September 12, 2011

What do vegans do after ...

What do vegan bloggers do right after they have a great time attending a vegan bloggers conference, and discover that a bunch of fellow bloggers are practically neighbors? They form a vegan bloggers meetup group, of course. The first meetup was quickly organized to occur while there were still some out-of-town fellow bloggers in the Seattle area, after attending VVC in Portland. For example, Christy Morgan was in town to do a book talk on Thursday evening for her beautiful new cookbook, Tasty Bites.

The first meetup was planned to occur after Christy's talk, so she could attend. Wanting to support Christy on her tour, I invited Mr. EV, and friend-and-future-vegan Wendy, to accompany me to Third Place Books for the book talk and food samples.

The ride to the bookstore was a little more exciting than we had planned. Mr. EV kept glancing in the rear view mirror and mumbling something about an strangely aggressive woman behind us. She kept beeping her horn, and then started tailgaiting us. She kept this up for a couple of miles and I began to voice concerns that something must be wrong with our car. Has a tail light fallen off? Was a tire going flat? She was starting to make us all nervous, when suddenly she pulled alongside our car on the right. She rolled down her window. I rolled down my window. Then, with a face flushed and bloated with anger, she screamed, "DO ME A FAVOR AND LEARN HOW TO DRIVE IN RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC, YOU DUMB F**K!!! She raised her finger in salute. I rolled up my window.

We were a bit shocked by her rage. After a moment of silence, I suggested we all yell "you dumb f**k" a few times to break the spell she had cast, especially on Mr. EV, who felt really disturbed and violated. We spent the rest of the drive trying to calm him down. Sheesh. At least there wasn't anything wrong with the car ...

We made it to the bookstore, met Christy, listened to her book talk and ate yummy chewy trail mix bars that she had made.

The meetup before the band started playing.

After Christy's inspiring talk, we zipped over to Highline restaurant and bar, in Capital Hill. In case you don't know, Highline serves well-executed, possibly unhealthy but delicious, vegan comfort food. Unbeknownst to any of us, especially the lovely Brittany who organized the event, a band (a very loud band) was scheduled to play that night, and the meetup was eventually forced to change venues. We stayed long enough to pick up some food (I got fish and chips), and then headed out.


Cool coils

I've been wanting a spiralizer for a long time, and apparently so has Rose, because we both seem to have gotten one practically the same day! Of course she beat me to a post because I'm always running behind. The gadget we both bought is the Benriner Cook's Help. You can see mine with a carrot in it behind the piles of spiralized veggies. I went a little crazy spiralizing everything that I could. The zucchini were the easiest while the carrots and beets required some amount of pressure to go through the blades. Benriner also makes a more expensive horizontal spiralizer (about $75) that may be more efficient at cutting harder vegetables, but the cost difference swayed me towards the less expensive version.

My first salad had a dressing of tahini and umeboshi, and a sprinkle of cheesy kale chip crumbs, and was delicious.

This version is topped with tzatziki sauce, which was leftover after making baked oil-free falafel with tzatziki sauce from Christy Morgan's Blissful Bites, and sunflower seeds. Mmmmmmmmm.


  1. I am sorry that woman on the way to your event was such a jerk--that sounds crazy!

    I love my spiralizer! My favorite thing to spiralize is zucchini--yum, yum, yum. Your spiralized dishes look SO good! I am totally having spiralized zucchini tomorrow for dinner :-)


  2. Man, sounds like some rough dealings with the road rager and the loud band..but I hope it was worth it. I actually have a copy of Blissful Bites sitting right next to me but I have not really gone through it much yet.
    The spiralized salads sound awesome too. Love the idea of tahini and kale chips on top!! And those cute little tomatoes.

  3. Wow, talk about road rage! I probably would have started laughing at her, which would have enraged her more.... She must have some high blood pressure!

    I'm starting to want a spiralizer after seeing yours & Rose's posts. They look like fun!

  4. Golly, do you think she had some anger management issues? Sounds like she would have benefitted from the Blissful Bites talk. I agree with Molly, it would be difficult for me to have the where-with-all to think of it at the time, but just bursting out laughing would be a good response.

    Sounds like a fun night out; I really must get up to Highline...weren't they the same people who ran The Squid and Ink? Another place I never made it too...I'm not doing too well on that front I guess.

    Your spirals look great. I haven't had too much trouble with carrots, but haven't tried beets yet. It seems like a sturdy little machine, so even if it takes a bit of pressure for the tougher veg, my guess (hope) is that it will hold up. I love the sound of tahini and umeboshi as a sauce. Both dishes look so healthy and inviting.

  5. Courtney,
    Maybe she had a really bad day, though even if I had a really bad day, I wouldn't scream obscenities at a total stranger. (Notice I said total stranger.)

    It was worth it, but the evening did get off to a shaky start. At least she used words and not something worse. And she didn't ram the car or anything.

    I'll be looking forward to seeing some blissful bites appearing on your blog.

