I basically have an eating bread for every meal for the last 10 days because I’m so exhausted I can’t be bothered to put a real meal together. But today I was feeling really hungry and I knew that I needed to eat something and something a tad bit nutrient dense. I ended up cutting up two small bunches of kale and I made this incredible kale salad.
I know, I know kale salad is so last season but I am still loving it. This version has 2 small bunches of lacinato kale massaged with a sauce of tahini, lemon juice, coconut aminos, olive oil, garlic granules, salt and pepper and tossed with a handful of hemp seeds for added plant-based protein and omega 3’s and 6’s. I had not planned on eating the entire bowl – but I did with the help of my 20 month old and I have zero regrets doing so. Seriously savory, creamy and delicious. Give it a try and share with me on Instagram #bowlsbylindsay
Creamy Kale Salad
Serves 2-4 or one super hungry mama
2 small bunches lacinato kale, rinsed and finely chopped
I sometimes forget what a privilege it is to live in Portland where the plant-based options are freely flowing. You can find an abundance of options for every meal, at every price point and in every neighborhood. Unfortunately when it comes to traveling finding food options, especially breakfast options, is often a huge challenge.
Breakfast is often a meal that is centered around meats, eggs and a whole lot of dairy. So finding options that don’t include any of these things can be a struggle. On our recent trip to Seattle and Bellingham I struggled to find good plant-based breakfast options for us however there are a few things that helped us work around the obstacle.
Stock Hotel or Airbnb with breakfast options. Depending on your accommodations you may be able to out fit yourself with a complete breakfast but even if you aren’t there are a number of great options that don’t require anything more than hot water. Stock up on things like instant oats, fruit that doesn’t need refrigerating such as apples and bananas, and nut butter – put these all together you have a filling and delicious loaded oatmeal. Bonus: if you have a hotel with a breakfast take advantage of things such as fruit, toast, bagels and dry cereals.
Seek Out Coffee Shops. Many coffee shops these days have come to also serve food such as avocado and nut butter toasts. Some even sell vegan baked goods or bagels. Bonus: good coffee, shorter wait time and often less expensive.
Order Sides. One of my favorite ways to put together a plant-based breakfast at a restaurant is by piecing together a selection of sides. You will often find fruit, toasts, greens, beans and potatoes offered as side dishes and you can easily put together a satisfying breakfast. Tip 1: remember to as for dry toast and either carry a bit of vegan butter with your or as for jam and/or nut butter. Tip 2: It’s often a good idea to inquire about how they prepare their potatoes because some places use butter.
Visit Co-ops, Natural Food Stores and Farmers Markets. These are all great spots to find plant-based options. Co-ops and Natural Food Stores often will have a prepared food section or even a small cafe that have plant-based options. Farmers Markets are filled with food options from breads, to fruits to vendors selling their amazing foods.
Honestly, these tips work whether you are plant-based or not. My favorite is to hit up coffee shops or food markets because I always want coffee in the morning anyways and I am obsessed with food shopping. However if we have an Airbnb I will prepare as many meals as I can at it because I am always looking for ways to reduce our spending while traveling.
What are you tips for eating plant-based in not-so-plant-based-friendly places?
Months ago I was watching an Instagram story that featured Virtuous Pie in Vancouver BC. I was seriously salivating over all the pizzas that were featured and then at the end the person made mention that they would be opening a location in Portland OR. Well months went by and I just completely forgot all about it until we happened upon the Portland location when we tried The Baker’s Mark a sandwich shop just next door at SE Division and 12th. Since that day I have been anxiously waiting for Virtuous Pie PDX to open and that day has finally come! This week they had a soft opening and tomorrow June 10th they will have their grand opening starting at 8am with coffee and pastries from Shoofly Bakery.
Tonight we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to stop by and try out a few pizzas and ice creams. I should note that everything is 100% plant-based.The 100% plant-based pizzas combine unique flavor pairings using three-day dough and house-made nut cheeses, including cashew mozzarella, almond ricotta, and non-GMO tofu feta. The full menu can be found here. If you are gluten-free you’ll be in heaven because most of their pies can be made gluten free and they even have gluten-free waffle cones for their ice cream.
We struggled to narrow down which pizzas to order for our first visit but initially settled on the Meatball & Chevre and the Stranger Wings. To go with the pizza Neil chose one of the local beer offerings and while I wish I could have joined him I decided to start with water. Now I maybe a total geek but I was so excited to see that they had both still and sparkling water for you to serve yourself.
