Vegan eats, sister-time & budget travel: a week in Brooklyn, NY for the holidays Continue reading
After a few years off, I found myself visiting the ‘ol home state not once but twice in late 2012. I’d been perusing those tempting fare alert emails, talking snow withdrawal with J. Legume, and the next thing I knew, we … Continue reading
While I was on hiatus, I did a lot of cooking at my sister’s apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn. My sister works a ton, but was able to take some time off while I was visiting (and hey, thanks for something, … Continue reading
‘Perfect’ is such a temperamental, evolving term, and I certainly wouldn’t be using it if my sister didn’t keep lychee juice in her fridge for her precious lychee martinis. Our stop into Verlaine on the lower east side, years ago, for … Continue reading
Four days ago, I was enjoying the final, hectic day of a very busy, hurricane-extended hiatus in New York City. Three days ago, I made my way to Seattle for the Vida Vegan Tech Seminar. Tonight, I’m back in Portland, … Continue reading
There are less than two days remaining on my New York hiatus, and I can’t seem to fit in enough time for bagels. The agony! I’ve fallen a bit behind as we near the last stretch of VeganMoFo. It’s funny, … Continue reading
Important Update: My sister has informed me that this is “Spin Dip”. Carry on.
Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise
Hello, vegan specialty ingredient time! This Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip is absolutely a guilty pleasure of a party treat. At my recent Double Dippin’ party, it was one of the first things I noticed polished off! (because I was stoked to make more room for more dips!)
It’s a combination of veganization and pine nut and nooch alteration of every single other artichoke and/or spinach dip that exists on the internet. Extra credit to my sister Jenny for insisting I add sour cream. She’s a pro on matters of spinach meets artichoke – even if she did ask me the recipe for “dip” in the same conversation. What dip? “The dip you eat at parties”…that turned into a conversation about how the classic American dip is soup packet + sour cream + mayonnaise + cheese, etc – this vegan version is as close as I’ll ever get!
Anyway, prior to this, the only other time I can recall eating artichoke dip was at Georgetown Liquor Company with my friends Vijjy and KJ in Seattle, which rules (just remember to say VEGAN). So does their dip. And my Class of 2000 of NW club.
Onto the super cheesy, somewhat spicy, packed with spinach artichoke dip:
Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise
- 14 ounce jar of marinated artichokes, briefly rinsed
- 4 ounce can of diced green chilies (I used one from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 cup of Nayonaise* or other vegan mayo
- 1 cup of vegan parmesan (I used a blend of nutritional yeast and pine nuts)
- 1-2 cups of fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup of Tofutti Sour Cream or other vegan sour cream
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of miso (I used chickpea)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Optional: 1-2 cloves of garlic, because I simply can’t recall if I added them. It’s harder to imagine I didn’t.
Garnish: 2 tablespoons of pine nuts and a generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, added during the final 5 minutes of baking.
- Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a casserole dish, such as an 8×4.
- Add all ingredients except for the spinach into a food processor. Pulse a few times, until well mixed.
- Add a bunch of spinach and puree. Add another and do the same until you’re done.
- Spoon into the casserole dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add garnishes, if using. Turn the heat to 425F and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve with dipping items, such as baguette slices. Go. Party.
The party slowly begins…hundreds of more dips arrived, seriously. This is just the primary Savoury table.
Knuckle Sag Bagel Sandwich from Boneshakers in Brooklyn, NY
Memories & Musings.
Every now and then I grab a bagel from a certain local bagel chain in town. The owner is actually from New York, though their boiled bagels aren’t quite channeling even half the perfection that belongs to true New York bagels. Hailing from the fish shaped part of the Empire State myself, I’m admittedly a bagel snob. I think this local chain has some of the most easily accessible, better quality bagels Portland has to offer (though the consistency wavers), and that nearly all the others in town are like rolls with holes. Big ups to Sweetpea in Portland for offering a variety of flavored Tofutti along with their bagels.