    We did laugh rather nervously, once we'd recovered from the initial shock, but she was gone by then.

    The spiralizer is fun, but I've eaten way too many zucchini over the last week and they're starting to lose their appeal. I'd better find something else to spiralize. :)

    Yes, anger management issues. I should have asked her about that before I closed my car window. :)

    I've been to Highline several times — two times I really liked it and one time not so much. I recommend the fish sandwich. And yes, they did run the squid and ink but I never got there.

    I think the Cook Help will hold up but I'm worried about my fondness for zucchini. It's really being put to the test. I'm starting to like making the spirals more than I like eating them. I want to try them with a hot sauce, possibly tomato, but maybe I should wait a little.

  6. My goodness, a woman once yelled a similar epitaph at me with my mom in the car and we still shudder over the experience. Thankfully our lives are full of compassion for all beings, making us devoid of such unnecessary rage over absurd, perceived problems.

    If it makes you feel any better, my coveted spiralizer has been in the box for months since received. What can I say? It's one of a very long list of things to get to...

  7. At first I thought you were going to say it was someone from the conference trying to get your attention. Bummer it was just a crazy road rage lady.

    Oh man, I wanted a spiralizer for a long time too. After seeing those salads, I want one more than ever. :-)

  8. Oh wow, that woman had some serious issues!I hope your next meetup will take place under better circumstances.

  9. Abby,
    I'm sorry you had to experience rage from an obviously constipated person, as we did, but am relieved to hear that you never personally contribute to the anger in the Universe. Now, let me just say, get that spiralizer out of the box and coil up a zucchini before the summer is over!

    Chow vegan,
    Yes, just another crazy road-raged driver.

    I'll bet you'd work wonders with a spiralizer.

    My husband is still upset about the incident, since none of us were aware of any driving errors on his part. But even if he had screwed up, she was way out of line.

  10. Holy moly--you'd think you were in LA with that kind of road rage! And I wondered why she didn't just pass you to begin with, then, instead of waiting and then swearing at you. . . ??? Oh, well, bizarre!

    Glad the talk/granola bars/second half of meetup went well! :)

  11. Ricki,
    The incident was bizarre, for sure. We were in a line of heavy traffic with nothing to do but follow along, starting and stopping along with the cars in front of us. She was completely nuts as far as we could tell. The rest of the evening was quite pleasant. :)

  12. Ah, type A (hole) drivers on I-5 in the Seattle area. Don't miss that! I always just smiled and waved at them. That woman's garbage truck was overflowing with crud and crap and she chose you to dump it on. And I'm sure it didn't make her feel any better, more's the pity. I'm sorry you had to even experience that.

    I bought a spiralizer about a month ago--same brand--and I haven't used it yet. What's wrong with me?!

  13. Christina,
    I think next time I'll put my hands together and do a little bow.

    You really must try the Cook Help before all the bountiful zucchini go away. Get it out of the box!

  14. That spiralizer thingy is a new one on me, but it sure makes the food look beautiful!!!

    Too bad about the jerk tailgating you. Wasn't she the one with the problem?

  15. Claire,
    I've been wanting a spiralizer for years, but it never seemed like a priority. It's probably still not a priority, but I sure do like it a lot.

    I'm sure the jerk believed we were the problem, but she'd be wrong and you'd be right!

  16. Oh, man, people never fail to amaze me. The one time I ever felt mad at someone on the road and exhibited an impatient response - all I did was honk and kind of raise my hand at him as I passed, no f words - I quickly saw it was an elderly person. And I felt awful and wanted to stop him and apologize for honking. People who honk at me when a light turns green and I wait two seconds before turning always sort of make me feel bad, too. I'm very sensitive! :) Glad you're having fun with your spiralizer. I've only tried carrots and zucchini & squash with mine, but everytime I see someone try something else, I think I'm going to. I put cheesey kale chip crumbs on my salad the other day; it was good!

  17. I know what you mean about being sensitive and feeling bad — I'm the same way — which may be why even when I think bad thoughts about other drivers, I don't make those thoughts public. I think my husband still feels bad about the shriek-lady episode.

    The spiralizer does a nice job with daikon, but aside from the stuff you mentioned, I haven't tried anything else either.

  18. Sorry you had such a horrible start to your jaunt, but I'm glad it looked up after that! How wonderful to be able to have a vegan bloggers meetup!

    I like the look of your spiralised vegetables. One of those might make salads more appealing to me! I always like your salads anyway. I just don't find salads filling enough for my wee, fat tummy! :o(


  19. Penny,
    Lovely to hear from you! I've missed you. You have to add the right kinds of things to salads if you want them to be filling, or you can just eat them as part of the meal, with the other parts being filling, but I know just what you mean. The spirals are so cool, though, and they add a lot of texture as well as beauty. You can also cover them with a hot tomato sauce and eat them like spaghetti.

  20. I'm just now seeing this! So great to see you at my talk. I was super bummed that band was playing such loud horrible music so we didn't get to chat more :(

    Hope you are doing well and enjoying the book!


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