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Author: AndyDufresne

I live in Portland, Oregon, where I blog about the goings on 'in my vegan garden'. One month a year, my garden blog is transformed by the 31days of vegan food craziness known as Vegan MoFo. Come say hello and tell me how cute my pups are!
Giveaway: Vegan Cuts!!!

Giveaway: Vegan Cuts!!!

Congratulations to our two winners:

Beth, who won Giveaway#1 and saves money on as much organic tahini at the dollar store as she can!


Sarah, who won Giveaway #2 and once bought a $60 container of coconut oil for $14.95! Nice!


There are Vegan MoFo giveaways happening left and right these days, but none like this one. For one thing, you get options, and all of them vegan!

Vegan Cuts is a vegan-owned company that offers great vegan products at a discount. Think of your favorite online deal site.  Now imagine if that site offered deals on purely vegan items.  Pretty great idea, right?  John and Jill are offering two prizes today.

Giveaway 1:
The first is a $50 electronic gift card to spend on any of their deals (and they have a lot of products available each week!).  Take a look at some of the products that have been featured at Vegancuts.The giveaway for the $50 gift card is available to folks in the United States and Canada, but keep in mind that some of the individual companies featured on Vegan Cuts may ship to the US only.


Giveaway 2:
This giveaway is for one month of the Vegan Cuts Snack Box.  The Snack Box is a subscription that delivers a box of goodies to you each month.

The Vegan Cuts Snack Box Giveaway is available to folks in the US only.

To enter the giveaways, leave a comment below by 3:00 pm PST on 10/30/2012, telling me A.) about a time you saved money on a vegan product and B.) which giveaway you’re entering.   Be sure to include a valid email address so that we may get in touch with you and send you your prize!  Two winners will be chosen randomly and announced shortly after 3:00.


If you’re interested in finding out more about Vegan Cuts and signing up to have their deals emailed to your inbox, click here.

Iron Chef Roundup #3: Hot Peppers, Sunflower Seeds, and Grapes

Iron Chef Roundup #3: Hot Peppers, Sunflower Seeds, and Grapes

This week I posed the challenge of using three key ingredients in a unique dish for Vegan MoFo Iron Chef.  I am really impressed by all the entries this week using hot peppers, sunflower seeds, and grapes. They all sound like dishes that I would like to make and, more importantly, eat!

A visit to The Spade & Spoon produced a guide on how to make Sunflower Seed Tarts with Red Wine and Chili Jam. Can you believe it? I didn’t even think of wine when I thought up this week’s ingredient list. Grapes are versatile I tell you! (Left photo in image above.)

Kelly from Grassroots created a Waldorf Salad containing this week’s key ingredients (including jalapeno-roasted sunflower seeds!) and is called “Jalapeno-Face” Spicy Waldorf Salad.  (Center photo in image above.)

How do grilled tofu, taquitos, and Pico de Gallo fit in with this weeks Iron Chef challenge? You’ll have to visit Kim Cooks Veg 4U to see this inspired menu for yourself. (Right photo in image above.)

Vegan Fazool’s entry is unique for many reasons. Using the Candied Cowboys (candied jalapenos) made early during MoFo, The Sheriff, put together “The Shiny Saddle” and “The Candied Sunflower Raisin Saddlebag“. Hope the homestead makes it through the storm alright! (Photo above.)

Two contestants went the stuffed pepper approach.

Another Iron Chef newbie, The Unintentional Vegan used the ingredients beautifully in her Sunflower Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers with Balsamic Grape Dipping Sauce. (Left photo in image above.)

Opting for poblanos in lieu of jalapenos, Laura created a substantial dish from Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Sweet & Spicy Rasin Chutney. Talk about fusion! (Right photo in image above.)

When I thought up this set of ingredients, sunflower seeds in a bread seemed like a natural choice. Apparently, a couple of participants thought so too!

Take a look at Cara’s Raisin Scones with Sweet & Spicy Sunflower Seed Spread. Perhaps this is the perfect thing to eat while reading Wuthering Heights? (Left photo in image above.)

Somer went all-out with her first Iron Chef submission. This Monte Cristo is pretty epic. (Center photo in image above.)

Rubber Cowgirl’s Sunflower Biscuits with Grape-Chili Jam look like a great snack. I can just imagine the spicy sweetness of the jam on a crumbly biscuit. Mmmm mmmm. Kudos to you for eliminating palm oil from your cooking. I’m right there with you! (Right photo in image above.)

Well, that wraps up this season of Vegan MoFo Iron Chef.  Thanks to everyone who participated!  It was a lot of fun to see the key ingredients used so creatively in unique dishes.

