Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Oakland Veg Week Experience - With Recipe and Restaurant Ideas

I've been really remiss in posting, especially since this past week was Oakland Veg Week. I took the pledge and immediately broke it last Sunday, the first day, when I sampled a great Filipino soup (I'm going to try to veganize it for us) at a cooking lesson.  But I've been true to my pledge since then.

Here are a few of the dishes I ate this last week -- note - these are not recipes, just kind of lists of ingredients/technique for you to consider:

1. sliced Field Roast chipolte sausage sauteed with red bell pepper, poblano chili, new potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and celery.

2. finger-sized slices of eggplant and fresh tofu cubes both cooked individually in the cast iron skillet until browned and cooked through.  Then a sauce of miso, soy, apple cider vinegar cooked until bubbly and the eggplant and tofu added back in and stirred until coated.  Over leftover restaurant white rice.

3. sauteed Chinese greens (partially steamed before stir frying) with stir fried fresh shitake mushrooms, onions and lots of garlic in mushroom vegetarian stir fry sauce (kind of a vegetarian oyster sauce) with chunks of wheat gluten.  Over fresh Shanghai style noodles.

4. stew of sweet potatoes, plantains, corn, carrots, onion, garlic etc. in mole sauce (watch for a recipe or use a canned brand that lists out ingredients to make sure there's no lard!) with white hominy corn (I used canned. If you use dried, soak and cook before using). Served over brown rice.

5. I haven't tried this one yet - but I sampled it at Trader Joe's and it was great -- cooked lentils mixed with TJ's Curry Simmer Sauce.  Reminded me of an Ethiopian lentil dish (messer-wot) I had at an Oakland Veg Week event. More on that later.

I also ate out -- a vegan Ruben sandwich at Nature's Express (an all vegan restaurant), a vegan bento box at Coach Sushi, vegan burrito (I get the Aztec veggie, ask for no dairy, specify black beans and add on the guacamole) at The Burrito Shop (multiple locations) and samples from the wonderful Ethiopian restaurant Cafe Colucci at the cooking class I had as part of Oak Veg Week.

Oakland Veg Week is over now, but the site has lots of info and resources including recipes and local restaurants that are veg-friendly.  Check it out here.

Graphic from OaklandVeg.Com

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