Tag Archives: organic

Bippity Boppity Bi Bim Bop

28 Aug

If you are gluten-free or have any common sense whatsoever, you know that quinoa is AWESOME (unless you can’t eat it in which case I’m sure you are still intelligent, just at a slight disadvantage in quinoa-eating competitions and similar matters). I squeem, you squeem, we all squeem for (s)quinoa. It’s a pure protein, it’s got a delicious flavor, it blends well but stays confident as a flour, it looks pretty…it’s an all-around winner. If Brandon and I are actually home for the week we probably eat it at least 2-3 times in the span of a few days. The good news is that I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to be addicted to quinoa. The bad news is that I’m addicted to quinoa. Anyways, it fits well with most anything it’s paired with, which in this case is my own version of bi bim bop. Bibimbap. B-bop. Betty boop…buhhh…whatever you want to call it. I feel slightly sacreligious calling this bi bim bop because it is not being delivered to me by my favorite Korean lady at Bell’s Diner in Ann Arbor and it’s not covered in “special Korean hot sauce” which looks exactly like ketchup but tastes like magic.

Anyways, I looked it up, and bibimbop basically suggests a dish mixed with rice. Now, if you experienced any part of my childhood, pretty much everything could hypothetically have been called bibimbop since it all got mixed together in the rice bowl. Reading that back, I feel like I am suggesting more Asian-ness than is really accurate. For goodness sake, my favorite preparation of rice included solely (lots of) butter and soy sauce. I still sometimes eat that when I need comfort food. My family called it “Katie rice” which actually is more like “it’s ok cause you’re only half Asian” rice. I infinitely digress! Bibimbop has been amazing everywhere I’ve eaten it and I have non-deliberately Americanized it for my own purposes (those purposes mostly being “I have these ingredients and I am going to mix them all together eventually but if I display them nicely and put a fried egg on top I can call them bibimbop”). Bibimbop seems like a pretty flexible concept to me. Some people put raw seafood on it, some prefer marinated beef; I like mine with a healthy dose of (Brinery) kimchi and a runny egg. Unfortunately on this day of bibimbop creation we were out of pickled foods (FOR SHAAAAME!) so while my stomach was greatly satisfied it still wept a little for its long lost best friend.

So here’s what I ended up with:

QUI-BIM-BOP (heh, sorry)

Serves 2

1 cup quinoa (in these photos, I was trying out a blend of grains including quinoas and wild rice)

2 large carrots, julienned and cooked to your preference (steamed or pan-fried…buttery carrots are always tasty)

1 cup cooked spinach (I steamed mine and then mixed it with Tamari)

2 small zucchini, cubed and cooked to your preference (pan-fried and seasoned with a little salt and pepper)

1/2 lb tempeh, cubed and cooked however you want (this would be a great use of maple/Tamari marinated tempeh–just cube some fresh tempeh and soak it in a 3:2ish mixture of Tamari to maple syrup with a clove or two of minced garlic for at least 30 min, then pan-fried)

1 cup sugar snap peas, steamed

2 large eggs, cooked to order

seasonings I would suggest you try out to taste, not necessarily all together: salt & pepper, olive oil, Tamari, Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce), rice wine vinaigrette

As I mentioned, bibimbop is a mixed rice dish. So, simply split the cooked quinoa between two bowls and top with your ingredients. I assembled mine to look nice, then covered it all in Sriracha and made a delicious mess of it. This is a perfect dish to get creative with. Instead of marinated beef or seafood, Brandon and I (naturally) opted for tempeh (yet another thing I may be addicted to…it could be worse!). I had zucchini on hand, so they went in the bowl. Mung bean sprouts or julienned cucumber would be a super fresh, crunchy addition to this meal. Other things you can sub in might be short-grain brown rice for the quinoa or kale for the spinach. The opportunities are (gluten-free and) boundless.


Portland Part Deux

6 Jun

And the travel adventures continue! Our last couple days in Portland included less exploration of the east side than Brandon would have preferred, but we did manage to make it to a couple stellar spots.

First up on the list of all things amazing is Pok Pok. A small Thai BBQ restaurant on Portland’s east side headed by James Beard Award winner, chef Andy Ricker. We’ve been introduced to drinking vinegars in Portland, and at Pok Pok Brandon snagged a tamarind flavored drinking vinegar (mixed with soda water) while I sipped on a fresh limeade.

I can’t name all of the incredible dishes we had (really, they had complicated names that the menu even joked about) but think intensely flavored broth and noodle dishes, satay with peanut dipping sauce and spicy pickled vegetables, and Pok Pok exclusive barbecue wings. Seriously. Next time you’re Portland, you have to grab a seat at this busy little spot.

Aaaand my mom is officially jealous…now.

Moving on and about town, I of course can’t neglect the food carts. We dined but briefly for an afternoon snack, opting for Cuban beans and rice with sweet potato tots at Cubo de Cuba. There were options across town in all of the neighborhoods…it’s just too bad we weren’t constantly hungry!

* * * * * *
And to top off our Portland food fest, I leave you with Salt and Straw. After failing to visit any of the gluten-free bakeries I wanted to try (I trekked to New Cascadia, neglecting to make sure they were open), I was determined to make my way to Salt and Straw. Portland’s self-proclaimed “farm to cone” ice cream shop is known for its local ingredients and wildly unique flavors–think bone marrow, beer, and more.
As I am wont to do, my first choice was a sea salt ice cream with a caramel ripple. I coupled that with a banana, “spicy monkey” caramel (spiked with Hot Monkey Vodka), and walnut flavor. Needless to say, they were both amazing. And especially when combined together. Brandon tried strawberry honey balsamic with cracked black pepper (they use pepper to enhance the flavors in the fruit) alongside “Grandma Malek’s almond brittle” with salted ganache. Two more winners, naturally. The strawberry balsamic was a fascinating flavor–upon tasting, the balsamic hits your tongue first. As the ice cream melts, the fresh Oregon strawberries linger on your tongue. And the almond brittle, a family recipe, had a perfect taste and texture next to the ganache, both perfectly combining salty and sweet.
The ice cream alone would have probably been enough to make my trip to Portland worth it, but the weekend full of food, pair of cozy new boots, and time with my family really made it a great weekend. We’re in San Francisco now and goodness knows we’ll continue to eat well.
I’ll leave you with a few shots of Portland’s gorgeous International Rose Test Garden, which remained beautiful despite the drizzle.
%d bloggers like this: