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Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.

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Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland’s Sunshine Tavern

Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland's Sunshine Tavern

Sunshine Tavern
3111 SE Division Street
Portland Oregon 97202

Seeing that we live just a few blocks away, occasionally we will head out to Sunshine Tavern for pizza and burgers (and of course cocktails and maybe even some candied hazelnuts to start). This is just what happened last Tuesday when we ended up splitting the Garnet yam and quinoa cakes w fennel and almond as a snacky beginning to our meal. And wow – they were so good.

I’m always on the hunt for new quinoa/interesting whole grains recipes and this one definitely got my attention with the warm spices, creamy yam, and a fennel shallot salad on the side. I really wanted to try and reverse-engineer it at home but then I thought maybe I could try and get the actual recipe. It only took asking one contact and I got an email for Jenn Louis, Chef/Co-Owner of Sunshine Tavern. So I sent her a message, asked her for the recipe, and if I could post it here. She got back to me an hour or so later with the recipe. So cool!

This dish will work with either cooked, mashed garnet yam* . . . → Read More: Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland’s Sunshine Tavern

Roasted Red Kuri Squash Soup with Coconut + Halloween

Roasted Red Kuri Squash Soup with Coconut

This summer, we had a mystery squash growing in a garden. It was a mystery in that neither jwa nor I remembered planting any Red Kuri Squash but here it was – a beautiful red kuri growing in our garden. It was in a bed close to the compost so the theory is we either had a seed or two in the compost that ended up in the garden bed or maybe a critter buried the seed in the garden and it sprouted – either this way this fall we had a nicely-sized (about four pounds!) mystery squash to eat.

Roasted Red Kuri Squash Soup with Coconut

After much contemplation, I decided on a soup. I love coconut, curry, and pumpkin flavors so I went with a kind of a Thai/Curry/Coconut theme here. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can certainly stick to olive oil, and for the roasted chili paste, you can get a small jar of it easily enough in the grocery store (Thai Kitchen is the easily available brand), although if you live by an Asian market you can probably get better roasted chili paste. . . . → Read More: Roasted Red Kuri Squash Soup with Coconut + Halloween

A Recipe for Fall Happiness: Ratatouille

A Recipe for Fall Happiness: Ratatouille

Ratatouille is one of those recipes that I’ve been making for years. I used to make it all the time in grad school, fairly often when I lived in California, and still make a pot every so often now. And one of my favorite times of year to make ratatouille is fall. Sure, you’ll probably need to used canned (or tetra-pak) tomatoes, but who really wants to simmer vegetables on the stove top for an hour in summer anyway (not me!)? Plus, in fall, a big bowl of vegetable stew is exactly what a person wants – especially when you have discovered the best possible ratatouille recipe, which this is!

Another plus to making a big pot of this is everything you can do with the leftovers (if you have any) — I recently slathered ratatouille on a piece of what pita bread, topped it with some smoked mozzarella, and gave it a few minutes in the toaster oven for a delicious pizza-for-one kind of meal.

Another idea? Take your ratatouille and poach some eggs on top of the simmering stew – completely out of this world. That’s one you don’t . . . → Read More: A Recipe for Fall Happiness: Ratatouille

Quick Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Garlic, Ginger, and Wasabi

Quick Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Garlic, Ginger and Wasabi

After a short vacation (and a short blog hiatus) I am back. Hooray! And to ease back into the non-vacation existence, I’ve decided to ease back into the blog with an easy, tasty recipe for a great vegetable side dish.

Sugar snap peas have suddenly become my go-to recipe for a quick side dish. I can’t believe I went mumble-mumble years kind of not really liking them much. I think it was just a matter of finding the right thing to do with snap peas. Adapted from Mark Bittman, I just streamlined this recipe a bit for me, and my style of cooking and my tastes. Which, in my mind, is mostly what recipes are for anyway — a starting point.

Just stir-fry snap peas, add ginger and garlic, and finish with a little sesame oil, soy sauce and wasabi. Done.

Quick Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Garlic, Ginger and Wasabi

Quick Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Garlic, Ginger and Wasabi

Quick Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Garlic, Ginger and Wasabi

Quick Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Garlic, . . . → Read More: Quick Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Garlic, Ginger, and Wasabi

Moroccan Vegetables with Halloumi Cheese

Moroccan Vegetables with Halloumi Cheese

The trickiest part of this recipe is probably locating the halloumi cheese. I used Mt. Vikos brand, which I’ve found easily before at both New Seasons and Zupans. I’m sure places like Whole Foods have it as well (and also Barbur World Foods, no doubt). This cheese browns and crisps up nicely instead of just melting. And it is delicious.

In the summer, when asparagus is no longer plentiful, just substitute more zucchini, bell peppers, or some yellow squash. And for the next little stretch of time, when asparagus is still around — especially in the Northwest, where it’s still basically winter and we all have our flannel sheets on the bed until July — try to use the big, fat stalks, so you can just toss them in at the beginning with all the other vegetables. If they are skinnier, put them in after the other vegetables have roasted for 10 or so minutes.

We recently had this on the side with some halibut (sprinkled with a little cumin and smoked paprika and grilled) and whole wheat couscous. And before that it was a successful side dish for Chicken Tagine with Chickpeas and . . . → Read More: Moroccan Vegetables with Halloumi Cheese