We chose a table outside and within a matter of 6-8 minutes our pizzas were ready and after getting my Instagram shots we dived in and those pizzas were gone in about the same amount of time it took us to wait for them. At first bite we were a bit underwhelmed with the Stranger Wings but the second slice completely changed both our minds and we were sold. It had a bit of spice (although could maybe have used a touch more for my personal taste) and the blue cheese sauce was seriously amazing. If you are from Maritime Canada I would closely relate the blue cheese sauce here to donair sauce. Neil couldn’t get over how close he thought it tasted and we are considering buying up a few sides to have with homemade vegan garlic fingers (again a Maritime thing).
Our second pizza was the Meatball & Chevre that came out with a vegan parm that not only looked like freshly grated parm but SMELLED like parm as well. This pizza was packed with so much flavor and we instantly fell in love. The meatballs were so flavourful and lemon herb chevre was like nothing I’ve ever had. Seriously amazing.
MEATBALL + CHEVRE | San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Baerlic Brewing Chorizo Meatballs, Creamed Spinach, Lemon Herb Chevre, Basil, Fresh Parm.
Once we finished these two pizzas we opted to go for a third for one out of pure curiosity and also because neither of us had really eaten much all day. We narrowed it down to three options and ultimately went with the Kim-Jack a Korean inspired pizza. I have to say this wasn’t the one I would have chosen just based on the description alone because while I love Korean flavors I’m not big into jackfruit but it was suggested so I agreed. The pizza came out and it was love at first bite. The jackfruit on this pizza was incredible and combined with the cashew mozza it was even more incredible and ended up being both Neil and my favorite of the three pizzas.
We ate most of the Kim-Jack before deciding to pack up the remainder to go and switching gears to something a bit sweeter. Since we really wanted to full experience we decided to go with an ice cream flight. I left the flavor choices up to Neil and he chose the Double Chocolate & Salted Caramel, Coffee & Donuts and Lavender & Meyer Lemon. All of these ice creams had really great flavor and out of the three my favorite was the Lavender & Meyer Lemon. Next time I’d love to try the Turmeric & Black Pepper and the Marionberry Cheesecake.
The Verdict? If you live in Portland (or Vancouver BC) you need to drop everything and head to Virtuous Pie. One of the best food experiences I have had in awhile and I already have plans go back tomorrow morning for a mug of Heart Coffee and Shoofly Pastries and again next week for a mamas night out so I can try another pizza and more ice cream (assuming this baby doesn’t come first).
Have you tried Virtuous Pie? Which is your favorite pie and/or ice cream?
Disclaimer: Sharky’s provided me with a voucher to try their new location. I was not compensated for this post and I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
When it comes to eating out I tend to stick to local spots in Portland. I love to support local businesses, the ability to know where my food is coming from and unless we are traveling I don’t spend a ton of time in the ‘burbs. However there is the occasional time I cross the river and head out of Portland and when I do I need a go to spot to eat.
I feel like I have been searching for places that not only have great plant-based options but also quality of food and finally I have another great spot to add to my list – Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill. Sharky’s does their best to source organic, natural and local ingredients and they have so many plant-based options!
Before heading in to give them a try I did a little research regarding plant-based options and they actually do a pretty great job of labeling items on their menu. I also found that The Veganista Foodie had put together a pretty great cheat sheet as well – which I of course used.
We started out with chips and guacamole and of course took advantage of the salsa bar and tired just about every salsa available. I could have eaten a bowl of the guacamole and those chips – so good! While we waited for our meals the kids also munched on their mini churros which were okay but a bit too crunchy for their liking.
For meals the kids shared a kid’s bowl with organic tofu, organic brown rice and organic beans and a kid’s power plate with organic tofu, organic brown rice and organic yams. The went nuts for the tofu and while they weren’t so much into the yams Neil and I thought they were fantastic. In order to waste not I took the yams home and added them to a vegan mac and cheese and of course the kids gobbled it up.
As for the adults we shared the organic tofu and veggie burrito and an organic tofu and veggie taco plate. The burrito was massive and we could have easily just shared it because it was so much food. The veggie taco plate was delicious as well; we both loved the tofu and the veggies were cooked perfectly. Overall we were super impressed.
