Thursday, May 20, 2010

pesto with Daiya!

For some reason, I have always felt like I am never good at making pesto. Which is strange, because isn't pesto always the same very few ingredients? Hummus is hummus and some is better than others, but it's almost almost always good. PBJ is PBJ. Spaghetti is spaghetti. Etc. Shouldn't the simple combination of basil and olive oil and pepper and pine nuts and maybe a little garlic be intrinsically good? I've made pesto countless times and never had it blow my mind.....until the other night. Everything went into the food processor as usual, but I also threw in some Daiya (mozzarella Daiya, which I had never had before) and woahmygod. Magic. Observe:

So delicious. It retained all the freshness and summery delight of the basil and spices with all the sheer om nom nom deliciousness of revolutionary cheese. It also got the Omni Friends stamp of approval. I didn't measure anything, so I don't really have a recipe to offer other than put all the above ingredients in a food processor until it becomes delicious pesto. 

Lessons learned:
1) Not making something successfully dozens of times does not mean you never will.
2) While sometimes it is wonderful for the natural goodness of herbs and pulses and spices and whatnot to shine through (Hi Dino), sometimes an omni sub is dish's saving grace.
2.5) Daiya is always an appropriate addition to a food
3) Fresh basil makes your whole kitchen smell good!

Yum. I had the leftovers for dinner tonight. What delicious things have you made or eaten recently?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

summertime is chocolate banana smoothie time

I know it's summer and I'm at home when I have one of these almost every morning. It's really pretty good for you but tastes decadent and is surprisingly filling. Basically, freeze a banana and throw it in the blender with some chocolate soymilk. The variations are endless: a little peanut butter, a little cinnamon, different kinds of milk, etc. If you've never frozen banana before, you are missing out. It tastes like vanilla ice cream! Pro tip: slice bananas before you freeze them. It's easier on the blender if you're making a smoothie, and more fun if you're eating them plain. Happy summer!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

(Portland) vegan airport guide

Today I leave the land of ironic hipster mullets for the land of sincere ones, so what better time to post about eating vegan in the airport than while I'm actually in one? This post is primarily about the Portland airport, but as there are a lot of chains here that are in a lot of other airports as well, hopefully this can be helpful to you regardless of where you're flying.

PDX may be in Portland, but it is still an airport, not a promised land of vegan delights. Here are your best bets:
Jamba Juice was my saving grace this morning. In addition to a wide array of vegan smoothies (my favorite is the Five Fruit Frenzy), they have oatmeal made with soymilk (but the brown sugar crumbles contain milk, so order without). You can also get hot chocolate with soymilk, a wrap with hummus and quinoa and veggies, and an apple cinnamon pretzel. Their website is very helpful as it has an entire section listing everything on their menu that is vegan.
Flying Elephant Delicatessen is a recent addition to PDX. Other than the usual chips, fruit salad, etc. they have a sandwich with vegan cream cheese (WTF? In an airport?), eggplant, and arugula. They also sell Kettleman's bagels, if you don't mind a dry bagel. (Why do they only sell vegan cream cheese on the sandwich?)
Riverfront Cafe has hummus and pita!
Quizno's has a veggie sub that is vegan when you order it on white or wheat with no cheese and no dressing.
Big Town Hero has multiple veggie subs, including one with avocado, that are vegan if you order without various dairy nonsense.
Wendy's French fries are vegan.
Pizzicato's airport menu drops the v-word. You can order any of their pizzas without cheese, and they also have hummus and foccacia and peanut sauce.
I know Good Dog Bad Dog has a veggie sausage, but I don't know if it's vegan. Ask. Anyone reading this know one way or the other?

That's PDX. The key to being vegan in an airport, or anywhere, is being crafty (if you have time). All things considered, pack your own food if you can. A Luna bar or pack of trail mix doesn't take up much space in a bag, doesn't go bad, and can be the most delicious food on earth when you're tired and jet-lagged and starving. But beyond that, you might often be surprised. For example, Denver's airport sells Nana's vegan cookies (in the nondescript Hudson News places), Newark has a few little natural-themed kiosks with Odwalla bars and Naked juices and the like, Minneapolis has an Asian place with tofu noodle soup, Seattle has a cafe (Kathy Casey Dish D'Lish) with a couscous dish. Those are all just off the top of my head, and all were surprises to me. You never know what you might find, and often a quick Google search of the airport(s) you'll be at can lead you to a list of restaurants there, which, combined with the powers of the interwebs, can give you a head start on finding vegan food. Happy travels!

Monday, May 3, 2010

soymilk, bali shag!

It's finals week. My brain is dead. I saw this a few months ago and it is gold. 

That is a typical day in Portland, yes.