Iron Chef Challenge: #3

Iron Chef Challenge: #3

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for me to post this week’s secret ingredients for the Iron Chef Challenge. Participants will then use these ingredients in a unique dish, blog about the dish, and post a link to the recipe in the comments below. On Sunday I will do a roundup of the participating blogs’ dishes.

Our first Iron Chef Challenge this MoFo season brought you one ingredient. Then we raised the bar with two key ingredients. Have a seat; this is a shocker. This week, our final week of Vegan MoFo Iron Chef 2012, we will have THREE key ingredients! This pure Vegan MoFo craziness is brought to you by our key ingredients…

Hot peppers, sunflower seeds, & grapes

Hot pepper varieties abound, so choose any (or several) that you’d like. If you’re sensitive to heat, remember to discard the seeds and ribs. If you’re really sensitive to heat, go ahead and use a sweet pepper. We’ll be none the wiser.

Key ingredients can be used in  any form.
Psssstttt. Updated to add this hint: Raisins.

A quick review of our few simple rules/guidelines:

1. Whatever you come up with has to be new, nothing from a cookbook or a blog, not something you posted last week that happens to involve the secret ingredient(s). It’s fine to use a recipe for a jump-off point, but make it your own!
2. Entries are due at 3 pm PST on Sunday.
3. Have fun and be creative!

Allez Végétalien Cuisine!

Iron Chef Roundup: #2

Iron Chef Roundup: #2

Okay, so maybe potato and sesame as key ingredients were not so challenging.  Easy “challenge” or not, you all really rolled up your sleeves and delivered with this one.  I would love to

Veganolution made two dishes: a Sweet Potato Sesame Soup, which looks creamy and delightful, and Potato Sesame Buns. These two entries look like they would pair beautifully!

Big Mike took the opportunity to make something that evoked memories of his childhood, while enticing his adult palate. I am definitely going to give his Vegan Sesame & Potato Knishes a shot.

You had me at “sauerkraut,’ Mike.

Potato breads are pretty great, but think. care. act. took it to another level by making Potato Bread Sticks with sesame seeds.

I was hoping for a potato salad entry and the funcrunch files delivered with a Potato Salad with Tahini Dressing.

Get ready for Easy Vegan‘s Rosemary Potato Pizza with a Garlic Sesame Dipping Sauce.

Oh yeah.

Kirsten utilized sesame in its oil form to make her Thai Sweet Potato Cakes with Cashew Sour Cream.

There were some Sesame Crusted Eggplant Cutlets atop Sweet Potato Hummus happening over at Veggie Fixation. What a great use of ingredients!

Don’t Fear the Vegan lives and dreams Vegan MoFo, concocting, Sesame Coconut Encrusted Portobello Stuffed with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Teriyaki Mushroom Gravy.

Take a look at My Munchable Musing‘s fusion Sweet Sesame Shepherd’s Pie.

This Sesame Crusted Tempeh Asian Salad with Fingerling Potatoes sounds healthful and flavorful. Good work, Kim!

Colynn‘s Vegan Redskin Potato and Kale Gnocchi in White Whine and Sesame Reduction looks like it should be in a fancy schmancy restaurant.

Hasselback Potatoes? What? I like how I’m learning new things from Kristi while making a mental note to try this at home. The flavor mixtures sound great in these three variations!


It makes me happy to see that several of you, Iron Chef participants, are fitting the challenges into your themes. Suburban Vegan did just this with a Spanish Omlet with Sesame Romesco Sauce.

V.ora’s Vegan Way was home this week to Austrian-inspired Sweet Potato Dumplings with Sesame Crunch. These look goood.

These look goood.

Only the second sweet dish entered in the challenge, Bite Me (I’m Vegan)‘s Sesame Sweet Potato Muffins represent the challenge well and look like a yummy breakfast-to-go.

Okay, and because I didn’t want to make this post waaaay too long by filling it with photos, here’s a collage of the dishes mentioned, but not represented pictorially above.

Iron Chef Challenge: #2

Iron Chef Challenge: #2

Chopped was fun last week, wasn’t it? Man, those entries looked amazing! We will now return you to your regularly scheduled Friday programming.

The weather is a little on the gray-side here in the Pacific Northwestern United States, so as of late, I’ve been filling up on stews and hot things. However, I realize not everyone is in “fall mode,” so I wanted to choose ingredients that are used year-round in hot and cold dishes. Perhaps you’ll end up cooking up a stew or casserole. Or maybe you’ll make a salad or spread. There are lots of options. And, not only are these ingredients widely available, they’re pretty inexpensive.

The secret ingredients are…..

Potatoes and Sesame

All forms of these ingredients will be accepted, and although they’re not technically closely related, we’ll include sweet potatoes. Keep in mind that there’s a whole world of spuds out there, so you don’t need to feel limited by the “same old” varieties.