We don’t head to Tualatin very often but I have to say Sharky’s might just have me visiting a bit more often. Our trip also took us to a spot we had never visited before and we ended up visiting a nice New Season’s and discovered the Tualatin ArtWalk. So mini trips to the ‘burbs are proving to be a bit more delightful.
What are your favorite restaurants in the ‘burbs? Have you ever been to Sharky’s? If yes, any favorites?
I’ve become accustom to having everything delivered straight to my from door. My groceries, my toilet paper, my takeout and now my meals all measured and prepared. Now I know meal subscription boxes are not new but when it comes to a plant-based box there are very few options but I found one that I LOVE.
GreenChef is not a new meal subscription box but their plant-based box is only a few months old and let me tell you they are rocking it. The two person box comes with three meals with all the ingredients portioned out and ready for you to prepare. Basically they cut your meal prep and cook time in half and provide you with some really fun and tasty meals.
As you can see above GreenChef labels all of your ingredients to make things super easy for you. I love that these sauces are made by GreenChef and packaged up and ready to go. I also love the use of products such as the tofu and noodles that I would normally purchase myself. They also do a great job at not only providing your with organic ingredients but also go as far as to use recycled plant fiber to insulate the package.
I know what you really want to know is but how was it to prepare? How did it taste? Well it was incredibly easy to prepare! The directions were clear and easy to follow and the dish turned out just as it was supposed to. It also tasted amazing! It tasted like something I would have purchased out a restaurant but I made it!! The sauces were amazing, the recipe made more than enough food for two people and it was so tasty.
You can check out the recipe for yourself here and you can also recreate it at home!
We also had a really delicious tempeh dish with quinoa and kale salad which I brought to a pot luck. Our third meal was a minestrone soup which tasted fine but I’ll be honest it really fell flat for me especially after the first two dishes were so delicious. I have to say loving two out of three meals is pretty good.
So would I purchase this? YES! I actually have plans to purchase my next box very soon. I should say that’s one of the features I like about GreenChef you can skip weeks based on the menu of the week or if you are out of town, ect. So you can use it every week or just when you feel like it. If you’d like to give it a try you can get 4 free meals via this link.
Have you tried a meal subscription box before? What has your experience been?
Bob’s Red Mill and FitApproach sponsored this post. All opinions are my own.
One of my goals for this month is to focus on eating much more simple meals. Simple breakfasts, simple lunches and simple dinners with a few more fun and complex meals throw in on the weekends. Simple, yet tasty, satisfying and nutritious. Simple Meals filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based protein.
For breakfast I flop between savory and sweet but whichever I choose I always go for something easy because this mama doesn’t have time to mess around at breakfast. For savory breakfast I love avocado on toast with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of chili flakes or a big bowl of grains with sauteed baby spinach and a sprinkle of tamari and nutritional yeast. When it comes to sweet you’ll most likely find me with a smoothie in hand or in a bowl topped with whatever we have on hand. Lately I have been loving smoothie bowls with frozen bananas, a splash of almond milk, sometimes the rest of my coffee that has gone cold and a scoop Bob’s Red Mill Chocolate Protein Powder (yes, I know I was surprised when I found out they made protein powders too!). I like to top it with more banana, some granola, coconut flakes and drizzle of agave. This smoothie bowl leaves me feeling energized, full and satisfies me until lunch time rolls around.
As for lunch and dinner I like to keep it super simple – basically beans, greens and grains. I know you might be reading this and thinking well that sounds awfully boring. Well it does sound boring and can be but the key is to make it more fun with sauces and add-on’s that personalize your meal and make it more tasty.
For us beans, greens and grains meals will be happening most Monday-Thursday because those are some of our busiest days of the week. It allows us to it simply, healthfully and easily. It also helps to prevent us from turning to takeout on those nights when we just don’t feel like putting something together or are out late. I simply am making up a batch of grains and serving with whatever greens and vegetables that look great along with a plant-based whole foods protein. So how am I jazzing things up? Well that’s when we break out the sauces from tahini to coconut aminos to hot sauces and barbecue sauces. I also love the addition of various fermented veggies (kraut, kimchi, ect). I also love adding avocado, hemp seeds and nutritional yeast to top things off.;
On the weekends we might jazz things up a bit more and have meals that take longer to prepare or even eat out. We often like to make pancakes and tofu scramble on the weekends for breakfast but honestly you’ll probably find us having the smoothie bowl I listed about because;it’s one of Neil’s favorite breakfasts. Lunch and dinner are usually a little more wild if we are in the mood or sometimes we just keep it simple.