The sight of a big brown bag with a dozen from Bagel Boss was a regular sight in my house growing up. Sesame, Poppy and Cinnamon Raisin have long been my favorite varieties of these thick and chewy representatives of New York. It was normal to opt for a bagel with cream cheese for lunch in high school, even when you’d likely be eating one the next day for breakfast. Go, carbs, go! Same for college. While I was stunned by the difference of airier Finagle Bagels when I moved to Boston for college, I still have a small soft spot for them. Ironically, and adorably, my younger sister in New York still asks me to bring her a super cinnamon raisin back whenever I’m going between the cities, years later.
On my recent NYC vacation, I took home half a dozen from Bagels on the Square. My sister works nearby and is often picking up a bagel there for lunch while we’re on the phone. Photos of their selection are below – these are the kind of bagels I’m reminiscing about! The kind I’ll rave about for minutes!
I don’t have my sister fed ex me bagels or anything, and they certainly didn’t keep me in New York, but the memory, and reality, of true bagels, holds. Thick and chewy circles of memories.
Great New York bagels make the rest pointless…or simply vehicles for Earth Balance or peanut butter or Tofutti or whatnot. I’m not saying I always stick to this, but I can maintain an authentic bagel hiatus knowing I’ll be back. I wasn’t even aware of this emptiness in my life until a few months into my move to Portland – I had returned to NY, suddenly, and needed a bagel.
Bagel Case at Bagels on the Square, NYC
There were at least 5 or 6 varieties of tofu cream cheese in there!
The Boneshakers bagel sandwich was a beautiful sight. Turmeric colored tofu scramble, melted Daiya cheddar, browned veggie sausage, and that swell bagel. I’ve come to accept that Daiya has taken over the world and it undeniably worked and melted in this bagel sandwich. This sandwich could be part of civilization! It could star in a commercial!
That being said, it was on the bland side, overall, but there’s always hot sauce – and again, just look at it! I look forward to spending more time at this cafe on a future visit. Their menu was really appetizing and the location reminded me of Red & Black.
More on Bagels:
- Serious Eats Finds New York’s Best Bagel
- New York Times: Montreal’s Bagels Square Off Against New York’s (as for me, I’ve yet to visit Montreal, so I have no opinion here)
- I’ve never made my own bagels since I am well aware that my dough skills aren’t up to par with my expectations. However, if I ever feel adventurous, I’d use this recipe.
- Kenny and Zuke’s has boiled bagels that are quite good. They’re simply smaller than I’d prefer, and not as convenient as the aforementioned local chain with Tofutti and hummus offerings (and Stumptown coffee).
Flowers Restaurant, Seattle
once again, I’m back after a bit out of town. this time, it was for a few days in Seattle. while I was there, I decided my next realistic dream job involves frequent travel and keeping Portland as my home base. I certainly can’t afford to travel recreationally as much as I’d like, and I’m fortunate that my current job lets me travel a bit. I’m getting the teeniest bit restless living here for 5+ years, but it’s Portland! It’s amazing! Quality of Life! etc. etc. etc.
that being said, I have three travels’ worth of photos and thoughts to unload soon via flickr, this site and stumptown vegans! I’m hoping to get back to normal life and do this sooner than later. rationally speaking, naming my flickr photos should not overwhelm me!
heading into overwhelmingly awesome plans, Portland’s Inaugural Vegan Iron Chef is officially happening on Sunday, June 6th, 2010 in the early evening.
It’s being presented by Try Vegan PDX, and I am beyond ecstatic about it. The official contestant invites went out yesterday! So many wonderful local vegans are already involved!
a few recent photos to get back into the swing of things…
Smokey Split Pea Soup, from Isa’s Test Kitchen
Soy Latte from K&F Coffeehouse in Portland
Dr. Cow Nut Cheese with Hemp Seeds from Lifethyme in NYC - my first time trying this, call me a fan! It’s sitting on top of a raw apple cranberry treat from Lifethyme, too.
My sister, Jen, agreeing to visit Vegetarian Dim Sum House in NYC, yet again. She’s a hip little flexitarian, and enjoys the Roasted Pork Buns and main dishes here.
Of course, something like this, which Millie and I really enjoyed, horrifies her.
Oasis Falafel, Brooklyn, NY. This was GREAT at midnight after a long night, but made me incredibly sick. fun times!
so much more to come.