A quick review of our few simple rules/guidelines:

1. Whatever you come up with has to be new, nothing from a cookbook or a blog, not something you posted last week that happens to involve the secret ingredients. It’s fine to use a recipe for a jump-off point, but make it your own!
2. Entries are due at 3 pm PST on Sunday.
3. Have fun and be creative!

To participate, just comment below with the link to your blog post by Sunday, 3 pm PST.

Unfortunately, this challenge is not well-suited for our raw participants. Remember not to eat raw potatoes, please! Also, avoid the green parts of potatoes, which indicate a high solanine content. Read about potato toxicity here.

Iron Chef: The Beet Roundup

Iron Chef: The Beet Roundup

As suspected, beets know no boundaries.  We’ve spanned cuisines and countries in this one.  This challenge even had some folks switching over from the beet haters side.

Some interesting ideas tackled this week:  beets to make pink bread and pasta.  Whoa.   Beetloaf?  Intriguing!

To take a look at the recipe and visit each participating blog, click on the corresponding photo below.    Cue the magenta!

Kohlrabi and Quince’s Roasted Pickled Beets and Radishes
The Space & Spoon’s Beetroot Mini Cobs with Caramelised Beet & Onion Mayo
Cupcake Kitteh’s Beetroot Pesto Pizza
Veganolution’s Pink Hummus
Come Vegan With Me’s Beet Risotto
Tasty Planet’s Beet-Apple-Carrot Juice
Vegan on the Prowl’s Beetroot Chutney
Geeky Treats’ Boba Fettuccine Beet Pasta
From Kirsten’s Kitchen to Yours’ Beetroot Ravioli with Spinach Pesto
Think Care Act’s  second dish: Beets with Coconut Sauce
Bedazzled Vegan’s Beetroot Samosas
Odd Mom Out’s Beetloaf
The Picky Vegan’s Curried Beet and Sweet Potato Latke with Apple-Beet Chutney
Kristy’s Beet Slaw







Also, check out The Elizavegan Page’s Wartime Roasted Beets with Kale (unphotographed).

As I hoped, we even had some desserts, too!

Think Care Act’s Raw Beet Tartlet
Eating on a Napkin’s Chocolate Beet Pudding
Flaming Apron’s Coconut Lime Ice Cream with Beetroot Syrup









Ripe’s Beet Cheesecake Bites

Thanks guys.  Now have some great recipes to use with the beets in my garden!

Tune in this coming Friday for the next secret ingredient(s)!

Iron Chef Challenge: #1

Iron Chef Challenge: #1

Welcome, everyone, to another year of Vegan MoFo Iron Chef!  Katie, who usually hosts this competition, has put her faith in me this month.

Fridays during the month of October will feature Iron Chef Challenges, wherein participants will use the week’s secret ingredient in a unique dish and post a link to the recipe. On Sundays I will do a roundup of the participating blogs’ dishes.

This week I wanted to chose an ingredient that is used in cuisines around the world, is fairly inexpensive, and can be used in a diversity of dishes.  According to Wikipedia, this vegetable has been cultivated since the second millennium BC, so I’m sure there are a few recipes to guide you through this challenge.

A quick review of our few simple rules/guidelines:

1. Whatever you come up with has to be new, nothing from a cookbook or a blog, not something you posted last week that happens to involve the secret ingredient. It’s fine to use a recipe for a jump-off point, but make it your own!
2. Entries are due at 3 pm PST on Sunday.
3. Have fun and be creative!

Let’s not beet around the bush. (Did you guess the secret ingredient just then?)

The secret ingredient is BEETROOT!

Think pickled/steamed/roasted/pureed/boiled/shredded beets, beet greens, beet juice as dye…really beets are quite a diverse vegetable! With their natural sweetness, they lend themselves to both sweet and savory dishes.

To participate, just comment on this entry with the link to your blog post by Sunday, 3 pm PST.

Allez Végétalien Cuisine!
(Disregard the carrots! Although delicious, they are not part of this challenge!)

PS- I apologize for posting this late.  Work gets in the way sometimes.  For this reason, if you don’t get around to posting your links until a little after 3 p.m. on Sunday, I’ll try to still feature your dish in the roundup!  I’ll be posting the challenges earlier in upcoming weeks.

Giveaway- Beans, beans, and more beans!

Giveaway- Beans, beans, and more beans!

And our three randomly selected bean-loving winners are: Veronica, Peggy, and Kalamckala.  Check your email, you three, and congrats!

I’m willing to bet you, faithful Vegan MoFo readers, go through a substantial amount of beans in a month.  Wouldn’t it be great to have several pounds of these nutrient-packed legumes shipped to your front door…for free?!  I mean, if nothing else, it would save you a trip to the grocery store and allow you to spend more time MoFoing.