Keeping things simple helps us to eat healthier, have less cravings, and more energy.
What are you go to weekday and weekend meals? How do you feel about the smoothie bowl? I’ll be honest when smoothie bowls first because a thing I was all like WTF but now I’m obsessed. If you are also a lover of them and are in PDX you must go to Kure and get one because they have the best smoothie bowls ever.
Date nights have become a regular occurrence for us lately because frankly they are incredibly important. However, most of our date nights are pretty casual and sometimes they even involve running a few child-free errands. But, our last date night was one that was far from a casual affair. It was free of phones (except to snap a few photos for you), errands and our beloved children.
We were kindly invited to attend one of Farm Spirit‘s multiple course dinner seatings. Farm Spirit is the brainchild of Chef Aaron Adams, formerly of Portland vegans’ favorite, Portobello Vegan Trattoria. The restaurant focuses on thoughtful courses with the seasonal ingredients sourced almost entirely from the Cascadia region in the Pacific Northwest. Adams clearly cares about supporting local farmers and artisans, going into great detail when describing the dishes and the origins of their ingredients. Even the dishware was created by local potter Steve Kelly. Tickets for the seatings are sold in advance and are in high demand. Each seating is limited to 14 and there is only one seating each night, Wednesday through Saturday at 7pm. *Update* Starting April 6th, Farm Spirit will offer multiple seating times throughout the evening, starting at 5:15 p.m. and going as late as 8:30 p.m. The seatings will be smaller allowing for more focus and attention to be on the guests.
When you walk in each seat has a menu and a place card with your last name. The seating a is a bit unique in that all guests are seated at a communal bar and the chefs prepare and plate each one of your courses right there in front of you. You know immediately that this experience is more than just the food. Farm to table has become somewhat cliched lately but not at Farm Spirit. You come away with a great appreciation for and understanding of the ingredients, the farmers, and the process that has gone into making your meal.
Above you see the 12-course menu starting with the most amazing bread and olive oil and ending with an incredible pumpkin seed ice cream. The real highlights are all the dishes in between. But, I’ll get to that in a bit.
To go along with our meal we decided to share the wine pairing and the house-made (non-alcoholic) beverage pairing. All of the wines were wonderful. One of our favorites was the Madeira. Neil and I couldn’t get over how amazing it was and how well it paired with the last two courses. As for the house-made beverages you won’t be disappointed. They were all unique and had such a range of flavors all of which perfectly complimented their dishes. Neil has been really interested in wild fermentation lately and spent a great deal of time asking the chefs about the process that went into the drinks.
Our first dish was this bouquet of herbs and greens and a little purple carrot with the most incredible hazelnut yogurt. To eat we were instructed to use our hands, dip, our bunch and enjoy. How was it? While it almost seems a little awkward to eat at first, that dissipates quickly when you’re blown away by the variety of flavors and textures in the dish.
Another dish to highlight was the Swiss chard that was made to resemble ravioli. It was fresh, crisp and the vegetal kvass broth had me lifting the bowl to drink up every last drop. The chefs do a great job of introducing you to the dishes and reminding you to let go of your inhibitions about eating with your hands or drinking up the last of the broths in your dish.
This next dish was another one of my favorites – the roasted carrot with burdock root puree. As a home cook, this was one of the less intimidating dishes. It’s one that I’m inspired go home and recreate, maybe not to the same caliber, but I could still do it.
I have to say of all the dishes this last one is my favorite. Tim’s bread was the star of the night for me. I could have easily eaten an entire loaf of the vollkornbort with the soured filbert puree and of those pickled onions and mustard seeds.
As the evening wound down the dessert courses are presented and your hot beverage order is taken. The offerings include coffee from local roasters Cellar Door, tea from Steven Smith, and a house-made hot drink. Once everyone has cleared their plates the chefs give you a warm thank you and a sweet breakfast bread to take home to enjoy with your morning coffee or tea. Such a sweet and unexpected way to end a perfect dining experience.
We enjoyed our meal and experience so much that immediately upon returning home that night we booked our next visit. One thing to note when you are purchasing your dinner tickets is that dinner is around three hours long. I know three hours sounds a bit daunting but honestly you won’t want the night to end.
Have you tried Farm Spirit? What were your thoughts? If you are a local Portlander or are visiting Portland I recommend getting tickets right away you won’t be disappointed.
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