weeknight eats: lentil and kale 'taco' salad with pico de gallo

Season lentils with chile in adobo, onion, garlic, cumin, lime, smoked paprika and tomato paste for a veggie take on taco salad.


The 14 Mile Tour

When it is predicted to be 70 and sunny on an October weekend in Portland, there is only one thing a girl can do to prepare. Eat a healthy meal on Friday night, hydrate, hop on your bike Saturday, close your eyes and hope for the best!
I made a kale caesar on Friday evening with a simple dressing consisting of lemon juice, anchovy paste, minced garlic, egg yolk and olive oil. It is what I grew up helping my mom make. She would rub the garlic cloves along the inside of her gigantic wooden bowl until they disintegrated into its curves, and I would quickly whisk the dressing as fast as my little wrist would allow as she drizzled in the olive oil. I think of her and smile whenever I make it. I think they call that a food memory. :)

The following day, Nate and I cruised up to Northeast Portland for a tour de feast of a few spots I have been meaning to try, but haven't yet been able to pull myself up by the bootstraps and make the treck. First stop: The Cheese Plate!

Such a beautiful thing! Goat cheeses, aged cheddar and smokey bleu aside homemade crackers, cranberry compote and pickled green beans.

Yes, I know there is goat cheese all over my fingers

Goat cheese truffle! Sort of like chocolate cheesecake on steroids - but mini size.

Roasted pumpkin, fried sage and goat cheese grilled cheese. All of the selections were amazing but needless to say I had had enough goat cheese at this point and needed to wet thy whistle.

Onward to Breakside! One of my new favorite breweries in Portland. I tried the Sour Newton, a  tart amber ale made honey and black mission figs and the Vienna Coffee Bier made with Roseline coldpress coffee. I love coffee notes in beer, but it was refreshing to have a lighter ale vs. the stouts and porters that I am used to. Perfect for a sunny afternoon!

Onward to Saraveza, for their 5th birthday extravaganza. We sampled a few vintage beers and tried their house chex mix. The owners are from Wisconsin, so you know they dont play when it comes to chex mix.

Hmm...the chex mix or the pastie...

Because I obviously hadn't eaten enough yet, we nightcruised over to Chez Dodo, a Mauritian food truck in NoPo and probably one of my new favorites. The lamb samosas above where the size of your head and oh-so-awesome.

Sunday. The cool down. Trucked over to Portland Nursery for their annual apple celebration. I had never seen so many varieties in my life. We settled on some Swiss Gourmet, a hybrid between the Golden Delicious and Ida Red, amongst a few others. Oh and some apple strudel. And a la mode.

Hope everyone has a lovely week!


Weekend in Leavenworth + Peppers

view from our balcony
This weekend I crept one year closer to death. To cope with a few pints, some friends and I drove up to the sleepy town of Leavenworth, WA for their Oktoberfest celebration. Themed towns always provide for a hokey atmosphere I can vibe with, and lots of great people watching. The trees were turning on the mountainside which made for a beautiful setting to grip and sip.

leavenworth in all it's glory!

icicle brewing co.

goats and sheep

pedro scarecrow

fall cutie

Cant be faux-german without ordering a litre.

kielbasa and kraut! W.W.G.D?

you have to have a pretzel with beer in a german town - duh!


morning clouds

On the way home, we stopped at an awesome farm stand in Washington. Melon, Asian pear, apples, peppers and chiles, zucchini - all for a few bucks! My new abundance of peppers inspired my weeknight meal below.

Bulgar wheat stuffed peppers with corn and black beans
I am really getting into bulgar lately. It is great in salads, stuffings and for a quick breakfast cereal. Not to mention that it is cheap, great for you, and by far the easiest grain to prepare. Just boil hot water or broth, pour over top, and allow the bulgar to sit covered until it puffs up to your likeness - about 20-30 minutes. Pretty much foolproof!


Weekend Roundup

The sun reappeared in the pacific nw this weekend, which meant lots of roaming. In short, the best thing I ate this weekend: a carnitas torta from guero. Fresh, savory and perfect for pairing with a sampling from the beer cart next door, captured by porches.
The worst: trader joes spicy black bean dip. I'm not really much of a trader joes shopper (what is with all of the prepackaged, individually wrapped produce?) but this stuff was awful. Never again.
A few snaps from the weekend.

Sunny morning coffee at Oblique, my favorite neighborhood roaster

Downed fresh hop pints at Imperial Bottle Shop after a bike ride

Dumpster cookies. (basic cookie recipe + all little random bits in my pantry. cranberries, various chips, oats, almonds etc.)

Sunday pizza nite! Mushroom, bleu cheese, spinach and green olive

Corn, smoked mozzerella and chard chimichurri

Happy Monday!


grilled blue cheese with avocado and roasted tomato

This sandwich is the bomb. Using a pungent cheese when you are pairing with avocado is important, as a provolone or weak cheddar can get lost in the mix. I used Rogue River Blue this time around.
Roast cherry or roma tomatoes for roughly 25 minutes at 400 degrees for a sweet-as-candy condiment. Happy Weekend!


Work Bites: Wheatberry Salad

As the weather begins to cool, I have been leaning more towards grain salads and hearty stews for my weekday meal prep. I like to make a large batch of grain to have throughout the week, to use for salads, breakfast cereal, and whatever other ideas I conjure up before Friday rolls around. Today it is a wheatberry salad with dried cranberries, feta cheese, green olives, arugula and toasted almonds, dressed with an orange vinegarette.

Grain salads are great when you want to clean out your pantry/fridge and make use of small amounts of a variety of ingredients you may have lying around. I like to include a fresh or dried fruit element, a nut of some sort, a briney or pickled note, a leafy green and some crumbly cheese. Then dress with a mix of olive oil, apple cider or red wine vinegar, citrus juice and zest, garlic, ginger and shallot, or whatever else comes to mind! The combinations are endless!


Boyfriend Scone

A jackfruit scone and ginger tea / shout out to all the guys making pastry

(My food poetry for the day.)