For the second year in a row we’ve received a great giveaway from the folks at PNW Farmers Coop.  Three lucky people will win three two-pound bags of non-GMO lentils, garbanzo beans, and split peas, sustainably-produced by family farmers in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.  That’s enough to last you quite a while, I’d imagine!

If you need bean inspiration, why not turn to your fellow MoFoers?

Two Vegan Ladies cooked up some adorable Lentil Sliders that look both tasty and satisfying.Or how about some Moroccan Pumpkin Hummus, recipe provided by Robin Robertson?

If you’re all about the split peas, perhaps Cupcakes and Kale will inspire you with  her Curried Chana Dal Soup.

To enter, leave a comment below by 4:00 PST 10/3/2012, telling us about your favorite bean or bean dish to prepare.  Be sure to include a valid email address so that we can contact you.  Three winners will be randomly selected and announced an hour (or so!) after the giveaway is closed.  This giveaway is open to folks in the U.S. only.

Rescue Chocolate Giveaway on Pitbull Awareness Day

Rescue Chocolate Giveaway on Pitbull Awareness Day

A magical random number generator has decided that Kelly Garbato is the winner of scrumptious chocolate goodness.  Congratulations, Kelly!  Thank you to everyone that shared their pittie stories!  I loved reading them.

Rescue Chocolate (“the sweetest way to save a life”) donates 100% of the net profit of every chocolate bar sold, to animal rescue organizations throughout the United States.  Oh and 100% vegan- yes!  I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t need an excuse to buy chocolate.  However, doing something good while buying chocolate- well that’s just the best.  Isn’t it?  Saving lives.  Eating Chocolate.  All in a day’s work.

Perhaps your true love is the raspberry ganache-filled chocolate heart.

Photo from

Or you prefer a treat of minty dark chocolate with cacoa nibs.

Photo from

Maybe your tastes go for the salty, smokey Fakin’ Bacon chocolate bar.

Photo from

Whatever your chocolate preference, Rescue Chocolate is offering a $25 gift certificate to spend at their online store.  Sweet!

In honor of Pitbull Awareness Day and this lovely chocolate giveaway, we asked folks over at the Post Punk Kitchen forum to post photos and stories of their pitties.  VeganMoFo crew’s own Katie put together the resulting collage of beautiful pittie faces.  Thanks, Katie!  Be sure to check out the heartwarming stories about these gorgeous dogs here.  Really.  Go do it.  I dare you not to tear up a little.

Clockwise from top left: Penny, Chester, Mr. Cuddles, Julie, May, Norton and Bonneville, Fiona and Carmine, and Blueberry.

And of course, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share my favorite family portrait of me, my partner, and our two pittie boys, Andy and Emerson, who have brought so much joy into our lives.

To enter the Rescue Chocolate giveaway, tell me about your favorite Pittie in three sentences.  (If you don’t personally know a pittie, seek inspiration from the PPK stories.) A winner will be chosen tomorrow morning at 11:00 PST.  The winner will be contacted via email, so be sure to include your email address in your comment.  This giveaway is open to people in the US only.

UPDATE: It appears there was an issue with people being unable to comment on this blog earlier today.  The problem should be fixed now.  We’re extending the giveaway until 6:00 p.m. Sunday!

Thursday Round-Up: Second Annual Apple Post

Thursday Round-Up: Second Annual Apple Post

I can’t help it.  I have apples on the mind, yet again, during MoFo, and it looks like plenty of you do too.  For those of you who haven’t begun thinking of every possible way to use an apple, I provide you with this opportunity.

Of course, you have apple pie, done beautifully by veganwhore who pays homage to the best of the apple varieties, honeycrisp.

Aren't these hand pies adorable?

Next up we have these beautifully-crafted Mini Pumpkin Apple Pies with Coconut Creme from Kelly at the Vegan Cookie Connoisseur.

What beauties!

Check out The V Word for a savory apple dish: Onion and Apple Relish Tofu.

That tofu looks so crispy and delightful!

Jess at Cupcakes and Kale created something beautiful.  Wouldn’t you like to sink your teeth into one of these Apple and Salted Caramel Cupcakes?


If it’s something savory you require, head on over to The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes for French Lentil and Apple Salad with Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette AND Quick Vegan Tempeh Bacon.

You can always count me in for lentils.

Lastly, Suburban Vegan leaves us with Apple Cider Martinis.


I invite you all to put your thinking caps on and come up with more tasty uses for apples.  (Pretty please?  So I can work my way through the oodles of apples floating around my kitchen? )  Until next time, my friends!