Tag Archives: Urban Farmer

Tofu Curry Recipe

The kids and I created this fine meal yesterday in honor of #MeatlessMonday. Here’s what we did:

Marinate firm, silky tofu with a couple splashes of soy sauce and one splash of fish sauce (nam pla). I did the splashing, Anna stirred it all together. Eric sampled the tofu.

Meanwhile, smash with a mortal & pestle a palm full of coriander seeds and a palm full of cumin seeds. Both kids wanted to do this step, but both lost their patience with it after a few moments.

In a mini food processor, blend together 2 cloves of garlic, about 2″ of fresh (peeled) ginger root, the crushed coriander & cumin, a small palm full of sugar, and a handful of basil leaves. Anna is really good at pulling the leaves off the basil stems. Both took turns pushing the buttons on the mini prep.

Once those ingredients are smushed up and look a bit like pesto, add a couple handfuls of peanuts (and eat a couple handfuls as well), a few splashes of soy sauce and fish sauce, the zest and juice of a lime, then blend some more to make a paste. Sometimes I let Anna zest citrus with the microplane. It doesn’t seem as treacherous as other graters since it’s so fine, but I pay close attention to her technique so she doesn’t grate her knuckles. Eric, being three, hasn’t gotten to use a grater yet!

Anna squeezing the lime. Too bad my camera sucks.

Sauté a chopped onion in a large skillet (or wok) until soft, then add the tofu for a few minutes, then the veggies. We used red bell pepper, green & yellow beans, and broccoli. I wasn’t going to use broccoli, but Eric insisted on it. That boy loves broccoli.

Remove all that from the skillet so the veggies don’t get overcooked. Toast the paste for a few minutes in the now-empty skillet. Heating up the curry paste opens up the flavors of cumin and coriander seeds. It smelled so good ~ warm and spicy and peanuty, but bright and fresh from the lime.

toasting the curry paste — so very fragrant!

Stir in about half a can of light coconut milk and blend with the now-heated spice paste. Once the sauce is all warmed through, toss the tofu & vegetables in and POOF! Dinner is ready. Oh yes, after microwaving the Jasmine rice for 3 minutes!

This was a yummy, easy meal that pushed a couple buttons for me: it was vegetarian for Meatless Monday, the kids were involved with prep every step of the way, it was super healthy and didn’t take too much time out of playing! The lime was crucial for brightness against the peanuts and spices, and the tiny bit of sugar in the paste helped balance all the flavors.


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Blessed Mary, Full of Condiments

I’m spending Easter morning having a delightful brunch & blogging session with Vivacious Gourmand. Of course we had to come to my favorite place. Perfect for delicious food, delightful ambiance and … THE BLOODY MARY BAR. Every weekend, Urban Farmer hosts a famous Bloody Mary Bar. $5 Bloodys, with a spectacular array of interesting potential condiments.

Urban Farmer (at The Nines hotel in downtown Portland) has a wonderful menu, sourced from local producers and assembled with great attention to detail.

My favorite part? I can eat meat here!

My heightened awareness about the commercial meat industry has caused me to want to be a vegetarian. Knee-jerk reaction. However, I believe (based on science) that human animals are omnivores. I thank the animal rights activists for drawing these inhumane conditions to my attention. But just as I can’t agree with them that there is no place for zoos in our society, I also can’t agree with them that humans shouldn’t eat meat.

Bears and monkeys are omnivores. I wouldn’t expect them to not eat other animals. Nor can we expect that of humans. But… and it’s a big but… I simply cannot tolerate supporting a commercial meat industry that treats the animals inhumanely. I was watching a trailer from a documentary-in-process made by a local animal rights activist. She was drawn to my attention because she is protesting Oregon Zoo housing elephants. I can’t agree with her on that point, but the rest of her documentary really opened my eyes and caused me to think long and hard about where my meat is coming from. I actually haven’t eaten meat since watching that.

So… back to Urban Farmer. They proudly advertise their local suppliers, and only choose farmers that maintain proper standards for sustainability and conditions for the animals. I’m so glad, because this was delicious:

Eggs Benedict, with shaved ham from Tails & Trotters

While we were here, Urban Farmer happened to be hosting their twice-annual uh-may-zing brunch buffet.

A buffet delicious enough to photograph

We met this charming photographer, Erin Berzel, who was photographing the buffet. If I’m not able to run the Hippie Chick Half on Mother’s Day, I’m totally coming back with my family for the brunch! Oh, and did I mention the Bloody Mary Bar has bacon swizzle sticks available? Local, humanely-produced bacon, of course.

This picture sums up my feelings about Urban Farmer:

Now THAT is a happy breakfast situation.



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