I admit, I write like I have an audience of 300 and people other than my family read my blog. I say this because, most of my family doesn't give a rats ass about vegan ish. Hell, I am not even 100% vegan but I like to explore it and the amazing food it has to offer. Mostly I just like fresh ingredients that are put together to have high nutritional value as well as taste freaking aweshum. I write about it in hopes that other people appreciate that too. So, I am posting a review of a cookbook (Vegan Fusion)/restaurant (Blossoming Lotus). Perhaps if anyone is looking for a new cookbook or is in Portland and wants something unique and delicious, they will take my opinion to heart here. You don't have to be vegan to appreciate this....you just need to like flavorful, healthy food occasionally (because who doesn't love french fries for dinner too!?).
In 2008 I went to Portland for work. Before I went I researched vegan restaurants because I wanted to try one. I found Blossoming Lotus. They offer vegan and raw food options and at good prices. It was SO good that I pretty much have been craving it ever since. So, when T and I decided to go to Portland to visit some friends for the New Year (more about the holiday wrap-up later), my one demand was that we go to Blossoming Lotus for dinner one night. We did. It was delicious. I had a raw spaghetti plate that consisted of zucchini-spaghetti and pesto with a crap load of veggies....mmm. T had lasagna that was great! Not only did they have sweet-A food, they had drinks that were divine. The lavender lemon drop was to die for. One of our friends that was sick even got a "flu fighter shot" that had cayenne pepper, lemon, and ginger. After taking it, she could taste her food....a little. Anyway, I could go on forever about how much I appreciate food like this. I may be a little bias because I strive to eat/make this type of edibles but I honestly thought this restaurant was a 5 star. I am sure T thought his lasagna was good but not anything to go on and on about. However, all the other creative dishes are just that, creative. Not to mention they taste great. It just isn't something you can recreate at home every night so I like that.
Okay, now, the cookbook, Vegan Fusion. After going to the BL the first time, I came home and realized this cookbook, one I got for my bday earlier that year, was created by the guy who owns the BL. After realizing that it made me appreciate the recipes more. Actually, after this week, I am going to explore the book even more to come up with some more recipes to add to my collection. Anyway, upon first looking, this book was weird. Example: instead of "directions", it says "loving preparation". You may be thinking that is right up my alley but even that was a little too hippie, earthy for me. However, after realizing you can get some great dishes out of it, I began exploring the recipes. This book really did open my world up to protein alternatives, fresh sauces, sushi ideas, etc. Right now, my fave recipe is sweet and sour seitan (seitan is a meat alternative that looks a little like beef but it is made from wheat gluten and soy sauce). It tastes JUST like sweet and sour stuff you get at Chinese restaurants, only 100% less greasy and much more flavorful.
The recipes from this book are easy, you just need to have the drive to want to learn about meat alternatives and fresh ingredients. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to cook like that because you can definitely get some great recipes out of this!
Okay, okay. Enough. I just wanted to get this off my chest after having some awesome food in Portland this week and wanting to share my rekindled love of Vegan Fusion. Someday I will post a recipe and you can try it for yo'self.