make awesome meals.

It takes time. You’re not going to go out tomorrow and get everything on this list. Every time one of these ingredients shows up on your grocery list, maybe grab some extra. Or grab one new pantry item each trip to the store. Shop sales. You’ll get there! And as you do, you’ll see how cooking is so much easier when you’re well-stocked. Take it from someone who has spent her adult life living paycheck to paycheck: Having depth in your pantry makes home cooking cheaper. If nothing else, you can scrape up a meal from what you have on hand.

This isn’t even everything I have! I have maybe 70 percent of this stuff all the time and the rest is stuff that I either buy constantly and/or wish I had on hand more often. So call this my aspirational pantry list. Use it as a starting point to make your own.

pantry

My temporary spice rack in my boyfriend’s kitchen drawer.

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Veggie VIP: St. Dames

I don’t get to try out all of the veggie-focused restaurants I so want to visit, because 1.) money, and 2.) I am not drowning in companions dying to try a vegetarian or vegan restaurant with me. When I do go out, I’m usually veganizing menu items at an omni restaurant.

But yesterday morning, my lovely friend Amy was kind enough to want to try St. Dames with me for brunch.

It’s located in Columbia City, which is a Seattle neighborhood I never frequent, but I would totally travel to this place from my Ballard/Lower Queen Anne haunts again.

It’s completely vegetarian, with a multitude of vegan or veganizable dishes – they’re totally friendly to making dishes gluten-free, too.

I was so excited about my brunch, I forgot to take photos. Sorry about that. Google image “St. Dames Seattle” and you’ll see. More

Veggie reads

I’m always reading more about the plant-based lifestyle so I can educate myself and reinforce why I’m doing this.

I also want the knowledge to eloquently educate others.

Some reads this week:

Reasons to go veggie in seven charts

Offers statistics showing that veggies are better for the earth and ourselves.

Top 10 food trends of 2013

“High-end vegan” is a top food trend this year. Can’t say I’ve ever had kelp caviar, but whatever puts us on the map, yo.

A cardiologist gives us reasons to go plant-based

Doctor’s orders.

Food Thinkers

A vegan-inspired page by Breville that includes an interview with my homegirl, Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

On my plate

My first plant-based autumn is going awesome as I turn to more hearty, comforting dishes for hibernation season.

The typical trial and error ensues.

-My big revelation in recent weeks is the Sunday dinner for one I put together a couple weekends ago, all from the Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook (use the “look inside” feature at the link for some recipes). I made lentil loaf for the first time, as well as champ (basically an Irish take on mashed potatoes, with green onions) and a previous success, lemony kale. Though the kale only yielded two servings, the lentil loaf and champ provided repeat leftovers and I still have one serving of each left in my work fridge. Though I drizzled ketchup on the lentil loaf pictured, I poured barbecue sauce over the loaf and potatoes in subsequent helpings. Barbecue sauce is among my favorite condiments. I learned recently, however, that you gotta check the ingredients on barbecue sauce bottles because some contain non-vegan Worcestershire sauce. Luckily Trader Joe’s sauce is safe. More