Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oregon Food Haven

We made it to Oregon and now we never want to go back to Texas. The drive was long, 10 hours each day, with minimal fast food vegan food available, but the scenery was beautiful. New Mexico, Utah, and the Colombia River that flows between the Oregon and Washington borders were all breathtaking. Our movers with all of our furniture won't arrive till next week :( but we've been keeping busy touring the area, attending Farmer's Markets, and shopping at wonderful grocery stores like McMinnville's local Harvest Fresh and Portland's Whole Foods.

The community here is really wonderful - friendly, focused on recycling, and supports local farmers. On Thursdays our town has its farmer's market. So many vendors, most of them organic farmers!
We purchased wild spinach, Gravenstein apples, baby broccoli, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, and plump blueberries. All of the produce was unbelievably tasty and fresh! We also bought rosemary and lavender plants for our windowsill.

A few days later we drove up to Hillsboro to check out their farmer's market. This time we purchased 1/2 flat of berries to freeze for the winter. The blackberries and blueberries aren't tart, but extremely sweet and juicy! The peach we got was just perfect, better than any Texas peach. We also got a 1 1/2 foot long yellow crookneck squash for only 50 cents, along with some green beans, radishes, and cucumbers.

One day we drove into Portland, about 1 hour away, and stopped at Blossoming Lotus for breakfast. We tried the Banana Greens smoothie with berries and hemp milk - very healthy and refreshing for the start of the day. We also bought an Everything muffin, with coconut, carrots, raisins, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and other goodies. It was really good and hearty! We took home a Blueberry Lemon scone for later eats. The buckwheat granola we ordered was way too much - enough to serve 4 people, and needed a lot more sugar and milk; nothing special.

After Blossoming Lotus, we walked down the street to shop at Whole Foods. We bought a ton of new products that we've never tried!

Laura's Wholesome Junk Food - brownie bites
These were very good - fudgy-chocolaty with a slight fruity/date flavor! A tad sweet, though. Perfect size for a small treat! Other flavors we want to try include Lemon Vanilla, Gingersnap, Banana, and Fudge.

Delallo Organic Whole Wheat Pasta Shells * Update - great flavor and bite. Good with spaghetti and will use it in tofu creamy pasta salad.

Whole Food's 365 Organic Oat Bran Flakes * Update - too much sugar coating, a tad too sweet.

Nutiva Shelled Hemp Seeds

Galaxy Granola - Cranberry Orange (although didn't realize it had honey until after we got home) * Update - great flavor, subtle orange, good crunch.

Manitoba Harvest - Hemp Bliss hempmilk
Not that great for cereal milk. Had a vegetable flavor to it? Not sweet either to hide that taste. We will use it up in baked goods and then stick with Living Harvest Hemp Milk.

Heaven Scent Traditional Spice Windmill Cookies
These are Heaven! Spiced like a Christmas cookie. They also have Almond flavor which is very good, too.

Lydia's Organics - Italian Crackers
Unique raw cracker with a nice gentle crunch. Good flavor, especially with bean dip.

Gabriel's Bakery Blue Cornmeal Bread (Portland bakery)
A tad sweet, but good with bean dip or spinach hummus.

Bumble Bar - Hazelnut
Another item that is too sweet (and we thought we had sweet tooths). Overall, though, it is very nutritious, tasty, and has a good chewy crunch.

Whole grain red rice

Scharffen Berger Nibby Chocolate with Cacoa Nibs
Chocolaty with a nice crunch.

Deep Steep Foaming Handwash - Honeydew Spearmint
Perfect handsoap for the kitchen - love the smell!

oatmeal almond soap bar - love almond scents!

So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurts
Wow, so good. The texture is more uniform/thicker than some soy yogurt products we've tried - slightly like pudding. We tried the Raspberry, Strawberry Banana, and Tropical Mango. The Strawberry Banana is very good - one of our new favorite yogurt flavors. The raspberry wasn't anything exciting, though, compared to Whole Soy's line.

Whole Soy & Co. Soy Yogurts
These soy yogurts are our favorite - especially Blueberry, Strawberry, and Lemon. We also bought at Whole Foods the Strawberry Banana and Mixed Berry flavors.

Lightlife Tempeh - veggie
We have always been a little hesitant with tempeh, but were eager to cook with it again - this tempeh was very tasty with subtle veggie flavor.

Tofurky Tempeh - spicy veggie
Haven't had it yet, but we are eager to put it in a wrap with salsa and guacomole! * Update - it's now in our trash. Was terrible.

King Harvest Spinach Hummus
One of the best hummus we've ever had! Not too garlicy, not lemony, not oily; just right. And an awesome spinach flavor! Healthy too.

Wildwood Tofu Veggie Burger * Update - too oily (had to pat it dry), also tasted like a "chicken" patty that you could get at McDonald's. Wasn't bad but not worth getting again.

Today we had to drive to Beaverton, and we were excited to stop at Trader Joe's; unfortunately, we were very disappointed with the store. It was small, very very hectic and crowded, didn't have much selection, and had very few vegan options (such as soy yogurts).

This is what we ended up buying though (Trader Joe's Brand): High Fiber O's, Orange-Guava Smoothie Drink, Whole Grain Onion Pita Chips, Whole Wheat Lavash Bread, Sprouted Wheat Pappardelle Pasta, and (Dr. Praeger's) Tex Mex Veggie Burgers.
* Update - the High Fiber O's were pretty good and crunchy, Guava smoothie was excellent!, pita chips were very good with a subtle onion flavor and a great crunch, and the lavash bread was good for wraps.

Our first dinner in our new place - Garden Veggie Tempeh with wild spinach, sun dried tomatoes, bell pepper, and garlic. For leftovers we added fresh broccoli! So fresh and nutritous!

Here's a pic across from our apartment complex - hills and farmland/winery.

Looking forward to the next Farmer's Market, and the next, and the next.... so far we love it here in Oregon!


Anonymous said...

So glad you're loving your new life in Oregon!

The Trader Joe's here is just like
the one you described. We've realized that we have to go right when it opens up in order to avoid the craziness.

Have a great week!

aTxVegn said...

Hi! It's good to hear you are settling in to and enjoying Oregon. I wish I could eat one of the peaches from your farmers market. I can't imagine it being better than the ones I've been enjoying here.

I've always love Laura's Junkfood.