Friday, May 18, 2007


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Veggies at the Portland Public Market

It was a lo-o-ong drive from Denman Island to Portland. We took the ferry from Victoria, BC to Port Angeles, WA.

Leaving Victoria's harbour

Arriving in Port Angeles

I had a wonderful time at the Portland Vegfest! Here is a short description:

"Portland VegFest: A Compassionate Living Fair — A Rockin' Success

VegFest: A Compassionate Living Festival was held May 11-12, at Benson High School in Portland. Speakers included John Robbins, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., Kelly Peterson and Jennifer Hillman of The Humane Society of the United States, and Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D.. In addition cooking demonstrations and Veg 101 sessions were packed, often standing room only. A silent auction drew steady visitors bidding on dozens of items donated by businesses and individuals. Thanks to the organizers who made this 3rd Annual VegFest happen, and to the 150+ other volunteers! The support of businesses as sponsors and exhibitors was also key to the event's making a positive and significant splash in the community. Visit the VegFest website >> Photos are coming soon" (Check out their latest newsletter (PDF file)!)

It was standing-room-only indeed at the soy/tofu demo I did with Julie Hasson! Julie demonstrated a yummy "Chicken" salad made with Soy Curls, a product I really love, and a luscious tofu-chocolate mousse pie with crushed organic vegan Oreo-type cookies (Trader Joe's "Joe-Joes") on top! I made my Vegan Lemon-Lime Bars (recipe here)

and my Breast of Tofu. Everyone got samples a-plenty!

I think we converted a few people on the spot!

Later, we did a Q&A session, mostly on what to do with beans and grains, that was very well-attended.

There was a really great atmosphere at the Vegfest-- lots of families, samples, and very inexpensive, yummy food! Everyone was so welcoming! I was thrilled to meet Michelle of Herbivore, Chef Al (Albert H. Chase, Jr., Founder and Culinary Director of the Institute for Culinary AwakeningTM) and his wife Donna, and Zel (author of "The Nut Gourmet") and Reuben Allen from LA's, a great resource! They were all so gracious and interesting!

I didn't get to meet him, but Chef Brian P. McCarthy very kindly gifted me with an autographed copy of his wonderful book "The Vegan Family Cookbook".

I'm so glad that vegan cooks and chefs are standing together to spread the word and help eachother!

Portland is such beautiful and vegan-friendly city! There are SO many vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly places to eat. Check out this page from Northwest Vegetarian for a LONG list of restaurants. There is even a Peruvian restaurant (of interest to me because of my Peruvian father, as some of you may know already), Andina, which has a separate vegetarian/vegan menu! This restaurant has received awards for its food, too. I have to try this on my next trip to Portland!

We also appreciated the free tram service in the downtown area!

We had a wonderful time with our gracious and very generous hosts, the Hassons, and visited with three mutual friends, including Spice Island Vegan!

Enjoying an Asian-fusion meal

I could have shopped til I dropped, if my budget had allowed! I loved visiting New Seasons Market and Trader Joe's. I was restrained in my purchases, but I came home with some Fieldroast Smoked Apple Sausages, some Ricemellow Creme Fluff (you can order it from Food Fight, Portland's vegan grocery store); some canned hominy (I add this to masa harina to make tortillas-- they are really good that way-- but hominy is expensive here); some Soyrizo; hemp milk; and some California and Oregon wine, of course!

We also visited Powell's Books, the world's largest independent new and used bookseller (I like that!). I bought 5 cookbooks for $63-- no sales tax in Oregon!

My newest book purchases (no, I don't only buy or read veg cookbooks!):

Julie and I paid a quick visit to Sur la Table, where, again, I was restrained! But I came home with three great new gadgets! Here they are:

The "Palm-Peeler",

"Unlike conventional vegetable peelers that are awkward to maneuver, this clever stainless steel peeler fits right on your finger. With a simple brushing motion you can peel carrots, potatoes and more using little or no hand pressure.

Small, innovative peeler fits right on your finger
Natural ”sliding” motion reduces hand fatigue
Great for people with carpal tunnel or arthritis "

My husband and I both love it already!

A fine microplane grater (yes, it took me a while to aquire this!) for grating citrus zest, garlic, and ginger-- and it really does a superb job:

And a new type of lemon squeezer:

"If you love lemons for baking, cooking or for fresh lemonade, you’ll need to keep this Lemon Squeezer at hand. Literally. It’s so convenient and fast. Insert half a lemon at a time and press down. It turns it inside out and you get all the juice in seconds without the seeds and pulp. And it comes in an attractive yellow so it’s easy to spot in your drawer. Coated metal construction means it won’t rust or react with juices."

You get alot of juice when you use this squeezer!

One more gadget:

I ordered this one online:

This is the EMSA glass oil sprayer. Julie has had hers for 8 years, and it gets way better reviews than the metal ones. I have been using plastic versions, but they are not recyclable, so I don't want to use them anymore.

The EMSA works really well!

Lunch yesterday:

Grilled panini made with my sourdough-enhanced 100% wholewheat bread machine bread filled with grilled eggplant, grilled zucchini, basil, homemade Tofu Mayonnaise, and Smoked Cheddar Sheese. I sprayed the bread with oil from my new oil sprayer before placing in the grill. Yum!

Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

The grilled panini looks luscious. I want all the new gadgets! and wish I had attended the Portland Vegfest. Thanks, Bryanna.

Dreena said...

Hi Bryanna!

What a great time you must have had, congrats on a great demo.

I need one of those lemon gadgets now! And an oil sprayer! Foodie shopping is so much fun.

Those panini look absolutely incredible, btw. I love summer and grilled vegetables...

julie hasson said...

Your pictures are so fun to look at! I had such a wonderful weekend cooking(and shopping)with you.

I'll have to check out that peeler since you gave it your stamp of approval.

Your panini look awesome!


Anonymous said...

Everything (I mean everything...from the gadgets to the books to the food) looks great. I wish I could click my heals and go to portland.

Anonymous said...

Your plastic oil sprayers flop out too? I thought I was doing something wrong. (PAM $5, sprayer $5) I found your tamale recipe on FatFreeVegan and am going to be experimenting with it and others. After checking out the book, mind putting up a note about it? I want to make some like those cinnamon-red hot candies. Can you put cocoa powder in with the masa? I'm doing a hat dance around my toque now...

mama herbivore said...

it was wonderful to meet you for those 3 minutes, bryanna! i'm so glad you came to portland and had a great time. next vegfest i am making it a point to be able to go to demos, talks, etc. gotta see the experts in action!

Anonymous said...

hi bryanna!
two of the books you bought are favorites of mine, 101 tamales is great and classic vegetarian cooking from the middle east and north africa is a goldmine--one of my favorite favorites. i have a lemon press just like yours too--tis the best. i like to put the lemon in the other way first, squeeze it really good, then flip it the other way, i seem to get more juice that way.